The Zombies Mourn the Passing of Artist Terry Quirk, Who Designed the Band’s Classic ‘Odessey and Oracle’ Album Cover

Rock Cellar Magazine StaffCategories:Latest News

Rock Cellar Magazine

Terry Quirk, the acclaimed illustrator and writer known for designing the album cover for Odessey and Oracle, the breakthrough 1968 album from The Zombies, passed away earlier this week at the age of 79.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band remembered Quirk with a heartfelt message shared to social media:

The Zombies reconnected with Terry Quirk for recent album Still Got That Hunger (2015) as well as a book about the band, making his passing a significant one for the group.

Quirk’s official website includes a lengthy biography pointing out his many accomplishments, which (in)famously included misspelling the word Odyssey on Odessey and Oracle — something that was not intended and gave the record a bit of a reputation:

The artwork is today instantly recognisable due to the spelling error which sees Odyssey spelt with a misplaced “e”. In fact, the sleeve is so far embedded into rock history that it can be seen in The British Music Experience exhibition at The O2 Arena.

“I ended up spelling odyssey wrong, so that’s my claim to fame. There’s lots of theories online about why it’s spelt wrong, but there’s no conspiracy.”

Of his iconic 1960s cover, Terry recalls being in the studio with the band when the idea began to take shape. “I can remember sitting on some stairs,” he explains, “and it was around half past one in the morning, and they were thinking of titles. I had a pad and a pencil, and they were having a discussion, and out came the word ‘odyssey,’ and I just wrote it in this floral writing. And then out of it came ‘oracle,’ and I wrote that down. When the guys came back from a break, I showed it to them and said, ‘How about this?’ And they said, ‘Perfect, absolutely perfect – color it in, put some figures in. You know what the songs are about.’ And that was it.”

Rest in peace, Terry Quirk.

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