Odyssey Number Five dropped almost exactly 2 years after Internationalist, on 4 September 2000, and absolutely blew up.
Odyssey Number Five turned out to be as epic for Powderfinger as the title implied—both in terms of the sound of the album and what it did for the band. This album took them into the stratosphere—and it did so with beautifully cinematic songs that were impossibly addictive.
The album reached number 1 on the ARIA charts before amassing huge sales of 8x platinum, and winning 6 ARIA awards, including Album of the Year. It was simply unstoppable.
Nick DiDia was again tasked with production and recording duties, and there was little room for error. By the time recording sessions for Odyssey Number Five began, the band’s ‘song filtering process’ had become so stringent that they only went in to the studio with 11 songs. And those 11 songs are the 11 tracks on Odyssey Number Five.
Despite recording so few songs, many of the tracks could have been singles alongside My Kind Of Scene, My Happiness, Like A Dog, The Metre / Waiting For The Sun, and These Days (a song the band originally recorded for the Two Hands soundtrack). There’s not a shred of fat on this record—it’s a slick, panoramic, melodic dreamscape.
Odyssey Number Five is Powderfinger’s most iconic record. Many also consider it their best. In 2011, Triple J listeners voted Odyssey Number Five number 1 in the Hottest 100 Australian Albums Of All Time. And in the decades that follow, it will likely be the record that people play their children and grandchildren to explain who Powderfinger was—and what Australian music sounded like at the turn of the century.
Next release: Vulture Street