Odyssey (band)

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Odyssey - 01.jpg
Background information
OriginNew York City, United States
Years active1977–present
Associated actsSteven Collazo
  • Steven Collazo
  • KayJay Sutherland
  • Michelle John
Past members
  • Lillian Lopez
  • Louise Lopez
  • Carmen Lopez
  • Tony Reynolds
  • Bill McEachern
  • Al Jackson
  • Annis Peters
  • Anne Peters
  • Romina Johnson

Odyssey is originally a New York City, United States-based singing group, best known for their 1977 hit "Native New Yorker", and a series of other mainly dance and soul hits in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Now based in the United Kingdom, the band is led and fronted by Steven Collazo and continues to perform and record.


The group began as the Connecticut-born "Lopez Sisters" group, featuring Steven Collazo's mother, Lillian Lopez (Lillian Lopez Collazo Jackson; November 16, 1935 – September 4, 2012),[4] Louise Lopez (February 22, 1933 – January 28, 2015),[5] and Carmen Lopez (July 12, 1934 - April 22, 2016),[6] the latter having left the group before Odyssey, as the act would come to be known after her departure, was conceived.[7]

Filipino bassist and singer Tony Reynolds joined the group soon after "Native New Yorker" reached no. 21 on the Billboard Hot 100, no. 5 in the UK Singles Chart. A string of albums and singles followed and the group managed another R&B chart hit, "Inside Out", written by Jesse Rae, produced by Jimmy Douglass and featuring music performed by session musicians. It peaked on the US charts at no. 12 and in the UK went to no. 3 in 1982.[8] The song was ranked at number 15 among the "Tracks of the Year" for 1982 by NME.[9]

Reynolds, for unknown reasons, left after the first album and was replaced by Fayetteville, North Carolina native William "Bill" McEachern, who remained with the group throughout the remainder of its RCA Records output.[7] During that time, Brooklyn-born Steven Collazo joined the group as keyboardist, vocalist and musical director. Tony Reynolds died on February 2, 2010 in Jamaica, Queens, New York.

In the United Kingdom, the band, with its diverse musical style had more chart success, totalling five Top Ten hits between 1977 and 1982.[10] One of them, "Use It Up and Wear It Out", reached number one in the UK Singles Chart for two weeks in 1980.[7] The UK follow-up single, "If You're Lookin' for a Way Out" had Lillian Lopez on lead vocals; the single reaching no. 6 in 1980 and spending a total of fifteen weeks in the UK chart.[10] Odyssey thus became the third US act of the year (after Fern Kinney and M.A.S.H.) to reach number one in the UK despite not charting in their home country.[11] Their later hit "Going Back to My Roots" was written and originally recorded by Lamont Dozier.[12]

After leaving RCA, Odyssey, composed of lead vocalist Lillian Lopez, Al Jackson and Steven Collazo, continued touring, performing, and making television appearances throughout the United Kingdom, Europe and the Middle East. Lopez and Jackson married in 2000 and retired from the music industry in 2003. Lopez died on September 4, 2012 of cancer.[4][13]

Steven Collazo performing at Let's Rock Liverpool, July 31, 2021. Photograph by Andrew D. Hurley


Odyssey's "If You're Looking for a Way Out" was covered by Tindersticks on their 1999 album, Simple Pleasure. "Inside Out" was covered by Electribe 101 on their 1990 album Electribal Memories and subsequently released as a single. Other covers of Odyssey's material include "Don't Tell Me Tell Her" by Phyllis Hyman and "Native New Yorker" by Esther Phillips, amongst others. The band, now led by Steven Collazo, featured vocalist twins Annis and Anne Peters and released the album Legacy in June 2011 on ISM Records. The twins left the group in January 2013, and were replaced by song stylist Jerdene Wilson and recording artist Romina Johnson. Johnson is known for her vocals and collaboration with Artful Dodger on the 2000 hit song "Movin' Too Fast". In 2014–15, Odyssey released their Together EP via ISM records.


Studio albums[edit]

Year Title Peak chart positions Record label

1977 Odyssey 36 16 98 47 RCA Victor
1978 Hollywood Party Tonight 123 72
1980 Hang Together 181 66 38
1981 I Got the Melody 175 62 25 37 29
1982 Happy Together 23 21
1985 Joy Society Hill
2011 Legacy ISM
2014 Together EP ISM
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Title Peaks Certifications Record label
1981 The Best of Odyssey RCA Victor
1982 The Magic Touch of Odyssey 69 Telstar
1987 The Greatest Hits 26 Stylus
1989 Greatest Hits RCA
1990 Native New Yorker: Golden Classics Collectables
2005 Legends Sony
2010 The Greatest Hits
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications Album


1977 "Native New Yorker" 21 6 3 13 7 5 Odyssey
1978 "Easy Come, Easy Go"
"Weekend Lover" 57 37 75
"Single Again" / "What Time Does the Balloon
Go Up" (medley)
Hollywood Party Tonight
1979 "Lucky Star"
1980 "Don't Tell Me, Tell Her" 44 6 Hang Together
"Use It Up and Wear It Out" 20 2 1
"If You're Lookin' for a Way Out" 9 6
1981 "Hang Together" 36
"Going Back to My Roots" 68 55 13 13 3 3 4 I Got the Melody
"It Will Be Alright" 43
1982 "Inside Out" 12 25 2 22 3 Happy Together
"Magic Touch" 41
1985 "(Joy) I Know It" 51 single only
1987 "Inside Out ('87 Remix)" 86
"Back to My Roots (Remix)" 67
2014 "Sooner or Later (featuring Romina Johnson)"
2017 "Native New Yorker" (40th Anniversary Version)
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  1. ^ Monger, James Christopher. "Odyssey – Best of Odyssey". AllMusic. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  2. ^ Perrone, Pierre (September 12, 2012). "Lillian Lopez: Singer with hit band Odyssey". The Independent. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
  3. ^ Chaffee, Kevin (April 20, 2007). "Feting Food & Friends". The Washington Times. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
  4. ^ a b "The Dead Rock Stars Club – 2012 July to December". The Dead Rock Stars Club. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  5. ^ "Obituary Louise Lopez: (2/03/15 10:25PM)". The Odyssey (Disco Group) Tribute Page. February 5, 2015. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
  6. ^ "Carmen Gouveia". The Virgin Islands Daily News. May 14, 2016. Retrieved August 3, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c Larkin, Colin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 916. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
  8. ^ Hogan, Ed. "Inside Out – Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  9. ^ "1982 Best Albums and Tracks of the Year". NME. October 10, 2016. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 404. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  11. ^ Roberts, David (2001). British Hit Singles (14th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 49. ISBN 0-85156-156-X.
  12. ^ Hogan, Ed. "Going Back to My Roots – Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved May 20, 2015.
  13. ^ "Lillian Lopez, Lead Singer of Odyssey, Dies at 76". VVN Music. September 6, 2012. Retrieved February 24, 2014.
  14. ^ a b c d "Odyssey – Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved July 30, 2014.
  15. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 222. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  16. ^ a b
  17. ^ a b "Odyssey – Discographie" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  18. ^ a b "Discography Odyssey". Swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  19. ^ a b c "Odyssey". Official Charts Company. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h "Certified Awards". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Odyssey". Irishcharts.ie. Retrieved April 3, 2016.

External links[edit]