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Mike Oldfield - Hergest Ridge CD (album) cover

HERGEST RIDGE

Mike Oldfield

 

Crossover Prog

3.95 | 379 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars After the success of "Tubular Bells" Mike buys some property in rural England at a place called Hergest Ridge. He would build a studio in his new home and create this album. I confess to being amazed at how good this is, considering the pressure he must have felt to make a worthy successer to the commercially triumphant 'Tubular Bells". Listening to this record is like taking a journey and never leaving the farm. You really need to listen carefully to this album to fully take it all in. I like the way he increases and decreases the volume of the soundscape at just the right moments. The record is made up of two side long suites.

"Part1" opens with organ and eventually keys and percussion.Then comes the guitar melody that builds with organ in the background it's quite uplifting. The passage changes as acoustic guitar and horns take over. I was surprised to hear sleigh bells 16 minutes in with some great guitar added, it sounds amazing. The choir comes in after 18 minutes and they do not sing words but use vocal melodies that are emotional.

"Part 2" opens with organ and acoustic guitar that changes 3 1/2 minutes in as Sally Oldfield sings a vocal melody that again is quite moving. Mandolin at 5 1/2 minutes and then things get quiet, too quiet at 6 minutes in. An intense soundscape arrives at 8 minutes and the guitar tries to break through the wall of sound. At 11 1/2 minutes the guitar is scorching and there are layers of multible guitar noises as we have entered into the thunder storm section. It's great ! The record closes with a pastoral passage with Spanish guitar,organ and another uplifting vocal melody.

This is a beautiful piece of work that i'm sure was inspired by the scenic country side. It's like he turned what he saw into sound.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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