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Mike Oldfield - Hergest Ridge CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

3.93 | 547 ratings

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4 stars Back in '74, as everyone was still basking in the glory of Mike Oldfield's first album "Tubular Bells", I felt that Mike Oldfield made this next album "Hergest Ridge" only for me to hear. Ask some people (even today) if they've heard of Mike Oldfield, and all they'll know is "Tubular Bells". I'll have to admit, I played TB so often when it came out it actually started to bore me within a year. Probably because each passage was so short and easy to retain the melody note for note in my head, it became unneccessary to actual play thec album anymore. What makes "Hergest Ridge" (and Ommadawn") so warm and refreshing for me is that those recordings sustained a longer playout of a particular passage with varying, but yet subtle changes in the lingering theme. This created a more ambient atmosphere to get lost in. In comparison, "Hergest Ridge" feels like a smooth freefall from the sky, where as, "Tubular Bells" feels like your falling too, but you're smacking on the rocks beside the mountain on your way down. "Ommadawn" followed "Hergest Ridge", and again, the pleasant sensation of uninterupted freefalling is apparent. I love the middle part of "Hergest Ridge" part 2. It's a very high-end intense sound output, with a hint of East Indian influence that keeps my heart racing all the way through it. I don't know anyone who has made a sound quite like this. It's like Gandhi on drugs! Just incredible! "Hergest Ridge", in believe, has set the stage for many instrumental artists who were looking for someone to get the ball rolling. Other artists like Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze, Vangelis, and Jean Michel Jarre, were the next new pioneers to this new kind of experimental sound output. I don't care what anyone says...The 70's were the era of innovation and courage for new adventures in sound. Most instrumentalists of today put out easily forgettable sounds. I don't think anything has been left undone anymore. We've finally heard it all. Anyone trying to be the new innovator is just rehashing old ideas of which the appeal has died. Only the originals will be respected and cherished. Anything now this is new and different, is just probably alot of unharmonic noise (Nine Inch Nails is probably today's last innovator, and that's just garbage!) Today's "new age" is still kind of stuck in the 80's. Five minute "pop sounding" harmless sleep-inducing instrumentation seems to remain today's "new age" sound. For instance, Yanni, he's like the Barry Manilow of instrumental music. Enigma seemed like they were going to go somewhere, but it all sounds EXACTLY THE SAME! UGGH! Anyway, there is alot more to Mike Oldfield than "Tubular Bells". "Incantations" could easily be my second favorite.
| 4/5 |


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