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Mike Oldfield - Heaven's Open CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

2.48 | 173 ratings

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Paco Fox
2 stars One of Oldfield's worst albums. This one came at the end of his relationship with Virgin music, and the lyrics are full of references to freedom. Although this theme is usally featured in Oldfield's work, this time it is much more concrete, and the constant references at his fights with Virgin and Richard Branson in particular almost make this a concept album. This record is also noted for bein the one in wich Oldfield sings all the songs. He had done so sometimes, but mostly in his most tongue-in-the-cheek songs and in his folk rock debut 'The Sallyangie' at the age of 16. His perfomance is ok, and sometimes even powerful. As with other records from the 80s, 'Heaven's Open' is split in two parts: one with songs and one with a full side track. This was a good compromise Oldfield came with to continue producing prog albums and gaining commercial success, and I usually don't know why other prog groups never took this path. The problem is that most of the songs are just average, and some times even dreadful (the reaggish 'Gimme back'), and the side long track is something like the experimentalism of 'Amarok' continued but less inspired. The mix of weird noises and music doesn't work this time, althogh it has a trademark Oldfield epic finale that almost redeems the song. The only thing that saves this record is the title track, one of my favourite songs by the man from Reading. If you like this aspect of his work, this record can be considered essential just for this track. If not, this may be at the bottom of your wish list.
Paco Fox | 2/5 |


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