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Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells III CD (album) cover

TUBULAR BELLS III

Mike Oldfield

 

Crossover Prog

3.38 | 151 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

LaserDave
4 stars I think this is one of the most underrated of Oldfield's albums. The composer, capricious in his musical style as he is, this time showed his more club-oriented side (much to the discopntent of some of the fans and critics), as most of the material on TBIII was conceived on Ibiza, the most party-full island in the northern hemisphere. TBIII is the second "remake" of his wonderful debut success, Tubular Bells (1973), yet this is not a remake in the strict sense, as, say, TBII was, because the songs on TBIII don't reflect the exact movements and themes from the original album: and that's the best thing he could do. The material on this CD only loosely corresponds to the 1973's TB. The opening theme is, of course, the most recognizable part, with the synthesizer doing all the job to emulate the sounds of glockenspiel you would recall from both TB and TBII. And here we have it: the dancey beat kicks in and the clubby atmosphere sets the mood for the rest of the album. Next tracks also share this club ambience: Jewel in the Crown (makes me think of The Songs of Distant Earth), Serpent's Dream (Spanish guitar theme) and The Top of the Morning (long piano solo with brilliant melody). There is also a more pop-oriented song, Man in the Rain (originally meant to be part of his 1991's outing Heaven's Open), which is as melodious and sweet as the classic Moonlight Shadow. With Secrets we are back to the opening theme, but with more club feel. Then, out of the blue we plunge into the final song, Far Above the Clouds, where finally we can hear the eponymous tubular bells at their most beautiful, along with the fast Ommadawn beat and Oldfield's great guitar solo. The track ends with sounds of birds which is a very uplifting conclusion, as the whole album is rather pensive and melancholic (or maybe it's just my impression). The club elements sound by no means forced (well, maybe just a little bit) and the album is simply great and certainly not boring. It has the recognisable Oldfield style and plenty of new ideas. This is certainly a very well arranged and produced album. I should say this is one of the most important albums in his discography. A real jewel in the crown of his thirty+ year-long career. Enjoy!
LaserDave | 4/5 |

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