Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Mike Oldfield - Elements: The Best of Mike Oldfield CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield

Crossover Prog

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
3 stars It's really audacious to talk about "the best" work from a very prolific and important musician like Mike Oldfield. This one is a compilation that includes some excerpts of the best and more progressive and innovative M.O.'s albums (Tubular Bells, Ommadawn and Incantations), some "greatest FM hits" (Familiy Man, Moonlight Shadow, To France) and some traditional "magic" music (Portsmouth, In Dulce Jubilo).

IMHO, this is not a recommended way to know the Oldfield's discography, because a simple and short excerpt from Incantations or Tubular Bells never could demonstrate the majestic of such albums, and -in the other hand- there are many better songs than the most commercial showing here.

Nevertheless -as an approach to Mike Oldfield production- can be useful, but in any way definitive.

Report this review (#28635)
Posted Wednesday, May 19, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars This is a real box of candies! Simply an essential album with Mike's best, recognizable songs and excerpts from instrumental suites, released between 1973 and 1993. My only peeve about this album is its... essentiality! It has been probably conceived as a cheaper version of the 4CD collection "Elements", but how can one possibly smoothly arrange bits and pieces from around fifteen albums? Some tracks on the Elements 1CD version might be debatable, but whteher they are or not, mike's best, is more personal opinion. Whatever you may think of theis 16-track and 63-minute-long collection, it is certainly the best possible way for those who had previously no contact with his music.

Report this review (#28637)
Posted Tuesday, May 3, 2005 | Review Permalink
1 stars Really don't like some thing on this album... So, it's good that I haven't got all his albums :) After 10th thing I usually switch it off. Wanted to give two stars, but it's "Collectors/fans only" - and I'm sure that collectors/fans do not need a compilation, even if they really like ALL Mike's music. So it get 1, as I'm not sure that I know who are these mystereous "completionists" :))
Report this review (#44761)
Posted Monday, August 29, 2005 | Review Permalink
2 stars Compilation, nothing more.

Original 1CD Elements features Oldfield's major hits as well as excerpts from epic instrumental works.

The problem is we got at least two Oldfields. First one existed 1973-1978 and wrote monumental epic instrumentals on 40+ minutes. (Re-born in 1990, 1992-1994, 1998) Second one existed 1979- and wrote songs, shorter tracks, and some brilliant instrumentals.

There is also third Oldfield born in 1996 on Ibiza. But we won't mention him, he writes some popdiscoelectronic [censored]. Probably too much night clubs around. Forget him.

Where was I? Ah. This compilation can tell you about Oldfield #2 with songs. But hardly about Oldfield #2 with instrumentals and Oldfield #1 with really long instrumentals. So the prog element of mr. Oldfield is out of sight. Just pop-rock songs and some excerpts from the albums that must be heard complete.

Good for beginners. But better buy Tubular Bells II or 2003 if you're into prog.

Not recommended. Listen to full albums.

Report this review (#78289)
Posted Monday, May 15, 2006 | Review Permalink
3 stars Hard to make a "best of" cd for Mike Oldfield- too many longer compostions that are representative of much of his work that can't be included. This is an average collection of some shorter "hits" like "Family Man" and "Moonlight Shodow", as well as a smattering of snippets of longer works like "Tubular Bells", "Ommadawn", and "Incantations". There is no easy way to cut these compositions without losing their overall greatness, and that is what this CD tries to do. 4:38 minutes of "Incantations"? 4:43 of "Amorak"? Just doesn't cut it. However, as a general introduction to the releases of Oldfield up to 1992 this is not bad. Hopefully, a first time listener would hunger for more and do some exploring in Oldfield's wonderful catalogue. 3 stars. Average.
Report this review (#296397)
Posted Friday, August 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
2 stars If you bought this collection from Mike oldfield, and only knew about him from Tubular Bells, are you in for a surprise. While some of his albums fit in to that inventive instrumental style, that hardly describes his work. And this collection gives a fair example of the broad spectrum of his music.

Of course, you do get Tubular Bells and Sentinel from Tubular Bells II (a song that indicates just how close a copy the second volume was), but the majority of the remainder of the album consists of pop songs. Inventive pop, with some fine production, but pop nonetheless.

One interesting selection is Family Man. The cover version by Daryl Hall & John Oates may be better known, but this version is much cooler. I can't say the same for most of the other pop tracks. While the music is okay, the lyrics are often quite strained.

A few other songs, like In Dulci Jubilo, attempt a world music style. While Oldfield's song may be authentic sounding, it doesn't hold my interest.

Report this review (#296570)
Posted Saturday, August 28, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Hits, better known songs, but not really the best!

If I had to tell you how I met Oldfield's music, I must admit that I am one of those whose first encounter was Tubullar Bells, that short and edited version that everyone recognizes; that experience was long time ago when I did not even know about music, nor progressive rock, nor Mike Oldfield.

Well, some years ago when I began exploring the prog realm I found he was a very prolific and talented musician, and one of the first things I got was the DVD of Elements, which I liked mostly because of the performance of Tubullar Bells, I was (am) amazed when I watched it. The DVD version is cool and much better than this CD one, because it contains nice videos, live performances and some films with his music.

In this CD, you will find sixteen songs that make a total time of 63 minutes. The tracks here are probably his best hits, but not really his best songs. Well, for one who already know his music and appreciates progressive rock, then will be kind of disappointed with this album, though it is obvious that we won't find those long songs such as Ommadawn, Incantations or Hergest Ridge, we at least expected a better selection.

Anyway, in spite of his catchiest and poppiest music, one can enjoy this album, or at least try it because there are cool songs, Mike is guarantee of quality music (almost always). You will find here songs like "Moonlight Shadow", "In Dulci Jubilo", "Shadow on the Wall", "Fives Miles Out" and of course a short version of "Tubullar Bells".

Better get his studio albums, or if you want a compilation, better get the DVD of the same name: "Elements: The Best of Mike Oldfield". My final grade for this is two stars, just for fans. Anyway?

Enjoy it!

Report this review (#395377)
Posted Sunday, February 6, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars We all have "those albums" that have been etched into our memories since childhood. My parents, both Mike Oldfield fans, had this on CD since its release and so it has always been, to some degree, ingrained in my mind. Especially the front cover. So simple, yet so interesting.

One of "those albums".

But now I'm older and more susceptible to cynicism, so it's with more critical ears that I listen to 'The Best of Mike Oldfield: Elements'. A lot of the songs definitely take me back to my childhood, sitting on my parents living room floor blasting out 'Family Man' or the eternally classic 'Moonlight Shadow'... but how does the record hold up as a whole?

'Elements' is a good compilation, no doubt, but it's pretty much an impossible task to try to summarize the music of Mike Oldfield on one disc. Even at the time of its release (1993), Oldfield's repertoire was so vast and constantly expanding that there's no way one album can cover every basis. With that in mind, 'Elements' does a good job of covering most of the more radio-friendly songs of Oldfield's back-catalogue.

Besides the aforementioned hits, songs like 'Five Miles Out', 'To France', 'In Dulci Jubilo', 'Heaven's Open' and 'Shadow on the Wall' are all Oldfield classics that will certainly appeal to the less-ambitious music fans, but it's when they're mixed in with various excerpts or worldly music-based tracks that the album just seems a little discordant.

It's a good compilation to own if you're a die-hard fan looking to finish their collection, but otherwise it's far outdated by now and there's much more relevant and career-encompassing ones out there.

Report this review (#1688002)
Posted Thursday, February 2, 2017 | Review Permalink

MIKE OLDFIELD Elements: The Best of Mike Oldfield ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of MIKE OLDFIELD Elements: The Best of Mike Oldfield

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives