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Q.E.2

Mike Oldfield

Crossover Prog


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Mike Oldfield Q.E.2  album cover
3.49 | 202 ratings | 18 reviews | 6% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1980

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Taurus 1 (10:07)
2. Sheba (3:32)
3. Conflict (2:48)
4. Arrival (2:45)
5. Wonderful land (3:37)
6. Mirage (4:39)
7. Q.E. 2 (7:39)
8. Celt (3:04)
9. Molly (1:13)

Total Time: 39:24

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Mike Oldfield / acoustic, classical & electric guitars, mandoline, bass, celtic harp, banjo, pedals, synths, piano, drum machine, tympani, African drums, rhythm sticks, marimbas, vibraphone, bass drum, gong, Northumbrian bagpipes, vocals, vocoder, tambourine
+ Guy Barker / trumpet (6-7)
- David Bedford / string & chorus arrangements (4-5)
- Phil Collins / drums (1-2)
- Tim Cross / keyboards (3-8)
- Raul d'Oliveira / trumpet (6-7)
- Mike Frye / drums, tympani (1-3-6 to 8)
- David Hentschel / keyboards, drums, vocals (1-4-5-7), horn arrangements (6-7)
- Paul Nieman / trombone (6-7)
- Morris Pert / drums (3)
- Maggie Reilly / vocals (1-2-4-8)
- Philip Todd / Tenor sax (6-7)

Releases information

Lp. Virgin V 2181 / Cd. Virgin CDV 2181-UK-1984

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Remastered
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MIKE OLDFIELD Q.E.2 ratings distribution


3.49
(202 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
6%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(50%)
50%
Good, but non-essential (35%)
35%
Collectors/fans only (7%)
7%
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)
2%

MIKE OLDFIELD Q.E.2 reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by lor68
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Another underrated work, characterized by a lot of interesting keyboards and his usual talent as well... sometimes closer to such classic "Light Prog". In other circumstances it's more in the vein of such Ambient/Acoustic New Age, but always filtered through his versatility and huge important music experience, in the course of his long career.

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Send comments to lor68 (BETA) | Report this review (#28356) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, April 03, 2004

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars WOW! The Mike Oldfield's music of the 80's has crystal clear sonorities and many pleasant modern keyboards textures; QE2 belongs to this music category. "Taurus 1" is very progressive, melodic, full of charming and childlike keyboards. Less than on the "Five miles out" album, there are some electronically modified voices a la Wendy Carlos (Clockwork Orange). Mike's omnipresent electric guitar solos are more melodic than ever: his sound is well crafted, and he does not really uses electric rhythmic guitar as on "Five miles out". Maggie Reilly's delightful and sublime voice occurs many times, especially on the soothing "Sheba". "Conflict" has very melodic textures. "Arrival" has an interesting traditional music style.

The other side contains some very good & original horns and strings arrangements. There are some delicate & sublime vibraphone and banjo/mandoline parts. The "QE2" track is the best one on this album: very enchanted, charming and childlike, it has memorable, melodic and pleasant moments, especially the brilliant combination of bagpipes-electric guitar! Again, on "Celt", Maggie Reilly's chant is very pleasant and addictive. The last track, the beautiful lullaby "Molly", full of tender and delicate guitars, was probably made for Mike's daughter. Finally, this is among the best records made by Mike Oldfield.

Rating: 4.5 stars

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#28360) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, April 12, 2004

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars QE2 is better than Platinum so it warrants 4 plus stars. The general mood of the album is one of bouancy ( get it....QE2?)It has terrific pieces like Taurus I, Conflict, Mirage, and QE2, a wonderful 7 minute piece bubbling with creativity, melody and references of future days and challenges for MO. This beauty does show his flaws in some of his next albums but QE2's vulnerability is it's saving grace and one learns to appreciate the limitations if one is truly aware of the metamorphosis of Oldfield's work that is to take place. Work in progress, very fine too....

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Posted Saturday, August 21, 2004

Review by The Crow
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A very underrated work in my opinion!

After the transtion experiment of Platinum, Mike Oldfield offered us a marvellous instrumental work made of short songs. No weak tracks here, maybe the repetitive Mirage. The rest are all great songs. The two covers, Abba's Arrival and The Shadows's Wonderful Land are really great, very better than the originals!!!

We can hear here a great Phil Collins's collaboration in the first part of the Taurus trilogy (Taurus 1) and the wonderful song Sheba. And in this album we can also hear the fist collaboration of Maggie Reilly with Mike Oldfield making choirs in some songs (like the beautiful voices in Celt...).

And there's a track that I absolutely love: QE2. Simply amazing!!!!

Marvellous album. If you give it an opportunity, you will not regret!

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Send comments to The Crow (BETA) | Report this review (#44676) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, August 29, 2005

Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It seems that "QE2" follows the footsteps of "Platinum" only it makes it even more interesting and better on the way. While "Platinum" was a good album, "QE2" is perhaps Oldfield's best post-"Incantations" album. The music is more adventurous and "free" here than on "Platinum" and the songs are generally better too. Oldfield even makes two cover songs of ABBA and The Shadows here, though it doesn't add anything special to the overall album mood. Phil Collins of Genesis and Brand X is featured on drums here and does a very good job, but otherwise it is Oldfield who plays most of the other instruments. This album also have more Celtic influences than most of his other albums, just like his third album "Ommadawn", that adds a surprisingly unique mood the the album. Another interesting fact is that the album title in fact means "Queen Elizabeth 2", the RMS passenger ship.

The strongest part of the album is undoubtley the opener "Taurus I" which is not only the best track of the album, but perhaps the best part of Oldfield's "Taurus" trilogy that started here and continued throught "Five Miles Out" and "Crises too. The weakest parts are the cover songs, though they both still are good. You can see on this album as a fusion of "Ommadawn" and "Platinum", only slightly better, actually. I'll give it 4/5 at least. Highly recommended for Oldfield fans!

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Posted Saturday, September 16, 2006

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Any port in a storm

In an effort to smooth over the developing cracks in his relationship with Virgin records, Mike Oldfield adopted their suggestions of adding a couple of cover versions to "QE2" and bringing in acclaimed producer David Hentschel to collaborate on the album. Oldfield's hope was that by doing so, Virgin would give his output better promotion, especially in the USA where some previous albums had not even been released. As far as Oldfield was concerned however, his efforts were in vain, with Virgin failing to react as he had wanted and a further nail was hammered into the coffin of their relationship.

Although Oldfield predictably dominates the instrumentation of the album, he does call on the services of Phil Collins, singer Maggie Riley, and the keyboard skills of Hentschel among others. He also uses a vocoder for what I believe is the first time (for him), a device which makes one instrument (or vocal) sound like another. Used in small amounts it can be effective, but many artists have been too fascinated with it, leading to tedious results.

"Taurus 1" opens the album with a suitably nautical shanty like mandolin piece. Maggie Riley provides some brief distant backing vocals prior to an orthodox Oldfield guitar riff. The track dominates side one of the album but, while pleasant and unassuming, it is very much a case of Oldfield by the numbers. The rather unsatisfactory fade on the piece sums up the lacklustre approach to its recording.

The aforementioned vocoder makes a second appearance already on "Sheba", but thankfully it is quickly pushed to the background by Riley's vocalising. The "words" are allegedly written by Oldfield, but if there is a language to the lyrics, it is not one I recognise. Mike Frye's African drum playing features heavily on many of the tracks, giving the album a slightly world music feel. Oldfield's guitar work, especially on tracks such as "Conflict" however is more perfunctory.

The two cover versions link side one to side two. Abba's "Arrival", one of a couple of impressive instrumentals by them, is given a faithful rendition by Oldfield, enhanced by Riley's vocals plus strings and choir arranged by Oldfield's long term ally David Bedford. The Shadows' favourite "Wonderful land" loses the distinctive Hank Marvin guitar sound, to be replaced by Oldfield's slightly more rugged tones. The strength of the melody remains though.

Unusually, Oldfield incorporates a horn section into two of the tracks on side two of the album. "Mirage", while upbeat and loud sounds rather messy, and does not benefit from the addition. The title track, which is also the longest on side two, sees the horns playing more of a supporting role. While the themes are strong and thoroughly enjoyable, I have great difficulty in finding a relationship with the QE2, either in terms of the ship or the monarch. If anything, the music has a slightly folk feel to it, perhaps describing a victorious medieval army returning to their base. Once again, the track has a disappointing fade. The following "Celt" maintains a similar theme and feel, Riley's Celticvocals contributing to the atmosphere. The album closes with a brief disposable Oldfield solo entitled "Molly".

In all, a positive offering from Mike, with much to enjoy. While he appears not to have been firing on all cylinders, it seems he may well have been aware of this, and worked within his limitations. The result is a generally upbeat feel, and some strong melodies, enhanced by the incorporating of a couple of solid cover versions.

The album came in a rather bland and uninspired sleeve, with a cartoon like picture of the front of a boat, presumably the Cunard liner the QE2.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#95623) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Am quite surprised this morning when I clicked my link in this site where I found new feature offered by Prog Archives : statistics of its reviewers! Wow! What a great new feature. By this feature it can give me a self portrait on which parts of prog music I tend to like and how I rate them individually! Thanks to Prog Archives Admin Team who has made this site is always progressing in a positive way. It's obvious that I'm more on symphonic type of music and I tend to rate progressive metal better than any other sub genre .. interesting! And from this I know why I never so close with any music created by Mike Oldfield because the music neither symphonic nor progressive metal in nature. But, I always keep an eye on the musik that Mike Oldfield has produced. Why? Because many of my friends like the music of Mike Oldfield and I don't want to be left behind!

Interestingly, this QE2 album stirs my emotion even though it's not so deeply engrossed in my mind. One thing for sure: I admite Mike Oldfield virtuosity in music making. Proficiat! My attention to this album started to emerge when I watched a DVD of Mike performance with "Taurus". This album opening track "Taurus 1" is truly an excellent composition, well performed by talented musicians - including Phil Collins on drums. The music flows beautifully with intertwining works of guitars as well as keyboards. Guitar sound is so unique to my ears and I can identify this kind of sound really attached to Mike Oldfield - because I have never heard other artists play similar sound like Mike's. "Mirage" is also another excellent track that moves smoothly from mellow to moer complex arrangements. You may find the subtleties of the music when you listen to the album during night time (when evryone at home has gone to bed) and play it LOUD while sipping a cup of hot coffee .. what a life!

Overall, I would give this album with full four stars rating, meaning that this is an excellent addition to any prog music collection. If you don't get used to the kind of music that Mike plays, don't worry ... take another 4 or 5 spins, and you will get it right! Anyway ... don't forget to keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

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Posted Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Review by kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog-Folk Team
4 stars QE2 was Mike Oldfield's most celtic sounding album up to that point, with many of the tunes clearly sporting a green jacket, and he produces some convincing world beat along the way. While the drawn out side long pieces are truncated, Oldfield here surrounds himself with accomplished musicians and the result is more of a feel of the ensemble than anything that came before.

The album opens with the longest piece, and the first of the "Taurus" trilogy which would contain an installment on each of the subsequent two albums. This one almost sounds like a holdover from Platinum until about the 5 minute mark when the whistles enter and it becomes a more folky affair, introducing one of the key themes of the album. "Sheba" features effective vocoder and Maggie Reilly's wonderful voice which would remain a fixture with Oldfield for several years. I was living in Ottawa at the time of release and this became quite a popular FM hit - he seemed to have quite a following in Ontario. But "Conflict" is even better. Oldfield shows a knack for progression in the true sense by taking a techno beginning featuring period synthesizers and seguing into a timeless Irish melody led by his own lead guitar. I suppose David Hentschel had something to do with the way this was achieved, but to me it was one of Oldifield's great triumphs.

"Arrival" is an excellent Abba cover, with massed choral voices instead of lyrics, while "Wonderful Land" is again a masterful exercise in musical development within a relatively short track. The highlights are the delightful spanish guitar parts played by Oldfield. "Mirage" has a fascinating beginning and buildup to Oldfield's wildest guitar of the album, but ultimately overstays its welcome.

The title cut is the second epic of the disc and leans more consistently to the celtic side than did Taurus 1 - it's happier sounding and very spirited, eventually recapping the earlier theme. "Celt" features Reilly again with almost tribal percussive backing and could be called "Afrocelt" - remember Mike Oldfield did it first.

QE2 is a transitional album for Oldfield between the controlled minimalism of Incantations and Platinum, and the more entertaining, but still prog oriented, "Five Miles Out" and "Crises". Wisely collaborating with a producer who gave Genesis and Renaissance some successes, and with seasoned backing artists, Oldfield produced an entertaining album that was also one of the pioneering pairings of rock and world music.

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Send comments to kenethlevine (BETA) | Report this review (#132481) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, August 09, 2007

Review by russellk
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars A decent effort by a man who is capable of the sublime.

The album is built around two long, progressive tracks, 'Taurus' and 'QE2'. In a departure from his usual pattern, these two tracks do not comprise one progressive side, with the shorter, simpler tracks on the reverse: here they are mixed together, with the result that the album does not have the cohesiveness displayed by many of his other works. 'Taurus' is well constructed, and features PHIL COLLINS on drums, MAGGIE REILLY on vocals and DAVE HENTSCHEL on keyboards, but does not rise to the heights one would expect after a promising beginning. Instead, OLDFIELD'S playful nature brings the song down precisely when it needed to go up. A series of shorter tracks follow, mere vignettes (including the most absurd of choices for a single, 'Sheba'), followed by two covers (of ABBA and THE SHADOWS). Some would argue that this betrays where MIKE OLDFIELD was going for his inspiration, but it's hard to imagine a guitarist not revering THE SHADOWS' work. Sadly, neither track approaches the original, nor do they allow OLDFIELD any scope to demonstrate his melodic talent or virtuosity. 'Mirage' begins like a refugee from 'Incantations' and builds nicely, with splendid guitar work.

'QE2' begins like a side-long epic: by this stage the OLDFIELD fan is willing to grasp any hope offered. And it actually sounds brilliant, all cascading guitars, brass and complex rhythms, the best thing since 'Ommadawn'. Even the simpler second half, 'OE2 Finale', doesn't bring the intensity down much. Pity he didn't bring it to a climax, choosing instead to fade it out. 'Celt' (another refugee from 'Incantations', or precursor to 'Amarok') and 'Molly' bring the album to a gentle close.

This album sees OLDFIELD firmly between two stools. On the one hand he has abandoned his deeply textured melodic work, but on the other he has yet to master this new format. I find this album transitional in sound and, the title track apart, bereft of the grandeur that characterises MIKE OLDFIELD at his best. There's enough here to satisfy fans of progressive music for a few listens, but it is by no means an essential part of the MIKE OLDFIELD canon.

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Send comments to russellk (BETA) | Report this review (#137953) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, September 13, 2007

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Mike's first foray of the 1980s was a great one and showed few if any signs of some of the unfortunate albums that were coming down the road. It has a feel not unlike some of his classic 70s work but with better sound quality and the addition of Maggie Reilly's sublime vocals.

The music on QE2 is exactly what you'd expect from the best Oldfield albums: incredibly proficient and tasty electric guitar leads, top notch percussions of many styles, great synth flavors, and occasional use of good vocals. The songs are very uplifting, full of spirit and pizzazz, and really without a dull moment to be found. Good melody is everywhere and of the catchy variety that will stick with you. Oldfield is a master of never losing melody even though his playing and arrangement are often of decent complexity. Some have complained about the shortness of the tracks here but I like the change of pace-while I also like Mike's long pieces I see nothing wrong him changing things up here and using a more succinct approach. This is a great album, one of Mike's very best and essential to Oldfield fans. Highly recommended to any symphonic fan. Don't let the horrible album cover fool you!

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Send comments to Finnforest (BETA) | Report this review (#146258) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, October 21, 2007

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars It is always harrowing to describe a prog album from 1980.

But this "QE2" starts brilliantly. Actually, I don't see any quality difference between "Taurus I" (in awaiting of "Taurus" II a little later) and his former and great albums. The same sort of inspired track as "Ommadawn". It sounds very optimistic and enjoyable. Shortly formatted (just over ten minutes) if you compare it to the epics of his debut; but maybe therefore stronger as well since there is no time for weakness (but I couldn't find lots of weaknesses in his first three ones).

The second very good track is "Conflict". Powerful percussions, wild guitar. Catchy and different from Mike's usual production. The ethnic "Sheba" features nonsense words, but apart from this funny anecdotal characteristics, there is more a tendency to press next than to listen to it to be honest.

I won't say that the "Abba" cover is the most exciting experience in my musical life, but I prefer this version in comparison to the original (but I do not like "Abba". Do you?). These two covers are just pleasant but rather unexpected on an Oldfield album (the second being a "Shadows" one)!

More seriously, Mike produces another good instrumental track (except those brass) with "Mirage". Great beat and solid guitar work. It borrows some parts of the "Black Night" riff (Purple) but played faster. At least I feel so. Amazing.

I would have expected a better song as the title track. It is invaded by brass again (which I don't like at all). These kind of ruin my perception of the whole of this track which otherwise contains some very good parts but some other na´ve ones as well. Just average. I guess that a more stripped of version would have sound better.

Mike is using the same technique for the lyrics from Sheba and applied it to Celt. They only mean what you want them to mean (which probably means ... nothing).

This is another good album from Mike, but he has used us to better than that of course. Still, it was encouraging to still have some good prog production in those dark days for the genre.

Three stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#160093) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, January 28, 2008

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Team
4 stars Q.E.2 is one of Mike Oldfield's best albums. It is more consistent than most of his other albums. One reason for this is that it is wholly instrumental (apart from chanting and some choirs) and sticks to one direction throughout. Many Oldfield albums are schizophrenic in that one half of them contained something more progressive and the other half consisted of pure Pop songs. There are no straightforward Pop songs on Q.E.2 like Sally and I Got Rhythm from Platinum, Family Man from Five Miles Out or those horrible disco-like tunes on Crisis.

There are also no annoying and silly features here like the spoken introduction of the instruments played like on Tubular Bells, or those awful growling vocals also on Tubular Bells. Q.E.2 is also not overlong and too repetitive like some parts of Incantations and the whole of Hergest Ridge(!) Q.E.2 therefore shows a more mature Mike Oldfield.

It is also the case that the music on Q.E.2 is more loaded with great melodies, unexpected changes and many different instruments. The tempo is faster than usual with Oldfield and there are even some passages that rock quite hard in a special Oldfield way. Overal there is something of a rock feeling over this album. Mike's electric guitar sound is great here and the keyboards and various acoustic instruments are used to great effect. The folky feeling and influences present on many of his albums are still very much here. The melodies are good and since the tracks are shorter and never overlong I never get bored listening to this album.

My favourite Oldfield.

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#189782) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Review by poslednijat_colobar
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Continuing decline with synths.

What a pity for such a musician like Mike Oldfield! QE2 is something like a soup of different sounds being introduced by Mike Oldfield. Unsuitable mixture of genres and especially ideas and instruments. The music sounds very... (I would say) meatless. The musicianship almost lacks here. The songwriting is subordinated to the past albums of MO and draws it's sensation from these past ideas. There isn't any intensity of the sound. All songs aren't memorable, except the first one - Taurus 1. The folk influence have transformed into amateur new wave music. I'm trully surprised with this high rating of the album. Obviously, there are enough people to like it. For me it's just an album in my collection! 2 stars.

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Send comments to poslednijat_colobar (BETA) | Report this review (#247980) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
2 stars Oldfield hasn't really healed yet from the creative dip that hit him on Platinum but this QE2 is at least a bit better again.

Taurus1 begins in true new-age fashion with harmless melodicism and elevator musicianship; gradually it becomes more interesting as it harmonizes layers of instruments and melodies. It pales greatly against the classic Oldfield it is modelled after but it sounds fresh and rather inspired. The new-age ethics continue on Sheba, a short track with esoteric vocals and slight influences from minimal composers. Not bad but a bit bland. Conflict is better, Oldfield still struggles to find melodies he didn't do before but at least he achieves some originality in the percussive arrangement.

With Arrival, the album tumbles into one of the deepest cheese pits that have ever been dug in progland. Simply terrible. James Last couldn't bring this any worse. And to do that to one of Abba's finest songs! Shame. Also the other cover/adaptation Wonderful Land fails to climb up along the new-age grease of this pit's foul walls.

Mirage is more fun. A typical Oldfield Celtic folk crescendo, but with a bit more flesh to it then to the rest of the album. The title track is rather uninspired and forgettable. The trumpets halfway in and the folk march that follows are simply dreadful. Celt is the sound of an artist plagiarising himself, the percussion heavy chant is a weak reworking of the magic that was created on Incantations. Molly is harmless and unremarkable.

Overall, this is better then Platinum but there are some particularly nasty traps to watch out for. 2.5 stars.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#278847) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Review by lazland
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Oldfield entered the 1980's with this album which, on most fronts, delivers very nicely.

There is a stellar cast list of guests, and, I think, special mention needs to be given to Phil Collins' exceptional drum/percussion work on Taurus I & Sheba, and, also, the presence of the (then) Genesis collaborator David Henschel on keyboards and production work. He also co wrote the title track, which is the second longest track on the album at seven & a half minutes, something which clearly pointed to Oldfield's wish to break a lot of his music down into shorter and more accessible (for the new mass market) chunks at this period in his career.

This is an album which is more reliant on keyboards than much of what went before, and the result, mixed with Oldfield's signature guitar work, upbeat rhythms, and Maggie Reilly's marvellous voice, is an upbeat album which is very easy to listen to on the ears, but, also, is well written and doesn't lose sight of Oldfield's clear progressive roots. The introduction to the title track, with its Oldfield guitar fusing with Henschel's keyboards and a brass section, is a fine example of the utilisation of new sounds being produced in rock at the time.

My highlight of this, though, is actually one of the two covers featured on the album (a clear commercial decision by his then label, Virgin). Wonderful Land, an old Shadows track, is given the full Oldfield treatment, and the guitar work on this is never anything less than stunning. It is basically a hymn to the glories and beauty of Old England, and you can visualise the wonders of that green and pleasant land when you listen to this.

The other cover is Abba's Arrival, and, again, this is wonderfully executed with some particularly delicate guitar work by the great man and effective Reilly chants.

Oldfield also proves he can still rock out, and the glorious Mirage is vintage Oldfield. Relentlessly upbeat, heavy, but also with some interesting brass instrumentation in amongst the chaos.

An albums of contrasts. At turns commercial, Celtic folk, new age, harder rock, and more traditional Oldfield, this is a hugely enjoyable musical journey.

It is not a masterpiece of an album by any means. But, it does feature some of the finest work that Oldfield produced, and that is saying a lot in such a stellar career.

An excellent addition to any prog music collection. Four stars.

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Send comments to lazland (BETA) | Report this review (#317461) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, November 13, 2010

Review by GruvanDahlman
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I cannot decide upon Mike Oldfield. Neither what he stands for, nor his musical belonging. Is it prog? He certainly is. What he has done is carving out his very own land of prog interpretation. It is symphonic yet not all out. It is folk, still not. The music is much more than that. It is Oldfield. With his very own, quite piercing tone bursting out of his electric guitar and the melodies pushing forth he is quite unique. You are able to distinguish him and his sound amongst a million artists. None is quite the same.

That's alright, then, but is it any good? As Oldfield goes, in general, I find his music to be sort of noodling and simply uneventful, at most times devoid of humour. Now, I guess I have to be honest: I am not acquainted with the mans discography to the level of being an expert. Still I think I've heard just enough to draw that conclusion. And no, Oldfield is not all boring and all noodling. There are most certainly music of brilliance. The man is clearly gifted.

QE2 is probably the album of Oldfield's I' ve come to enjoy the most. Sure, there are som cheesy parts (Wonderful land, for instance) and some quite uneventful (like Sheba). Apart from that there are some really interesting ones, like Conflict and Arrival. Both tracks, especially Arrival, possess that certain charm of the outbreak of the 80's I like. Arrival is quite atmospheric and Conflict quite aggressive.

Still, the highlights are Taurus 1 and the title track. Taurus 1 is a real builder, beginning quite humbly in order to progress and turn into something truly great. QE2 is a track I at first found to be too happy in sound but I have changed my mind and now I sort of love it.

Of interest, for those reading this, may be to say a few words about the deluxe edition, whichis the one I own. Disc 2 is a live recording from 1981, which is quite good. I am not, in general, a lover of live albums but this is interesting. Of the greatest interest is the tracks off QE2, of course, which do benefit from being performed live. This is true, in particular, with Conflict, Mirage and Taurus 1.

Conclusion: QE2 is Oldfield at an inspired point in his career. It contains both highs and lows, resulting in an album I cherish but somehow only like. I do think, however, it is quite an entrance to Oldfields territory. It is prog (Taurus 1), neo-prog (Conflict), new- age (Mirage), folk (Celt), soundtrack music (arrival) and feel good-ish (QE2). All in all there isn't really a bad, as in really bad, track on QE2. It is a collection of varying soundscapes and emotions and as that I think it is Oldfield at his best and to some extent most accessible.

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Send comments to GruvanDahlman (BETA) | Report this review (#1032188) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Latest members reviews

3 stars QE2 deserves three and a half stars because it's very good, with a kind of music that's very hard to classify. Oldfield just seems to create sounds of his own as always, particularly from his guitar playing. Though while providing us with a handful of instruments (harps, african drums, mandoli ... (read more)

Report this review (#585053) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Friday, December 09, 2011 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Yet current rating of this album is 'Excellent addition' but I'll say it deserves 3 stars. Why? Is it good? Yes, it is good. Is it essential? No, it is different. Just as Platinum, this is a transitional album from first epic works with basically one track per album, forward to eightees era o ... (read more)

Report this review (#78278) | Posted by Zavgorodny | Monday, May 15, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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