Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

MIKE OLDFIELD

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mike Oldfield picture
Mike Oldfield biography
Michael Gordon Oldfield - Born 15 May 1953 (Reading, Berkshire, England)

Mike OLDFIELD took up the guitar at seven and was composing instrumental pieces by age 10. With his sister Sally, he secured a record deal under the name SALLYANGIE and released the folkish album "Children of the Sun" in 1968. He then landed a position playing first bass and later guitar with WHOLE WORLD, led by ex-SOFT MACHINE co-founder Kevin Ayers. During the next few years he also served as a studio musician at Abbey Road, where he experimented with a wide range of instruments. He gradually built up a home studio and began working on a large-scale project, playing all of the parts himself. This was the prototype for "Tubular Bells", but OLDFIELD had no success generating label interest until he met with future Virgin Records founders Simon Draper and Richard Branson. They loved his ideas and gave him plenty of freedom to record in their state-of-the-art The Manor studio, and ended up releasing "Tubular Bells" on their brand new label when no other record company showed interest. The record shot to first place in the UK and elsewhere, attracting the attention of director William Friedkin, whose use of the intro segment in "The Exorcist" generated widespread recognition (OLDFIELD was not pleased by the association, however).

Retreating from his newfound celebrity, OLDFIELD recorded several more critically acclaimed albums, similar in scope and approach but constantly developing new instrumental and compositional skills. In 1979 his single "Guilty" showed that shorter vocal-based pieces and more recent music styles were beginning to creep into his work; he also returned to touring in 1979 after undergoing therapy to combat his reclusive, solitary tendencies. His work in the 80s included such far-ranging releases as "Crises" (including vocals by Jon ANDERSON), the soundtrack to the film "The Killing Fields", and a song called "Family Man" which became a hit for HALL & OATES. Known for consistently offering a visual spectacular in his live performances, he also developed an interest in video artistry, including a video album called "Wind Chimes". The 90s saw a return to longer symphonic-style works, including "Amarok" and "Tubular Bells II", for which he departed the increasingly commercial Virgin Records for the smaller WEA label. His "Songs of Distant Earth" album was the first CD ever to include CD-ROM content, as well as album notes by legendary sci-fi author ...
read more

MIKE OLDFIELD forum topics / tours, shows & news


MIKE OLDFIELD forum topics Create a topic now
MIKE OLDFIELD tours, shows & news Post an entries now

MIKE OLDFIELD Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all MIKE OLDFIELD videos (3) | Search and add more videos to MIKE OLDFIELD

Buy MIKE OLDFIELD Music



More places to buy MIKE OLDFIELD music online

MIKE OLDFIELD discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MIKE OLDFIELD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.12 | 1194 ratings
Tubular Bells
1973
3.95 | 606 ratings
Hergest Ridge
1974
2.53 | 188 ratings
The Orchestral Tubular Bells
1975
4.30 | 1381 ratings
Ommadawn
1975
3.93 | 472 ratings
Incantations
1978
3.15 | 306 ratings
Platinum
1979
3.51 | 334 ratings
Q.E.2
1980
3.70 | 389 ratings
Five Miles Out
1982
3.48 | 444 ratings
Crises
1983
2.80 | 270 ratings
Discovery
1984
2.70 | 158 ratings
The Killing Fields
1984
2.62 | 211 ratings
Islands
1987
2.04 | 178 ratings
Earth Moving
1989
4.03 | 585 ratings
Amarok
1990
2.49 | 180 ratings
Heaven's Open
1991
3.58 | 326 ratings
Tubular Bells II
1992
3.72 | 303 ratings
The Songs Of Distant Earth
1994
3.11 | 223 ratings
Voyager
1996
3.35 | 232 ratings
Tubular Bells III
1998
2.97 | 193 ratings
Guitars
1999
2.34 | 154 ratings
The Millenium Bell
1999
2.43 | 157 ratings
Tr3s Lunas
2002
3.77 | 216 ratings
Tubular Bells 2003
2003
2.77 | 151 ratings
Light + Shade
2005
3.04 | 191 ratings
Music of the Spheres
2008
3.16 | 187 ratings
Man On The Rocks
2014
4.05 | 366 ratings
Return To Ommadawn
2017

MIKE OLDFIELD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.79 | 99 ratings
Exposed
1979

MIKE OLDFIELD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.93 | 48 ratings
Tubular Bells II & III Live (DVD)
1999
2.60 | 42 ratings
The Art in Heaven Concert Live in Berlin (DVD)
2000
4.25 | 16 ratings
DVD Collection
2003
3.16 | 34 ratings
Elements - The Best Of (DVD)
2004
3.84 | 41 ratings
Exposed
2005
4.41 | 77 ratings
Live At Montreux 1981
2006

MIKE OLDFIELD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.80 | 50 ratings
Mike Oldfield - Boxed
1976
3.57 | 16 ratings
Airborn
1980
3.04 | 6 ratings
Impressions
1980
3.00 | 11 ratings
Music Wonderland
1981
3.69 | 46 ratings
The Complete Mike Oldfield
1985
3.27 | 7 ratings
Collector's Edition Box I
1990
3.19 | 9 ratings
Collector's Edition Box II
1990
2.57 | 25 ratings
Elements: The Best of Mike Oldfield
1993
2.96 | 16 ratings
Elements: 1973-1991
1993
2.66 | 18 ratings
XXV - The Essential Mike Oldfield
1997
2.08 | 10 ratings
The Best Of Tubular Bells
2001
2.86 | 7 ratings
The Mike Oldfield Collection
2002
2.68 | 10 ratings
The Complete Tubular Bells
2003
2.53 | 14 ratings
The Platinum Collection
2006
4.17 | 12 ratings
Two Sides: The Very Best of Mike Oldfield
2012
2.48 | 14 ratings
Tubular Beats
2013
4.00 | 4 ratings
The Studio Albums: 1992-2003
2014
3.67 | 3 ratings
The Best Of: 1992-2003
2015
4.00 | 3 ratings
The Space Movie
2015
4.00 | 4 ratings
The 1984 Suite
2016

MIKE OLDFIELD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.83 | 6 ratings
Tubular Bells
1974
4.07 | 10 ratings
In Dulci Jubilo
1975
3.57 | 7 ratings
Don Alfonso
1975
2.00 | 1 ratings
Don Alfonso (German Version)
1975
3.30 | 11 ratings
Portsmouth
1976
4.00 | 7 ratings
William Tell Overture
1976
4.00 | 6 ratings
Cuckoo Song
1977
3.50 | 2 ratings
Take 4
1978
4.00 | 7 ratings
Guilty
1979
3.83 | 6 ratings
Blue Peter
1979
3.00 | 3 ratings
Extract From Tubular Bells (live)
1979
3.50 | 4 ratings
Arrival
1980
4.00 | 4 ratings
Wonderful Land
1981
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Singles
1981
3.67 | 6 ratings
Five Miles Out
1982
3.67 | 6 ratings
Family Man
1982
2.34 | 10 ratings
Mistake
1982
3.05 | 2 ratings
Crime of Passion
1983
3.26 | 8 ratings
Moonlight Shadow
1983
3.30 | 14 ratings
Shadow on the Wall
1983
3.91 | 11 ratings
To France
1984
3.95 | 15 ratings
Pictures in the Dark
1985
3.39 | 14 ratings
Shine
1986
1.65 | 11 ratings
Innocent
1989
3.10 | 10 ratings
Tattoo
1992
3.67 | 3 ratings
Man In The Rain
1998
5.00 | 4 ratings
Tubular Bells Limited Edition
1998
4.00 | 2 ratings
Far Above The Clouds CD 1
1999
3.00 | 1 ratings
Far Above The Clouds CD 2
1999

MIKE OLDFIELD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Innocent by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1989
1.65 | 11 ratings

BUY
Innocent
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by mohaveman

1 stars Two songs taken from Mike Oldfield's 1989 release EARTH MOVING. That album is without a doubt, in my mind at least, his weakest, most commercial, and least Prog work. But, it was the 80's... "Innocent" is bland, AOR pop/rock featuring Norweigian Anita Hegerland, who, I believe, was his girlfriend at the time. Nothing to write home about, I do understand why it was chosen as a single. Catchy but forgettable. "Earth Moving(disco version)"...you can pretty much see where this song is heading with that title.

So, two tunes from a less than stellar album. If you need everything Mike has released, than go for it and try to complete that collection. Otherwise put SONGS OF DISTANT EARTH or INCANTATIONS on and forget this one.

 Tubular Bells by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.12 | 1194 ratings

BUY
Tubular Bells
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by Uruk_hai

5 stars Standing ovations, this album deserves them!!

I think I was eight or nine years old the first time that I saw "The exorcist" and I clearly remember that as scary as it was I really liked it and one of the things that captured my attention of this film was that beautiful piano melody that only appears in one short non-scary scene and at the end with the credits, I had no idea of who had composed that song until I started listening to Prog Rock music and discovered Tubular bells (back then I was sixteen years old).

Tubular bells part one starts with the well-known tune of the movie, but this is only for the first four minutes, then the song changes and changes, and changes more or less every 4 or 5 minutes, and every part of the song is more enchanting than the last one. Every single movement of this song is beautiful and it feels like a whole journey through the sweetest emotions that oscillates among joy, excitement and a total sensation of peace (which makes ironical that somebody picked this song to be played in the most terrifying movie ever filmed). This song sounds as if there was some sort of angelical ritual going on in the studio and if you were right there, just beside the musicians and connecting with something really magical.

Tubular bells part two, sounds more like a song that someone would play on a picnic or a barbecue in the backyard, like a perfect soundtrack for a beautiful sunny day talking and laughing with family and friends, the atmosphere here is different but equally enjoyable. The second part is a few minutes shorter than the first one and ends the album with a sensation of wanting more music like that.

Mike Oldfield plays almost every instrument, besides a few more musicians who helped him to create this masterpiece (yes, I do think this is a truly masterpiece). When talking about Mike Oldfield people usually share the idea that Ommadawn is the masterpiece, I completely disagree, since I found that album kind of boring and much less interesting than Tubular bells, if Mike Oldfield ever recorded an album that deserves to be called a masterpiece it should be his debut.

Five stars without hesitate.

 Tubular Bells III by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.35 | 232 ratings

BUY
Tubular Bells III
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by thief

2 stars Despite its name, Tubular Bells III seem to have more in common with its successors than the mighty debut, recorded 25 years earlier. Bookend tracks bear some resemblance to original concept, but everything in-between is very loosely tied to TB I & II, if at all. So if there is some truth to the claim that Oldfield cynically branded mediocre records with trademark name just to increase the sales, well, perhaps you can find some evidence here.

I don't mind him abandoning structures already explored on two preceding albums, not in the slightest, but it's not like Oldfield cut ties with the past and went in the opposite direction. Quite contrary! The first single, "Man in the Rain", is astonishingly similar to "Moonlight Shadow", even featuring the same vocal style (this time it's Cara Dillon's voice, but you'd never guess without looking at the back cover). Same groove, same feel, same lightly strummed acoustic guitars - I mean, it's 1983 again, with marginally revamped sound maybe. Now, while we're at self-referencing, I just realized that "Outcast" - although genuinely satisfying and interesting, no sarcasm here - has very much in common with that heavy guitar section from Tubular Bells, later known as "Thrash" on 2003 Edition.

Split personality? Yes, this might be a better description of TB-3 contents. On one hand, early representative of half-baked electronica/chillout of "Tr3s Lunas" or "Light + Shade" breed; on the other, a handy excuse to rehash his biggest hits without breaking a sweat. Some songs really sound as if they were composed, played and recorded on second gear. I have no recollection of "Moonwatch", even though I listened to it earlier today - twice! "The Inner Child" must be the worst though, I find pseudo-eastern girl wails very uninspiring and cheesy, and this one has loads of it. Essentially, there is nothing more to this track: very vague synths in the background and four minutes worth of moaning, seriously.

Despite all this, I think Tubular Bells III is enjoyable at times, if you can look past distinctly 90s sound and accept simpler songwriting than before. The recurring theme, first played in "The Source of Secrets" and "The Watchful Eye", has a soothing, "aquatic" charm to it. "Serpent Dream" showcases Mike's aptitude with Spanish guitar and is always recommended, while "The Top of the Morning", albeit predictable, delivers hopeful piano melodies and has a great flow. I definitely listen carefully to "Secret" and "Far Above the Clouds", as both put me in a very pleasing mood - there is a great balance of relaxing and epic elements, you should check it out. And the bells, well, they are featured during coda in a slightly dramatic manner, but without jumping the shark, thankfully.

I have no doubt it's the least thrilling part of Tubular trilogy. Original was a force to be reckoned with, a freak of nature really. Sequel - quite deep, inspiring, a pleasant surprise to many. This one? Correct. Alright. But flawed! I can't get over the "Moonlight Shadow" ripoff and frustrating "Arabian widow" bit. I'd say there is enough evidence that Mike could come up with a worthy sequel to "Tubular Bells II" if he really put his mind to it... now, it feels a lil' rushed. Would love to give it 3 stars, if there was more passion.

The kid has talent, but parties a lot. Too much money and too close to Ibiza night clubs, I guess!

 Exposed by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Live, 1979
3.79 | 99 ratings

BUY
Exposed
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by iluvmarillion

4 stars This recording taken from the 1978 European tour to promote Mike Oldfield's fifth studio release of his double album, Incantations, is his first and only official live release. I view this as almost criminal of his recording company to only release one live album as Mike is an extraordinary live artist. You need to otherwise go to his various live DVD issues to hear him in live performance. The live presentation of Incantations is a truncated version of the studio version with about 25 minutes stripped off the studio version. It still flows brilliantly with Maddy Prior, who shares the vocals with Sally Oldfield on the studio version, adding her voice to this live version. I fell in love with Maddy Prior's voice when I first heard her in Steeleye Span. Here she is equally good in this live version of Incantations.

The second part of Exposed is a complete performance of Tubular Bells. The first part of TB is slightly longer than the studio version and has Mike Oldfield replacing a lot of the acoustic guitar sections with electric guitar. It moves a little faster than the studio version and has a rockier feel to it and a changed ending. It will never equal the studio version of it, which is a masterpiece, but sits comfortably as a complimentary ride to the familiar riffs of the studio version. The second part of TB is almost half the length of the original, but I think it's superior. It has a real waltzing, rocky feel to it finishing with the familiar Sailor's Hornpipe.

As an encore Mike performs his singles hit, Guilty. He uses one of the themes from Incantations and turns it into an up- tempo disco beat. I couldn't think of a more perfect way to end the album. Live albums don't always work, but Exposed is as good as any and Mike Oldfield performs brilliantly as usual. Pity we can't enjoy more live albums from him.

 Return To Ommadawn by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.05 | 366 ratings

BUY
Return To Ommadawn
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by iluvmarillion

4 stars I wish Mike Oldfield hadn't called this album, Return to Ommadawn, as it has you comparing the two albums. Ommadawn has masterful pastoral melodies/riffs and beautiful floating choruses that drift down over the top of the instruments. This album could have been composed around the same time as Ommadawn as it has that sound quality of the 70's period. However, it works in a different fashion. There are more guitars, particularly Spanish acoustic guitar, 12- string and electric guitars, mandolins and electric bass. Instead of the choruses of Ommadawn there is fleeting Mellotron and children's voices. It works beautifully sonically with an almost perfect blend of instruments and Mike Oldfield's guitar playing is sublime.

In some ways I prefer this recording to Ommadawn. However, it doesn't have the same memorable riffs as Ommadawn that stick in your mind. Maybe that's a good thing. I don't know. Ommadawn is the sort of album you could play on your death bed as you drift in and out of sleep as you expire. Return to Ommadawn is the kind of album that keeps you awake as you concentrate on the sheer sonic beauty of the album. Mike Oldfield is one of the greatest guitarists of his generation and in Return to Ommadawn he puts together a guitarist's gourmet of delights. I don't know why he isn't more often compared to the other great progressive guitarists of his generation such as Steve Hackett and Steve Howe.

 Tubular Bells II by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.58 | 326 ratings

BUY
Tubular Bells II
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by thief

3 stars If we decided to disregard Heaven's Open - I choose to believe it's nothing else than a finger pointed towards Virgin label - it'd occur Mike Oldfield came back to form in early 90s. Amarok was a powerful statement in itself, and kicking off his new Warner contract with Tubular Bells sequel meant a lot at the time.

Although I don't think anyone expected it to MIRROR the original!

It's not an outright plagiarism, mind you. Structures are largely the same - piano intro followed by tremolo picked, poignant motif, then touch of bluesy slide guitars, then rockier "fuzzed to 11" section and so on. Sometimes he changes chord progression, at other times he picks a parallel scale, but in the end the feeling is similar. So there is a very clear pattern, but we still have much variety when it comes to arrangements, instruments, that sort of thing. New melodies, at times, drift off in a completely different direction, or at least Mike fooled me time and time again.

So that must be said before all else. Some of us are looking for unique music experience on every occasion and don't fall for cheap tricks. Some of us don't see rearrangements or modal shenanigans as a genuine act of composition. Especially if the most distinctive ideas come up again after 20 years - you might find it bothersome or dishonest, and I get it.

But can we deny its charms for that reason only? Shall we turn our backs to beauty simply because the music follows his own well-established blueprint?

And yes, there are moments worth a bunch of spins. I always found "Sentinel" very potent and refreshing. Some of the credit goes to production as it's very clear, dense and liquid - a quality shared by majority of his 90s records. It has a very special, New Age feel to it, even more so than Crises and Discovery Era. Mike provides variety with dozens of sounds, be it Midnight Express style synthesizers in "Dark Star", tribal rhythms & clapping in "Sunjammer" (another highlight) or frolic, balls out keyboards in "Altered State" (mirroring "Piltdown Man").

As in the original, Tubular Bells II goes for a number of moods and atmospheres. I hear the simple men of Pacific islands rejoice on the beach, contemplative choirs in "Weightless" (I dubbed its counterpart "kite over Copenhagen 1800s") and triumphant conclusions. "The Bell" is obviously led by Master of Ceremonies, the great Alan Rickman; even if less ambiguous than Part One finale in 1973, this one infuses tons of unadulterated joy. Not bad, not bad at all!

Much can be said about each track. I haven't even mentioned all the hidden gems, such as fantastic celtic motifs in "The Great Plain" or grandiose bagpipes in "Tattoo", but it's hard to go over 60 minutes long album. There's A LOT of music to explore and digest. I like it very much, even more so than Voyager and Guitars - another underrated albums from the era.

So when it comes to rating, my heart says 4, but I have to take account of shared structures with the original. Tubular Bells 1973 are idiosyncratic, mysterious and deep. Tubular Bells II tried to achieve it with imitation, if not replication. You can't copy ideas and expect them to carry as much weight.

In the same time, it doesn't mean you won't enjoy this one. On the contrary - you'll marvel at its beauty more than once, I think. I know I did.

 Hergest Ridge by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.95 | 606 ratings

BUY
Hergest Ridge
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by thief

4 stars or, what happens when you're stuck in between two legendary albums.

Mike didn't fiddle about and quickly followed his landmark debut Tubular Bells with another tranquilizing record. Hergest Ridge, named after a hill looming over recently acquired cottage, clearly brings peaceful vibes to the table. The introductory theme succeeds in setting the tone for the album, with delicate interplay of whistled melodies, gentle glockenspiel and incredibly tasty mandolin lead. Slow, but consequential buildup culminates with solemn trumpet and reassuring guitar strumming. I like how Oldfield manages to pour out sweet melodies without sounding naive or self-indulgent. I believe the trick lies in timely placed contrasts, be it wailing guitar leads, uptempo sleigh bells or cloudy tubulars appearing in crucial moments.

I applaud Mike for improving compositional skills. I'm no expert on music theory, but transition between motifs is almost seamless and general flow is much, much smoother than it used to be. It's especially pleasing on Part One, where pretty much every idea comes at a right time, no filler, no hesitation. Fans of unraveling, self-referencing and "logical" pieces will surely like this one. Yet on the other hand, cohesion comes with a price - Tubular Bells is known for variety and numerous themes hiding around every corner. Hergest Ridge is also interesting, but obviously Mike didn't aim as high this time around.

You see, Hergest Ridge really conveys Herefordshire imagery, vividly painting grassy slopes, vast pastures and river valleys. Abundance of unplugged instruments and soft segments reinforces this picture, so even if I've never been there (admittedly), the music makes me think it's a calm place, sparsely populated and contemplative in its nature.

Part Two takes the same direction at first. One of my favorite moments comes 3 minutes in - that catchy, acoustic guitar melody accompanied by mandolin and female choirs, likely Sally Oldfield's work. For some reason it reminds me of Incantations, maybe the feel is somewhat New Agey. In any case, Part Two remains interesting throughout, but I have to single out that metallic, chaotic section at 9:30 or so. It probably depends on the mix and speakers, but the last couple of times I didn't enjoy it much, rather found it tiring and unimpressive. Especially the first minute or two - before guitar solo comes in - almost spoil Part Two for me. I'm all for sonic experiments, but some of them are destined to fail imho. Cacophony somehow gets "better" later on, but it's fair to say that section swallows up a big chunk of Part Two, as it ends at 15:00 or so.

Thankfully it all calms down before coda. That last bit of Hergest Ridge is very picturesque and emotional. Sally's vocal theme is brought back beautifully and symphonic tones shine so bright. As far as endings go, this one is decidedly more structured and rich than "Sailor's Hornpipe" from the debut.

It seems "structure" is a keyword to Hergest Ridge. Lavish melodies and explicitly British sceneries make this album more of an "Ommadawn's precursor" than "Tubular successor". Narratives aside, I believe it's a really precious piece of art, encompassing worlds of symphonic, prog, classical and even world music. Mike Oldfield moves skillfully between these genres, defining his unique style at the age of 20. Don't miss it, sit back, enjoy.

 Tubular Bells 2003 by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.77 | 216 ratings

BUY
Tubular Bells 2003
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by thief

4 stars Four facts to kick this off: 1. Mike Oldfield always felt that Tubular Bells were imperfect; 2. Technology of the era couldn't produce all the sounds he imagined in 1973; 3. As a twenty year old, he wasn't as proficient with instruments as later on; 4. Fortunately, he found the strength to re-record the album in 2003, just in time for his 50th birthday and 30th anniversary of the first release.

This pretty much wraps it up.

If I come off as cynical or indifferent, please excuse me. It's just, well, quite uncommon to revisit the album after decades and remake it from A to Z. Tangerine Dream, Exodus (thrash metal) and, more recently, Transylvanian Negura Bunget have done something similar... but "Tubular Bells 2003" went a step further - it's not reimagining, it's almost note-for-note, beat-by-beat duplicate, with crystal clear production and impeccable technique this time around.

Everything I said about the original applies here as well. Fantastic, dream-like, multi-faceted musical experience led by prodigious guitarist of Berkshire and Celtic descent. It's hard to find a flaw in his vision, and Tubular Bells never ceased to amaze me. This album is worth any attention it gets, so I can't really complain about the re-recording. I'm a fan.

Obviously there is a good number of moments that sound even more powerful and convincing here. "Introduction" itself is so reinvigorating, especially its culmination! "Basses" section is maybe twice as heavy, Mike applied HUGE palm-muted distortion giving it more oomph... same effect is achieved in "Thrash" and "Bagpipe Guitars". The list could go on. Vibratos are fuller, overdrives more compressed, basses more prominent, and so on. The differences are apparent once you listen to both albums side by side.

TB2003 is hypermodern. Does it mean it's better though? I, for one, don't mind the 70s production or timing missteps at all. It's part of the experience really, that's the way I heard it for the first n- times and how I grew to appreciate its content. Original version may even be superior for its earthy feel and more human approach! Another advantage of 1973 release is Vivian Stanshall as Master of Ceremonies (announcing instruments in Part I coda). I feel his delivery is much more interesting and fitting than John Cleese's clowning.

All in all, once I acquired "Tubular Bells 2003", it's become a core part of Mike Oldfield's catalogue. I don't listen to Tubular Bells that often, but when I do, the 2003 version is played 1/3 of the time (one for every three listens, roughly). The busiest, hectic parts clearly benefit from modern technology and meticulous approach. It also shows how important Tubular Bells are for Mike Oldfield himself. I hope he finds this version satisfactory and feels it couldn't be done any better, not without rearrangements.

I recommend it to all Oldfield and progressive rock fans alike. It's the same mythical land, but revisited on a much brighter day.

 Amarok by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 1990
4.03 | 585 ratings

BUY
Amarok
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Though entering into this musical adventure with quite an open mind, I was very quickly disenchanted by the continuous appearance of tired old motifs that he had used up in his 1970 releases--but that's not all, Mike has gone a step further to try to mix in quirky, "humorous" samples and electro-rhythms that had been made popular with the entry of computer technologies in the late 70s and then became ubiquitous in the techno-crazed "New Wave" of the 1980s. Sadly, Mike is rather late to the game in this latter respect and, I'm sorry, but an artist cannot, in my brain, get away with the use of singularly unique ideas and/or motifs more than once in one's career: it's like parodying himself or, worse, cut and pasting old material into a "new" piece. Plus, I'm sorry, but this aimless, reckless meandering of brief themes feels more like treating us listeners as if we're lab rats set loose in some labyrinth/maze without any care whatsoever for the route he's set us upon as well as a total disdain for how we get to the end. I feel utter cynicism and laugh-in-the-face-of-danger hopelessness upon listening to this--a feeling that I have trouble escaping once I've finished. "How do I reclaim that hour that was so selfishly taken away from me?" Then, to think that I've done it more than once (years apart)--always willing to "forgive" and give a piece a second and/or third chance--in case I've "missed" something or in case I've "grown" ready to appreciate it! Maybe that's the joke Mike's trying to let us in on! "Create your own reality--stop relying on poseurs like me!"
 Hergest Ridge by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.95 | 606 ratings

BUY
Hergest Ridge
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by hergest ridge

5 stars The second of the first four Mike Oldfield albums that are for me all masterpieces! What surprises me the most with this one is that he was able to compose such a work after all the emotional pressure he had to know after the succes of "Tubular bells". All the beginning is very soothing and relaxing like the first seconds that make me think of the music of a Tibetan monastery ; the rest is much more folk. We find in "Hergest ridge" a typical aspect of his music : a "complex" theme that is developed and regularly comes back, on side one as well as on side two (two parts of a long composition). The music is more slow in general but the melodies are very rich and captivating. To listen absolutely if you don't know!

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.