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Changeling - Mike Oldfield autobiography

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    Posted: November 01 2010 at 16:27
I've just finished reading the Kindle version of this book.  It offers very good insights into Oldfield's music and his well-publicised psychological problems.  It was interesting to learn that Richard Branson only allowed Oldfield one single week in the Manor studio to record side one of Tubular Bells - there clearly wasn't a lot of belief in Oldfield's musical vision at the time.
 
Mike Oldfield gives a lot of detail about the music and recording processes.  However, he is very vague when he refers to his relationships with others, especially women, who - apart from his mother - barely get a mention in the book.
 
Despite his success and the admiration many have for his music, Mike Oldfield comes across as a rather sad and lonely figure, weighed down by his anxieties and social ineptness.  Not the most uplifting read in the world, but if you are interested in his music, then you should read this book.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Snow Dog Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 01 2010 at 16:34
Sounds very interesting.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chris S Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 01 2010 at 17:03
I must say I  was very disappointed with the book. Lots about early childhood and the therapy he went through around the Ommadawn/Incantation period. But I wish he had focussed more on his individual studio releases particularly post Five Miles Out and gave more insight to them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Green Shield Stamp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 02 2010 at 13:08
I agree - he skips over the last 20 years almost as if he feels that the work he produced in this period will be of less interest to the reader. 
 
His writing style is also quite naive and peppered with cliches such as 'white as a sheet', 'drugged up to the eyeballs' , 'Jack-the lad character' etc. Also some of his philosphical insights are very simplistic.  In his defense though, he is at pains to tell the reader that he is far more comfortable expressing himself through music rather than words. 
 
There are some very funny sections in the book also.  The account of Richard Branson taking Oldfield on his first balloon flight is priceless.
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