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Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells III CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

3.38 | 220 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars A better title for this record would be 'Tubular Bells (Ibiza Dance Remix)'. Here MIKE OLDFIELD demostrates how completely he has been captured by the dance music scene of the 1990s. Yes, yet another change of direction, but we were used to it by now ...

Just how fully OLDFIELD was immersed in the dance culture can be seen by who he asked to remix his singles in the 1990s: dance notables such as THE ORB, BT and JAM & SPOON relished the opportunity to cut and splice the venerable man's work.

Your task is to decide if that influence is a good thing or not. For most of you, I suspect not, and fair enough. Even though I'm a fan of techno music, I'm not convinced either way, hence the rating. As far as dance albums go it's not very adventurous (DJ Sasha would eat it for breakfast); as far as MIKE OLDFIELD albums go it's mid-range; and as far as the numerous 'Tubular Bells' remakes go, it's not a patch on the first two.

Make no mistake, this is a 'Tubular Bells' remake, though somewhat looser than 'Tubular Bells II'. 'The Source of Secrets' revisits the 'Tubular Bells' opening theme, while 'Outcast' is an inspired rendition of the fiery guitar section on the original 'Tubular Bells'. The excellent 'Far Above The Clouds' is a loose reinterpretation of the climax to the first side of the original. And boy, does it roar. This is the best of all the 'Tubular Bell climax' reprisals, replete with bells and guitars. Elsewhere on the album he plunders various parts of his career, notably on 'The Main In The Rain', a 'Moonlight Shadow' clone (incidentally, a much better clone than those he released in the 1980s - one wonders why he kept this in reserve, having written it in 1983). 'Jewel In The Crown' sounds like an outtake from 'The Songs of Distant Earth', 'Serpent Dream' foreshadows his next album, and so on. 'The Top Of The Morning' is a lovely piano piece, by the way.

Overall, this is better than most of his 1980s output, but after a grand beginning to the 1990s, it seemed like MIKE OLDFIELD'S well had finally begun to run dry. And so it proved ...

russellk | 3/5 |


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