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Mike Oldfield - Crises CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

3.48 | 466 ratings

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RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars I have some spare time to review one of my favorite albums of the 80s. As a YES fanboy, the main reason why I immediately went to buy this album just after released was a song featuring Jon Anderson, bt let's come back to it later.

I don't know if it has been the biggest commercial success of Mike Oldfield after Tubular Bells. Surely the two songs sung by Maggie Reilly were big hits back in 1983.

The album follows the format of Platinum: a side long track on side A and a bunch of shorter songs on the B side. The suite is effectively divided into two parts, but the use of sudden changes, clearly short different pieces of music tied together, as in Tubular Bells, is limited. Crises is a typical Oldfield's track, in which he likes playing every kind of instrument he can think of, but it's one of his things that I still like more. The lyrics are quite hermetic, I'd like to know their meaning.

Arrived to side B, you immediately find the big hit: "Monlight Shadow". Oldfield tried several time to resurrect the formula but this remains probably his most known song in the pop world. Easy listening excellently sung by Maggie Really, later also on Mason and Fenn's "Lie for a Lie". Her "r" is a distinctive thing.

Then comes the first reason why I have bought the album: "In High Places" is perfect for Jon Anderson's voice. Its lazy rhythm makes it one of the best things of the album. I didn't regret the purchase.

"Foreign Affair" I though was the B side of Moonlight Shadow's single. It's not at the same level , as it's more repetitive, but it's again Maggie Reilly. She spells it "Foveign Affaives". Also in this case, it gives the song a unique identifier. Only this couls have been the single's B side.

Another instrumental of the "Taurus" serie, "Taurus 3" is made for acoustic gutar. Primers wanting to try something a little more difficult have done, I think, a huge use of the tablatures. In the album's economy it's not just a filller, but I consider it a bridge to the closer.

Also Roger "Chappo" Chapman has a unique voice, with his vibrato. Probably only Francesco Di Giacomo from Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso had a similar vibrato. "Shadow on The Wall" is everything but a masterpiece, but Chapman's voice makes it interesting and, being more rock-oriented, it's a good closer for the album.

If it was released 10 years before, it would have probably been ignored, but looking at the albums released in the same year it actually looked like a masterpiece. Because of some love that I personally have for it, I go against the site rules assigning 4 stars instead of the 3 that objectively it would deserve.

octopus-4 | 4/5 |


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