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Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells III CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

3.38 | 218 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars At the weekend, I played an Oldfield compilation DVD, the first time I have played him in ages. The DVD was complied prior to this incredible work, but it has prompted me to start listening to this eccentric, misunderstood, and vastly talented individual's work again.

It is somewhat hard to believe that this album, the third of the TB "franchise", is now 12 years old, but I am of the opinion that it would, under normal circumstances, rank as the finest, if not for the fact that the first was such a groundbreaking and massive work of importance to the genre as a whole.

This was recorded following Oldfield's residence in Ibiza, at a time when the island was gaining its reputation as THE clubbing and trance capital of the world. The influence of that particular brand of club music is wrought all over this album, but imprinted with the trademark attention to detail and songwriting that make Oldfield so unique and loved, certainly by this reviewer.

There are some quite exquisite moments on this album. The chanting on The Inner Child is a sheer delight, and I love the pop simplicity and mood created in Man in the Rain. Elsewhere, as in Outcast, Oldfield reminds me of just what an incredible electric guitarist he is, the bursts are simply stunning. This contrasts nicely with acoustic work on Serpent Dream, very much in a flaminco vein backed by a relentless percussion and bass line, before the trademark electric burst forces itself upon you.

However, overall, this album is one of mood, and the trance mixes with more traditional prog create a unique piece of work which is right up there with his best.

Whether you are a fan of Tubular Bells or not, don't confuse this album with the more "traditional" TB albums. It more than stands up in its own right and deserves every one of its four stars. An excellent addition to any collection.

lazland | 4/5 |


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