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Mike Oldfield - Elements: 1973-1991 CD (album) cover

ELEMENTS: 1973-1991

Mike Oldfield

 

Crossover Prog

2.96 | 16 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars A luxury item

An excellent, lavishly presented four CD set, containing a shade under 5 hours of Oldfield's work recorded for on the Virgin label. This of course means that his earliest albums, which led to fame and fortune for him and instant success for the fledgling Virgin label, are all featured.

Since those early albums consisted of side long tracks, most appear in edited format. The exception is the original "Tubular bells", which understandably appears in full. All the Virgin albums are represented, but the bias is towards the early albums, with "Amarok" and "Heavens open" for example appearing almost to be after thoughts. The music is presented chronologically, including the rarer pieces and non-album singles. Personally, I do not feel Oldfield's longer pieces such as "Hergest ridge" and "Incantations" lend themselves well to appearing in edited format, but at least space is found for the whole of side one of the excellent "Ommadawn".

The collection is not cheap by any means, and as such is not really appropriate for those who are new to Oldfield's work. In fact, it is difficult to think who this sprawling collection is aimed at. Fans of the man will already have much of what is included here, and will no doubt find it hard to justify the outlay to obtain the rarer tracks. Indeed, a number of these, especially the singles, have appeared on other single disk compilations. Thus, while this is undoubtedly a find body of work, it is hard to recommend it to anyone other than Oldfield completionists. The star rating is thus based on the music alone.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |

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