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Mike Oldfield - Crises CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

3.51 | 510 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Making a drama out of a crises?

"Crises" is an album of two sides, especially in its original LP format. On the one side, we have the more "traditional" Oldfield side long offering of the title track. It is not traditional so much in terms of the music however, which left many fans rather disappointed. The track at times has echoes of the second side of "Hergest ridge", but is generally rather disjointed and directionless.

The second side consists of five shorter tracks, which include some of Oldfield's most commercial pieces to date. While fans of his early albums were somewhat bemused, the two singles "Moonlight shadow" and "Shadow on the wall" gained significant singles success. "Moonlight shadow" is undoubtedly helped by the enormous vocal talent of Maggie Reilly (ex of Scottish band Cado Belle). Reilly's supreme rendition transforms the track into a pop masterpiece with Oldfield, while delivering some great guitar work, effectively taking the role of backing musician. Reilly also sings on "Foreign affair" which she co-wrote.

Jon Anderson guests on "In high places", a track which would have been right at home on one of his solo albums, indeed he contributes to the lyrical composition. The enormously under-recognised vocal talents of Roger Chapman of Family appear on "Shadow on the wall" which rounds off the album. The track is something of an acquired taste, but Chapman is clearly having fun. "Taurus III" is a peculiar, rather lightweight almost folk instrumental, which has sudden bursts of energy. It's wonderfully different though.

With "Crises", Mike was clearly looking to expand his horizons, and explore other musical directions. It is interesting that in order to do this, for half the album anyway, he chose to share the limelight with others, while simplifying the product considerably.

Other interesting facts, Phil Spalding who plays bass on "Crises" and "Moonlight shadow" was in GTR. Anthony Glynne, who plays guitar on two tracks, was in Asia at one time, and also Rick Wakeman's English Rock Ensemble. Jon Anderson has also been singer with a prog rock band.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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