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Mike Oldfield - XXV - The Essential Mike Oldfield CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

2.66 | 20 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Not essential, but a good starting point

Personally, I would have said that the "essential" Mike Oldfield would include "Tubular Bells", "Ommadawn", and "The songs of distant earth" in full. Let's however take the title with a pinch of salt, and see this as "An introduction to Mike Oldfield".

On that basis, it's pretty good. The selected excerpts from the early albums have appeared before on other compilations ("Elements" or "The Complete..") in exactly the same format. On the other hand, as this album was released before "Tubular Bells III", the last track is a working version of the section that became "The source of secrets".

The compilation concentrates on Oldfield's early album releases, his two re-workings under the "Tubular Bells" banner, his excellent "Songs of distant earth", and the more recent "Voyager" album. Many of his other albums are therefore absent altogether, and his singles output is largely ignored too (although space is found for "Portsmouth" and the superb "Moonlight shadow").

One perennial gripe I have with compilations such as this, is the fact that it runs to only 58 minutes. Given that a number of the tracks are extracts from long piece, why was the additional 20 minutes available on a CD not used to extend the length of those extracts?

Having said all that, the music which has been included is excellent. Heard for what it is, rather than what it is not, this collection is coherent, and strong.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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