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Mike Oldfield

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Mike Oldfield Exposed album cover
3.89 | 115 ratings | 12 reviews | 31% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Live, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc 1
1. Incantations (Part 1, 2) (26:31)
2. Incantations (Part 3, 4) (20:50)

Disc 2
1. Tubular Bells Part 1 (28:42)
2. Tubular Bells Part 2 (12:00)
3. Guilty (5:37)

Total Time: 93:40

Line-up / Musicians

- Mike Oldfield / bass, guitar, percussion, arranger, keyboards, producer
- Maddy Prior / vocals
- Pekka Pohjola / bass, guitar (bass)
- Pierre Moerlen / percussion, drums, vocals (background)
- Pete Lemer / keyboards
- Tim Cross / keyboards
- Phil Beer / guitar, vocals
- Ringo McDonough / bodhran
- Joe Kirby / bass
- Nico Ramsden / bass, guitar
- Nick Worters / bass
- David Bedford / percussion, string arrangements
- Mike Frye / percussion
- Benoit Moerlen / percussion
- Nigel Warren-Green, Vanessa Park / cello/celli
- David Bucknall, Jessica Ford / celli
- Pauline Mack, Donald McVay, Liz Butler, Ross Cohen, Danny Daggers, Melinda Daggers / viola
- Ben Cruft, Liz Edwards, Jonathan Kahan, Dick Studt, Jane Price, Nicola Hurton / violins
- Emma Smith, Marigo Acheson, Debra Bronstein, Diane Coulson, Mary Creed, Mary Elliott, Emma Freud, Clara Harris, Cecily Hazell, Wendy Lampitt, Catherine Loewe / vocals, choir
- Chris Nicholls, Sebastian Bell / trumpet
- Ray Gay, Ralph Izen, Collins Moore, Simon Salminen / trumpet & flute

Releases information

2xLP Virgin Records VD 2511 (1979)
2xCD Virgin Records VDCD 2511 (1996)
2 CD Virgin MIKECD6 Remastered HDCD (2000)
2 CD Caroline Rec. CAR 1852 Remastered HDCD (2000)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to YesForSure for the last updates
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Buy MIKE OLDFIELD Exposed Music

MIKE OLDFIELD Exposed ratings distribution

(115 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(31%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(55%)
Good, but non-essential (10%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

MIKE OLDFIELD Exposed reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by richardh
4 stars This is the most 'prog like' album Oldfield has done.This catches Mike and band performing a gutsy version of Tubular Bells and a slightly edited version of Incantations.I find the version of Tubular Bells here preferable to the original so would award it 5 stars.However shortening Incantations is sacrilege! (3 stars) .Overall 4 stars is about right.
Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Exposed is one of those rare wonderful live albums from the late 70's. It reeks of genuine class, the Inacantations and Tubular Bells excerpts are warm and encourage crowd participation. You can feel it in the whole mood. ' Guilty' for me is MO taking the piss of the whole disco movement of that time, what he did not bargain for was what a classic tune he would create. A very fitting way to end this double album. Classy stuff.
Review by The Crow
4 stars Hey, very good live album here! I don't like very much the Incantations albums, but it sounds really great here, although there are some parts that are missed, like the beginning of the part 3...

But the Tubular Bells version sounds incredible!!! Some acoustic guitars are replaced by electric guitars played by Mike and it makes this version sounds original and not a mere copy of the studio album. I miss the beginning of the part 2 here, but all the other sounds very good. Really good job of drums and all the other musicians...

The Guilty version included here it's also very good, with a little remix of Tubular Bells...

Only one problem: for being a live album, it sounds like it has a lot of backstage work at studio, fact that rest a lot of naturality to the record...And the public it is almost not heard at all!!!

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Bring on the dancing girls

Mike Oldfield performs live relatively rarely, and consequently has released very little in the way of live recordings. "Exposed" captures Oldfield in 1979, shortly after the release of his "Incantations" album. Originally released as a double LP, "Exposed" is almost entirely taken up with renditions of "Incantations" and "Tubular bells", plus an encore of "Guilty".

The line up for the performance reads like a roll call of the audience, such is the number of musicians called upon. The result however is a very polished recording, to the extent that the sound may be described as clincial. What I mean by that is that with so many musicians involved, there is little room for individual expression even by Oldfield himself, the renditions being more akin to an orchestral performance of a piece of classical music than a rock gig.

As "Incantations" was a double album, it has been significantly truncated here. Parts 1 and 2 are reduced to 26 minutes, largely through the ditching of a significant section of part 1. Parts 3 and 4,which were shorter to start with, are similarly abbreviated down to 20 minutes. The highlight is the wonderful Maddy Prior's vocal contribution, which mirrors her performance on the studio album.

The first part of "Tubular bells" receives a full recital. This live performance is slightly harder than the studio original, but for me it offers nothing to get excited about. Indeed, the ending section comes close to sacrilege with a complete absence of a master of ceremonies to introduce the instruments, and a "Riverdance" feel to the overall performance. Part 2 is considerably shortened, skipping rapidly to the "Piltdown man" section. This too is criminally disembowelled of the section's distinctive grunted vocals.

The rendition of Guilty which closes the album is somewhat extended from its original album version, and incorporates a brief reprise of the main "Tubular bells" theme.

For me, the adaptation of "Incantations" here is far more successful than that of "Tubular bells". The latter sounds too much like the orchestra pit contribution to a theatrical production. In all though, a decent representation of Oldfield and his vast entourage in a live environment.

Review by russellk
4 stars Live albums are always a trade off. They are inevitably inferior in sound to their studio counterparts, but provide an insight into the live experience. And live progressive albums usually have the added bonus of extended or reworked versions of old favourites.

Bearing that in mind, this album is an oddity. Sound quality is surprisingly good, due to the number of musicians (including an orchestra), and instead of extended versions, we are offered edited versions here. And in my view, with respect to 'Incantations', this is a very good thing. Most of the directionless soundscapes are pared back: had MIKE OLDFIELD been this disciplined when composing the studio version of 'Incantations' it would have been a four, possible five-star album. I know some people favour the studio version, but I value OLDFIELD for the beauty and juxtaposition of his melodies, something lacking on the studio version. This version of 'Tubular Bells' also better expresses OLDFIELD'S original vision for the piece, though I prefer the studio version - a choice which may owe more to familiarity than quality, I suspect. The last piece, 'Guilty', is the main 'Incantations' theme set to a disco beat. It would be cheesy but for the excellence of the tune: a fine, upbeat way to finish the album.

I'm not a big fan of live albums, but I treasure this one. The highest compliment I can pay to this album is it makes me I wish I'd seen this set live.

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Exposed is a two-cd set that includes live versions of Incantations, Tubular Bells, and Guilty. The material was recorded in the Spring of 1979 in several different European cities. Finnish legend Pekka Pohjola sits in here on the bass guitar. The performances are top notch as you'd expect from Mike, the arrangements are dramatic, and the sound quality is reasonably good for a live 70s recording. My problem is that I just don't like the edited versions of the two long pieces. If I'm in the mood for either TB or Incantations I will always prefer the original studio recordings to hear the entire piece. If you don't mind the edits then by all means you would enjoy this. Some people may actually prefer a shortened Incantations. Another change I would have made would be making the second track either Ommadawn or Hergest Ridge, both of which would add another star to my rating I'm sure. Guilty is a fun track but the space should just have been given to the longer tracks. 3 stars is perfect for me, certainly good but by no means essential.
Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars I am not really thrilled about this live album. And there are several reasons for this.

Of course, I would have prefer to get "Tubular Part One", "Hergest Ridge Part One", and "Ommadawn Part One". OK, there is maybe too much of part ones in here but lots of progheads would agree that these were the best of each of his individual work.

His latest double album ("Incantations") held some great moments, but this live set would have been a great way to cut some movements more awkwardly in order to feature the essence of it and make it more interesting. Instead, the accent is focused on this work and two of his major album (IMHHO) are forgotten.

But even so, "Exposed" one has to admit that it is not a bad live rendition of Mike's work. Of course, he could hardly turn out into a master of live sets. To render these complex works on stage should have been quite challenging.But he did it with skills.

It might be a shortcut to discover two of his greatest albums. But don't forget about "Ommadawn" and "Hergest". Probably his two ever best albums. This live one is for dedicated fans of course, but still it fully deserves three stars.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I remember hearing this album when it first came out--long before I ever heard Incantations. I remember feeling amazingly surprised at the sound quality once I found out it was the recording of a live concert performed in Spain! Now as I listen to it 45-years later I am still so shocked at the wonderful (masterful!?) sound captured by the sound and recording engineers. (Some of you may know that I have a particular aversion to live recordings precisely because of the typically horrendous sound and mixes.) This is quite literally the first time I've listened to Exposed since about 1981. As I look at the lineup of musicians on board for the concert tour I am blown away to see a veritable Who's Who of Prog All-stars: Peirre & Benoit Moerlin! Maddy Prior! Pekka Pohjola! Tim Cross! David Bedford! And then to find a live performance video of the same tour on YouTube (from a 1979 performance at Wembley Conference Centre)! I am in heaven!

Though I later became quite familiar and fixated on the whole of Incantations (note my five star review from February of 2011), and had obsessed over Tubular Bells from the time I purchased it during the Exorcist craze, I never would have believed that they could have been performed live! With a travelling orchestra, of course! So, I don't mind the edited versions of the studio songs that I knew so well because the highlighted areas are so well done! I am just so happy that this era of the Mike Oldfield being has been so captured and honored! (I've not liked much of his output since 1979.)

I'm sad that you don't hear any of Pekka's play in the Incantations excerpts whereas he's quite prominent throughout Tubular Bells (though not given much room for improvisation). Also, I love the middle sections of Tubular Bells here performed with expanded rock and orchestral arrangements for their reminders of how much other great folk- and classical-themes were present on the original TB recording.

The music is great. The sound and recording is amazing. The performances are top notch. (They all appear to be having great fun throughout their campy performance of Tubular Bells.) Heck! I can even tolerate the discofied "Shaft"-"Popcorn" blend that is "Guilty" when it's in the flow of this lineup! And then I have only to remember that this is Mike Oldfield captured at the end of his best period. What more could you want?

Latest members reviews

4 stars This recording taken from the 1978 European tour to promote Mike Oldfield's fifth studio release of his double album, Incantations, is his first and only official live release. I view this as almost criminal of his recording company to only release one live album as Mike is an extraordinary live ... (read more)

Report this review (#2431081) | Posted by iluvmarillion | Tuesday, July 21, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This is Oldfield's first live album, and it was recorded on his first proper tour. The band was very large, a whole travelling orchestra, multiple percussionists, choir, etc.. This is the famed tour that costed much more than it profited. Disc one contains a chopped up version of the Incantatio ... (read more)

Report this review (#104264) | Posted by OGTL | Saturday, December 23, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "Exposed" shows the talent of Mr. Oldfield as a composer and as a producer (maybe also as a orchestra director). Solid mise-en-scene, with great vocals of Maddy Prior, a sober sound of Oldfied's guitar and pretenecious orchestral arrangements. Not of the best Oldfield's albums but sounds good. ... (read more)

Report this review (#39828) | Posted by progadicto | Tuesday, July 19, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Yes, live version of 'Tubular Bells' is far better than the original one - brighter, emotional - and that guitar section, just before the Hornpipe! That only gives 4 stars to 'Exposed', though and edited 'Incantations' it's no use to anybody (check the original suites). ... (read more)

Report this review (#28346) | Posted by | Monday, May 31, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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