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Mike Oldfield Elements - The Best Of (DVD) album cover
3.16 | 33 ratings | 5 reviews | 30% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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DVD/Video, released in 2004

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Tubular Bells (part 1) (24:59)
2. Don Alfonso (4:30)
3. In Dulci Jubilo (3:04)
4. Porthsmouth (2:03)
5. William Tell Overture (3:54)
6. Guilty (4:10)
7. Blue Peter (2:18)
8. Wonderful Land (2:52)
9. Five Miles Out (4:17)
10. Moonlight Shadow (3:42)
11. Shadow On The Wall (3:12)
12. Crime Of Passion (3:42)
13. Tricks Of The Light (3:55)
14. To France (4:28)
15. Etude (3:25)
16. Pictures In The Dark (4:10)
17. Shine (3:22)
18. Innocent (3:32)
19. Earth Moving (4:04)
20. Heavens Open (4:18)

Bonus Material:
1. The Space Movie (Incantations 3 & 4) (17:16)
2. The Wind Chimes [41:13]:
[The Wind Chimes (21:52), Northpoint (3:27), Islands (4:19), The Time Has Come (3:52), Flying Start (3:34), Magic Touch (4:07)]
3. Interview (13:23)

Total Time: 176:14

Line-up / Musicians

- Mike Oldfield / guitars, basses, pianos, organs, synthesizers, drums, various percussions

Releases information

DVD Virgin MIKEDVD 1 (2004)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to SouthSideoftheSky for the last updates
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Buy MIKE OLDFIELD Elements - The Best Of (DVD) Music

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Tubular BellsTubular Bells
Remastered · Extra tracks
Mercury Uk 2009
$1.68 (used)
Tubular Bells III (180 Gram Vinyl)Tubular Bells III (180 Gram Vinyl)
Rhino Records 2015
$18.99 (used)
Return To OmmadawnReturn To Ommadawn
Virgin Emi 2017
$8.43 (used)
Best of Mike Oldfield: 1992-03Best of Mike Oldfield: 1992-03
Wea 2015
$10.67 (used)
The ExorcistThe Exorcist
Limited Edition · Soundtrack
Perseverance Records 2018
$7.81 (used)
Tubular BellsTubular Bells
Deluxe Edition · Extra tracks
Mercury Uk 2009
$16.31 (used)
Two Sides: The Very Best Of Mike Olfield [2 CD][Deluxe Edition]Two Sides: The Very Best Of Mike Olfield [2 CD][Deluxe Edition]
Hip-O 2012
$4.45 (used)
Tubular Bells/Hergest RidgeTubular Bells/Hergest Ridge
Universal 2014
$10.35 (used)
Orchestral Tubular BellsOrchestral Tubular Bells
Disky 1995
$0.99 (used)

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MIKE OLDFIELD Elements - The Best Of (DVD) ratings distribution

(33 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(30%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(15%)
Good, but non-essential (39%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

MIKE OLDFIELD Elements - The Best Of (DVD) reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Matti
3 stars An interesting, nearly 3-hour video collection covering the career up to Heaven's Open (91); of course all too uneven musically to be "the best of Mike Oldfield" in an artistic sense. Mostly it's music videos, but there's also a great and intimate concert performance of Tubular Bells pt 1, Mike's interview and a 'space movie' of NASA film material with music from Incantations.

Most of the 80's videos look terribly outdated as they use rather clumsy computer graphics and lack strong visual ideas. The whole Islands album is featured (not worth the effort). Earlier songs like 'Moonlight Shadow' (a romantic nocturnal video), 'Shadow on the Wall' (manic presence of Roger Chapman is all it needs) or landscape-oriented 'Wonderful Land' (what a charming eye-wink of a baby in the end) are much better. Several songs are just simple live stuff but even that's better than pretentious computer graphics - the style that starts with 'Pictures in the Dark' (85).

It's the early era of little instrumental tracks that I enjoyed the most beside TB concert. 'In Dulci Jubilo', 'Portsmouth' and 'William Tell Overture' concentrate on Mike playing various instruments but there's some nice good-humoured feel to them, both musically and visually.

Not music video art at its best, but long as it is, it surely offers many delights for friends of Oldfield's music. Best to borrow as only quite few deserve repeated viewings.

Review by memowakeman
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A DVD for fans.

I will tell you the truth, i was recommended by a friend to buy this DVD when i only knew the short version of Tubullar Bells and Moonlight Shadow, he told me about Mike Oldfield, and finally he convinced me because he expressed great of him, (who doesn`t?). In that time i didn`t really know anything about him, nor if he was a rock musician, well what i remember is that i have seen his albums always in the New Age section, so maybe i expected something like that.

Now that i know him, his career, some of his albums and highest and lowest moments, i can share my opinion of this DVD with you.

So i was happy in home and put this in my DVD player, the first video is a 1974 live performance of the superb Tubullar Bells Part. 1, i was amazed and pleased for the very first time, then i realized that actually Oldfield composed the whole song, in studio he played all the instruments, that fact made me immediately want more, well about this video is simply extraordinary, all perfectly performanced , with the help of great musicians such as Pierre Moerlen or Steve Hillage.

Thanks to this video in special, i got depper into Oldfield`s work, now i cant tell you that i love Ommadawn or Amarok for example,;returning to the Video review.

Definitely the best part of the DVD is this first video/song, about 25 minutes of shock and superb music, so what`s next? As the DVD title says, this contains all the Oldfield`s "Elements", his progressive rock music, his folkish roots, his electronic moments, and even his pop and lack of complexity songs,it`s something like a tour about all his efforts and releases, which could be great for a true Oldfield`s lover, but not good for a prog fan-

"Portshmouth" and "William Tell Overture" are for me the other wothr moments here, because he shows us his folk and classical influences, besides showing himself in the video playing ALL the instruments, maybe a bit egocentric with a big pride (with that quality and virtuosity, every egocentric person is very welcome), pleasing me with that kind of songs, but sadly no more songs or videos are worth to watch.

All the following parts of the songs are popish tunes and some electronic melodies, nothing to be proud of, some better than others, but in general i can`t watch all of them, for me it`s boring and sometimes horrible.

In the other hand, (if you are not tired of bored) this DVD features 3 extra chapters, the first one is a very good one, called "The Space Movie" which is actually something like a little movie with Incantations as a background, pretty good. "The Wind Chimes" is something that i always watched apart of the videos, maybe another day, because after watching the other things, this part is very large, over 40 minutes, but again is like a movie or documental i dont know, but good. Finishing with an interview which is always interesting to appreciate.

Nowadays when i put this on my DVD is to watch only the Tubullar Bells performance, if i had to grade only that, it would be an easy 5 star, but sadly and giving a personal grade it would be 3 stars, despite i don`t really enjoy the whole DVD, but i think it has good moments in the extra features and 2 or 3 good videos, nothing more.

2.8 actually!

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars When I rate an album I judge it as a whole. Compilations (video or otherwise) cannot be judged in the same way. An album is usually a complete work presented in the way the artist intended it, this is obviously not the case with a career spanning retrospective like Elements. This video collection is very diverse giving us glimpses into all the different aspects (or should I say elements) of Mike Oldfield. Therefore, I will go through all the videos one by one.

1. Tubular Bells (part 1) (24:59)

The first cut is a live-in-the-studio performance of Tubular Bells (part one), made for TV. Musically this version is very good and in several ways better than the original studio version. However, the performance is very low key with all the band members sitting down through the whole performance. This makes it visually quite boring. The excellent live versions of Tubular Bells on Exposed and especially on the Live At Montreux 1981 DVD are much preferable over this one, in my opinion.

Visual: 2 stars Music: 3 stars

2. Don Alfonso (4:30)

The relevance of this video is very hard to understand. The song (which is traditional and not written by Oldfield) and especially the video is all out comedy. Comedy should be funny though, and this is not. Mike does not even appear in the video and - apart from some quiet electric guitar in the background - this song has absolutely none of the musical trademarks of Oldfield. This should have been left out.

Visual: 1 star Music: 1 star

3. In Dulci Jubilo (3:04)

This is a classical piece by Bach, re-arranged and performed by Oldfield alone. The video shows him playing a variety of different instruments; flutes, guitars, drums, keyboards and more. Very nice!

Visual: 3 stars Music: 3 stars

4. Porthsmouth (2:03)

Another piece in classical style, but this time written by Oldfield himself. As far as I know this song is not available on any album. The video is a bit less interesting compared to the last one showing four ladies dancing a traditional dance with Mike in the background playing different instruments.

Visual: 2 stars Music: 3 stars

5. William Tell Overture (3:54)

Yet another classical piece re-arranged and performed by Oldfield. The video is a great look into Oldfield, showing Mike in a room with many other Mikes performing the music on many different instruments. This gives the viewer a very good overview of what is going on instrumentally. One of the very best moments on this DVD.

Visual: 3 stars Music: 3 stars

6. Guilty (4:10)

The production values for the visual are suddenly raised a lot with Guilty - an all animated video. Nicely made! And the music is good too.

Visual: 3 stars Music: 3 stars

7. Blue Peter (2:18)

It's time for another comedy clip now. This time a lot more successful compared to the awful Don Alfonso with Mike acting himself and that alone makes it funny. The music, however, is not very interesting. Again this is a song not present on any album (as far as I know).

Visual: 3 stars Music: 2 stars

8. Wonderful Land (2:52)

One of my favourites, Wonderful Land is taken from the excellent Q.E.2. album and was written, not by Oldfield himself, but by someone named Jerry Lardon. I have never heard the original.

Visual: 3 stars Music: 4 stars

9. Five Miles Out (4:17)

Now we enter the 80's full time with all what that involves in terms of production and sound. The worst is yet to come and we are still a long way from it, but Five Miles Out is not a favourite of mine.

Visual: 2 stars Music: 2 stars

10. Moonlight Shadow (3:42)

Everyone knows this song, I kind of like it. I love the guitar solo! The video is not bad for 1983.

Visual: 3 stars Music: 3 stars

11. Shadow On The Wall (3:12)

Most people know this song as well. Again, I kind of like it - good guitar work once again. Is it Chapman appearing in the video?

Visual: 3 stars Music: 3 stars

12. Crime Of Passion (3:42)

This song is new to me. I don't think it is available on any album. It is a great Pop song! Certainly nothing progressive about it, but nice nonetheless. Decent video too.

Visual: 3 stars Music: 3 stars

13. Tricks Of The Light (3:55)

A decent performance type video. Now we are deeper into the 80's and this is not really my cup of tea. Good guitar work though.

Visual: 2 stars Music: 2 stars

14. To France (4:28)

Another performance type video. A bit less good compared to the last one. Again, the music is not really my cup of tea. But also, once again, great guitar work - both acoustic and electric.

Visual: 2 stars Music: 2 stars

15. Etude (3:25)

This is taken from the film The Killing Fields and the video shows clips from that film. Nothing offensive but also not too interesting.

Visual: 2 stars Music: 2 stars

16. Pictures In The Dark (4:10)

Now it starts to get really awful. This video and song encapsulate all the excesses of the 80's. Dated computer graphics and effects. Very commercial music. Though, there is a decent guitar solo.

Visual: 1 star Music: 1 star

17. Shine (3:22)

Yes fans beware. This song was co-written by Jon Anderson who also does lead vocals and appears in this video. It is certainly not Ommadawn meets Close To The Edge, it is rather Pictures In The Dark meets Owner Of A Lonely Heart or something from Anderson's very worst solo albums.

Visual: 1 star Music: 1 star

18. Innocent (3:32)

Come on! It doesn't get any worse than this! This is pure 80's Disco Pop. We have come a long, long way from Mike's progressive albums here. The absolute low point of this DVD, even worse that Pictures In The Dark and Shine!

Visual: 1 star Music: 1 star

19. Earth Moving (4:04)

Earth Moving taken from the album of the same name is slightly, but only just slightly, better than the previous video. A Gospel flavour to this one!

Visual: 1 star Music: 1 star

20. Heavens Open (4:18)

I don't yet have the Heavens Open album, so this song was new to me. I was surprised how good this song is! After four awful videos this is a great surprise. It will not blow the Prog fan away, but it has good guitar and Mike sings it himself. He should really have done that before, he can sing very well! For some strange reason, this song reminds me of Seasons End-era Marillion! Think Uninvited Guest.

The video mixes footage with animation in a clever way.

Visual: 3 stars Music: 3 stars

Now over to the bonus materials:

- The Space Movie (Incantations 3 & 4) (17:16)

The music is very good; the visuals are not offensive but not very interesting either. It is basically clips from space travel history. But this is good letting the music speak for itself rather than being overshadowed by the visuals.

Visual: 3 stars Music: 3 stars

- The Wind Chimes (21:52)

The Wind Chimes is a great piece. Sounds very much like a lost Incantations part. Visually this is not very interesting, but again, this lets the music speak for itself and the visual does not interfere with the music in any way. However, it also adds nothing to it and the really outdated computer graphics makes it look rather silly today. The music has aged very well, but the video has not.

Visual: 2 stars Music: 3 stars

The rest of the songs from the Islands album are not that good and the idea to making visuals to all of these tracks was not a very good one. This in not something I'm going to watch many times, maybe never.

- Northpoint (3:27)

Visual: 2 stars Music: 2 stars

- Islands (4:19)

Bonnie Tyler!? No thanks.

Visual: 2 stars Music: 1 star

- The Time Has Come (3:52)

Egyptian influenced video with female vocals. It is alright.

Visual: 2 stars Music: 2 stars

- Flying Start (3:34)

I don't know the singer here but he is clearly wrong for Oldfield's music both musically and visually. The computer graphics are horrible here.

Visual: 1 star Music: 1 star

- Magic Touch (4:07)

A surprisingly good video after the previous three quite bad ones. No computer graphics in this one. This song is sung by Max Bacon and is a decent song - you might know him from GTR. I enjoy this one to a degree.

Visual: 3 stars Music: 2 stars

- Interview (13:23)

Nice but too short interview with outtakes from the videos. The actual interview itself is probably not over three minutes. But Mike shares some interesting views of his art.

Time to sum it all up. I can recommend this DVD to fans and collectors only. But there are some nice moments.

Review by lazland
4 stars Having pre-ordered the new Oldfield cd out shortly, I have been listening a fair bit to the great man recently.

It is fair to say that many people know Oldfield only for albums with Bells on them, certainly in terms of sales and public consciousness. Mention to same people Moonlight Shadow, and most will say, "ooh yes, I liked that. So did my mam!".

All rather unfair, because Oldfield has been responsible for some great music, ranging from the pure prog of Bells and Amarok, through Celtic influenced folk as in Voyager, with pure commercial rock/pop as well.

Given that this is a collection of music videos, it is perhaps unsurprising that there is a fair amount of the more commercial material here, but that really should not put you off getting this as a fairly definitive chronicle of Oldfield releases down the years.

In rating this DVD, I will not pay any attention to the quality of the videos themselves. For example, Don Alfonso, featuring an old Carry On film stalwart, is pure camp and shocking, but it should be realised that videos are, in the main, products of the time or a particular director's interpretation or imagination. This is a music site, and it is on the music it shall be judged.

And, by and large, it passes the test more than adequately.

We have an early performance of TB (made for BBC, I believe), which is a fascinating record of how technology in bringing such a complex work was at 40 years ago, now. It is excellent, although, of course, you can get far better quality live recordings elsewhere of all three Bell cd's.

Some of the absolute high points of his early instrumental work is superbly represented. In Dolci Jubilo, William Tell, Blue Peter theme, and Portsmouth are all utterly sublime, and pure progressive music of the era.

My favourite here is, actually, a cover. The video might be somewhat corny with a sprog attached to Oldfield's lap, but the rendition of The Shadows Wonderful Land is far superior to the sublime version which appeared on QE2.

There are a couple of curiosities, such as the Jon Anderson collaboration Shine, released as a single in the mid 80's. I really enjoy this, but, of course, you need to be a fan of his solo output of the time to enjoy it, so be warned.

The gorgeous voice, and input to Oldfield's career, of Maggie Reilly is well represented, with my particular favourite To France included.

It is fair to state here that if you loathe the later commercial aspects of Oldfield's career, then the last eight to ten videos will not be for you. I did enjoy, so am pretty happy to have them here.

I rather like this DVD, and got it a number of years ago. It is one of the few such discs I have that my wife is extremely happy to sit all the way through, join in, and thoroughly enjoy. Not a bad thing really, eh?

So, four stars for this. Judge not the video (ham sandwich on Shadow on the Wall, anyone?), but the tunes. Here, you have nigh on three hours of top quality

Latest members reviews

3 stars A DVD for fans, indeed. A retrospective DVD of sorts, this contains sections from the entire span of Oldfields career, up to 1991's Heaven's Open video. It starts off on a good foot, with the live TV broadcast of Tubular Bells from '73. A wide range of musicians here, Steve Hillage of Gong h ... (read more)

Report this review (#101514) | Posted by OGTL | Sunday, December 3, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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