Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Mike Oldfield - Q.E.2 CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

3.49 | 300 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
4 stars Oldfield entered the 1980's with this album which, on most fronts, delivers very nicely.

There is a stellar cast list of guests, and, I think, special mention needs to be given to Phil Collins' exceptional drum/percussion work on Taurus I & Sheba, and, also, the presence of the (then) Genesis collaborator David Henschel on keyboards and production work. He also co wrote the title track, which is the second longest track on the album at seven & a half minutes, something which clearly pointed to Oldfield's wish to break a lot of his music down into shorter and more accessible (for the new mass market) chunks at this period in his career.

This is an album which is more reliant on keyboards than much of what went before, and the result, mixed with Oldfield's signature guitar work, upbeat rhythms, and Maggie Reilly's marvellous voice, is an upbeat album which is very easy to listen to on the ears, but, also, is well written and doesn't lose sight of Oldfield's clear progressive roots. The introduction to the title track, with its Oldfield guitar fusing with Henschel's keyboards and a brass section, is a fine example of the utilisation of new sounds being produced in rock at the time.

My highlight of this, though, is actually one of the two covers featured on the album (a clear commercial decision by his then label, Virgin). Wonderful Land, an old Shadows track, is given the full Oldfield treatment, and the guitar work on this is never anything less than stunning. It is basically a hymn to the glories and beauty of Old England, and you can visualise the wonders of that green and pleasant land when you listen to this.

The other cover is Abba's Arrival, and, again, this is wonderfully executed with some particularly delicate guitar work by the great man and effective Reilly chants.

Oldfield also proves he can still rock out, and the glorious Mirage is vintage Oldfield. Relentlessly upbeat, heavy, but also with some interesting brass instrumentation in amongst the chaos.

An albums of contrasts. At turns commercial, Celtic folk, new age, harder rock, and more traditional Oldfield, this is a hugely enjoyable musical journey.

It is not a masterpiece of an album by any means. But, it does feature some of the finest work that Oldfield produced, and that is saying a lot in such a stellar career.

An excellent addition to any prog music collection. Four stars.

lazland | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this MIKE OLDFIELD review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives