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MIKE OLDFIELD

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Mike Oldfield biography
Born in 1953 in Reading, England, Mike OLDFIELD took up the guitar at seven and was composing instrumental pieces by age 10. With his sister Sally, he secured a record deal under the name SALLYANGIE and released the folkish album "Children of the Sun" in 1968. He then landed a position playing first bass and later guitar with WHOLE WORLD, led by ex-SOFT MACHINE co-founder Kevin Ayers. During the next few years he also served as a studio musician at Abbey Road, where he experimented with a wide range of instruments. He gradually built up a home studio and began working on a large-scale project, playing all of the parts himself. This was the prototype for "Tubular Bells", but OLDFIELD had no success generating label interest until he met with future Virgin Records founders Simon Draper and Richard Branson. They loved his ideas and gave him plenty of freedom to record in their state-of-the-art The Manor studio, and ended up releasing "Tubular Bells" on their brand new label when no other record company showed interest. The record shot to first place in the UK and elsewhere, attracting the attention of director William Friedkin, whose use of the intro segment in "The Exorcist" generated widespread recognition (OLDFIELD was not pleased by the association, however).

Retreating from his newfound celebrity, OLDFIELD recorded several more critically acclaimed albums, similar in scope and approach but constantly developing new instrumental and compositional skills. In 1979 his single "Guilty" showed that shorter vocal-based pieces and more recent music styles were beginning to creep into his work; he also returned to touring in 1979 after undergoing therapy to combat his reclusive, solitary tendencies. His work in the 80s included such far-ranging releases as "Crises" (including vocals by Jon ANDERSON), the soundtrack to the film "The Killing Fields", and a song called "Family Man" which became a hit for HALL & OATES. Known for consistently offering a visual spectacular in his live performances, he also developed an interest in video artistry, including a video album called "Wind Chimes". The 90s saw a return to longer symphonic-style works, including "Amarok" and "Tubular Bells II", for which he departed the increasingly commercial Virgin Records for the smaller WEA label. His "Songs of Distant Earth" album was the first CD ever to include CD-ROM content, as well as album notes by legendary sci-fi author Arthur C. Clarke. "Voyager" showed his appreciation f...
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Return to OmmadawnReturn to Ommadawn
Import
Imports 2017
Audio CD$6.92
$6.18 (used)
Tubular BellsTubular Bells
Remastered · Extra tracks · Import
Mercury UK 2009
Audio CD$4.04
$2.82 (used)
Hergest RidgeHergest Ridge
Import
Universal UK 2010
Audio CD$8.71
$16.37 (used)
OmmadawnOmmadawn
Import
Universal UK 2010
Audio CD$19.01
$18.46 (used)
Man On The Rocks [2 CD]Man On The Rocks [2 CD]
Mercury 2014
Audio CD$9.94
$14.33 (used)
Songs of Distant EarthSongs of Distant Earth
Import
Warner Spec. Mkt. UK 2008
Audio CD$2.89
$1.74 (used)
CrisesCrises
Import
1-2-3-4-GO! 2013
Audio CD$4.07
$7.32 (used)
IncantationsIncantations
Remastered
Interscope Records 2011
Audio CD$4.01
$7.00 (used)
IslandsIslands
Remastered · Import
EMI Europe Generic 2000
Audio CD$10.62
$6.94 (used)
Five Miles Out (2CD/1 DVD)Five Miles Out (2CD/1 DVD)
Import
Mercury / Universal UK 2013
Audio CD$15.58
$14.55 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
MIKE OLDFIELD Earth Moving VJCP-68842 CD JAPAN OBI USD $123.81 Buy It Now 53m 9s
Voyager (180 Gram Vinyl) Mike Oldfield (Artist) Format: Vinyl LP USD $12.99 Buy It Now 1h
Mike Oldfield Theme From Tubular Bells (PS) 7" Vinyl Record USD $6.45 Buy It Now 1h 7m
Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells 1973 First Press Vinyl LP Virgin MINT THE EXORCIST USD $38.88 Buy It Now 1h 28m
MIKE OLDFIELD / DAVID BEDFORD orchestral tubular bells ( rock ) - uk - USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2h 2m
MIKE OLDFIELD moonlight shadow ( rock ) - 7" / 45 - picture sleeve - uk - USD $9.99 Buy It Now 2h 2m
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2h 32m
Mike Oldfield ?- Ommadawn ORIG. US LP USD $1.29 [1 bids]
2h 39m
MIKE OLDFIELD - THE CONSEQUENCES OF INDECISIONS - ORIGINAL PRESSING - VINYL USD $9.88 [0 bids]
3h 11m
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MIKE OLDFIELD - RETURN TO OMMADAWN - CD + DVD - NEW USD $17.10 Buy It Now 4h 11m
MIKE OLDFIELD - RETURN TO OMMADAWN - CD + DVD - NEW USD $17.46 Buy It Now 4h 24m
MIKE OLDFIELD - RETURN TO OMMADAWN - CD + DVD - NEW USD $16.63 Buy It Now 4h 36m
TUBULAR BELLS: MIKE OLDFIELD: VINYL LP: RECORD ALBUM: CVR: N.MINT RECORD: EXC USD $9.99 Buy It Now 4h 58m
Qe2 (Deluxe Edition) - Mike Oldfield Compact Disc USD $31.32 Buy It Now 5h 58m
Mike Oldfield The Complete Two Music Cassettes Virgin Label CMOC1 USD $7.72 Buy It Now 7h 34m
LP : Mike Oldfield - The Orchestral Tubular Bells (1975 original) USD $3.87 [0 bids]
7h 57m
Mike Oldfield Platinum Japan Original LP with OBI Promo White Label Copy USD $79.99 Buy It Now 8h 54m
**NEAR MINT/1 PLAY? MIKE OLDFIELD - "INCANTATIONS" UK VINYL DBL LP 1978 VIRGIN USD $12.88 Buy It Now 8h 54m
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**MINT/1 PLAY? MIKE OLDFIELD - "HERGEST RIDGE" UK 1ST PRESSING VINYL LP VIRGIN USD $32.23 Buy It Now 9h 18m
**MINT UNPLAYED/1 PLAY? MIKE OLDFIELD - "TUBULAR BELLS" UK VINYL LP 1983 VIRGIN USD $32.23 Buy It Now 9h 19m
Vinyl 7" Single Mike Oldfield Family Man Picture Disc USD $5.16 Buy It Now 9h 20m
Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells 2 (1992) USD $6.44 Buy It Now 9h 28m
MIKE OLDFIELD - Moonlight Shadow, 1983 7" Vinyl Single VS586. USD $1.28 Buy It Now 10h 15m
Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells (UK Vinyl LP 1989 Reissue - Grey labels) Ex Vinyl USD $14.17 Buy It Now 10h 34m
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MIKE OLDFIELD - THE SONGS OF DISTANT EARTH CD POP NEW+ USD $13.40 Buy It Now 11h 52m
Mike Oldfield XXV: The Essential Mike Oldfield Audio Cassette MC 1997 (SEALED) USD $7.99 Buy It Now 11h 58m
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MIKE OLDFIELD Portsmouth 7" Single USD $3.29 Buy It Now 12h 23m
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13h 2m
Mike Oldfield - Crises (1983) - Mike Oldfield CD W3VG USD $7.07 Buy It Now 13h 21m
MIKE OLDFIELD WILLIAM TELL OVERTURE/FIRST EXC.RARE DUTCH PICTURE SLEEVE VIRGIN USD $21.97 Buy It Now 13h 23m
Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield CD Deluxe 25th Anniversary 1998 Remastered USD $15.00 Buy It Now 13h 26m
Mike Oldfield - The Complete Mike Oldfield Cassette Tape In Very Good Condition USD $2.57 Buy It Now 13h 28m
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Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells 2 Music Album CD 1992 USA Warner Bros Rock USD $10.05 Buy It Now 14h 8m
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Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells - Mike Oldfield CD AFVG USD $7.72 Buy It Now 14h 21m
Mike Oldfield Incantations 2011 Ltd Signed Autograph Print & Remastered Album USD $321.11 Buy It Now 14h 21m
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Mike Oldfield - Killing Fields [New CD] UK - Import USD $10.10 Buy It Now 14h 41m
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Metal Gear Solid V The Phantom Pain Vinyl 7inch 45 single Mike OldField -Nuclear USD $95.00 Buy It Now 15h 16m
MIKE OLDFIELD Tubular Bells II 2 SOUTH AFRICA Cat#: WICD 5152 VERY RARE USD $16.99 Buy It Now 15h 29m
MIKE OLDFIELD Earth Moving (Cassette) USD $2.99 Buy It Now 15h 35m
MIKE OLDFIELD PORTSMOUTH 7" VINYL SINGLE USD $1.93 [0 bids]
15h 46m
MELODY MAKER 1974 AUG 3 ALICE COOPER BAND MIKE OLDFIELD USD $32.23 Buy It Now 16h 3m
Amarok by Mike Oldfield USD $2.58 [1 bids]
16h 3m
MELODY MAKER 1974 MAY 18 NICO ENO MIKE OLDFIELD BOWIE USD $19.33 Buy It Now 16h 6m
Mike Oldfield Ommadawn Japan LTD SACD UIGY-9630 New OBI USD $49.99 Buy It Now 16h 11m
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MELODY MAKER 1976 DEC 18 MIKE OLDFIELD ROD STEWART PUNK USD $21.91 Buy It Now 16h 13m
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MIKE OLDFIELD IN DULCI JUBILO vergin 75 UK DEMO 45 EX+ USD $5.15 Buy It Now 16h 19m
Mike Oldfield "The Killing Fields" Original Film Soundtrack LP USD $4.95 [0 bids]
16h 29m
Mike Oldfield Crisis Deluxe Edition Mini/LP Limited Japan SHM-CD UICY-75880 New USD $172.99 Buy It Now 16h 35m
Mike Oldfield Two Sides The Very Best of Mike Olfield Japan 2SHM-CD UICY-10031 O USD $46.99 Buy It Now 16h 42m
MELODY MAKER 1981 APR 11 LINX SHAKIN STEVENS MIKE OLDFIELD SANTANA WHITESNAKE USD $15.46 Buy It Now 16h 46m
MIKE OLDFIELD-QE2-RARE UK CASSETTE TAPE 1980 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 17h 11m
*NEW* CD Album - Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells 2003 (Mini LP Style Card Case) USD $3.86 [0 bids]
17h 11m
*NEW* CD Album - Mike Oldfield - The Voyager (Mini LP Style Card Case) USD $3.86 [0 bids]
17h 11m
Mike Oldfield ?- Platinum (1979 UK LP) printed inner (A2/B4 matrix) USD $6.44 [0 bids]
17h 13m
Mike Oldfield : Tubular Bells III CD (1998) USD $1.29 [0 bids]
17h 19m
Mike Oldfield - Five Miles Out LP Vinyl KOREAN PRESSING Rare YVPL 048 Yeh Eum USD $29.99 Buy It Now 17h 20m
Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells LP, Album, Folk, Rock USD $32.24 Buy It Now 17h 30m
MELODY MAKER 1975 OCTOBER 25 MIKE OLDFIELD CAT STEVENS BLACK SABBATH SPRINGSTEEN USD $15.46 Buy It Now 17h 31m
Mike Oldfield Pictures In The Dark 7" Single 1985 USD $15.48 Buy It Now 17h 31m
MIKE OLDFIELD Tubular Bells III 3 SOUTH AFRICA Cat#: WICD 5267 VERY RARE 1998 USD $16.99 Buy It Now 17h 47m
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MIKE OLDFIELD, 80s CLASSICAL POP 45 RPM LP 12", FILM SCORE, ETUDE KILLING FIELDS USD $14.99 [0 bids]
17h 53m
MIKE OLDFIELD, 70s CLASSICAL ROCK LP FILM SCORE, TUBULAR BELLS, VIRGIN LABEL USD $9.99 [0 bids]
17h 53m
MIKE OLDFIELD *** Amarok *** ORIGINAL 1990 Spain LP w/ INSERT USD $55.00 Buy It Now 18h 7m
Mike Oldfield Vinyl 12" " Shadow on the Wall " USD $2.58 [0 bids]
18h 9m
Mike Oldfield Vinyl LP " Ommadawn " USD $3.22 [0 bids]
18h 10m
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2 Records 1 Price/ Sally and Mike Oldfield, Pekka Pohjola & Water Bearer USD $16.00 Buy It Now 18h 19m
MIKE OLDFIELD Tubular Bells ORIGINAL UK VINYL LP Virgin V2001 late 70s? VG+/VG+ USD $10.30 Buy It Now 18h 29m
The Best of Mike Oldfield: Elements by Mike Oldfield (CD, Aug-1993, Virgin) USD $6.76 Buy It Now 18h 36m

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MIKE OLDFIELD discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MIKE OLDFIELD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.09 | 1010 ratings
Tubular Bells
1973
3.95 | 514 ratings
Hergest Ridge
1974
2.53 | 164 ratings
The Orchestral Tubular Bells
1975
4.32 | 1146 ratings
Ommadawn
1975
3.93 | 394 ratings
Incantations
1978
3.13 | 259 ratings
Platinum
1979
3.50 | 283 ratings
Q.E.2
1980
3.70 | 334 ratings
Five Miles Out
1982
3.44 | 375 ratings
Crises
1983
2.78 | 231 ratings
Discovery
1984
2.68 | 138 ratings
The Killing Fields
1984
2.63 | 186 ratings
Islands
1987
2.06 | 158 ratings
Earth Moving
1989
4.07 | 514 ratings
Amarok
1990
2.51 | 161 ratings
Heaven's Open
1991
3.58 | 273 ratings
Tubular Bells II
1992
3.73 | 270 ratings
The Songs Of Distant Earth
1994
3.09 | 196 ratings
Voyager
1996
3.39 | 199 ratings
Tubular Bells III
1998
2.95 | 165 ratings
Guitars
1999
2.32 | 130 ratings
The Millenium Bell
1999
2.45 | 130 ratings
Tr3s Lunas
2002
3.72 | 181 ratings
Tubular Bells 2003
2003
2.80 | 131 ratings
Light + Shade
2005
3.04 | 162 ratings
Music Of The Spheres
2008
3.33 | 153 ratings
Man On The Rocks
2014
4.23 | 167 ratings
Return To Ommadawn
2017

MIKE OLDFIELD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.76 | 82 ratings
Exposed
1979

MIKE OLDFIELD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.94 | 40 ratings
Tubular Bells II & III Live (DVD)
1999
2.58 | 39 ratings
The Art In Heaven Concert Live In Berlin (DVD)
2000
4.57 | 14 ratings
DVD Collection
2003
3.15 | 28 ratings
Elements - The Best Of (DVD)
2004
3.80 | 32 ratings
Exposed
2005
4.39 | 68 ratings
Live At Montreux 1981
2006

MIKE OLDFIELD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.78 | 42 ratings
Mike Oldfield - Boxed
1976
3.57 | 13 ratings
Airborn
1980
3.00 | 4 ratings
Impressions
1980
2.98 | 9 ratings
Music Wonderland
1981
3.69 | 35 ratings
The Complete Mike Oldfield
1985
3.28 | 6 ratings
Collector's Edition Box I
1990
3.20 | 8 ratings
Collector's Edition Box II
1990
2.57 | 23 ratings
Elements: The Best of Mike Oldfield
1993
2.96 | 14 ratings
Elements: 1973-1991
1993
2.65 | 15 ratings
XXV - The Essential Mike Oldfield
1997
2.06 | 9 ratings
The Best Of Tubular Bells
2001
2.83 | 6 ratings
The Mike Oldfield Collection
2002
2.67 | 9 ratings
The Complete Tubular Bells
2003
2.53 | 14 ratings
The Platinum Collection
2006
4.13 | 8 ratings
Two Sides: The Very Best of Mike Oldfield
2012
3.50 | 8 ratings
Tubular Beats
2013
4.00 | 4 ratings
The Studio Albums: 1992-2003
2014
3.67 | 3 ratings
The Best Of: 1992-2003
2015
4.00 | 3 ratings
The Space Movie
2015
4.33 | 3 ratings
The 1984 Suite
2016

MIKE OLDFIELD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 3 ratings
Tubular Bells
1974
4.00 | 4 ratings
In Dulci Jubilo
1975
3.50 | 4 ratings
Don Alfonso
1975
2.00 | 1 ratings
Don Alfonso (German Version)
1975
3.24 | 10 ratings
Portsmouth
1976
3.80 | 5 ratings
William Tell Overture
1976
3.75 | 4 ratings
Cuckoo Song
1977
2.00 | 1 ratings
Take 4
1978
4.00 | 6 ratings
Guilty
1979
3.60 | 5 ratings
Blue Peter
1979
3.00 | 3 ratings
Extract From Tubular Bells (live)
1979
3.50 | 4 ratings
Arrival
1980
4.00 | 4 ratings
Wonderful Land
1981
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Singles
1981
3.50 | 4 ratings
Five Miles Out
1982
3.60 | 5 ratings
Family Man
1982
2.25 | 9 ratings
Mistake
1982
4.00 | 3 ratings
Moonlight Shadow
1983
3.23 | 12 ratings
Shadow on the Wall
1983
4.00 | 9 ratings
To France
1984
3.93 | 14 ratings
Pictures in the Dark
1985
3.32 | 13 ratings
Shine
1986
2.22 | 9 ratings
Innocent
1989
3.00 | 9 ratings
Tattoo
1992
3.50 | 2 ratings
Man In The Rain
1998
5.00 | 2 ratings
Tubular Bells Limited Edition
1998
4.00 | 2 ratings
Far Above The Clouds CD 1
1999
3.00 | 1 ratings
Far Above The Clouds CD 2
1999

MIKE OLDFIELD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Return To Ommadawn by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.23 | 167 ratings

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Return To Ommadawn
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by snelling

3 stars After several listens of "Return To Ommadawn", I am very surprised with the high level of positive reviews here. I don't think it is a bad album at all. The sound itself is excellent. The instruments are very well played. The classic Oldfield sound is definitely there. But what is missing to my ears is the unique haunting melodies that make up the first 3 albums. The tear inducing sections that I had hoped for are absent. Instead, this sounds to me like Mike Oldfield doing a beautiful production of... a Celtic New Age album. He doesn't change keys much at all, and I hear no real interesing or compelling chord changes. The parts named "Latin" and "Jazz" on TB2003, were strikingly both unique and beautiful, and there is nothing that comes close to that level of intrigue here. It is certainly a nice album nonetheless, with its celtic new age styled melodies, played very beautifully by a highly skilled musician, and his musicianship is not to be downplayed. And the fact of his doing a more acoustic based long form album, is makes me hopeful that he will venture deeper into intriguing and more unique melodies in the future.
 Tubular Bells by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.09 | 1010 ratings

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Tubular Bells
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by Rockriffs.com

5 stars You have to have been there in 1973 when this came out. It was an era of stark musical contrasts: Glam piss-Pop, late 60s Brit Rock leftovers; momentary super nova acts like Ziggy and Roxy shined before fug and a smattering of 'head grops' still high on 60's misplaced 'new' realism.

This appeared... >> IT WAS PRICED /SOLD FOR ONLY 1.00 !! <<

As such people gave it a spin and found that it was quite good for having a spliff too or just being on whilst clumsily exchanging body fluids on a bean bag in the corner of someone's bedsit!

Then your parents quite liked it and thought at last you were starting to grow up and leave all that awful music behind you. So it instantly created a dichotomy.

It made Richard Branson and felled Mike Oldfield, but it stands as an iconic snapshot of social change as the 70s became the excruciating polar opposite of the 60s lovefest. By 1973 The batons had all but been passed over, but this one dropped on the final leg.

 Tr3s Lunas by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 2002
2.45 | 130 ratings

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Tr3s Lunas
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by kenethlevine
Special Collaborator Prog-Folk Team

2 stars While I can't argue against "Tr3s Lunas" being anything but a minor entry in a major and prolific artist's discography, I also can't argue against its suitability as a backdrop for relaxation. I suppose that in itself is a form of damning by faint praise in these parts. The lack of variety in tempos and the similarities in structure and melody combine to confirm both the positive and negative aspects of this release and, while it's still superior to the sanitized Celtic new age of "Voyager", its formula was easily bested by "Light and Shade" a few years later.

Due to the prevalence of soporific and simplistic instrumentals of relatively short duration, the moments that stand out are the few with vocals, specifically "Thou art in Heaven" with its spoken title, atmospheric keys, expressive lead guitar, faux saxophone, and rumbling bass, and "Be Free" in its various guises, the latter in no small measure to sister Sally's performance. "Landfall" resurrects the original "Tubular Bells" theme for the umpteenth time but somehow refreshingly, implying that even even stale TB is better than the fresh product surrounding it .

For full disclosure I have experienced hours of blase enjoyment from "Tr3s Lunas". While I am a fan of the man and his music overall, I'm not sure you need to be one to appreciate this in any sort of altered state, but I doubt you will be over the moon about it. 2.5 stars rounded down.

 Return To Ommadawn by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.23 | 167 ratings

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Return To Ommadawn
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by The Jester

4 stars Mike Oldfield is back! You know, the extremely talented musician who recorded some real masterpieces in the past, like Tubular Bells, Hergest Ridge, Ommadawn, etc. So, after a series of rather unsuccessful albums, (that had nothing to offer really), he decided to surprise us with this new brilliant album! Return to Ommadawn includes two long suites, which brings to memory the vinyl days. One song for each side of the vinyl edition of the album. (Those who grew up with vinyl albums know perfectly well what I'm talking about). So, what we have here, are the two parts of the same suite, both instrumental and beautiful. Mike Oldfield is playing a big variety of instruments, including guitars, piano, bouzouki, banjo, accordion, mandolin, glockenspiel and percussions, among others. There is a strong "essence" of traditional English and Celtic music spread throughout the album, and that is something I think is wonderful, and improves the listening enjoyment. (Well, mine at least). The structure and the changing tunes and motives of these two songs give the impression of different songs, but the truth is that it is always the same song; which keeps coming back to the repeatable main theme every now and then. I don't know about you, but personally speaking I was kind of impressed. And although it is too early, I have the feeling that Return to Ommadawn is going to be one of the albums that will make the difference this year! To those that can appreciate this kind of music at least. If you want my advice, find/buy the album, put it on your device, (PC, CD, vinyl player, or whatever device you use), pour a glass of wine, sit comfortable, and get ready for a beautiful "travel", having Mike Olfield's music as the soundtrack. You will definitely enjoy it! 4.0 out of 5.0 stars.
 Return To Ommadawn by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.23 | 167 ratings

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Return To Ommadawn
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by TheCaptain

5 stars Mike you beautiful son of a gun. After all this time you come back and manage to create a strong contender for best album of the 2010s. "Return to Ommadawn" has got to be the most genuine, beautiful and passionate piece of music out there. Every few minutes is a different emotion, from hope to triumph to yearning, distilled into its purest form.

If you're familiar with Mike Oldfield then it's a return to form of his 70s classics + Amarok with a modern sound (well, 2017 modern anyway) and perhaps a touch more new agey stuff. If you have no idea what to expect from Mike Oldfield then it's instrumental progressive "world music" with a Celtic leaning, often propelled by powerful guitar and evoking a sense of nature.

The only issue I have is the beginning of Part 2 is too good. After the first five minutes are over, I chase that dragon and barely pay attention to the next few minutes. I got a little misty-eyed the first time I heard it, and it still moves me dozens of listens later. And yet, the album doesn't take itself too seriously; there are plenty of parts where Oldfield's obviously having fun.

5/5 stars without a doubt in my mind.

 Tubular Bells by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.09 | 1010 ratings

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Tubular Bells
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by martindavey87

3 stars Mike Oldfield's debut album 'Tubular Bells' definitely has a lot to live up to. It put Mr. Oldfield on the map. It made Richard Branson's Virgin Records a household name. It was featured in The Exorcist, one of the most famous horror films of all time. It spent approximately forever in the charts, and a good portion of that forever was the number one spot. It's right up there as one of the most famous, iconic and recognizable albums of all time.

With all that hype behind it, I felt a little underwhelmed when I heard it for the first time (probably around 35 years after its release). I felt the production hadn't aged well, and the compositions just weren't exciting enough to pique my interest.

Don't worry, it grew on me.

Of course, this isn't the sort of record you put on and memorize after one listen. It takes a bit of time and perseverance to get into, but once you do, there's some pretty good stuff to be heard. At times the music is very random and creative, at others it's simple and elegant. It's just a whole new musical experience, and a great starting point for progressive, world or new age music (although, wouldn't it now be... "old age"?).

That's not to say that this is the best album I've ever heard, because it is nowhere near. Nor would I consider it Mike Oldfield's finest work. But I can understand its cultural significance. It's just one of those iconic albums that everyone should own. Michael Jackson's 'Thriller'. Pink Floyd's 'The Wall'. The Beatles' 'Sgt. Pepper...'. Mike Oldfield's 'Tubular Bells'. It's up there in that handful of elite releases that no music collection in the world should be without.

Oh yeah, and Oldfield wrote and recorded the whole damn thing by himself, at just 19 years of age. Bloody 'ell.

 Elements: The Best of Mike Oldfield by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1993
2.57 | 23 ratings

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Elements: The Best of Mike Oldfield
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by martindavey87

3 stars We all have "those albums" that have been etched into our memories since childhood. My parents, both Mike Oldfield fans, had this on CD since its release and so it has always been, to some degree, ingrained in my mind. Especially the front cover. So simple, yet so interesting.

One of "those albums".

But now I'm older and more susceptible to cynicism, so it's with more critical ears that I listen to 'The Best of Mike Oldfield: Elements'. A lot of the songs definitely take me back to my childhood, sitting on my parents living room floor blasting out 'Family Man' or the eternally classic 'Moonlight Shadow'... but how does the record hold up as a whole?

'Elements' is a good compilation, no doubt, but it's pretty much an impossible task to try to summarize the music of Mike Oldfield on one disc. Even at the time of its release (1993), Oldfield's repertoire was so vast and constantly expanding that there's no way one album can cover every basis. With that in mind, 'Elements' does a good job of covering most of the more radio-friendly songs of Oldfield's back-catalogue.

Besides the aforementioned hits, songs like 'Five Miles Out', 'To France', 'In Dulci Jubilo', 'Heaven's Open' and 'Shadow on the Wall' are all Oldfield classics that will certainly appeal to the less-ambitious music fans, but it's when they're mixed in with various excerpts or worldly music-based tracks that the album just seems a little discordant.

It's a good compilation to own if you're a die-hard fan looking to finish their collection, but otherwise it's far outdated by now and there's much more relevant and career-encompassing ones out there.

 Return To Ommadawn by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.23 | 167 ratings

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Return To Ommadawn
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Return to Ommadawn could almost be subtitled Return to Vinyl, given that it sees the welcome return of the "two sidelong suites" structure of Mike Oldfield's early albums in a manner which, if it isn't intentionally chosen to be amenable to vinyl issues, is at least convenient for that purpose.

But fear not - this isn't just a matter of Oldfield grabbing 40 minutes of his latest warblings, slicing them in half and shovelling them out the door. Instead, the album is a thoughtful continuation of the general compositional and performance approach of Ommadawn, and your feelings about that album will likely affect how you feel about this one. You still have the Celtic percussion and acoustic guitar, you still have the soaring guitar solos, you still have the wistful atmosphere. You don't have a happy children's song about a horse to round things off, mind, though you can detect a few gentle lifts from "On Horseback" as the second half comes to a close.

Given how tepid and uninspired Oldfield's occasional rehash of Tubular Bells had become, I was a little worried about this one, but I am very glad to report that it's a genuinely strong sequel to Ommadawn that will enchant fans of that album and put off anyone who was turned off by it. This is clearly no cheap nostalgia exercise, but the culmination of a creative process that Oldfield is genuinely invested in. (He's been toying with the idea of a sequel album like this for a while, and nearly went there with Amarok before that project evolved into the weird hate letter to Richard Branson it became.) This return to Oldfield's classic early approach may be nostalgia-inducing, but it's appropriate for a sequel to such a nostalgia-tinged album as Ommadawn in the first place.

 Incantations by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.93 | 394 ratings

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Incantations
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by SteveG

4 stars Incantations is often regarded as Oldfield's Tales From Topographic Oceans due it's double album length. For me, that's were the similarities end as Incantations comes off as more of a repetitive work than the album it is usually compared to. While keeping his signature pastoral Celtic vibe via flute and acoustic instruments, albeit much more sparingly employed this time around, it's Oldfield's orchestral musing that fuels this work. At least for the album's first 19 minute section.

Employing David Bedford's string section and a choir, the first part of Incantations reveals some of the most moving and uplifting music ever composed by Oldfield. The second part is more In the pastoral vein of Ommadawn which would have worked well had Oldfield not extended the piece to almost 20 minutes. Part three is probably the best as features Oldfield's distinctive guitar playing and tone mixed with stellar synth work. Where the album starts to drag noticeably is it's forth section which features some 8 minutes of repetitive vibraphone form Gong's Pierre Moerlen which is bound to put the must faithful to sleep before guest vocalist Maddy Prior reprises her near faux vocal recitation from Longworth's Song Of Hiawatha (reprised from part 2 in a slower variation) for the album's coda. Prior is magnificent at taking this mundane poem and making it into a mystical and mysterious chant. But its the double repetition of this and the never changing vibraphone theme from earlier in the albums part 4 suite that demonstrates clearly that Oldfield only had enough ideas and musical changes to fill only 3 sides of this 4 sided opus.

Does that make the album all bad? Not in my opinion. If you listen to Incantations is two sittings, (parts 1and 2 initially , and parts 3 and 4 much later on) you will find the album much easier to absorb and not suffer from listening fatigue. Still, Incantations is a 4 star album as it has few equals in it's ambition, scope and execution.

 Return To Ommadawn by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.23 | 167 ratings

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Return To Ommadawn
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars Mike Oldfield is back with another swerve in his career, having already encompassed everything from prog, pop, electronica and folk. This "Return to Ommadawn" is shocking because the ace in the hole was deliberately kept waiting for the opportune moment to strike. Now , I enjoy pretty much all of his work, save a few albums that were not up to snuff, but loved the otherwise lambasted "Light and Shade", as well as "Man on the Rocks" (I prefer the instrumental option though). But this look back to the past was quite the move, a suave waltz into bygone days, and choosing the decidedly folkier "Ommadawn" to boot! Another "Tubular Bells" would have been a tad overkill but this splendid recreation is pure ear candy of the highest order, restrained yet highly melodic with a distinct Celtic vibe, crowned by magnificent edifices of sound, crystallized instrumental playing, incredibly technical but also seemingly effortless. A purity of tonalities , always an Oldfield characteristic, precise picking on both acoustic and electric guitars, sunny mandolins, swooning harp, smiling bouzouki and cowboy banjo, as well as a variety of understated yet symphonic keyboards. Oh, I forgot, chunky up-front bass all over the place!

The title track in two movements? Err...yeah, its prog! The constantly following melodies are blended, repeated and elevated by a slew of twists and turns, brief intermezzos and various panoramic sonic scenarios to create this perfect symbiosis of beauty and creativity , expertly attractive and wanting to be listened to again and again and again. His lead forays are some of the best, most intense and exhilarating since, well? forever. There is a smooth and silky authority in Michael's mature musical vision which is extremely apparent all over the grooves, with not a wasted moment. The final 4 minutes of the first movement is just plain ridiculous, a genius piece of soloing, if I ever heard one! Then killed off by an Andalusian sunset, warm breeze in the air, exotic flowers and lush fruit aromas. The second movement is a sunny ride into the Highlands, with occasional brooding foggy mists shrouding the horizon, a vivid and positive adventure that possesses both melancholia and hopeful joy. The opening acoustic guitar performance is a beauty to witness, helped along by a gentle choir in the background, a pearling piano and a surreal sense of serenity. More cinematographic music will not be made available in 2017, it's just a prodigious soundtrack that ebbs and flows, soars and dives , veers and careens like no other.

Some pundits are already garnishing this work with a heap of stars and endless praise, probably stunned into existence by the sheer surprise and the overt quality of the music. It's phenomenal art by any standard. The first major release in 2017 might end up the best in 2017, in December. Great proggy covert art as well.

5 forwards to the past

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