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Ommadawn [Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Import]

Mike Oldfield Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Ommadawn + Hergest Ridge + Incantations
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  • Hergest Ridge £4.99
  • Incantations £4.99

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Product details

  • Audio CD (11 July 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Import
  • Label: Blue Plate Caroline
  • ASIN: B000000I0I
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 635,425 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Ommadawn: Part 1 - Mike Oldfield
2. Ommadawn: Part 2 - Mike Oldfield

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely stuff 14 Jun 2010
Format:Audio CD
I grew up in a house soundtracked by Mike Oldfield's albums as my Dad was a huge fan, and since then we've both eagerly awaited each release, and keenly discussed each record after our first listens. "Ommadawn" was always a big favourite of my Dad's ("The Songs of Distant Earth" was his absolute favourite - "Amarok" mine) so this reissue was a must for both of us.

First of all it looks splendid - a three disk set (2xCD, 1xDVD) in a cardboard case protected by a thick plastic sleeve, and even the David Bailey artwork seems to have been given a bit of attention. The booklet is definitely worth a read, telling the story of the making of the album, in which several interesting snippets are revealed, such as that part two of "Ommadawn" was written and recorded in a week, and the overwhelming wall of guitars at the start is made up of 1,984 tracks! I was surprised to find a typo in the credits ("purcussion") but that aside it's an enjoyable read.

But what of the music? For me, "Ommadawn" was always far more consistent than "Tubular Bells" - for me that one tailed off badly in the second part - and is altogether a more pastoral sounding record, almost folky in places. It's a wonderful piece of music, eerie in parts due to the female vocals, powerful in others, particularly the last eight minutes or so when the African drums come in and Mike opens up with the guitar. The 2010 mix sounds great, some small details finally rising from the murk (drums in the "reggae" section which I'd never heard before) and by the end I was reaching for the play button once again to have another go. Part two isn't quite as good, dominated by drone-like guitars and uilleann pipes for long sections, but is still excellent in its own right, particularly the jaunty section at the end.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful stuff 31 Oct 2000
Format:Audio CD
Although my interest in the music of Mike Oldfield began with Tubular Bells I only really started collecting his albums in the late 80s. Usually it took a few listens to really appreciate his work but only one album ever impressed me on the first listen - Ommadawn.
In the past few years a number of acts have proclaimed themselves to be the first to produce Afro/Celtic fusion, but go back to 1976 and you will find that this album predates them all.
From its simple harp intro, Ommadawn builds up to a powerful guitar finale - and that's part one. I would agree with a previous reviewer that the final eight minutes or so of Part 1 are the finest eight minutes I have heard in my lifetime, as yet unrivalled.
A simple but enjoyable folk song completes the album. One of Oldfield's finest works. Another point to remember is that if you look at his first three albums - TB was a sort of rock album, Hergest Ridge was a sort of light classical, Ommadawn is different again. Each album has the Oldfield style, yet each is so removed from the other. Not many artists can pull off such radically different albums, especially now.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Ommadawn is the first album where Oldfield made the transition from multi-instumentalist noodling away in his bedroom to fully fledged composer / producer / genius - and we can only really judge this from this reissue. Back in 1976, Oldfield replaced the original mixes of Hergest Ridge and Ommadawn with the remixes from "Boxed". In the case of Hergest Ridge this was a radical change, resulting in a much subtler and less involving piece. In Ommadawn the changes he made were less brutal, but they can nevertheless be heard, especially in the first five to ten minutes. The second disc here presents the 1975 for the first time on CD - and is worth the purchase price on its own.

Oldfield's remix sounds crystal clear and is interesting to fans in that it reveals layers of the texture, consisting of a myriad overdubs that were Oldfield's trademark at the time. Ommadawn utilized many overdubbed guitars, often fed through harmonising effects units, to create scintillating textures, rendering each instrument almost unrecognisable within the texture. These days all you need is a decent synth patch to produce the same effect, so in the new mix Oldfield has chosen to focus on details within textures. Sometimes I found this disruptive, but never at a loss to my enjoyment. It is like hearing a very good live interpretation of a well known classic. In general, Oldfield opts here for a warmer, more three dimensional sound.

The liner notes are excellent, although I was disappointed by the occasional error -"In dulci jubilo" and "Througham Slad" are misspelt throughout. However, the inclusion of the lost version of Ommadawn more than makes up for this.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational.... 7 April 2001
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Anyone who has listened to this album will know the high point comes at 12 and a half minutes into track 1 - The stirring theme, choice of instruments and beautiful chant is perfect.
While this section is the strongest part of the album, the album works extremely well as a whole and is not in any way musically disappointing - a much more mature album than Tubular Bells.
The only let down on this version (Virgin VIP) is the cover and lack of any sleeve notes but at this price who's complaining?
Grab a beer, turn the lights down, close your eyes and drift away on a heavenly cloud of emotion. Great!!!
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