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Edward Leedskalnin

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Chariots Of Fire: Original Soundtrack;Vangelis
Chariots Of Fire: Original Soundtrack;Vangelis
Price: £9.28

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bring me my Chariots of Fire, 17 Aug 2012
So you've heard the Chariot's of Fire theme, love it, can't get it out of you head and now want to know if the rest of the soundtrack is worth investigation. Well yes it is and so is the rest of the Vangelis back-catalogue as it happens.

By the early 80's when Charitos of Fire was being filmed Vangelis had already been involved in a very large array of soundtrack projects and had become very adept indeed at expressing the emotion of film through sound. As a prolific composer of many non-film works he was also in a rich vein of form and an artist willing to push the boundaries, more so in fact than he is given credit for.

The rest of the album, as we may call it as many readers may only be familiar with the main theme, is everything from highly emotional, extremely tuneful, profoundly triumphant and deeply atmospheric to give you just a few of the many potential expletives. This album works very well outside of it's duty as a film soundtrack, in fact, much of what I still refer to as side 2, one long 20 minute piece entitled Chariot's of Fire, didn't actually feature in the film at all.

I feel something must also be said of Vangelis's reputation as a meastro of the keyboard. Everything you have heard is true, Vangelis though was perhaps the ultimate keyboard genius because you never feel like you are listening to a bunch of soundbanks; his work has a much more human brush-stroke then you might be expecting. A very wide palette is used that includes many acoustic instruments also.

Another recommendation; if you enjoy Vangelis's ability to create expansive, ambient, tuneful, musical landscapes take a listen to Mohribold by Andrew Taylor (google it!). Not as synthy but still a very broad pallette of acoustic instruments, I downloaded from a site called bandcamp.


Chariots Of Fire
Chariots Of Fire
Price: £5.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bring me my Chariots of Fire, 17 Aug 2012
This review is from: Chariots Of Fire (Audio CD)
So you've heard the Chariot's of Fire theme, love it, can't get it out of you head and now want to know if the rest of the soundtrack is worth investigation. Well yes it is and so is the rest of the Vangelis back-catalogue as it happens.

By the early 80's when Charitos of Fire was being filmed Vangelis had already been involved in a very large array of soundtrack projects and had become very adept indeed at expressing the emotion of film through sound. As a prolific composer of many non-film works he was also in a rich vein of form and an artist willing to push the boundaries, more so in fact than he is given credit for.

The rest of the album, as we may call it as many readers may only be familiar with the main theme, is everything from highly emotional, extremely tuneful, profoundly triumphant and deeply atmospheric to give you just a few of the many potential expletives. This album works very well outside of it's duty as a film soundtrack, in fact, much of what I still refer to as side 2, one long 20 minute piece entitled Chariot's of Fire, didn't actually feature in the film at all.

I feel something must also be said of Vangelis's reputation as a meastro of the keyboard. Everything you have heard is true, Vangelis though was perhaps the ultimate keyboard genius because you never feel like you are listening to a bunch of soundbanks; his work has a much more human brush-stroke then you might be expecting. A very wide palette is used that includes many acoustic instruments also.

Another recommendation; if you enjoy Vangelis's ability to create expansive, ambient, tuneful, musical landscapes take a listen to Mohribold by Andrew Taylor (google it!). Not as synthy but still a very broad pallette of acoustic instruments, I downloaded from a site called bandcamp.


Tubular Bells, 2
Tubular Bells, 2
Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.56

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A campanologists handbook second edition!, 16 Aug 2012
This review is from: Tubular Bells, 2 (Audio CD)
To the casual listener all these Tubular Bells releases must be a little confusing. Well let me clarify, Tubular Bells II is something of a sequel to the 1973 original, it's structure mirrors that of the original but is the sound of a genius in the art of variation on a theme.

Is it as good? Well that can only be a matter of taste but here's my dollars worth. Tubular Bells II is perhaps, melodically speaking, Oldfield's biggest triumph and considering this is a composer in the same ball park as Bach or Vivaldi that's really saying something. When this music grabs you you can't let go, it's totally addictive. The way in which melodies across the whole album relate to one another is masterful and hypnotic. As with all of Oldfield's best albums you will find new layers of instruments with almost every listen, even after twenty years!

My only issue with this album is it's production, at times I find the sound a little cheesy and synthetic, that's not to say it isn't jam packed with hand-played instruments because you name it and it's on here; banjos, mandolins, an array of guitars and all the rest. I can 't help feeling that Trevor Horn's influence placed the album firmly in the early 90's where as much of Oldfield's best stuff is timeless. However, it is possible to filter out the production values becuase the melodies are so strong and anyway, you may love the sound of those synths.

I recommend seeking out The Bell single CD2, as it's B-sides feature the original MC Vivian Stanshall and also Billy Connolly both of which are much better than the dry and frankly dull Alan Rickman!

My other recommendation for those who love the multi-layering, guitar wielding Oldfield of old is to listen to an album called Mohribold by Andrew Taylor (google it). Taylor has clearly soaked up all of Oldfield's classics and given us a contemporary instrumental classic. I found it on a site called bandcamp and have enthused about it to all who will listen.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 12, 2014 8:47 AM GMT


Meddle
Meddle
Offered by nagiry
Price: £10.50

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Float away on a cloud of eiderdown...., 15 Aug 2012
This review is from: Meddle (Audio CD)
So you've probably heard one or two of Pink Floyd's big iconic albums, Dark Side of The Moon or The Wall perhaps, and you'd like to delve a little deeper. Where to begin? Well I recommend Meddle.

Right from it's opening winds to it's ever ascending closing choir Meddle takes you on a "trip". A cliche I know but it seems little can be written about Pink Floyds music without referring the psychadelic experience. You don't have to be high though to appreciate or understand Pink Floyd, something about Meddle seems to resonate with the part of your mind that dreams, it's as though they've discovered some secret esoteric musical formula. Maybe that's why they become so many people's favourite band?

Pink Floyd were always moving forward and with Meddle you could almost sense they were on the edge of something big. They'd brought along what they'd learnt from their experimental soundtrack years and were now combining it with a growing skill in arrangement and a knack for great, great tunes. Of course they really were on edge of something big but we didn't know that back then!

There's almost nothing better than donning your headphones and floating away on a pillow of winds to Meddle land! It's beautifully mixed to create the Floyd landscape. Gilmour's guitar is almost impossibly mournful, Mason's organ sounds are deep and gutteral throughout and the harmonies are lush and tuneful. Much has been said about the dynamic within the band but on Meddle they must have been perfectly in balance. Things gets a bit weird in places but that's what we all love about Floyd right.

Meddle is one of those albums you won't want to listen to in passing, it arrests your attention, it is a world within itself. This is where I come to another recommendation; if you're into that Floyd approach of expansive, slightly proggy, ambitious, guitar driven tunage then you should try Mohribold by Andrew Taylor (google it), I downloaded it from a site called bandcamp. Taylor creates landscapes with his music just like Pink Floyd used to and remember you heard it here first!


Dark Side of the Moon
Dark Side of the Moon

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the colours of the rainbow, 14 Aug 2012
This review is from: Dark Side of the Moon (Audio CD)
If you haven't heard this album yet you'll want to soon. This is as essential an historic record of man's musical achievements as Sgt.Peppers or Vivaldi's Four Seasons; a grand gesture indeed but fitting I think.

It's ironic that shortly after the release of Dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd embarked on an ill-fated musical project that was to utilise household items as musical instruments; little did they know that their most recent release was itslef to become a very common household item.

Dark Side of the Moon is perhaps the pinnacle of the band's skill in arrangement; they seem to know precisely where to place each and every beat, noise, note, flurry and riff. The prism and pyrmaids of the LP's sleeve perfectly reflect this overall precise form and structure; Pink Floyd refract the ordianry dullness of the everyday and give us a rainbow of audio colour. This album flows and flows, always taking you to the next moment; there's no boredom here at all.

If you only ever buy one pink Floyd record it would be a real shame but make sure it's this one!

As has become my signature sign off, I'll give you another musical recommendation. If you like Pink Floyd's expansive, slightly proggy, ambitious, guitar driven sound then you should try Mohribold by Andrew Taylor (google it). I downloaded from a site called bandcamp and found that it ticked all my 1970's prog boxes whilst sounding contemporary too;)


Wish You Were Here
Wish You Were Here
Offered by MUSIC4SURE
Price: £16.00

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential Floyd., 14 Aug 2012
This review is from: Wish You Were Here (Audio CD)
The mark of a truly iconic rock band has to be how many essential albums they've released; Pink Floyd have three at the very least and Wish You were Here is one of them.

The opening strains of Shine On You Crazy Diamond are worth the entry price alone, I don't think it has ever failed to raise the hairs on the back of my neck; 13 minutes of pure bliss. That the album ends on a reprise of this track (part 2) means the album sounds great on loop, try it!

Pink Floyd's psychadelic sound gets a synth update with Welcome to the Machine which takes you to that magic far away Floyd place somewhere in the back of your mind! One also gets the feeling that here they are pointing the way to the new musical direction manifest on The Wall. I've never been that impressed with Have a Cigar Boy, it does though capture the sleaze of the music indusrty beautifully.

And then comes the title track, one of the most covered songs ever and you can see why; beautiful melodies sung over simple yet rewarding guitar chords.

I'd have given Wish You Were Here 5 stars but I think at times it hangs around a little too much, I'm reserving 5 stars for Dark Side of the Moon!

As ever I'll sign off with a recommendation. If you like your music expansive, slightly proggy, ambitious, guitar driven and full of great tunes (like Pink Floyd!)you should try Mohribold by Andrew Taylor (google it). I downloaded from a site called bandcamp and found that it ticked all my 1970's prog boxes whilst sounding contemporary too.


Amarok [HDCD]
Amarok [HDCD]
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £12.32

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A huge, beautiful, breathing, singing, behemoth of a masterpiece., 10 Aug 2012
This review is from: Amarok [HDCD] (Audio CD)
Amarok is a rare beast indeed, an album that truly stands on its own; there really is nothing else quite like it. If you are one of those music lovers that immerse themselves in an album then you must listen to Amarok!

There seems to be a consistent pattern to those who experience this music. At first Amarok is a bewildering, seemingly dis-jointed collection of musical motifs and ideas. Something mysterious deep in the fibre of the music however, brings you back and you find yourself drawn in for repeated listens. Eventually, like those 3-D images you have to stare at for an age for them to pop out, the music makes total sense and Amarok is revealed as the huge and beautiful breathing, singing, behemoth of a masterpiece that it truly is. This isn't an album to work to, it's an album to immerse yourself in whole-heartedly and the more you listen the more you'll hear; I've been listening to Amarok for more than 20 years and I'm still discovering little guitar hooks and other elements for the first time!! Quite simply one of the most under-valued but extraordinary records you will ever hear.

If you were put off by Oldfield's preceding pop records in the late 80's let this one surprise you, Amarok is a timeless classic and bears no resemblence to Earth Moving or Islands. It is hand-played, raw and earthy just like Oldfield at his best which he is here.

As for the HDCD remastering of the album, I'm not sure it makes a great deal of difference, you certinaly don't lose anything. I'm not as impressed with the sleeve notes, it hardly matters though, the music here is the overwhelmingly important bit.

As has become my tradition I will sign off by recommending an associated album. If you love Amarok or any of Oldfield's work you must listen to an album called Mohribold by an emerging artist by the name of Andrew Taylor (google it!) I found and downloaded it from a site called bandcamp. Taylor has clearly soaked up Amarok and Oldfield's earlier masterpieces though he has a flare and style all his own too.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 27, 2014 10:16 PM GMT


Tubular Bells
Tubular Bells
Price: £7.98

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plus....the definitive version!, 7 Aug 2012
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Tubular Bells (Audio CD)
So much has already been written about Tubular Bells so I'll keep this simple.

This release is not a reworking in the style of Tubular Bells II or III, it's simply a reamstering of the original 1973 classic with a few subtle and worthwhile mix alterations. The remastering process is in fact so sucessful I think this is now the definitive version. I am struggling to think of a more effective remastering. All the hiss and bass rumble is gone and we are left with a warm, luxurious sound that is absolutely beautiful.

On this record you will find little flourishes left off the original release all together and the overall effect, for me anyway, was that I fell in love with Tubular Bells all over again!

So what of the extras that make this a deluxe release. Well you also receive the original 1973 mix just in case, for some bizarre reason, you dislike the new master and mix. The single version (Mike Oldfield's single) and the Sailor's Hornpipe featuring Viv Stanshall are stunning and humorous but do come with the standard release. Disc 3 contains a 5.1 surround sound version for those with 5 ears presumably! The real treat is a live 1975(?) BBC DVD performance featuring such luminary guitarists of the time as Steve Hillage, Mick Taylor and Fred Frith with Karl Jenkins on keys.

All these new remasters has rejuvinated my love for Oldfield's music and has led me to the discovery of an album called Mohribold by an emerging musician called Andrew Taylor (plug that into your search engine!). He is an artist who must have listened to Oldfield's early albums in great detail, though he clearly has a flare all of his own too. Both Oldfield and Taylor are talented multi-intrumentalists, if you love Tubular Bells you'll love Mohribold.
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 28, 2013 8:01 PM BST


Ommadawn
Ommadawn
Price: £3.99

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nearly but not quite., 6 Aug 2012
This review is from: Ommadawn (Audio CD)
Treading a path through Oldfield's musical career has always been like walking through a mine field so a bit of guidance can be called for.

Ommadawn is perhaps Oldfield's crowning glory and an album a lot of the Oldfield faithful prefer to Tubular Bells and I agree. Sadly though Oldfield has tinkered a little too much with the mix on this release, sadder still it's likely to stay this way. The basic problem is this; the end of part 1 is a thundering crescendo, one of the finest, most dramatic, emotive and exhilirating pieces of music ever written, it rises from the preceding music and knocks you clean over, well it did before the levels were all balanced out anyway. Now the whole piece seems to sit at the same level and it's lost it's dynamic force. Part 2 fares slightly better in the remix but the irish folk section featuring Paddy Maloney (of the Chieftans) now sounds so cheesy with all that extra reverb, it used to sound raw and earthy.

All is not lost though; the original mix is available with the deluxe edition of this release, so if I were you I'd spend just a little extra and get that one instead.

I feel I must also point lovers of Ommadawn in the direction of an album I recently found called Mohribold. It's by an emerging artist called Andrew Taylor who surely must have listened to Oldfield's early masterpieces in great detail. Whilst retaining his own flare and style, Mohribold has the texture of those early Oldfield records, something a lot of Oldfield fans really want to hear since Mike went new-age techno on us!


Two Sides: The Very Best Of Mike Oldfield
Two Sides: The Very Best Of Mike Oldfield
Price: £6.00

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars two sides...more like three or four!, 4 Aug 2012
Is this the best way to get a taster of Mike Oldfield? Well yes it is.

The fans will tell you that there is a lot of great stuff missing from this disc and they would be right. There's nothing here from Incantations, Platinum or QE2 for example which is a lot of people's favourite Oldfield era but nevermind! If you like what's on Two Sides and investigate further you'll get to that sure enough. Oldfield's output is a bit of a mine field because over 40 years his taste has been very broad indeed. So this collection may show you what to avoid as much as what to delve deeper into. I recommend taking the plunge.

On a slight tangent; don't let the sleeve convince you this just another Tubular Bells release! It's sleekness and chill-out vibes may also give the impression of a chill-out artist but Oldfield's music is much more than that. He's at times earthy, gutsy, dramatic and highly emotive, the sleeve fom 1985's complete Mike Oldfield painted a more appropraite picture.

And to sign off...I've gotten into the habit of telling Oldfield fans about a young whipper-snapper by the name of Andrew Taylor who has released an album called Mohribold (google it). If you like Oldfield you'll love Mohribold! There are some Oldfield-esque moments but he's got his own style too. Maybe he's one to watch out for since Oldfield has called for an instrumetnal rock renaissence after his Olympics appearance.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 20, 2012 3:18 PM BST


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