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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 29 September 2001
Never before have I heard a CD full of such emotional content. He recorded this as an exercise in catharticism - to flush out all the problems he had coping everyday life. It has the same effect on the listener - first, it lulls you into a sense of security, but Mike's piercing-yet-distant guitar work keeps you on the edge. During the last 8 minutes of the first part, Mike goes for it - his 6-string pierces and stabs, Jabula pound those African drums like Mike Portnoy on fast-forward and Clodagh Simmonds' vocals soar above the music to create the best 10 minutes of music I have ever heard. You really have to hear it to believe it.
Once you've caught your breath, part 2 opens with some very lulling new age work, beautifully segueing into a celtic section performed with the Chieftain's Paddy Maloney. By now you're suitably relaxed... then he goes and does it again! Two minutes of fast-paced Greek music that is both uplifting and exhilarating! The bouzoukis play an impeccable melody before Mike overlaps it with some seemingly effortless guitar. It’s a shame it was never performed live – it would have received one serious ovation.
“On Horseback” which, when you think about it, was a big hit single, sounds rather kitsch and hippy – but you’ve got to love it. It’s bright, infectious and Mike’s periodic bursts of guitar punctuate the verses impeccably – especially after the lines “I’d rather be with you than flying through space”.
If you love this album, go straight for “Amarok” and “Songs of Distant Earth”. They will not disappoint!
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on 9 May 2010
If ever there was an artist working in the seventies whose work is ideally suited to today's technology it's Mike Oldfield. I don't mean that he should go in a re-record this masterpiece, but that the technology of today affords the opportunity to polish up individual tracks and make this album sound even more stunning. Don't forget that it was one of the first quad albums. It has always lent itself to a multi-channel treatment.

Oldfield pretty much poured a year of his life into this album, it is emotional, windswept, turbulent, stormy, pastoral music without a hint of new age sheen or artifice. It is a stand alone classic, full stop.

The previous reviewer appears to be treating this work as just another Oldfield album, and seems to think it's more important for Mike (with respect a spent force) to come up with something new. Poppycock. This album is the pinnacle of Oldfield's career and deserves to be treated as such. Quite what the cost of seeing him in Barcelona has to do with anything is anyone's guess. If it's any help I saw him in Newcastle in 1980 with Pierre Moerlen and a cast of thousands for a couple of quid !
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on 4 October 2006
Hard to believe this wonderful piece of music is now over 30 years old.A truly beautiful production that still captivates today.Although he has produced some fantastic stuff over many years, in my opinion he never bettered this.It gets inside your head and simply refuses to leave again !Guitars,pipes,drums,stunning background vocals,this is an album you could happily play every day of your life and never tire of it.Do yourself a favour and buy it today !!
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on 8 July 2015
This is about the 5.1 mix; the Stereo is damned fine.
This must be one of the worst 5.1 mixes I have ever heard. Each and every element of the recording has its moment/channel so you can appreciate just how clever Oldfield was with his creation of Ommadawn. Unfortunatly, all these elements do not gel, all sense of drama has been diluted diluted; the voices are 'there' and 'there' with very little harmony: there is no cohesion to the music. After the 40-odd minutes are over you are left feeling as though you have listened to a "teach yourself multi-tracking" disc, rather than an album of music.
I was very dissapointed!!
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on 6 August 2012
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!
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on 14 May 2007
This is my all time favourite album by Mike Oldfield! From beginning to end it it has it all. A beautiful piece of work that has so much atmosphere and is so moving. Then when you feel emotionally drained at the end of listening to part one and two you have the uplifting experience of riding across the beautiful countryside on horse back that Mike Oldfield has conjured up for you.

If you are new Mr Oldfield's work then this is the one I would strongly recommend for your pleasure. Listening to this? All your cares and woes of the day should slowly melt and disappear. It has an Ethereal feel, the drumming and voices and the magic of Oldfield is mystical and almost spiritual.......
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on 12 February 2006
When I first heard Ommadawn (from the Gaelic word "amadan" meaning "fool" or "idiot"), back in 1975 it changed the way I looked at music. It cannot be stated enough that this is Oldfield's crowning glory.
However, the remaster (MIKECD4) is lacking. Listing to other remasters from the same period, it is clear that they didn't spend nearly enough time on this. There is little improvement from the original CD release (CDV 2043). Also, there is a rather annoying click at 11:11 into Part 2.
Hopefully, they will return to this and give it the attention it deserves.
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on 4 February 2002
Part I of Ommadawn has to be Mike Oldfield's greatest work, and I can't stop listening to those last eight minutes! Part II is less spectacular (maybe if the running order was different...), and "On Horseback" that closes the album has a somewhat cheesy folk quality about it, but the use of instrumentation throughout the album and use of backing vocals (sister Sally, Maddy Prior etc) is just great!
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on 11 November 2005
This is a piece of music that surely deserves 10 stars.
It is music that Mike Oldfield was put on this Earth to create.
After 30 years of listening, to my ears it is still wholly
original, breathtaking, moving and, music to die for.
Packed with melody and surprise. The final 7-8 minutes of Part 1
is an ultra-brilliant jewel in the Crown of music.
Go on treat yourself
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on 7 September 2010
I first came across Mike Oldfield when Crises went out. Back then, it was almost impossible to run away from his 'Moonlight Shadow' hit tune.

However, soon after I started dipping into his earlier era and eventually got to the very beginning, i.e. the early 70s albums.

It was then that I discovered Ommadawn - and was astounded. Moreover, the very first part of the record was the running theme of a very prestigious journalist TV show in Greece back in the late 70s...! The producer of the show definitely had an ear for good music. Without even knowing what Ommadawn was back then, I carried the tune in my mind subconciously until the moment I actually listened to the album.

In my view, Ommadawn is the best of Mike Oldfield's early amazing piece of work. Most of the records of the era are now quite famous and are a joy to listen to. But Ommadawn manages to captivate the listener in a unique way. The melodies are sublime, the instrumentation is perfect and the inspiration is glowing through.

Now comes the best part: this 2010 deluxe edition hosts *new* 2010 remixes of the original stereo mix, supervised by Mike Oldfield himself. These are simply awesome! The improvement in those against the original stereo mixes (that btw are also included in the CD#2 of this pack) is phenomenal, with much added sound clarity & depth.

I also enjoyed the surround remixes (disc #3) that came in DVD format. I do realise though that this is quite a new aural experience that distances itself from the original stereo format. I personally like it whenever it is offered but I am aware that people out there have expressed reservations of the 2->6 channel remaster.

So: if you are looking to own Ommadawn, definitely seek this 2010 edition that has the new stereo remixes - or even better get this edition that has it all. And kick back and enjoy the work of a trully inpired young man back in the '70s.
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