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62 Reviews
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Frustratingly sublime. [UPDATE}
Incantations (Remastered)

Incantations (2011) is both a joy and frustration to me. What it may do is lead some to re-assess this album.

Back in 1978 it was Mike's fourth album and the next in an increasingly complex set of albums, though with diminishing sales.

Nevertheless, I remember that there was a degree of expectation amongst fans...
Published on 25 July 2011 by M. Yon

versus
45 of 48 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars so called "deluxe" treatment
**EDIT**

It looks like Universal are going to sort out the glitch after all:

Thank you for your email regarding Mike Oldfield's Incantations.
The new re-master of Incantations is faithful to the original analogue master tape. These tapes included an edit point at 12:37 on Part 4 of Incantations which can be discerned as a small jump in the...
Published on 25 July 2011 by Cudsie


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the greatest, 5 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Incantations (Audio CD)
what to say about this piece which i consider to be his very best!first heard when taking o'levels yep eons ago and have been captivated by it ever since.my every -mood cd!there isn't one single note that has been scored for scoring sake,simply fab!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not his best, 21 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Incantations (Audio CD)
I like most of Oldfield's work but this is not his best, in my opinion. A bit too repetitive for me.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Still sounds good, 15 May 2013
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This review is from: Incantations (Audio CD)
Still have the vinyl version, can now listen to it in the car but can't beat listening to this album using headphones for ultimate appreciation.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars incantations, 11 May 2012
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This review is from: Incantations (Audio CD)
i bought these for my husband as a gift as he is a mike oldfield fan and listens to this cd all the time.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incantations-Mike Oldfield, 26 Aug 2011
By 
Ted J. Piotrowski (Kendall Park, New Jersey United States) - See all my reviews
Better product that the original CD. Classic Mike Oldfield recording. Will replace original vinyl recording and CD in my library.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Share All Of The Previous Observations Frustrations!, 12 Nov 2006
By 
Mr. P. J. Sowerbutts (Norfolk, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Incantations (Audio CD)
What a wonder it would be that if a musician as eminent as this would be drawn to opinions expressed here and thereby be reborn as an artist and reproduce the breath taking simplicity (ostinato) and yet genious of Incantaions again. Whatever is said about TB1 or Ommadawn this album is a true zenith but came out a year or two late and disappeared in the punk backlash. You MUST buy it and put it on your IPOD or car stereo - it will eat into your psyche and you will look for similar genious in Oldfield's other work - but alas, to date, you won't find it!
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice combination, 5 Oct 2004
This review is from: Incantations (Audio CD)
As a fan of both Mike Oldfield and Maddy Prior, I'm delighted with the combination herein. Good value album which doesn't really show its age much, while still a good example of classic Mike Oldfield.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly substandard package - Updated, 12 Aug 2011
By 
S. Byhurst (Horsham, Britain) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
December 2011 Update
I returned my original UK copy of the 'deluxe' Incantations to Amazon and saved up for the Japanese SHM-CD release instead. Although it is expensive, this is the definitive Incantations on CD! The SHM of the CD brings out the life that I thought was missing from the UK release, there is no glitch in Part 4, and the packaging is absolutely superb with a mini version of the original and new sleeves. Why can't we have this quality in the UK? Highly recommended to those of you who have to have the best version (until a 24/192 hi-res download appears that is!).

This review is regarding the 2011 'deluxe' remastered package (bought mid-August 2011). It concentrates on the 2 CDs.

I have always loved Incantations ever since I bought the original vinyl. I find the music beautiful, hypnotic, inspiring. As audio quality has always been important to me I have been waiting for 'the' master of this masterpiece (and a digital master of Pipe Tune which to me has the same magical atmosphere). Therefore, when I saw that the next in the recent issues of remastered versions of Mike Oldfield albums had been released, I immediately ordered it. The previous remasters had been so good I was sure this would be 'the' master I had been hoping for - I was to be very disappointed.

First, the good points (2):
Great new front cover photo.
Great digital masters of singles/b-sides (including Pipe Tune) on CD2.

Now, the bad points (6):
Packaging overall quality worse than the first three deluxe versions.
Thick plastic protecting wrapper replaced by thin peel-off band which took some of the cover with it when I removed it.
The remaster of Incantations' four parts sounds 'warmer', but this has only been achieved at the expense of filtering out a lot of the top treble end. For a recording which uses a lot of instruments that have a lot of high frequency content, this takes out a lot of the energy and makes the music sound dull to those of us familiar with the original.
The glitch in part four is totally unforgiveable - don't record companies have quality control anymore?
For some reason Guilty on CD1 is a slowed-down version and again the mix is no great improvement.
The remixes on CD2, while interesting, are not well done, with badly edited beginnings and endings, and totally inappropriate things being added, like the voice synthesizer on Desiderata.

I am not reviewing the surround mixes/DVD as I didn't buy this item for these.

Overall it just feels to me that very little time was spent on producing this package. Most of it says to me 'let's just get this released as quickly as possible, spending as little money and time on it as possible'. It gave me part of what I wanted (some of the tracks on CD2) but anyone thinking of buying this needs to think carefully after reading these reviews. For me the definitive master is still the 2000 HDCD version.

As others have said on here "what a shame" and Universal should indeed be shamed into recalling this CD package and producing one that actually does live up to the 'Deluxe' name.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars one of his best, 3 Aug 2011
By 
Mr. H "Mr H" (Embra) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This was album number four from Mike Oldfield, which was originally released in November 1978 as a double album. The original comprised four parts, 'Incantations Parts 1 - 4', and although primarily a one man band, saw contributions from David Bedford. Gong percussionist Pierre Moerlen, Sally and Terry Oldfield, and Maddy Prior, who provided vocals on 'The Song of Hiawatha'. The lyrics to that were taken from Longfellow's "The Song of Hiawatha", and the lyrics in 'Part Four' are Ben Jonson's "Ode to Cynthia" from Cynthia's Revels.

This latest reissue (it was remastered and reissued in 2000) sees the remastering overseen by Oldfield, and the package contain rare material, and, as with the earlier reissues of "Tubular Bells", "Hergest Ridge" and "Ommadawn", a brand new 5.1 mix by Mike Oldfield, as well as footage from his 1979 concert tour. There's also room for his 1979 single, 'Guilty', which saw Oldfield recording a disco single in New York! Much to the horror of many.

Now I haven't heard this album since about 1980, so I'm not going to go into the excruciating detail that the more obsessive Oldfield fanboys will. Suffice to say, that it's one of his best, especially 'Part 4', which is quite stunning. It saw him utilising a small orchestra, and it's minimalist approach has more in common with modern classical music than it does anything resembling rock, although there are a good few proggy moments. However, it takes some patience, something I have more of nowadays than I did back when I first heard it. The repeating motifs make a lot more sense to me now, and I can appreciate the fine details of the arrangements.

The 5.1 mix is wasted on my ears, but the second disc of rare material was a bit of an ear opener, with some really excellent tunes dotted around. It just went to show that he was still on a roll at the time. The concert material isn't the most engaging you'll ever see, but as it was his first concert tour, it's of historical value, and is musically excellent. I did notice some overly sensitive whingers talking about a jump on Part 4, but Universal Music say "The new re-master of Incantations is faithful to the original analogue master tape. These tapes included an edit point at 12:37 on Part 4 of Incantations which can be discerned as a small jump in the track." So there you go.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars only 34 mins of new 5.1 surround mixed, 28 July 2011
By 
The whole total time of Incantations should be more than 75 mins, now you got only 34 mins in DVD (disc 3) 5.1 surround mixed, somethings gone wrong in this released.
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Incantations
Incantations by Mike Oldfield (Audio CD - 2000)
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