on 30 October 2013
When 'Crisis' first appeared in the spring of 1983, it presented a hard fought struggle by Mike Oldfield to develop a set of songs that were both appealing to his loyal fans as well as deliver some commercial appeal to the record buying public. And in recognition all over again of these ideals, we have here (in my humble opinion) the best remaster in the "Oldfield" deluxe series. Here is the full track listing:
1. Crisis (20:57) 2013 Remaster
2. Moonlight Shadow (3:38) 2013 Remaster
3. In High Places (3:33) 2013 Remaster
4. Foreign Affair (3:53) 2013 Remaster
5. Taurus 3 (2:25) 2013 Remaster
6. Shadow on the Wall (3:10) 2013 Remaster
7. Moonlight Shadow (3:35) Unplugged Mix. April 2013 Mix by Mike Oldfield (Previously Unreleased)
8. Shadow on the Wall (3:21) Unplugged Mix. May 2013 Mix by Mike Oldfield (Previously Unreleased)
9. Mistake (2:56) A Side Single, 2013 Remaster
10. Crime of Passion (4:10) Extended Version, 2013 Remaster
11. Jungle Gardenia (2:46) A & B Sides of single, 2013 Remaster
12. Moonlight Shadow (5:15) 12" Single / Extended Version, 2013 Remaster
13. Shadow on the Wall (5:09) 12" Single / Extended Version, 2013 Remaster
Crisis Tour, Live at Wembley Arena, 22 July 1983 (Previously Unreleased)
1. Taurus 1 (9:14)
2. Taurus II (23:08)
3. Crisis (23:15)
4. Moonlight Shadow (5:28)
5. Shadow on the Wall (6:26)
6. Family Man (4:14)
All original artwork can be found in this CD remaster, together with an informative book and some extra images of Mike Oldfield and reproduction of some concert tickets and posters.
My only criticism is that the b-side of Moonlight Shadow (7" and 12" UK Singles) which was called 'Rite of Man' has been totally forgotten and left off this remastered edition. Great shame. 'Rite of Man' (2:21) should have surely been included??
Great to find a remastered version of Moonlight Shadow 12" Single (Ext Version) on this CD. This was released in the UK in May 1983 and reached number 3 in the charts. The serial number for the original 12" was VS 58 612 - I still have it! and in its famous cover that was a man looking out to sea (i.e. a blown up image from the cover of the 'Crisis' LP). I played this extended version at a party recently and everyone was singing... we all remember the super video and Maggie Reilly sitting and singing in that hat!
Note to all Vangelis fans, Jon Anderson's vocals sound amazing on 'In High Places.'
Good to hear for the first time, the concert at Wembley Arena. It took place smack in the middle of the success of 'Moonlight Shadow' and boosted the album sales for sure. The crowd are right behind Mike Oldfield and Co.
A word about 'Jungle Gardenia' - what a wonderful recording this was and remains. Again this is a highlight of the 30th anniversary edition of 'Crisis.' 'Jungle Gardenia' was released in 1984 as a single - Sad that it is only just over 2 minutes long - I hope that an extended version can be found in the vaults or someway of remixing this to extend it... the remaster is excellent here.
For many years, a CD version of 'Crisis' was hard to get. We now have a very fine, remastered, quality 30th anniversary release of one of Mike's greatest albums. When the history of Mike Oldfield is written, the biographer will be kind regarding 'Crisis' - it certainly remains a milestone for Mike Oldfield.
on 9 September 2013
This is the third purchase for me on CD the original Virgin transfer was pretty poor then we got the HDCD master which was pretty good. Now we have this set. The difference here to the Deluxe version, is you get the DVD 5.1 DTS mix of the album which has been omitted from the basic deluxe version (but no reduction of price).
Crises came a year after Five miles out where Mike Oldfield seemed to re discover his mojo after the disappointing sales of both QE2 and Platinum. Crises with the help of the hit single Moonlight Shadow became Oldfield's most successful album since Tubular Bells, and the title track , gave a nod to that first album, with a slight re visit to that album. Crisis has been re-mastered again but this time by Oldfield, and in this package you do get a lot of bonus tracks including crime of passion which was always for me a great track, you get the 12" version of moonlight shadow and also a demo of the track as well.
The single mistake is also featured as an extra although it was included on the American issue. Then you get two live Cd'S of the Crises concert, the second disc is the same as the Deluxe version, but CD 2 has part one of Tubular bells, part three of incantations amongst others.
Then you get two DVD's the first is concert footage and promos from the time also a nice bit of Moonlight Shadow from top of the pops, and the promos for Moonlight shadow and Crime of passion.
The final disc is the album re-mixed in 5.1 either Dolby digital or DTS. The mix is quite a different sound to the original stereo album, track one Crises sounds pretty spectacular in places, and still is one of Oldfield's better latter long compositions. Moonlight Shadow appears to take elements form the 12" version making it sound quite different from the version on the original album. Foreign affair, sounds very beautiful as does in high places. Shadow on the wall is really brilliant and just give the mix room to breath.I would go as far to say I think this version is pretty spectacular and makes full use of the five channels. However the downer is that considering you normally get the DVD mix of the album with the basic deluxe this is quite an expensive package at £35, but for a fan its great, perhaps the Christmas list would be where to place it. All in all I was not disappointed, but I have to knock one star off for the price,and considering the 5.1 mix should be made available with the normal deluxe package.
on 21 March 2001
It is unusual for an artist to have produced so many albums which maintain the quality that Mike's have. This is no exception. It has a kind of addictive electronic charm. It begins in tubular bells territory with a reprisal of the famous 'Exorcist' piece. Yet with a kind up of uplifting twist.
It has an urban feel but a laid back one at that. The electronic feel at points adds a futuristic air. This is Mike and we should trust him. The first half is typical Oldfield. The second is more in the realm of rock music. Which is simply superb. The radio-loved track of Moonlight Shadow is the spotlight stealer.
Know it, love it. The other tracks are also of a high caliber with the instrumental Taurus 3 also grabbing the listener with its flamenco guitar!
No kidding, this is good stuff
on 13 January 2014
this album stands as good as any other Mike Olfdield album, from Tubular Bells onwards. Thet titletrack, a mere 20 minutes during suite, is just like that, while the shorter songs, sung by Maggie O'Reilly, Roger Chapman and Jon Anderson give the whole a new dimension, a pleasure to listen to. "Taurus 3" is a new instrumental, not so much al sequel of the earlier songs by that title, with spanish guitarplay. Extra are earlier recordings of "Moonlight Shadow" and "Shadow on the Wall" as well as longer versions, plus the single "Crime of Passion", sung by Barry Palmer, a good voice, and "Jungle Gardenia", another instrumental. But then comes the odd thing, inside the booklet is a photo of the picturedisc/single "Moonlight Shadow" with a B-side "Rite of Man" but this song is not included in this package. Other songs omitted from this session are "Bones" and "In the Pool". Hopefully on the Deluxe version of "Discovery", a further collaboration with Simon Philips as drummer/producer, who was also responsible for the production of "Rite of Man".
on 12 May 2016
For me, I think this is Mike Oldfields's best studio album- even better than tubular bells! The deluxe edition is really rather good with plenty of extra material and worth the money- much preffered to Ommadawn.
on 2 September 2013
I'll add to this review as I work my way through the box.
As far as the package goes - it comes in an actual box, with a removable lid. There's a little satin "bookmark" in it, which is well over the top given the spartan contents. You get five discs (3 CD, 2 DVD). There's also a hardback "book". I put that in quotes because the "book" is only 32 pages long. Of those 32 pages, 22 are various pictures of memorabilia and of Mike, leaving only 10 pages for text. A little underwhelming. The box feels empty, if I'm honest.
Each CD/DVD comes in a card sleeve, and all covers are identical (close up of the moon from the cover art). The back of the sleeves list the tracks etc.
I'm not going to go into whether it's "better" than the previous release I have (the original CD release). I think we're at a point where we tend to have our own personal preferences, and too many offer up opinions as though they're definitive dictates. I will say that to me the music is more detailed, and yes louder. Not blown out, though. I heard little bits of guitar I'd never heard before, and some hi-hat's I'd missed previously. For me, it's very good (it's a new 2013 master, by the way).
This CD includes some extra tracks, including two additional versions of Moonlight Shadow and Shadow on the Wall. The first of these are "unplugged", which essentially means it's a play through of the album track with everything other than Oldfield's acoustic guitar taken out. Does it work? Not particularly well, imo. We get the same treatment for Shadow on the Wall - and in reality that fares even less well, really highlighting how idiosyncratic the vocal performance is.
Along with these we get a single - Mistake. Mistake was on the US pressing of the original vinyl, and for me it's a bit too similar to Moonlight Shadow, with none of the charm. We also have the single Crime of Passion, and that's much better. It's B side, Jungle Gardenia, is also included.
Finally we have the 12" versions of Moonlight Shadow and Shadow on the Wall. These are good actually, coming in at around two minutes additional running time. You'd think you'd not want to hear a third version of each of these on this disc, but they're such good songs they never seem to get old.
All in all a nice CD, and the sound quality is good. Only four more discs to go....
CD2 & CD3: Live at Wembley Arena 22nd July 1983
The next two discs are the complete live show from 1983. The first of these (CD2) contains tracks from Five Miles Out, Ommadawn, and Tubular Bells (which also contains the band intro's). CD 3 includes the Crisis material, with the title track in complete form, with Moonlight Shadow and Shadow on the Wall along for the ride too. It also has a complete Taurus and Family Man. CD 3 is included as the second disc of the two-disc version of this release (giving you the original album with the 2013 master, and the live material for Crisis). CD 2 is exclusive to this set (I believe those who buy MP3's can get the extra stuff though).
All that said - what of the concert? Well, sound quality is generally good. Some personal preference comes into play here. Some expect live recordings to be as pristine as studio recordings, even if that means some post dubbing. Others accept the recording is "live", and so may include imperfections and slight differences. Since this was professionally recorded at the time for a proposed release that never happened, overall quality is very good - this is NOT a bootleg quality disc. On the other hand, it sounds very "live". Sometimes instruments drop out, and the vocals aren't stellar (especially Roger Chapman on Shadow on the Wall). Even Moonlight Shadow suffers during the first few moments with a weak vocal mix. The music doesn't expand at all, it's pretty much the album played live, but since a lot of these tracks are 20+ minutes long, they are through composed, so that's not a surprise.
Is the concert good? Yes, it is. I'm happy to have it. Those buying the two disc version are being short-changed, since they only get half the show. Not only that, but it's probably the weaker half truth be told. Just keep in mind, this is live in capital letters - it's LIVE. So it's not perfect, it's very "real". Pristine quality and perfection is not on offer - and for me, neither it should be.
More to come.....
on 24 February 2008
The last movement of Track 1, lasting about 8 mins, is an onslaught of a piece of music. When I first heard it, back in 1985, I was blown away. And today, in 2008, I still haven't heard anything that comes up to par. Intricate Oldfield layers wave upon wave in an electronic soundscape, combining his unique guitar shrill, that is breathtaking in its conception, structure and execution - and all driven along by the mesmerising force of Simon Phillips on drums. I don't know how many times I've heard it, yet it simply doesn't date. Indeed, this piece will always live in the future. The man truly is a genius. Yes, he's had a few duffs, but then all people of genius will. Then, when you least expect it, they come up with a gem that blows your socks off.
And in case you think the word 'genius' gets banded around too easily, go check The Songs of Distant Earth. For all his issues, the man is blessed. Thanks, Mike - for coming up with music to dream to.
on 18 May 2014
This CD is one of the best of Mike Oldfield with vocals at this stage. The songs are more in the New Age style, but not without the finesse and skill of Mike Oldfield with the instruments and their diversity. This Deluxe version features bonus versions of the original úsicas and disc 2 with live performance. I recommend to anyone who is a fan and enjoys the work of Mike. Note 8.0. Very Good!
Crises is my favourite of Mike Oldfield's eighties CDs. As with its direct predecessor, it contains one long piece which took up the whole of the first side of the original vinyl and a set of shorter tracks, five in this case, on the second side. The shorter songs on the earlier albums were often a lot weaker than the longer pieces. Partly that was because Oldfield's musical style was not transferring well to shorter pieces but also, the lyrics were often quite dire.
Experience clearly helped a lot but also collaboration with other musicians. On Crises, the most notable name is Jon Anderson of Yes who is creditied with lyrics and vocals on one song "In High Places" which really sounds as though it could have come from a contemporary Yes album.
The opening track, "Crises" is classic Oldfield music and in places harks back to his first album "Tubular Bells" so fans will reconise the motifs and see how he takes them forwards in a more rock based style.
Moonlight Shadow is Oldfield's finest short song. The great lyrics of this dark lament really give Maggie Reilly a proper showcase for her fine voice. Also, on this track we get to find out that Oldfield really can play a proper blues style guitar sole. It's one of those songs that everyone has heard which stays with you for a long time.
This is probably the best introduction to Oldfield's later output for anyone who knows him only as the "Tubular Bells" man.
on 8 September 2013
You may be a returning Oldfield fan or altogether new to Crises, so is the remaster worthy of the spend out and what of the musical content?
First to the remastering; we definitely have more volume this time round and so the music jumps from the speakers. To be fair though, my hi-fi does have a volume control and the boosted sound comes with a compromise. Yes you may catch a few more details but they were there already if you listened carefully enough. I think this a more cluttered mix. Everything is loud so there is no dynamic to the sound. Previous releases had space and subtlety, a major strength of Oldfield's. Crises seems to have become a victim of the so called loudness war.
Some may prefer the remastering so what about the music? Well of course it's great. There are nods to Tubular Bells, but they're not too obvious. This is perhaps Oldfield's most synthy work from this era but as always the melodies come first, if nothing else Oldfield is a master of the catchy tune. Since Ommadawn we'd always been treated to some very interesting percussion work with every release and with Simon Phillips on board we get an onslaught of power drumming and it's great.
The extras don't really cut the mustard for me this time and again we've been denied a classic b-side with the exclusion of Rite of Man. We're given the 12" versions of Moonlight Shadow and Shadow on the Wall of which the Oldfield faithful will already have. The unplugged mixes of these songs are little more than interesting though it's great to hear the banjo on the latter track really brought to the forefront. The redeeming feature of the whole release however, is the tremendous live disc. Instrumental tracks Taurus I and II and Crises are rocky, playful and inventive, they are worth the money alone. The songs don't fare so well in my opinion but it's great to hear an improvisational edge to Oldfield's soloing and of course Roger Chapman joins in on Family Man, well he had to didn't he!?
I must add a footnote about a much more recent album I know some of the Oldfield faithful are discovering. It's called Mohribold and was recorded by Andrew Taylor (google it!). If you like Crises or any of Mike's early albums you will love Mohribold and with such little new music coming from the old maestro we all need a fix of something to fill the hole where a new Oldfield album should go!