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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr Oldfield's rock songs
By a stroke of good luck Mr Oldfield was asked to perform at the 2012 Olympics and this release reflects a burst of energy and it certainly comes across that all had a good time making this. It is beautifully reflective in parts; Dreaming in the Wind is particularly good and the upbeat Moonshine is one of Mike's catchiest songs to date. It certainly isn't Tubular Bells...
Published 5 months ago by Ben P

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing
What a huge disappointment. Would i buy and listen to this kind of music if it was not Mike Oldfield? NO i would NOT.
Like other people have said, its dull, boring and quite simplistic. Chris De Burgh can write better songs than this!!! The Instrumental CD is even worse. The only reason i can think this was added was to pull in true Oldfield fans who love his...
Published 4 months ago by Andy


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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr Oldfield's rock songs, 8 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Man On The Rocks (Audio CD)
By a stroke of good luck Mr Oldfield was asked to perform at the 2012 Olympics and this release reflects a burst of energy and it certainly comes across that all had a good time making this. It is beautifully reflective in parts; Dreaming in the Wind is particularly good and the upbeat Moonshine is one of Mike's catchiest songs to date. It certainly isn't Tubular Bells and if you liked Moonlight Shadow and those vocal tracks on Discovery, then this may be up your street. Luke Spiller puts in a great performance too.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Disappointing, 7 April 2014
By 
Andy (UK Wickwar) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Man On The Rocks (Audio CD)
What a huge disappointment. Would i buy and listen to this kind of music if it was not Mike Oldfield? NO i would NOT.
Like other people have said, its dull, boring and quite simplistic. Chris De Burgh can write better songs than this!!! The Instrumental CD is even worse. The only reason i can think this was added was to pull in true Oldfield fans who love his instrumental work because how many other song writers create a 'karaoke' CD, to go with their album.
I can't deny that MO has written some great vocal songs in the distant past but he should stick to doing what he does best. He played Tubular Bells at the opening ceremony for the Olympics not 'Make Make' from 'Heavens Open'
For me i believe, Mike Oldfield, like most talented musicians, have gone through different phases. He has done fantastic music up to and including 'The Killing Fields' then going up and down hill. It would not have been so bad if he had done an album like 'Islands' where it's half vocal half intrumental.
I believe that 'Music of the Spheres' & 'Tubular Bells III' were very good albums but the last decent album was 'The Songs of Distant Earth' For me that album just feels complete, where it all seems to come together. But sadly 'Man on the Rocks' is very distant indeed.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!, 6 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Man On The Rocks (Audio CD)
I took a chance and ordered this album on the strength of the single, "Sailing". I must admit, I had my fingers crossed, 'cos I've been caught out before! On this occasion, however, I'm so glad I took a chance. What a cracking album! I should say at this point that I am a 50 something whose favorite era in music is the 70's, particularly rock and pop. If your tastes are similar, you are going to love this album. From the first track, the a fore-mentioned "Sailing", through "Man on the Rocks", "Dreaming in the Wind", "Irene" and "I Give Myself Away", all cracking tracks in their own right! Luke Spiller's vocals are brilliant, Mike Oldfield's guitar playing superb, production overall wonderful. The only thing I can find to criticize - I don't like cardboard CD covers!
Seriously, just buy this album! It's the best!
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't judge after the first listen, 8 Mar 2014
This review is from: Man On The Rocks (Audio CD)
After the first listen I liked 3 songs and thought the album was garbage. After some subsequential listens, other songs started to grow on me, and after 6 days owning the album, I love it. Don't judge after the first listen, it needs more chance. Great vocal album, Mike, now time for a long complex instrumental on your new Mac Pro! 😃
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Welcome back Mike!, 11 Mar 2014
By 
Lee Thomas (South Tyneside, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Man On The Rocks (Audio CD)
5 years after the release of the amazing 'Music Of The Spheres' I thought, as many other fans did, that Mike had released his final album and hung up his guitar for good. Then in 2013 and just after his stellar performance at the 2012 Olympic games opening ceremony he announces a fully vocal rock themed album.

This was not welcome news to some die hard fans, but this album is by no means another 'Earth Moving'

Instead what we have here is 11 tracks, (10 original Oldfield compositions and 1 cover song) featuring some of his finest and most powerful guitar solos ever. The vocals are sung equally as powerful by the wonderful newcomer Luke Spiller from the band 'The Struts' I'd myself hadn't heard of him, but I personally think he is one of the finest singers Mike has ever recorded with. His singing I found is like a mixture of Freddie Mercury, Mick Jagger and Bryan Ferry.

The songs on the album range from a happy light feel to a more darker and serious mood, via some beautiful mellow dreamy moments. It is like the vocal equivalent to 'Light And Shade'. A very mixed bag of pop, rock and chill out.

Lighter moments being Sailing, Moonshine, Minutes, Following The Angels and I Give Myself Away.
Darker moments being Man On The Rocks, Castaway, Nuclear, Chariots and Irene
Mellow moments being Dreaming In The Wind.

All 11 songs are well structured and many of them build to a beautiful soaring climax, highlights being the wonderful title track and Castaway.

I personally loved all the songs. But if I had to pick a weakest track, it would certainly be 'Following The Angels', an OK track I thought, but nowhere near as strong as the other 10 songs on the album. Which is ironic as it is about Mike's thoughts and feelings playing at the Olympic opening ceremony, which is what sparked him off recording music again.

As a die hard Mike Oldfield fan, I found the album to be a slight departure from his older albums but Oldfield has always been one to reinvent himself over the years and this album is no exception. I personally don't care if its not a multi-instrumental. If you buy the 2 disc deluxe version, you get the non-vocal instrumental versions on there. These should please fans of his older works as they work and sound really well without the vocals. It actually makes for a whole different listening experience.

I'll conclude with: Man On The Rocks features some of Mike's best songs ever recorded complete with some of his most beautiful and powerfully emotional guitar solos. Luke Spiller is a wonderful singer and I hope Mike hires him again. There is plenty of Mike Oldfield on this album despite it being a vocal album and he features on this one more than he did on the equally wonderful 'Music Of The Spheres'

Man On The Rocks is a welcome return for Mike Oldfield and hopefully the start of a new era of musical output from the great man.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anyone recalls: HEALTH WARNING – This record could be hazardous to the health of cloth-eared..., 21 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Man On The Rocks (Audio CD)
... it is not for background music. The more you listen, the more you hear!

Over the years (too many to count yet?) Mike Oldfield has shown the world his musical versatility. He is one of the greatest composers and musicians of the ages.
Over forty years after creating Tubular Bells and a five year pause after his last work The Music Of The Spheres, he now is presenting to us ten new songs plus a cover of a gospel.
For individuals needing categories: it would be rock music. The various songs represent a range of styles that some might feel the need to liken to certain bands (Rolling Stones, U2). Careful listeners however will be treated to music that is unlike anything else in this world. It is uniquely Mike Oldfield; brilliantly composed and finely handcrafted by the cosmic talent.
All he songs feature Mike's wonderful guitar play, in most: building up to a cathartic solo.
As Mike has frequently done before, he again enlists a lead vocalist, Luke Spiller (of the Struts. Do look them up!) to sing the lyrics. As Mike has always done: he picked an awesome singer to complement the music.
Again, some will be compelled to liken Luke to great talents like Freddy Mercury, but the comparison is redundant. Luke Spiller's performance stands on it's own merit.
Last, but not least: There is a "Deluxe" edition of this album that includes a second disc, the instrumental version. The music without the vocals my be targeted for devoted Mike Oldfield friends only but I highly recommend the 2CD option it to anyone. There is nothing wrong with the vocal version, but the music and play are so magical, it's just a pleasure listening to the instrumental version in it's purity.
I will need a second CD rack for my Mike Oldfield collection now and I'm looking forward to filling it in the next forty years!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His Creativity Continues Apace, 6 Mar 2014
This review is from: Man On The Rocks (Audio CD)
Known for his incredible ability to compose in a multitude of styles and genres, Oldfield unleashes a powerful new recording of sublime guitar solos, a mixture of rock, blues and even celtic-tinged tracks, all accompanied by The Strut's Luke Spiller, who is able to adapt his vocal style to meet the demands of each style of song. From the opening track, 'Sailing' which is heavily featured on Radio 2's A-List at present and is the carefree and catchy mainstream set-piece, through to some powerful Rock numbers like 'Castaway' with Oldfield's trademark wailing electric guitar, and 'Chariots' with some crunchy guitar and Bluesy Organ chords. My personal highlight is 'Moonshine' a hugely uplifting and gently building track with a terrific prolonged guitar riff that leads us through to the aforementioned Celtic section which breaks through to a gloriously celebratory guitar solo that is unmistakably Oldfield.

In summary, these are 11 brilliantly crafted and produced songs that act as a testimony to fact that Mike Oldfield is one of Britain's most diverse, creative and gifted composers, whether that be of 50-odd minute instrumental works or standard format commercial songs. Here's to another chart hit - and well deserved!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good job Mike, 11 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Man On The Rocks (Audio CD)
It's been a long time since his last album and boy he more than made up for it. SAILING was the first single from the album that give us a taste of things to come MOONSHINE gets better the more you hear it MAN ON THE ROCKS the title track is good it makes you want to sit and listen to the whole album and you find yourself singing alone to the songs till you get to the last track I GIVE MYSELF AWAY I felt sad but in a good way so the only way to make me smile again is to play the whole album again and again until I learn the words to CASTAWAY LOL love the album I give it ten stars if I could thank you Mike Oldfield you made my day ......
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 3 Mar 2014
This review is from: Man On The Rocks (Audio CD)
This is the album I was waiting for! The Mike's guitar and Luke's voice make me so moved! I love it!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oldfield Rocks, 3 Mar 2014
By 
Mr. D. K. Smith (South Wales, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Man On The Rocks (Audio CD)
Man on the Rocks is Oldfield's first new release for six years and the news that it would be a vocal album caught many people by surprise. Oldfield has written some classic songs over the years ("Moonlight Shadow", "Shadow on the Wall", "To France") but also some less inspired ones - albums such as Earth Moving sounded like a very tired man looking to extract himself from a record contract with maximum speed.

Whilst Man on the Rocks does sometimes highlight the more workmanlike nature of Oldfield's song-writing (lyrics are a little clunky at times, for example) there's still plenty to enjoy here - particularly Oldfield's guitar-playing.

The title track has a stand-out guitar solo from Oldfield which helps to make it one of the highlights of the album, another noteworthy song is "Castaway", a Queen-tinged track that starts slowly but builds nicely and features another quality Oldfield guitar solo.

Whilst the majority of the album is in rock orientated, there's the odd change of pace, such as the gentle "Following the Angels", which provides a good contrast to some of the rock bombast found elsewhere. Luke Spiller of The Struts handles the vocals, he wasn't someone I was previously familiar with, but he commits to the material and does a very good job.

There are a few missteps, opening track "Sailing" is pleasant but not particularly memorable and "Minutes" is rather throwaway, but overall this is a solid album. If you liked Oldfield's song-writing of the 1980's and early 1990's, then the tracks here will appeal as they could have appeared on any of his albums during that period.

Produced by Stephen Lipson and running for just under an hour, Man on the Rocks has plenty for the Oldfield fan to enjoy. And whilst the two-disc set (disc two featuring instrumentals of the disc one songs) might seem a little superfluous, it's the one to go for - as disc two works quite well as an instrumental album in its own right.
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