6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A MIXED BAG, BUT WORTH THE PRICE,
By A Customer
This review is from: Mike Oldfield Platinum (Audio CD)
This record marked the beginning of a more approachable, down-to-earth Oldfield. As it is often the case with this artist, the sublime stands side by side with the awful.
The first piece (all the first side of the original LP) is the four-part suite "Platinum", one of the most lively and direct music Mike had composed until then. Here you can find the repetitive structures Mike is so fond of, but also an energy and lightness that also benefited the music. While the pomp of former days is mostly absent, the piece dances and rocks in Mike's particularly arch way. Mostly it works. The finale of the suite is a cover of "North Star" by Philip Glass (if you have listened to "Incantations" you won't be surprised by this).Mike has always mixed his own musical ideas with those of Glass, Terry Riley or Ennio Morricone to good effect.
"Woodhenge" is a really fine atmospheric piece, with percussive elements being progressively added until the entrance of Mike's unmistakable guitar (yeah, one note and you know it can only be him). From this point on, things start to get worse. First you get the unbearably twee "Sally" (or "Into Wonderland", as it is known), the trite "Punkadiddle" (supposed to be a joke on punk rock - though its humour escapes me) and a cover of Gershwin's standard "I Got Rhythm", arranged in a way one can only call "peculiar" (this version has its admirers too, though). For the whole of the "Platinum suite" and "Woodhenge" this record is well worth your time.
The remastering is fine, no quibbles about it, but the liner notes confuse you rather than inform you. They talk about the song "Sally" (the "gorilla song" that appeared only in the first vinyl pressings) as if it actually was on the CD (it isn't! what you get is the usual "Sally-Into Wonderland"),and then they mention Philip Glass as the actual arranger of the "Platinum suite" (I don't think he was, although Kurt Muncaksi of Glass fame is involved in the record). A final warning: when Platinum was first released on CD format, it had 8 tracks, but the leaflet only mentioned 5. Did you expect things to be corrected in this newly remastered edition? Of course not! The same mistake!