Mike Oldfield - A Life Dedicated to Music Hardcover – 25 May 2013
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About the Author
Chris Dewey is the Editor of Mike Oldfield's fan magazine and has worked directly with Mike Oldfield, Virgin Records, EMI, WEA, Universal Music, Mike's managers, promoters, guest musicians, producers, engineers and personal assistants since founding the not-for-profit Dark Star in 1986. Chris is married with two children and lives in the United Kingdom. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
I would have given it four stars if it wasn't for the price.
Drawing on a wealth of information gathered in his 27 years of producing fanzines, including interviews with the musicians and people that have been close to Oldfield throughout his career, Chris tells Mike Oldfield's amazing story like never before. From his early childhood to the release of his groundbreaking debut album Tubular Bells in 1973. Then on through the years until his stellar surprise performance at the 2012 Olympic opening ceremony. There are other sources of information too and are used to great advantage to add further interesting anecdotes.
I found the book read less like a regular biography and more like a documentary, but it still managed to give the reader a fantastic insight into Mike Oldfield's vast career. The book is also very well illustrated with many rare and wonderful photographs, from professional sources and devoted fans. There is also great artwork featured by various fans throughout.
Towards the end of the book is an extensive appendix section covering all kinds of extra information ranging from discographies, tourographies and rare collectables. Which also proves to be an essential reference guide in its own right.
All in all an essential book for any Mike Oldfield fan, and a splendid companion to Oldfield's back catalogue of work.
Imagine the level of fawning over an artist you get in a cheap fanzine, interspersed with huge numbers of personal reminiscences from the author which are of little to no interest to anyone else (example sentence - "Neither my cousin nor my friend Chris were great fans, but both loved the album...") - well, that's what you get here, but spread out over 200 pages. On top of that, it is illustrated with the sort of dreadful "pencil sketch of the artist I currently have a crush on" pictures that get sent in to fanzines by teenage girls. That anyone can have the sheer front to charge the price being asked for this book (vanity publishing, anyone?) for writing of such low quality beggars belief.
There are a few interesting insights into Oldfield, mainly quoted from interviews, that I hadn't read before - but not many. The pages at the back with a comprehensive list of rarities and unreleased tracks are really the only part of the book worth reading. Sean Moraghan's "Mike Oldfield - A Man And His Music" - a book which has been soundly criticised in the past by Oldfield fans - is orders of magnitude better than this effort, in terms of writing style, content and value for money - I strongly recommend buying that instead.
To be honest, I do feel somewhat unkind laying into what is clearly one man's labour of love, but on the other hand, I'm a customer who has paid an enormous sum of money for a book, and I expected something professional as a result.
Chris's writing style makes it very interesting and easy to read; I'm not a big reader of books (I much prefer writing and recording my own music, inspired by Mike's approach of course) and very easily lose interest in sticking with a book, but I actually read this within 24 hours...the ultimate compliment to its style in my view! There are lots of great insights into the music and the inspiration behind it - the bit that sticks in my mind is Rick Fenn's recollections of the 80s tours and the point where they nearly lost their lives (the inspiration behind 'Five Miles Out').
This hardback book is quite pricey but that's due to the independent costs of producing it. Chris Dewey is the editor of Dark Star, the official Mike Oldfield magazine and internet site and has unrivalled experience of meeting and dealing with the musical maestro over the years. I've subscribed to the magazine since its early days and this is his best work yet. He writes from a fan's perspective but at no time is her sycophantic. Mike has also read the book and approved its content and publication.
An absolute must purchase for the Oldfield fan...even better as a present for them for a special occasion!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Well, I managed to get to the end of the book and found the appendices, two of which were pretty interesting. As for the main body, no. Oh no. No no no no. Read morePublished 13 months ago by raskolnikof
A nice item, mainly collected from back issues of Dark Star so if you have not collected them it will be of great interest to Mike fans. Read morePublished on 19 July 2014 by pauln50
I have been an avid Mike Oldfield fan since Tubular Bells and this book certainly fills a gap. Mike's autobiography "Changeling" was a great read and tells us a lot about... Read morePublished on 30 April 2014 by Jonquin
Just finished reading this tonight and have to say that it is well worth a purchase. Written with care and love for the music of this most underrated musician this book is full of... Read morePublished on 20 Mar. 2014 by Mr. David Collopy
I bought this book at the TB 40th anniversary celebration in Reading this year.. July 2013. We met the author & so I also had the book signed by him. Read morePublished on 25 Nov. 2013 by SarahThorne
Chris Dewey's book has introduced me to some great music - thank you! I was a newcomer to Mike Oldfield's work when I started to read this, and adding the soundtrack alongside the... Read morePublished on 17 Nov. 2013 by Steven
To all us long suffering Mike Oldfield Fans this book is a must, as it fills in the gaps over the years.Published on 4 Oct. 2013 by Amazon Customer
This book is a well written, entertaining mixture of insight into Oldfield's career together with personal authorial anecdote. Read morePublished on 17 Sept. 2013 by Dr Drum