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Ommadawn CD+DVD, Deluxe Edition, Box set
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Originally released in November 1975, Ommadawn remains one of Oldfield’s favourite works. Recorded at his then home at Hergest Ridge, it again took the form of two lengthy suites of music, but with the addition of Irish and African influences. The album features folk legends Clodagh Simons and Paddy Moloney, as well as African drummers, Jabula. The album, with its new 2010 mix by Oldfield himself, also contains the original demo, thought lost and the perennial Christmas favourite, "In Dulce Jubilo".
The bonus DVD features 5.1 surround sound mixes by Oldfield and the original promo videos for "In Dulci Jubilo" and "Portsmouth".
Top Customer Reviews
Oldfield's remix sounds crystal clear and is interesting to fans in that it reveals layers of the texture, consisting of a myriad overdubs that were Oldfield's trademark at the time. Ommadawn utilized many overdubbed guitars, often fed through harmonising effects units, to create scintillating textures, rendering each instrument almost unrecognisable within the texture. These days all you need is a decent synth patch to produce the same effect, so in the new mix Oldfield has chosen to focus on details within textures. Sometimes I found this disruptive, but never at a loss to my enjoyment. It is like hearing a very good live interpretation of a well known classic. In general, Oldfield opts here for a warmer, more three dimensional sound.
The liner notes are excellent, although I was disappointed by the occasional error -"In dulci jubilo" and "Througham Slad" are misspelt throughout. However, the inclusion of the lost version of Ommadawn more than makes up for this.Read more ›
First of all it looks splendid - a three disk set (2xCD, 1xDVD) in a cardboard case protected by a thick plastic sleeve, and even the David Bailey artwork seems to have been given a bit of attention. The booklet is definitely worth a read, telling the story of the making of the album, in which several interesting snippets are revealed, such as that part two of "Ommadawn" was written and recorded in a week, and the overwhelming wall of guitars at the start is made up of 1,984 tracks! I was surprised to find a typo in the credits ("purcussion") but that aside it's an enjoyable read.
But what of the music? For me, "Ommadawn" was always far more consistent than "Tubular Bells" - for me that one tailed off badly in the second part - and is altogether a more pastoral sounding record, almost folky in places. It's a wonderful piece of music, eerie in parts due to the female vocals, powerful in others, particularly the last eight minutes or so when the African drums come in and Mike opens up with the guitar. The 2010 mix sounds great, some small details finally rising from the murk (drums in the "reggae" section which I'd never heard before) and by the end I was reaching for the play button once again to have another go. Part two isn't quite as good, dominated by drone-like guitars and uilleann pipes for long sections, but is still excellent in its own right, particularly the jaunty section at the end.Read more ›
In the past few years a number of acts have proclaimed themselves to be the first to produce Afro/Celtic fusion, but go back to 1976 and you will find that this album predates them all.
From its simple harp intro, Ommadawn builds up to a powerful guitar finale - and that's part one. I would agree with a previous reviewer that the final eight minutes or so of Part 1 are the finest eight minutes I have heard in my lifetime, as yet unrivalled.
A simple but enjoyable folk song completes the album. One of Oldfield's finest works. Another point to remember is that if you look at his first three albums - TB was a sort of rock album, Hergest Ridge was a sort of light classical, Ommadawn is different again. Each album has the Oldfield style, yet each is so removed from the other. Not many artists can pull off such radically different albums, especially now.
The 5.1 mix for me was exceptional and very enjoyable. It has been done subtly; unlike the 2003 tubular bells merry go round. The rear speakers are used very well with vocal chords and strings with the main instruments coming from the front. Occasionally you may get duplicate sound in the rear speakers to complement the front giving the listener more emersion. Funnily enough criticism 1 above isn't evident at all in this mix; however point 2 and 3 still stands.
Overall this is a must have for any Oldfield fan, great care has been taken on this and though there are 3 points I have raised they don't detract too much from the experience.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Superb. this is my forth copy of this music, worn the rest outPublished 2 months ago by Marc Lawrence
mike oldfield is one of those artists you either love or hate for me i love this album it came after hugest ridge which was released in 1974 after tubluaar bells in 1973. Read morePublished 5 months ago by eddie wadsworth
It has and always will be a classic. I never get bored of it. ExelentPublished 6 months ago by Mr. S. G. Clarkson