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HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 21 November 2014
As I recall an "Ommadawn" in Ireland was a bit of an eejit - a fool - a dunderhead. I don't know if that was Mike Oldfield's intention - but as the South African group JABULA play the final percussive repeated refrain on "Part 1" - Clodagh Simonds of the cult Irish Folk group MELLOW CANDLE sings "Ommadawn ag ceoil..." which roughly translates from the Gaelic into "Fool singing music..."

Along with his first two albums "Tubular Bells" (1973) and "Hergest Ridge" (1974) - 1975's "Ommadawn" was always going to be a DELUXE EDITION contender and Universal have done a wonderful job on this intensely layered masterpiece and firm fan favourite. Here are the Hertfordshire themes...

Released June 2010 - "Ommadawn DELUXE EDITION" is a 2CD/1DVD set on Universal 532 676-1 (Barcode 600753267615) and breaks down as follows:

CD 1 (51:19 minutes)
1. Ommadawn (Part One)
2. Ommadawn (Part Two)/On Horseback [Side 2]
Previously Unreleased 2010 Stereo Mixes by Mike Oldfield of the 1975 album

3. In Dulce Jubilo
A-side of a UK 7" single released October 1976 on Virgin VS 163

4. First Excursion
5. Argiers
6. Portsmouth
Tracks 4 to 6 originally released October 1976 in the UK on the 4LP Box set "Boxed" on Virgin VBOX 1

CD 2 (53:39 minutes):
1. Ommadawn (Part One)
2. Ommadawn (Part Two)/On Horseback
Original 1975 Stereo Mixes. Tracks 1 and 2 issued as the album "Ommadawn" released 25 October 1975 in the UK on Virgin V 2043 and in the USA on Virgin PZ 33913

3. Ommadawn (Lost Version - 1975 Demo)
Previously Unreleased

DVD (All Regions):
1. Ommadawn (Part One)
2. Ommadawn (Part Two)/On Horseback
Tracks 1 and 2 are 2010 5.1 Surround Mixes by Mike Oldfield

VISUAL CONTENT
3. In Dulce Jubilo (Original Promotional Video)
4. Portsmouth (Original Promotional Video)

One of removable stickers you have to cut open criss-crosses the base of the glossy DELUXE EDITION digipak and when opened - you get what were the pictures of the inner sleeve of the original 1975 Virgin Records LP. The 20-page booklet features pictures of Oldfield at his Hertfordshire home where Virgin installed 24-track recording equipment for him, snaps of the huge numbers of instruments he played on the record, a foreign picture sleeve of the "In Dulce Jubilo" single and excellent liner notes from MARK POWELL (including interviews with Oldfield about the difficulties of recording - tapes disintegrating etc). Both MARK POWELL and PASCHAL BYRNE (names who've handled huge amounts of reissues for Universal) did the tape research with Oldfield and Paschal Byrne handling the 24-bit remasters.

The 2010 version is a revelation. Side 1 was always this dense mass of music that felt too packed in some ways - the remaster and remix brings so much more to the fore. There sweet clarity to the acoustic and Spanish guitars and the ethereal vocals floating in the background. And if I re-listen to the 2000 HDCD version for Side 2 where Paddy Maloney's Uilleann Pipes (The Chieftains) come sailing in - the 2010 version has gorgeous depth - making his beautiful air even more spine tingling. It's been decades since I heard the "Boxed" tracks and I'd forgotten how good they actually are - especially the guitars of "First Excursion" sounding like Eno or mellow King Crimson. "Argiers" feels like a Steve Hackett Genesis instrumental circa "Foxtrot" with a Flute added - while "Portsmouth" has only ever annoyed me (and still does). But you have to say that best of all is the 5.1 Surround Mix on the DVD - which I've admittedly only heard once on a mate's system - it's properly amazing - like the Steve Wilson remixes of the Yes and Crimson catalogues. Gotta invest...

After a critical drubbing and overkill backlash for "Hergest Ridge" in 1974 - Oldfield had time to record and build "Ommadawn" from the bottom up. It felt 'accomplished' on release in 1975 and still does to this day.

Nice to hear this 2010 DE remaster give its dense layers that extra oomph. The multi-instrumentalist all-dancing fool rises to play his song once more...and how...
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on 8 July 2015
This is about the 5.1 mix; the Stereo is damned fine.
This must be one of the worst 5.1 mixes I have ever heard. Each and every element of the recording has its moment/channel so you can appreciate just how clever Oldfield was with his creation of Ommadawn. Unfortunatly, all these elements do not gel, all sense of drama has been diluted diluted; the voices are 'there' and 'there' with very little harmony: there is no cohesion to the music. After the 40-odd minutes are over you are left feeling as though you have listened to a "teach yourself multi-tracking" disc, rather than an album of music.
I was very dissapointed!!
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on 6 July 2017
I bought this because I first listened to Mike Oldfield when I was 14 years old. I suppose it was just reminiscing the past. Tubular Bells was the first music piece and then Ommadawn. Ommadawn is music created By mike Oldfield that reaches deep within the soul. You can tell there is something special going on when you get that shiver up the spine with certain pieces of art given to us. Ommadawn does that for me . The man has been given a wonderful gift of music and I am so glad that in this small fragment of life , I got to hear Ommadawn. I believe music is different for everyone, but for me I love this music. Thank you Mike Oldfield and it is great to get it downloaded so quick.
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on 1 February 2017
This album is part of me now, listening to it at the moment of reviewing, never tire of part one such a clever multi layered mix, the 2010 mix is the ice on the cake, so uplifting in parts so meloncholy in others altogether magnificent though, it's hard comparing to return to ommadawn because I have lived with it so long, but I wonder because I also have a great fondness for return to ommadawn maybe who knows I would have preferred it to the original if it was released way back when. But ommadawn is like nothing else
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on 22 July 2017
It's like taking a trip back into a time machine with his deluxe editions. I'm consistently listening to and watching the media available here with exception to the Lost Version. It sounds like Monty Python snuck into the studio and infused their own colourful humour from their famous programme.
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on 7 September 2010
I first came across Mike Oldfield when Crises went out. Back then, it was almost impossible to run away from his 'Moonlight Shadow' hit tune.

However, soon after I started dipping into his earlier era and eventually got to the very beginning, i.e. the early 70s albums.

It was then that I discovered Ommadawn - and was astounded. Moreover, the very first part of the record was the running theme of a very prestigious journalist TV show in Greece back in the late 70s...! The producer of the show definitely had an ear for good music. Without even knowing what Ommadawn was back then, I carried the tune in my mind subconciously until the moment I actually listened to the album.

In my view, Ommadawn is the best of Mike Oldfield's early amazing piece of work. Most of the records of the era are now quite famous and are a joy to listen to. But Ommadawn manages to captivate the listener in a unique way. The melodies are sublime, the instrumentation is perfect and the inspiration is glowing through.

Now comes the best part: this 2010 deluxe edition hosts *new* 2010 remixes of the original stereo mix, supervised by Mike Oldfield himself. These are simply awesome! The improvement in those against the original stereo mixes (that btw are also included in the CD#2 of this pack) is phenomenal, with much added sound clarity & depth.

I also enjoyed the surround remixes (disc #3) that came in DVD format. I do realise though that this is quite a new aural experience that distances itself from the original stereo format. I personally like it whenever it is offered but I am aware that people out there have expressed reservations of the 2->6 channel remaster.

So: if you are looking to own Ommadawn, definitely seek this 2010 edition that has the new stereo remixes - or even better get this edition that has it all. And kick back and enjoy the work of a trully inpired young man back in the '70s.
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on 6 March 2008
This is a very good album from Mike but would dissagree with some reviewers when they say it is a better album than Tubulars Bells.I find Ommadawn a lovely album and very laid back whereas Tubular Bells for me is a stronger more flowing album with a lot more guitar work on it,anyway if you like the music of Mike Oldfield you will really enjoy this album and if your wanting to start listening to his work I suggest Tubular Bells remastered followed by Ommadawn,Hergest Ridge,Incantations and Songs From The Distant Earth not in any specific order all excellent albums with there own beauty and charm.Great Stuff.If you want to here vocals on any of Mikes albums you might want to check out these albums;Discovery.Crisis and Islands all excellent works from Mike Oldfield.Hope this review as been of some help to you.
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on 10 August 2016
Superb retro analogue guitar/instrumental music that still sounds fresh, interesting and futuristic.
Highly recommended to anyone who has an interest in 70s style analogue guitar/multi-instrumental or film music - Mike Oldfield is one of the masters of the genre.
A definite five star highly recommended purchase.
Outstanding.
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on 21 May 2012
This album (CD disc), is a revamp for the previous release. The differece in sound quality is incredible. There has been subtle instrument changes as well. Overall a huge improvement.

It is my contention that you really have to be in to Mike Oldfield to enjoy some of this. The first two tracks are over 30 minutes long !!

Over the years there have been many grumbles that the track 'on horseback' had been excluded from all his albums. Well, on this album it is incorporated in the final few minutes of track 2, 'Ommadawn 2'.
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VINE VOICEon 16 March 2008
Two things struck me listening to this CD for the first time (I've had the L.P. for years). One was that this is a superb piece of music; I've always preferred this to Tubular Bells, good though that was. In Ommadawn, Oldfield uses far more more musicians (Bells was a one-man album musically, of course), and this gives greater character to the piece. And, dare I say it, humour.

Secondly, this is an excellent remastering. Transfers to CD often result in detail and bass being lost, but this current issue sounds almost as good as the vinyl. But without the clicks and pops.

An essential purchase, and a real bargain to boot.
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