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Remastered HDCD Edition
Top Customer Reviews
The majority of the bonus content that comes with the deluxe edition is a live set recorded in Essen in 1981. By this point Oldfield had trimmed down his enormous band and they had had time to 'bed in' and work on their sound. The result is energetic, rocky, melodic and utterly brilliant!!! Some of the heavier, faster pieces like Mirage and Conflict are let of the leash and seem to have more impact in their live setting. Ommadawn is given an airing here too which is absolutely stunning, replete with QE2 style vocoder and fiddle in the climax.
It's always seemed sad that many people view Oldfield primarily as a keyboardist, he's always been lumped into that Jarre/Vangelis bracket. If you want that view challenged this is the LP to listen to because he is in true guitar hero mode here with more runs, pull-offs and fret-wizadry than you can shake a stick at.
This is full value for your money too because the live disc is full to the rafters.
I can see the 2012 reworking of Sheba (called "Shiva") one to divide the fans, Oldfield basically sings over the top of it, but actually it's great, though if it's not to your taste well nevermind it's only one track, you get all that great live stuff too that you'll love.
The remastering of the album proper ticks all the right boxes too. It's warm and concise. I for one heard layers of the music I hadn't noticed before and I've been listening to QE2 since it was first released.
I've gotten into the habit of telling Oldfield fans about a young whipper-snapper by the name of Andrew Taylor who has released an album called Mohribold (google it).Read more ›
First of all the original album itself has once again been competently remastered - There has always been a problem with a little drop out on this master - most notable on the first track Taurus 1 and Conflict - and on this remaster it does seem that the oxide is shedding a bit more with noticeable channel drops on some of the tracks. If there was ever an Oldfield album that needed to be completely remixed from the multi-track this would be it - in my opinion!
QE2 is relatively early synth heavy - and as a consequence it suffers from a general lack of bass and acoustic atmosphere that usually pervades through Oldfield's works. If the multi-tracks were still around it would have been a golden opportunity to have beefed up the general depth of the recording which I feel would have benefited each track and made it sound a lot more palatable for today's more discerning listener...as it is though this remaster retains the original rather treble y sound scape and so it keeps that early 80's synth sound.
For those not familiar with the album it is a compilation of short and slightly longer instrumentals with a couple of wordless "songs" warbled by Maggie Reilly. It's generally a fun sounding album and is a world apart from the more complex and weighty albums from the 70's but still crafted with Mike's trademark multi-layering and inimitable guitar playing.
The bonus tracks include the B-side "Polka" - a live recording (one wonders if there is a studio recording of this?) and the edited Single version of Wonderful Land (really scraping the barrel here!).Read more ›
The mixture here is a combination of the two, with varying degrees of success. To be honest, I can't hear much difference in the original album between that and the 2000 HDCD remaster. As others have mentioned details of the album previous I'll not dwell too much, other than to say that this remastered album sounds pretty much as the old one did, to my increasingly old ears, anyway!
The track Sally has now been named Into Wonderland, as it was supposedly originally named. The original version of Sally on the first presses of the album is nowhere to be seen, something that may annoy many older fans. We do get the shorter single version of the Shadows cover Wonderful Land added here, a live version of Polka from the 1980 Tour and a sort've new track, Shiva, which I'll mention later.
The second disc is a live concert from The European Adventure Tour of 1981, in Essen on the 1st April. What is given here has not been available before, I gather, (though I'm sure there'll be a bootleg around somewhere!)and is a pretty good set: a live version of Ommadawn for the older fan, a rockier version of Taurus 1 for the album of the tour. Interestingly, the title track QE2 becomes shorter live, whereas Taurus 1 is a minute longer. The live version of Taurus 1 is brilliant: very fast! - and the live version of Ommadawn compressed to nearly 22 minutes is lovely, but the quality of the tour recording is generally very good, and the album for me is given a whole new lease of life in these versions. This version of the album is worth buying for the live versions, if nothing else.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is not a Mike Oldfield Career CD attached as one of the best, probably due to an album with music sounds variants not seen in previous years. Read morePublished 14 months ago by José Henrique
If you're a 80's synth-pop fan, you'll probably like this; I'm not but like other Oldfield works, so this one is bouncing straight back out of my collection.Published 24 months ago by A. Rushbrooke
I enjoy Mike's music since 1973.
I had been listening on Spotify to QE2 for quite awhile and I like the track 7 -QE2 especially via my headphones. Read more