- Label: VIRGIN
- ASIN: B004AMLGDE
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Audio Cassette | Vinyl
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
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Top Customer Reviews
After the first listen I was shocked. I really didn't like it - it seemed bitty, incoherent, almost insane. But I felt compelled to listen again, so I did, and after the second hearing it seemed to click. This album is truly astonishing.
Don't expect the usual Oldfield drifting melodies, the themes of "Tubular Bells" or "Crises" or "incantations". This is something different. It was recorded during his fall-out with Richard Branson and you can really hear Oldfield's anger and frustration in the music (and, if you understand morse code, there's a message to Branson hidden deep inside the music). There *are* recurring themes in here, and there is true beauty in some of the segments, but one thing is for certain - the grand finale of "Amarok" (and it certainly *is* grand) must rank as one of the most exciting and uplifting passages of music ever written.
Most of Oldfield's other work shows flashes of sheer greatness. With "Amarok" he gave us sixty non-stop minutes of greatness.
I saw it in a shop ages ago, and had never heard of it so I judged it to be some of his new-age/celtic pap. Oh how wrong I was!
I just got it about 2 weeks ago and I've listened to it 15 times at least. It never gets old. Sometimes oldfield tended to spend too much time on one idea in his long songs (tubular bells part 2 and ommadawn part 2). Not so here. He jumps around nice and fast, getting us to all the musical climaxes in each part then changing idea again. Each idea, or part, is brilliant. A five star piece in its own right. The whole 60 minute song contains dozens of 5 star tunes.
Get this. If you don't know who he is, if you've only listened to tubular bells, if you got this on list-mania - get it. It's cheap now and easily EASILY worth the money. I can't see anyone not liking it.
To say that it has its flaws rather misses the point - to some extent the piece is flawed by design. Amarok is a tapestry of many musical colours, not all of them intended to be enjoyable or `easy listening'. If there are passages that seem uncomfortable or disconcerting, this is far from accidental. For one thing, the album is a flamboyantly defiant gesture in the face of typical record company obsession with `hits'. Oldfield was resolutely determined to produce 60 minutes of instrumental music from which no-one, not even the most rapacious of record label bosses, could extract a `hit single' or anything even remotely `radio friendly'.
It is also an album that serves as a kind of chapter ending for the ever-evolving Oldfield, a clear point of transition on his journey of musical evolution. There are many references to earlier works, especially Tubular Bells and Ommadawn, some of them quite blatant and others more subtle, hidden deep within the often dense mix of sounds and textures. In musical terms, Oldfield is sharing with his fans a flick through his back catalogue, saying `Hey, remember when we had fun with this idea?'. This process isn't as shallow as it might sound. There are no direct excerpts from earlier work or plain, easy `quotations'.Read more ›
Sitting at just over an hour, Amarok is one long track which takes the listener on a musical journey unlike any other. Everyone has those thoughts in the back of their minds about holidays and dreaming of going on that once in a lifetime dream trip; For example trekking the Inca trail in Peru. Amarok is the musical equivalent and the most genius thing about it is that it costs a ten pound maximum compared to thousands of pounds trekking up the Inca trail is going to cost. Furthermore you can go on the journey again and again at no extra cost.
I was first introduced to Amarok by a friend who was to say the least completely obsessed with it to the point that it is his favourite album of all time and has been for many years. So when anyone is into album that much, I want to know why. After the first time I listened to the album there were two thoughts running through my head. The first was "yeah, this is ok; it's got some good bits in it".Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am an avid fan of Mike Oldfield's earlier albums, from the early Tubular Bells, Islands, Ommadawn, incantations, Five Miles Out, QE2, Discovery and many more. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Kevin
Excellent service and wonderful music!!! I'm listening right now :-)))Published 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
A hugely underrated album from Mike Oldfield that pushes the boundaries...
I am sad to say that this one passed me by - I heard "excerpts" on a really bad "Best... Read more
This is probably one of the best albums ever written. Period. A real virtuoso masterpiece. Full use made of dynamic range and it just keeps going. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Dr Murray
This album has something for everybody. Don't be put off by the first few minutes, which are something of a shock to the system. Read morePublished 6 months ago by MR R.
As a fan of Mike Oldfield I collect all his albums - some need to be played numerous times to appreciated the work that has gone into itPublished 16 months ago by Alan
best cd he ever made... if you listen to it once, you think... what the....
listen to it 3 times and you like it...
listen to it 8 times and you'll love it... Read more
A masterpiece, one of Mike's best albums, following the formula that made Tubular Bells, Hergest Ridge, Ommadawn and Incantations great albums. Read morePublished 20 months ago by filip_larralp