I have followed Mikes music since Tubular Bells although my interest in his work did wane after Islands which I thought was a pretty poor album. As an amateur guitarist I was intrigued by the concept of this album. I have to say that after one listen I was astonished at what Mike had achieved here. Only he could get away with an album purley of guitar tracks cleverly mixed using MIDI and sampling together with clean acoustic guitar. I defy any decent guitarist not to be impressed with this work. What this album achieves if nothing else is to prove not only what a brilliant guitarist Mike Oldfield is but also what a wonderful and versatile instrument the guitar is in all of it`s forms. Well done Mr. Oldfield. Will...
I have never quite understood why reactions to this album are/were so hostile. It's one of his very best.
Granted some of the longer tracks like 'Cochise' meander slightly but generally there is a sharp precision to the tracks, and an undoubted emotional underbite. 'Summit Day' is one of my favourite Oldfield pieces - it is just incredibly melancholy and beautiful. 'Embers' and 'Out Of Mind' too have the same feeling.
'Guitars' has a more intimate mood than many of other 'grander scale' albums. But, hopefully, it will be remembered as a cachet of hidden gems. It truly deserves to be rehabilitated. I believe Oldfield refined and revised some of the tracks for concerts given in Spain a few years ago, with extra full-on bass which wowed the amphitheatres. That would've been sweet to listen to.
I really enjoy this release by Mike Oldfield. Everything is played/generated via guitar strums linked to MIDI. It somehow manages to be ambient, relaxing and sexy whilst showcasing his unique, 'wrenching', thrash/folk/classical style. One of my favourites, I also recommend Amarok, Platinum, and QE2.
Mike has a perfect knack for mood and composition but, if your ideal guitarist is someone along the lines of Yngwie Malmsteen - you'll find very little here. Mike's guitar work, when fused with the songs on display here, is nothing short of spellbinding. "Cochise" proving to be a good live piece on the 1999 tour.