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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 1 February 2014
Another recording from Mike with the Bell in the title, not a bad album but not his best work here. Some of the vocals are ok and some not so depends on what you like. Music wise if it had been just an instrumental release i would have given it 5 stars because i know that Mike delivers every time. A colourful cover for the album which looks very pleasing to the eye, but could have been much better.
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on 27 November 1999
Mike Oldfield welcomes the new millennium with a triumphant and joyful expression of his talent. TMB is a wondrous 45 minute musical journey through the last 2000 years complete with beautiful harmonies, his trademark "screaming" guitar and some excellent orchestrations (which build upon the final track of his 1996 album Voyager).
Overall, and especially considering this is his third album in 15 months (Tubular Bells III in 1998 and Guitars earlier this year) Mike continues to maintain his high standards and has presented the world with a truly stunning album.
Duncan Harvey
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on 7 June 2002
This is a masterpiece. From the grand opening "Peace on earth" with it's almost sacral qualities and fantastic choral vocies, to the uplifting finale of "The Millenium Bell". This is not a typical Oldfield album, it's something new and different from what he's done in the past (which probably explains the love or hate factor this album has). His been inspired by the history of Man, and he mixes orchestral sounds (The London Session Orchestra) with choirs (The London Handel Choir and The Grant Cospel Choir), inspiring vocal performances from Miriam Stockley, Nicola Emmanuel, and he's clever drum and synth programming. His trademark guitarplaying is in here, but does not play a major part, which is refreshing. He suceeds in mixing a typical european classical feel with ethnic sounds and rhythms from different cultures. The tunes are quite different from each other, and truly shows Oldfields extraordinary talent as an emotional music painter. This is a multicoloured, multiemotional, multicultured and multilayered album. It lets you explore new things and new emotions every time you listen to it. I highly recommend it.
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on 6 December 1999
Mike continues to produce music which raises the hairs on the back of your neck! As with previous releases the album requires a number of listens for his mastery to sink in. If music reduces you to tears its gotta be good! hasn't it!
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on 22 January 2000
This gets my vote as the most embarassing "millennium" product yet. Mike should take his time over releasing sequels to Tubular Bells - after all Tubular Bells II came almost 20 years after the original, but nowadays he seems to be churning them out at an incredible rate and the quality seems to have suffered!
High points of this album include "Sunlight shining through the cloud" which is based on the lyrics to Amazing Grace and is an example of Mike on top whimsical, albeit slightly pompous, form. The worst track has to be "The Millenium Bell" itself, which is an embarrasment to listen to. It's a hotch-potch of a song, trying to take in elements of the whole album but ending up being completely incoherent. The ending is a reprise of a completely cheezy Russian Cossack dance track, followed by the chiming of the millenium bell itself. There is a slight pause, and the listener is left wondering what will come in the new Millenium.... and then the Russian Cossacks return for the third time!! Absolutely ridiculous. Even Mike's talents as a producer are in question here, with the "bell" itself chiming so loudly that there is horrible clipping of the sound.
Whether you're an Oldfield fan or not (I am), avoid this turkey.
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on 8 January 2006
Mike Oldfield is an excellent, and true artist, a musical genius. And I can say that without any exaggeration.
This is his worst album, it IS.
Many fans do not like his more pop-orientated albums such as 'Islands' or 'Earth moving'. The thing is, those are quirky, and good at what they were supposed to be good at, this, in comparison to such Oldfield albums as 'The songs of distant Earth', 'Amarok', 'Tubular bells', 'Ommadawn' etc, is an atrocity. Everyone seemed to have their heads full of helium around the build up to the millenium, unfortunately, Mike Oldfield wasn't an exception.
I recommend Mike Oldfield to everyone, and there is something for everyone, his music is so varied, and enchanting!
But don't buy this one, unless you are doing so to complete your Oldfield collection.
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on 15 April 2015
The first time I heard Mike Oldfield's music it was something magical. I bought most of them on vinyl discs. Came the day at work when I was asked what I wanted for 40 years of work with the company. I picked a stereo system made by Aiwa and began to buy the CD's. The vinyl rarely get played but when new recording are released I look for favorite musicians or singers.
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on 4 December 1999
Mike Oldfield has created an original, dramatic and emotionally affecting work to herald the new millennium.
While adhering to his recognisable style, even if it is because he is the only musician doing it, Mike has mixed in elements of musical styles from all over the world. This is an ambitious, large-scale work that wears its heart on its sleeve and is in no way diminished as a result.
If you have never listened to anything by Mike Oldfield, although you must have heard something already, then this is a great introduction.
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on 10 December 1999
This is a new example of the adaptability of Oldfield. A brilliant disk and with an incredible variety of styles, that without losing the style that makes Oldfield one of the best musicians in this century. Orchestrations, dance, rock, choirs. Oldfield 100%. The words cannot describe it.... listen it!
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on 15 November 2007
This really is a distillation of the kind of music that Oldfield was producing at the time of its release. That isn't to say that it is all inherently bad,as there are a few moments which could and should have been developed further by Oldfield (and constraints might have been imposed by the subject matter and the breadth of time Oldfield was trying to encapsulate), but there is much that is second rate and sounds very much like auto-pilot to these ears. Stylistically it underlines the fact that Oldfield is still unable to work within a 'classical' setting, with his excursions into such territory ( the mercifully short 'Lake Constance')revealing the paucity of his musical framing and textual development, and it also underlines his recent(ish) appropriation and reliance on beats from the Euro/Cheesy dance stable, which is probably a residue from his time living in Ibiza. Overall the attempt to mix and merge musical styles just doesn't work, there isn't a strong enough musical narrative to frame or inform what is being presented, and the album bounces from one setting to another, in a series of easy musical cliches.

There just isn't enough here in qualitative terms to recommend this recording, but the completists will no doubt buy it. For others looking to explore Oldfield's ouevre and who want to move beyond the endless, repetitive and quite cynical re-workings, reconsiderations and remixes of 'Tubular Bells' I would strongly advise looking to 'Ommadawn', 'Hergest Ridge', 'Incantations', 'The Sounds Of Distant Earth' or 'Amarok'.

But leave this 'Bell' alone.
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