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So much better in the original mix
on 6 July 2005
I was lucky enough to have grown up with the original vinyl pre-Oldfield-tweak version (crackles, pops and all) and eagerly anticipated the CD release, only to find the remastered version a pale imitation of the haunting release I am so familiar with. Even when I first heard the original, aged around 5 or 6, I found the opening few minutes achingly beautiful and intensely moving; even now I still find it a totally unique piece of music which retains the power to send shivers down the spine at its beginning and at the end where an eerie and shocking chord transition shatters a hitherto languid choral sequence.
Though I appreciate Tubular Bells and what I've heard of Oldfield's other work, there is something special - I would even go so far as to say spiritual - about Hergest Ridge; even the LP cover was a work of art. I am perplexed that Oldfield can have found reason to try improving what was already perfect and the current remastered version loses more in content than it gains in quality.
I won't be throwing out the LP just yet...