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4.0 out of 5 stars
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4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 19 July 2007
Could i just ask people like the poor reviewer below me to get their facts right before going to print.
The Hergest Ridge album came out very soon after Tubular Bells so how could it sound like Ommadawn ?
Again how could Mike "plagarise Ommadawn" if he hadn,t even recorded it yet ?
I just wish people, who like to express their opinions on Amazon, would actually bother to read up a records history first.It is not helpful to others when deciding to buy the album but it just makes one seem foolish - sorry if this seems harsh but i have noticed a recent increase in both online and printed "journalist" reviews (especially Classic Rock ) to get facts completely wrong.
i know this is only a minor point in the whole history of the Cosmos but you do need to realise that Hergest Ridge was the follow-up to T.B. and that Ommadawn then came 3rd.
By the way H.R. is somewhat similar to T.B. but has a charm all of its own ,of course Ommadawn then goes onto sound like a natural progression to H.R.- surprise,surprise - thats the way an artist should develop and here Mike does just that. The themes are quite repetitive but thats Mikes style and personally i find the music to be very pleasant and calming - new age before new age had a name ?
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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...
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on 11 September 2003
I love this album. Maybe it has suffered because it has fallen in the shadow of the innovative Tubular Bells; but give me Hergest Ridge any day of the week.
For those not used to Mike Oldfield's work this album could best be described as a modern symphony. It is instrumental (apart from some choral and chanting passages) with the music varying from expressive and moody to crescendo. But its strength lies in the melodies within.
I find myself listening to this music as I surf the net, drive in the car or while having a beer and it lifts the spirit and charms at the same time.
When people talk about Mike Oldfield, Hergest Ridge is rarely mentioned. Why this happens I don't know because this album is a gem. If you like melody, atmospheric music and variety you will not be disappointed by this.
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on 2 June 2004
What a disappointment! Virgin had the opportunity with this remastered series to treat Mike's back catalogue with the reverence it deserves (after all, there would be no Virgin Records without the success of Tubular Bells). But instead they appear to have gone for the minimum effort approach and this album, along with Platinum, suffers the most from this. Why on Earth they could not have reinstated the original (infinitely superior) "Snare Drum & Trumpet" mix is totally beyond me. This remix is available elsewhere in the Boxed 3 CD set, which is where it belongs. It lacks the subtlety, clarity and cohesion of the original and the bass guitar dominates throughout, making the whole thing sound unbalanced.
If you are not familiar with the original version, you will probably see this as a weak filler album between the two masterpieces: Tubular Bells and Ommadawn which is a terrible shame and does Mike's reputation a dreadful injustice. Hergest Ridge was (and should still be) the second installment in the most brilliant trilogy of rock albums ever recorded and it's about time Virgin realised this.
Oh, and while I'm at it, why are there so many singles, b-sides and other odd tracks of Mikes which are still not available on CD? Mike Oldfield's Single, Wreckorder Wrondo, Guilty 12", Shine, Pictures in the Dark, Moonlight Shadow 12", Don Alphonso etc, etc, etc
VIRGIN, GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER!
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on 4 October 2001
Second albums are usually the hardest to make - especially after a masterpiece like "Tubular Bells" which simply cannot be bettered. Mike counteracted this by creating an album rather different to its predecessor, but sadly drew in too many unfair comparisons.
That's not to say that "Hergest Ridge" is substandard - far from it! Its beautiful, pastoral melodies are counterbalanced by some rather dazzling, orchestrated and disturbing guitar passages. It's even more hummable than Tubular Bells as it's very memorable and melodic.
On the guitar front, it's Oldfield in his prime. When the music is relaxed, he plays some pleasing acoustic passages, or lays down some quiet, shimmering electrics to get the imagination going. When it demands it, Oldfield can push the boat out and ride the rapids, so to speak - the passage in the middle of Part 2 is a fine example.
In summary, "Hergest Ridge" is best sampled as an album in itself. It's different to the albums surrounding it in both sound and technique, therefore shouldn't be judged in comparison. It's rightfully rated amongst Mike's most well-respected pieces - you could do far worse, believe me!
If you enjoyed this album and seek more of Mike's pastoral works - go for "Ommadawn", "Incantations" (only skip the middle two tracks) and "Voyager".
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on 26 March 2004
I bought this album when it was first released and was an instant favorite and even better than Tubular Bells. The critics gave it a rough time and called it TB2.
The years have pased and my memory of the album fadded. I bought it recently and added it to my iPod. Over the past few months it is now top of my most played list.
All the other reviews have said enough about the beautiful melodies and the perfect composition of the two peices of work. It is so calming you just have to close your eyes whilst listening and drift to another place. This is easily some of the finest music I have ever heard and even after 30 years it still delights.
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on 27 April 2007
Vertually everyone has heard of Tubular Bells and how it launched both Mike Oldfield and especially Richard Bransons multi billion pound Virgin industry but few have heard of Oldfields superior albums that came after his 17million seller.
For those still wondering about my unusual title to Oldfields second album Hergest Ridge is just five miles up the road from Clyro made famous by the Rev Francis Kilvert and his diaries,and only 9 miles from Hay on Wye the famous secondhand book shop of the world.

Mike Oldfield moved to a cottage overlooking this picturesque hillside to escape the intense publicity over the success of Tubular Bells.He was able to look at the beauty of looking over into the English border from his Welsh stronghold which gave him inspiration to write Hergest Ridge.

I have visited and walked the ridge on numerous occasions and if you want to be inspired to musical greatness it is certainly the place to do it.

Hergest was a giant that lived nearby and the tales of his exploits make enjoyable reading but Oldfield has certainly matured in his second outing with a stronger more controlled less experimental sound to the album.

If Tubular Bells saw Oldfield showing off his skills as a musician with the albums catchy melody then Hergest Ridge is a more serious attempt at producing a instrumental album and it is certainly one of his most composed pieces of work.
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on 24 January 2005
Of the first 3 albums of Mike Oldfield, Tubular Bells, Hergest Ridge and Ommadawn, I rate this one last. I listened to it again this morning for about the 5th time in the last 2 months. I have been familiar with it since it was first released. However, it is last in my opinion of a trio of classics. There are bits of this album that are beautiful. It's just the bits I don't like as much are longer on this one than the other 2. rest assured though if you are into Mike Oldfield or want to get into Mike Oldfield it should be in your collection and will not gather dust. Hergest Ridge has a way of calling out to you when thinking about what to play next. Buy it.
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on 12 May 2016
Been listening to this for 40 years. It doesn't date. Really good for studying and accelerated learning. I sometimes remember things I studied over 20 years ago when hearing certain sections and lively sections just fab. It's underrated but as good as TB, even if Mr O himself doesn't think so!
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on 12 August 2003
I am old enough to have purchased this recording on vinyl when it was first released in the 70's. That pressing, alas, has long gone but I recently decided to purchase the "re-mastered" CD version. Oh Dear.I know memories fade but the CD bears no comparison to my recollection of the vinyl. I have since discovered that Mike revisited this recording after its' original release and "played" with it, altering the balance between the various components, particularly upping the bass at the expense of other elements.
If you've never heard Hergest Ridge before you will think this wonderful. If you've still got a copy of the vinyl record, save it at all costs and join a campaign to get the "original" original re-released. It's heaps better.
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