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A GOOD MIKE OLDFIELD ALBUM...BUT...
on 30 May 2017
Tubular Bells 2003....Yes, I remember this one being released and as a big fan of Mike's music I was unsure as to why he made this one.
It took me 14 years to buy it...I bought it the other month from Amazon (great service as usual!) out of curiosity and have listened to it a few times...and as a body of music it's good...really good, the production is spotless and all the original tunes & themes are still there.
On the whole, it's a nice album to listen to...Mike Oldfield is a craftsman with music and a perfectionist to boot.
But...I still feel uneasy about a re-recording of an album which is so sublime...it didn't need to be done.
Yes, maybe he felt rushed when he finally recorded the definitive album in 1973, perhaps there were things he would have done differently back then, perhaps he wanted to make Tubular Bells again with more time on his hands, with better technology, without the hisses and crackles of the original...we would all do things differently if we could do them again.
But, perhaps he should have kept this for himself...for his own collection and his own listening room.
Mike, I love your music (though some of the 80's albums are a bit iffy) and I think you have an amazing imagination when it comes to writing, playing and recording music.....what you recorded in 1973 was nothing short of genius, an album full of emotion, of angst and of beauty...you opened up your soul in Tubular Bells and proved to the world that you were more than just the bass guitarist from Kevin Ayers And The Whole World, you were...and are a brilliant multi-instrumentalist.
We love the fact that the original Tubular Bells has hisses and crackles, and may not be perfect in your eyes or ears, but it is a thing of beauty....and that's why we love it so much.
Without contradicting myself (hopefully) I can listen to Tubular Bells 2003 for what it is...and enjoy it...there are some nice touches including John Cleese taking over Viv Stanshall's role as MC in the finale of side 1, and keeping Sailors Hornpipe in to finish side 2.
Dividing up the various sections and giving them their own names maybe was what the record company wanted, but you should have just kept it to the '2 sides' of music as per the original...and like you've just done with Return To Ommadawn.
If you like Mike Oldfield like I do, then do buy this album and enjoy it.....but don't compare it to the original, that one stands alone!