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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 30 July 2017
Here's one I remember fondly, I must have been around 17 or 18 years-old at the time, and as I was helping my mum unpack her shopping bags, I came across Mike Oldfield's 'Crises', a CD she'd bought as it was only a couple of quid and she'd loved it since her days of owning it on vinyl. I'd encountered Oldfield's music many times throughout my childhood due to both of my parents being fans, but it was upon hearing this album that this fledgling young progressive rock fan really started to properly appreciate his music.

The next day I went to the same shop and bought my own copy of the album.

Featuring a bit of a mixed bag of styles and influences, 'Crises' is based around its 21-minute title track, a song with plenty of rocking riffs and some interesting keyboard melodies. There are times when the song does tend to lag, but the first half of it is genuinely exciting stuff, full of energetic performances and some thrilling guitar work.

After this, there are five shorter tracks, and this is where the album truly shines. For starters, there's acoustic rockers such as 'Shadow on the Wall' and 'Moonlight Shadow', which would go on to be a huge hit for Oldfield, showing that there was definitely still potential for mainstream success after Tubular Bells. 'In High Places' (featuring Jon Anderson of Yes) and 'Foreign Affair' are both more slower tempo, synth-based pop songs, but do well to highlight just how versatile Mike Oldfield can be with his music.

'Crises' is a fairly underrated album in Mike Oldfield's discography, though perhaps my opinion is swayed by the fact that it's essentially the album that made me a fan. Either way, while I doubt there's many people who'd consider this one of his best, it's still a solid release, and well worth looking into if you're into progressive rock or 80's pop.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 8 March 2017
This is the album that got me into Mike Oldfield and it has some really stand out tracks. Now I am a bit older and wiser I would actually say it is not quite typical of his style as quite a few of his other albums tend to follow a theme and a story which often builds during the tracks. This album is more of a simple and easy listen, as the tracks are more "stand alone" which in itself is both a good thing for introducing his various styles whilst also being a bad thing in that it might not give you the continuity that you would expect if you have several of his other albums. That said this is a great re-mastering with some really special additions which makes it well worth the purchase and listen. If you listen to some of his later work you can really spot excerpts of "Crisis" as their origins.
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VINE VOICEon 11 December 2016
Crises, for me, was the last truly stunning lp from Mike for a long, long time. This was released on the 10th anniversary of the release of Tubular Bells. Each lp up to but NOT including Discovery is 5 stars in my book.
However, the sound on this lp is closer to Jeam-Michel Jarre (ok, that is really over simplifying thing). The track Crises takes up side 1. It is electronic for the most part. Perhaps the lyrics are too repetitive and could have been cut down by a minute. Side 2 has the hit, Moonlight Shadow as the opening number. However, the highlight on side 2 for me is one of JON ANDERSON' s greatest vocal moments (omg, how I love him in Yes, ABWH and with Vangelis). Foreign Affair is a pleasant, if disposable pop tune. Taurus 3 has no resemblance to part 1 or 2 (QE2 and Five Miles Out respectedly). Shadow On The Wall features Roer Chapman, vocalist in Family) which is quite a rocky number for Mike.
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on 30 October 2013
When 'Crisis' first appeared in the spring of 1983, it presented a hard fought struggle by Mike Oldfield to develop a set of songs that were both appealing to his loyal fans as well as deliver some commercial appeal to the record buying public. And in recognition all over again of these ideals, we have here (in my humble opinion) the best remaster in the "Oldfield" deluxe series. Here is the full track listing:

Disc One:

1. Crisis (20:57) 2013 Remaster
2. Moonlight Shadow (3:38) 2013 Remaster
3. In High Places (3:33) 2013 Remaster
4. Foreign Affair (3:53) 2013 Remaster
5. Taurus 3 (2:25) 2013 Remaster
6. Shadow on the Wall (3:10) 2013 Remaster

Bonus Tracks:

7. Moonlight Shadow (3:35) Unplugged Mix. April 2013 Mix by Mike Oldfield (Previously Unreleased)
8. Shadow on the Wall (3:21) Unplugged Mix. May 2013 Mix by Mike Oldfield (Previously Unreleased)
9. Mistake (2:56) A Side Single, 2013 Remaster
10. Crime of Passion (4:10) Extended Version, 2013 Remaster
11. Jungle Gardenia (2:46) A & B Sides of single, 2013 Remaster
12. Moonlight Shadow (5:15) 12" Single / Extended Version, 2013 Remaster
13. Shadow on the Wall (5:09) 12" Single / Extended Version, 2013 Remaster

Disc Two:

Crisis Tour, Live at Wembley Arena, 22 July 1983 (Previously Unreleased)
1. Taurus 1 (9:14)
2. Taurus II (23:08)
3. Crisis (23:15)
4. Moonlight Shadow (5:28)
5. Shadow on the Wall (6:26)
6. Family Man (4:14)

All original artwork can be found in this CD remaster, together with an informative book and some extra images of Mike Oldfield and reproduction of some concert tickets and posters.

My only criticism is that the b-side of Moonlight Shadow (7" and 12" UK Singles) which was called 'Rite of Man' has been totally forgotten and left off this remastered edition. Great shame. 'Rite of Man' (2:21) should have surely been included??

Great to find a remastered version of Moonlight Shadow 12" Single (Ext Version) on this CD. This was released in the UK in May 1983 and reached number 3 in the charts. The serial number for the original 12" was VS 58 612 - I still have it! and in its famous cover that was a man looking out to sea (i.e. a blown up image from the cover of the 'Crisis' LP). I played this extended version at a party recently and everyone was singing... we all remember the super video and Maggie Reilly sitting and singing in that hat!

Note to all Vangelis fans, Jon Anderson's vocals sound amazing on 'In High Places.'

Good to hear for the first time, the concert at Wembley Arena. It took place smack in the middle of the success of 'Moonlight Shadow' and boosted the album sales for sure. The crowd are right behind Mike Oldfield and Co.

A word about 'Jungle Gardenia' - what a wonderful recording this was and remains. Again this is a highlight of the 30th anniversary edition of 'Crisis.' 'Jungle Gardenia' was released in 1984 as a single - Sad that it is only just over 2 minutes long - I hope that an extended version can be found in the vaults or someway of remixing this to extend it... the remaster is excellent here.

For many years, a CD version of 'Crisis' was hard to get. We now have a very fine, remastered, quality 30th anniversary release of one of Mike's greatest albums. When the history of Mike Oldfield is written, the biographer will be kind regarding 'Crisis' - it certainly remains a milestone for Mike Oldfield.
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on 10 October 2013
Note - to avoid confusion, due to Amazon's habit of lumping reviews of different products together, this is a review of the Crises box set.

Originally released in 1983, Crisis (the track) saw Mike Oldfield looking back ten years to the release of Tubular Bells. Crisis contains some references to TB, but is far from a retread - and it stands as one of Oldfield's best long instrumental tracks of the 1980's.

That took up side 1 of the original LP, side two comprised four songs and one instrumental. Moonlight Shadow is by far the best known of course, an immediate hit in 1983 and still one of the most familiar songs from Oldfield's back catalogue. There's plenty to enjoy elsewhere on side 2 however, as Jon Anderson and Roger Chapman provide guest vocals on In High Places and Shadow on the Wall. Apart from her vocals on Moonlight Shadow, Maggie Reilly also sings on Foreign Affair and the other side 2 track, Taurus 3, is a nice little instrumental, harking back to earlier Oldfield albums.

As for the bonus tracks, it's good to have Mistake, Crime of Passion and Jungle Gardenia, although they've turned up on compilations in the past so aren't particularly rare. The 12" versions of Moonlight Shadow and Shadow on the Wall are welcome, as they allow me to retire my crackly vinyl! The unplugged mixes of these two songs are rather disposable, and it's a shame that the Moonlight Shadow flip side - Rite of Man - isn't included. Maybe it's not to everyone's taste, but I've always enjoyed it.

Two CDs contain the 1983 Wembley Concert. This has been bootlegged for years, but it's nice to have an official release at last. As might be expected, it contains a generous amount from Crisis, but there's still more than enough time for a trawl through some of Oldfield's past classics, such as Ommadawn and Tubular Bells.

Two DVDs - one with some of the Wembley gig and other performances and the other containing a 5.1 mix of the album round off a fairly comprehensive package.

Although this edition of Crisis is quite expensive, it's pretty good value for money - particularly for the 5.1 remix and the complete Wembley concert. It's just a shame that the collection of bonus tracks wasn't more comprehensive and some demos or alternative takes would have been welcome too.

But Crisis is a highpoint of MO's early 80's output and is worth picking up, if not in this configuration, then both the Deluxe or the Single CD editions are good (and cheaper) alternatives.
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on 8 May 2006
This is an album i've grown up with, one found amoungst my fathers vast collection of vinyl (at the age of 9) alongside the likes of Pink Floyd - Shine on you crazy diamond & Poco - Rose of Cimarron ... thanks pa :)

The main track of the album is the title track Crises, which despite having some dodgy lyrics (some weird man chanting 'Crises'), is one of the most engrosing melodies of modern times - fluctuating in tone and encapturing in its travel.

Then there's my personal favourite 'Moonlight Shadow', with lyrics from Maggie Riley. I'd forgotten just how good this track was until i heard it on Radio 2 this morning =) thanks Tegs.

The only other track worth a mention from memory (i haven't heard the album in over 10 years!!) is Foreign affair, another beautifully sung track from Ms Riley.

I recall spending many evenings in front of the pioneer hi-fi, ear goggles on .. TV only has so much appeal after all hey !!
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on 24 February 2008
The last movement of Track 1, lasting about 8 mins, is an onslaught of a piece of music. When I first heard it, back in 1985, I was blown away. And today, in 2008, I still haven't heard anything that comes up to par. Intricate Oldfield layers wave upon wave in an electronic soundscape, combining his unique guitar shrill, that is breathtaking in its conception, structure and execution - and all driven along by the mesmerising force of Simon Phillips on drums. I don't know how many times I've heard it, yet it simply doesn't date. Indeed, this piece will always live in the future. The man truly is a genius. Yes, he's had a few duffs, but then all people of genius will. Then, when you least expect it, they come up with a gem that blows your socks off.

And in case you think the word 'genius' gets banded around too easily, go check The Songs of Distant Earth. For all his issues, the man is blessed. Thanks, Mike - for coming up with music to dream to.
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on 19 December 2012
Ah: dark evenings doing maths homework, computer games, Dungeons & Dragons...they're all brought vividly back to life now that I finally got hold of a CD copy of this album.

Looking back over 30 years, I can see why the teen me thought this was Oldfield's best album. Besides Moonlight Shadow - which I still can't get enough of - and Shadow on the Wall, the first side is genuinely one of the best things he has done. Gone now are the bagpipes, bongos etc - much as I enjoy them. We're stripped back to the instruments Oldfield can really play: keyboard and, especially, guitar. Simon Philips' drums lend the punch that was lacking from the 'rock out' sections of earlier albums. The whole thing is taut and focused - unlike some of his pieces it knows where it is going - and comes to a successful climax courtesy of those drums.

So I'm giving this five stars for old time's sake - in spite of the three filler tracks on side 2 (as was). They feel like the work of a bored rich man who frankly doesn't know what to do with his time, in or out of the studio. Anyone like to come for a helicopter ride?

And given that there isn't enough inspiration to go round, I probably shouldn't complain that at 35 minutes-ish the album is a couple of numbers light. But it is.
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on 8 September 2013
You may be a returning Oldfield fan or altogether new to Crises, so is the remaster worthy of the spend out and what of the musical content?

First to the remastering; we definitely have more volume this time round and so the music jumps from the speakers. To be fair though, my hi-fi does have a volume control and the boosted sound comes with a compromise. Yes you may catch a few more details but they were there already if you listened carefully enough. I think this a more cluttered mix. Everything is loud so there is no dynamic to the sound. Previous releases had space and subtlety, a major strength of Oldfield's. Crises seems to have become a victim of the so called loudness war.

Some may prefer the remastering so what about the music? Well of course it's great. There are nods to Tubular Bells, but they're not too obvious. This is perhaps Oldfield's most synthy work from this era but as always the melodies come first, if nothing else Oldfield is a master of the catchy tune. Since Ommadawn we'd always been treated to some very interesting percussion work with every release and with Simon Phillips on board we get an onslaught of power drumming and it's great.

The extras don't really cut the mustard for me this time and again we've been denied a classic b-side with the exclusion of Rite of Man. We're given the 12" versions of Moonlight Shadow and Shadow on the Wall of which the Oldfield faithful will already have. The unplugged mixes of these songs are little more than interesting though it's great to hear the banjo on the latter track really brought to the forefront. The redeeming feature of the whole release however, is the tremendous live disc. Instrumental tracks Taurus I and II and Crises are rocky, playful and inventive, they are worth the money alone. The songs don't fare so well in my opinion but it's great to hear an improvisational edge to Oldfield's soloing and of course Roger Chapman joins in on Family Man, well he had to didn't he!?

I must add a footnote about a much more recent album I know some of the Oldfield faithful are discovering. It's called Mohribold and was recorded by Andrew Taylor (google it!). If you like Crises or any of Mike's early albums you will love Mohribold and with such little new music coming from the old maestro we all need a fix of something to fill the hole where a new Oldfield album should go!
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on 21 March 2001
It is unusual for an artist to have produced so many albums which maintain the quality that Mike's have. This is no exception. It has a kind of addictive electronic charm. It begins in tubular bells territory with a reprisal of the famous 'Exorcist' piece. Yet with a kind up of uplifting twist.
It has an urban feel but a laid back one at that. The electronic feel at points adds a futuristic air. This is Mike and we should trust him. The first half is typical Oldfield. The second is more in the realm of rock music. Which is simply superb. The radio-loved track of Moonlight Shadow is the spotlight stealer.
Know it, love it. The other tracks are also of a high caliber with the instrumental Taurus 3 also grabbing the listener with its flamenco guitar!
No kidding, this is good stuff
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