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Thread: Mike Oldfield - 10 Essential Albums

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    Mike Oldfield - 10 Essential Albums

    10 Essential Mike Oldfield Albums and the story of Tubular Bells. Mike Oldfield is the The 11th Icon of Echoes so tonight we explore his music and hear the story behind Tubular Bells. And we've also got a list of his 10 essential albums plus, all six iterations of Tubular Bells ranked, just for kicks. See it here. Hear it tonight on Echoes from PRX. https://wp.me/p4ZE0X-jjJ

    My immersion in Oldfield's music, which I've lived with from the beginning, was one of the most wonderful experiences I've had in a while. He is a grossly underrated artist.
    If you don't want to be bothered with my reasoning/critiques, here's just the list:

    1-Incantions
    2-Ommadawn
    3-The Songs of Distant Earth
    4-Tubular Bells
    5-Voyager
    6-Hergest Ridge
    7-Guitars
    8-Return to Ommadawn
    9-Tres Lunas
    10- Tubular Bells II

    PS-The TB story will be in the Echoss Podcast Tomorrow

  2. #2
    Nice list but in no way is he a grossly underated artist. He's appreciate & respected globally with one of the most famous albums ever released. Which reminds me; has he been inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame yet?

  3. #3
    I know that MO is a productive artist but I do not think he has 10 essential albums...2 or 3 should be plenty.
    IMHO Ommadown, TB and Amarok are essential, the rest is optional


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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Progmatic View Post
    IMHO Ommadown, TB and Amarok are essential, the rest is optional
    I agree 100% with these three!! An honorable mention goes to TBII, IMO. Some really nice music on that one.
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    I agree re Incantations, wonderful album.

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    Member Kcrimso's Avatar
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    I am huge Mike Oldfield fan. He has few turkeys but also lots of really great and diverse albums.

    My top 10:

    1. Ommadawn (1975) *****
    2. Amarok (1990) *****
    3. Tubular Bells (1973) *****
    4. Hergest Ridge (1974) *****
    5. Five Miles Out (1982) *****
    6. Incantations (1978) ****˝
    7. Tubular Bells II (1992) ****˝
    8. Songs From Distant Earth (1994) ****˝
    9. Return To Ommadawn (2017) ****˝
    10. Crises (1983) ****
    Last edited by Kcrimso; 02-25-2021 at 09:42 AM.
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    While we're here: The 11th Icon: Mike Oldfield in the Echoes Podcast from PRX. Hear the story behind Tubular Bells. We'll also hear an interview with Henrik Lindstrand from the band Kashmir. He has a personal approach to ambient piano. Get it here, the Echoes App or unusual podcast sources. https://wp.me/p4ZE0X-jkd

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    I have been surprised by the love I've seen for Amarok. I had thought that to be a disparaged album. I didn't come around to it personally until I created this list. I had to turn off my "Echoes" ears to appreciate it. It's on the list as as bubbling under.

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    The first four plus Amarok and I'm all set. Return To Ommadawn was pretty sweet too. Okay, there's six!!!
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    Don’t forget about the Mike Oldfield albums he didn’t make: Robert Reed’s “Sanctuary” CDs. LOL. He clearly channels Mike, and I think they are excellent.

    Some Oldfield fans love them and others hate him:
    https://www.loudersound.com/features...-i-m-a-saviour


    But he did also address Mike’s actual stuff (specifically, Ommadawn):
    https://www.loudersound.com/news/rob...ields-ommadawn

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotron View Post
    Don’t forget about the Mike Oldfield albums he didn’t make: Robert Reed’s “Sanctuary” CDs. LOL. He clearly channels Mike, and I think they are excellent.

    Some Oldfield fans love them and others hate him:
    https://www.loudersound.com/features...-i-m-a-saviour


    But he did also address Mike’s actual stuff (specifically, Ommadawn):
    https://www.loudersound.com/news/rob...ields-ommadawn
    Rob Reed channels everyone

  12. #12
    Ommadawn Part 1 -- Masterpiece. Maybe his greatest piece he's ever written
    Ommadawn Part II -- Not So much

  13. #13
    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
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    Huge Oldfield fan here:-

    Ommadawn (15)
    Hergest Ridge (14)
    Incantations (13)
    Tubular Bells (13)
    Return To Ommadawn (12)
    Amarok (11)
    Songs Of Distant Earth (11)
    Tubular Bells 2 (11)
    QE2 (10)
    5 Miles Out (10)
    Tubular Bells 3 (10)
    Platinum (9)
    Crises (9)
    Discovery (9)
    Voyager (8)
    Ian

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rufus View Post
    Nice list but in no way is he a grossly underated artist. He's appreciate & respected globally with one of the most famous albums ever released. Which reminds me; has he been inducted into the R&R Hall of Fame yet?
    Well, if you walk into a room of 20 to 40 year-olds in America, and mention Mike Oldfield, you'll just get blank stares. I played my 27-year old step-son Man on the Rocks and he recognized the singer, Luke Spiller, from his fave band, The Struts, right away. But he had no idea who Oldfield was. He did, however, acknowledge having heard TB when I played the opening note sequence. Maybe that's more "unknown" than underrated, but they all know who Genesis, Pink Floyd and maybe even Yes are.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Echoes View Post
    Well, if you walk into a room of 20 to 40 year-olds in America, and mention Mike Oldfield, you'll just get blank stares. I played my 27-year old step-son Man on the Rocks and he recognized the singer, Luke Spiller, from his fave band, The Struts, right away. But he had no idea who Oldfield was. He did, however, acknowledge having heard TB when I played the opening note sequence. Maybe that's more "unknown" than underrated, but they all know who Genesis, Pink Floyd and maybe even Yes are.
    Maybe but not being well known dosnt mean an artist is underated.! My nephews & nieces are aware of Genesis from the 80's as it was of their generation but they dont rate or appreciate their music. I do have a 22 year nephew who is a Led Zep nut though!

  16. #16
    Member Gizmotron's Avatar
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    No on has mentioned “Music of the Spheres.”

    It tends to escape notice but I find it is wonderful...nice integration of orchestra and classic Oldfield vocals.

  17. #17
    Oldfield easily has 10 essential albums in this listener's opinion. Remarkable artist in many respects given how much of his albums he manages to not only compose but play multiple instruments on. Off the top of my head here are my 10:
    TB (obviously)
    Ommadawn
    Incantations
    Hergest Ridge
    QE2
    Five Miles Out
    Crises
    Discovery
    Amarok
    The Songs of Distant Earth
    The Music of the Spheres
    Return to Ommadawn

    wait, that's more than ten but that is my point! Heck, I could have tossed in TB2 as well.

  18. #18
    Progdog ThomasKDye's Avatar
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    Meh, no one's mentioned Islands and it's my second favorite Oldfield album. I love the songs and "The Wind Chimes" is terrific. The introduction is so grandiose and beautiful.
    "Arf." -- Frank Zappa, "Beauty Knows No Pain" (live version)

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    ^ Tremendously underrated album. The instrumental side is brilliant, and the song base has some gems. Similar to Crises. The one I can't understand is the soporific Songs From Distant Earth. Weak, weak. weak.
    I like the part where Icarus hijacks the Little Red Hen.

    http://www.discogs.com/user/moecurlythanu/collection

  20. #20
    Member Kcrimso's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasKDye View Post
    Meh, no one's mentioned Islands and it's my second favorite Oldfield album. I love the songs and "The Wind Chimes" is terrific. The introduction is so grandiose and beautiful.
    One of the few of those Oldfield albums that I really dislike. That introduction part is however good.
    "A waste of talent and electricity." John Peel on ELP

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    Some sort of magic is gone after the first three albums- for me anyway. Maybe his new confidence after therapy back then did something to the music?

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by ThomasKDye View Post
    Meh, no one's mentioned Islands and it's my second favorite Oldfield album. I love the songs and "The Wind Chimes" is terrific. The introduction is so grandiose and beautiful.
    I love the instrumental side of Islands. Wind Chimes is majestic.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Piskie View Post
    Some sort of magic is gone after the first three albums- for me anyway. Maybe his new confidence after therapy back then did something to the music?
    I'm not familiar with this? I love the first three but find Incantations to be just as magical if we are looking at the early largely instrumental Oldfield albums.

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