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Two Sides: The Very Best of Mike Oldfield

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Album Review

Mike Oldfield, the self-taught guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, and producer, is chiefly remembered for his album-length "Tubular Bells" composition, an eerie, fascinating, and conceptual piece that did so much to set the tone for the movie The Exorcist. Oldfield played most of the instruments himself on "Tubular Bells" and it remains, and undoubtedly always will remain, his signature piece, but he's done a lot more than that, exploring styles and musical forms from progressive rock and folk to jazz, ambient, world, pop, and even disco and beyond throughout his maverick recording career. This two-disc set, selected and sequenced by Oldfield himself, provides a nice survey of his shifts and turns, and illustrates the restless and often brilliant way he produces a sound and style that manages to be expansive and insular, popular and eccentric, and sometimes all of these at once. Excerpts from "Tubular Bells" are here, naturally, along with the African section of "Amarok," "Ommadawn," and shorter pieces like "Ascension," "Supernova," and "The Tempest," and there's even a message in Morse code for Richard Branson woven in here. Now 60, and making his home in the Bahamas, Oldfield continues to do his own thing, combining the avant-garde with classical composition techniques, prog rock dynamics, and his own restless sense of pop music. This self-chosen set makes a great introduction to his life's work, although ardent fans will no doubt have everything here in their longer forms.

Customer Reviews

A great selection of Mike through the years.

Very pleased this has been released as it presents an excellent selection of Mike Oldfields work over the years that many may not be aware of.

Some really superb choices here.

Have just bought it haven't listen to it yet but it'll be magic

Mike Oldfield great music to open the Olympics with. British music at it best.

Cash-in? Probably; but....

Bought with no qualms or regret here. This is GOOD STUFF. Sentinel brings tears to the eyes still; it is music awesomeness all over.

I'd gladly pay for this over and over compared to the junk that's downloaded by most people daily.

If just 1 person downloads this based on the 'Olympic label' and likes it; job done.

Now Mike; let's have a couple more new albums, huh? ;)


Born: 15 May 1953 in Reading, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Composer Mike Oldfield rose to fame on the success of Tubular Bells, an eerie, album-length conceptual piece employed to stunning effect in the film The Exorcist. Born May 15, 1953, in Reading, England, Oldfield began his professional career at the age of 14, forming the Sallyangie folk duo with his sister Sally; a year later, the siblings issued their debut LP, Children of the Sun. By the age of 16, he was playing bass with Soft Machine founder Kevin Ayers' group the Whole World alongside experimental...
Full bio
Two Sides: The Very Best of Mike Oldfield, Mike Oldfield
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Customer Ratings