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Return to Ommadawn

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Album Review

Although it features the beautiful recorder of Leslie Penny and the Chieftains' Paddy Maloney playing the uilean pipe, Ommadawn didn't gain Mike Oldfield the success he was looking for. The album was released in the same year as the David Bedford-arranged Orchestral Tubular Bells and nine months after Oldfield picked up a Grammy award for the original Tubular Bells album. The most pleasing attribute of Ommadawn is its incorporation of both African and Irish music in its symphonic rock & roll mainframe. Boosted by a hearty amount of different horns, piano, cello, trumpet, and synthesizer, the album has its moments of rising action, but the whole of Ommadawn fails to keep its lovely segments around long enough, and there are some rather lengthy instances that include bland runs of unvaried music. Another plus is Oldfield's use of a choir, giving the album a soft, humanistic feel when contrasted against the keyboards or synthesizer. While it does include flashes of Mike Oldfield's brilliance, the entire album may seem a little anticlimactic when compared to some of his other releases.

Customer Reviews

A Masterpiece

Let's correct a few things. This is NOT the 1975 version of Ommadawn, even though iTunes has that date on it, plus an old review of the original album. Just goes to show how much iTunes knows about music. This is a completely new recording, and it is magnificent. If you loved the original, this new, completely different "Return" will blow you away. Amazing.


I just listened to this album today. It's very well executed and is what you expect from Mike Oldfield. It's a very good sequel to the original Ommadawn. I used to listen to Ommadawn when I was a kid and the new album is a flashback to my childhood world.

He is back!

I thought that after Tubular Bells 2 (with some few exceptions such as the songs from distant earth) Mike had got lost. However it seems that we now have Mike back! Never too late. Very melodic and nicely perfomed. I have heard the album a few times. It is a treasure.


Born: May 15, 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
Return to Ommadawn, Mike Oldfield
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Customer Ratings

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