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Mike Oldfield Album - Incantations

Mike Oldfield Album - Incantations (Front side)
Album Information :
Title: Incantations
Approx. Price:$11.98 (USD)
Release Date:
Type:Audio CD
Label:Blue Plate Caroline
Customers Rating :
Average (4.1) :(43 votes)
25 votes
8 votes
3 votes
4 votes
3 votes
Track Listing :
1 Part One
2 Part Two
3 Part Three
4 Part Four
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful:
- A trip to another dimension

while on his first three albums ("ommadawn","hergest ridge","Tubular bells") Mike was practising his folk-rock-progressive style, here he creates a real Rock symphony.

77 minutes ("ommadawn" was lasting 36 minutes...) of a huge and bombastic rock-opera based on a poems of Ben Johnson and Longfellow (english 18 century poets) and his own experiences (in the time Mike had gone though Exegis therapy because of his psychical problems).

Whole album sounds much different than anything he had made through the next years of his career.Guitar that was so charactereistic in his earlier records is hidden here on second plan.Massive choir,orchestral arrangments,synths and opera sounds are dominating in "part 1" and "part 2".they all give album a bit Film music or classical music taste.

During last 8 minutes of "part 2" Maddie Pryor (from Steelaye span band) is singing the "Hawaiatha" poem with the background of Jabula african drums band and etheric vibraphone part (Pierre morlen from Gong,he will collaborate with Mike in the later years too).This part is hypnotising listeners because of monotoic Vocal intonations and very spiritual atmosphere...

but i save all the honours for "part 3" and "part 4" which are in my opinion one of Mike's finest instrumental works in in his whole Career.

"Part 3" starts with a cheerfull Fanfare medieval motive...but suddenly starts the maginficent long Guitar solo section...African tribal Drums are again on background along with gentle Bass riff and synths...the raw and moving Gitar solo is one of hte moments that can brought tears into your eyes because of a imposible beauty that lies underneath it.later staright to the end "part 3" goes into the nice seventies rocker with nice drums and guitars...

"part 4" is much more experimental - etheric and mysterious Vibraphone part dominates here...i have to mention also the another tribal drums section with a rhythmical Bass guitar riff and charming Guitar solo...the ending is a All time Oldfield Classic - Maddie Pryor singing "ode to diana" along with a bit christmas-like melody.guitar solo is wonderfull.....

This is definitly a magical album...takes you to a different world of ancient tribes and distant is one of the most impressive and timeless instrumental albums ever...77 minutes of pure pleasure.definitive must have for all rock fans!

(Knoxville, Tennessee)
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful:
- Good but repetitive

When this album came out, it was a double LP. It probably should have been condensed into one album. This release has some of the best sections of Oldfield music in existence, mostly contained in Parts 1 and 3. Many other parts of the album are, however, very repetitive and grate. The Song of Hiawatha poem in part 2 is quite nice but, once again, goes on too long. This CD is certainly worth picking up, if nothing else for the first and third parts. Even these are repetitive in places, however. This is nothing like the tightly constructed Platinum that followed it.

(Arizona, USA)
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
- DVD Surround Mix is Excerpts ONLY

Buyer beware! This fourth installment from Mike Oldfield's reissue series has left this listener in complete dismay. This is a complete botchery and an absolute slap in the face to avid surround sound listeners like myself.

I was extremely excited to get a hold of a surround sound mix of Incantations, which really is my favorite Oldfield record. However, the surround mixes, while fantastic, are mere excerpts of the entire piece, and include a bunch of other folky music that is not even included on the original album.

I ask Universal UK and Mike Oldfield, why even release a surround mix if you can't provide the entire recording? Why does the Main Menu say "Play Incantations", when infact it should say "Play Excerpts of Incantations and Other Tracks You Never Expected to Hear." I was happy with my two LP set, and this is a clear downgrade.

For those interested - here is what you get on the DVD.

. Diana


Piano Improvisation


Canon For Two Vibraphones


Also, three videos which include a live version of Incantations.

Amazon needs to update their "review" which clearly mis-represents what comes on this Deluxe release.

(Barcelona, SPAIN)
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful:
- Rare and minimalistic Oldfield

Incantations is a rare gem in Mike's output. Very diferent from the previous three symphonic-folk-rock masterpieces, but also isolated from the rest of his discography. Here the musician-composer-interpreter is more composer than ever, in a very academical way, close to such composers as Steve Reich, Phillip Glass or John Adams, althought his distinctive guitar can also be found here. If the previous Ommadawn was folky and romantic, Incantations is minimalistic and classical, without the dramatic emotional intensity of his predecessor and more inclined to an aseptic flowing of musical structures and melodies. Mike gets very close to Steve Reich here, specially for the sparse use of melodic percussion, flute and strings, and also in terms of compositional technics: the use of minimalistic cells which create the base and background of the music. The chord-arpeggios are also very used and refer more to Phillip Glass; so any doubt that this is a real minimalistic piece of music, long and repetitive, but with great oldfield-melodies and idiosyncratic guitar-playing. The only link with Ommadawn is a medieval influence in some parts, but of course in a very different context. The best parts for me are part one and four, with a special mention to the vibraphone passage on part four, in which he uses changing meters as 4/8, 6/8, 5/8. In my opinion Mike reached a top with this work in terms of compositional ability and musical ambition (73 minutes of music), so he changed completly of musical direction to more easy and commercial works; a real pity. The sound-atmosphere of the recording is clear and sophisticated in itself (in contraposition to the previous albums, more raw and rustic), so there's no need to say that the remastered CD dignifies the final listening tremendously. The only problem with the remasterd edition is the bad quality of the covers, as another reviewer has pointed out, it seems like a colour photo-copy! what kind of Art-work is this? I can do it better with my scanner and computer. Five stars for Mike Oldfield and Incantations. Four for the edition.

(Inverness, CA USA)
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
- This is semi-deluxe at best

Compared to the wonderful Deluxe versions of Tubular Bells, Hergest Ridge and Ommadawn, the Deluxe release of Incantations falls considerably short. Completely aside from the part four glitch, which has been promptly addressed by the record company and replacements will be sent when available, my disappointment is focused on the 5.1 dvd release. I was hoping and expecting the entire piece was going to be released in 5.1, and instead, all we are given are snippets. They all sound nice, but they are not the entire work. The new stereo versions sound fine, but they do not interest me as much as a surround version. Why release surround versions of the first three, but not this piece? To be clear, I enjoy everything presented here, but the release is incomplete without a 5.1 version of the entire recording, and as such, hardly qualifies as Deluxe.

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