3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poo-Poo on the Naysayers...
Make no mistake folks..this is a truly beautiful album from the first notes to the last Sri Lankin chanting. I have been an Oldfield fan for years and was very pleased with this when I first bought it when it came out. If I had to take only 5 of his albums to the proverbial desert island, this would be one of them. The other four? Crises. Incantations. Voyager. and of...
Published on Feb. 15 2005 by B. W. Wilson
2.0 out of 5 stars Huh?
Do I live in some parallel universe where Mike Oldfield recorded a dreadful album and everyone else lives in the one with the good album? I bought this CD based on the thirty-odd rave reviews featured on this page and what I got was totally at odds with the praise drooled all over this music.
If this album were recorded by a newcomer, it would stay two weeks on...
Published on June 30 2000
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poo-Poo on the Naysayers...,
This review is from: Songs of Distant Earth (Audio CD)
Make no mistake folks..this is a truly beautiful album from the first notes to the last Sri Lankin chanting. I have been an Oldfield fan for years and was very pleased with this when I first bought it when it came out. If I had to take only 5 of his albums to the proverbial desert island, this would be one of them. The other four? Crises. Incantations. Voyager. and of course, Tubular Bells (but the 2003 version).
This is grand music that only Oldfield could create. I say go for it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just When You Think It Was Safe To Come Out Of The Water.,..,
First there were the Tubular Bells series...then this comes along.
This masterpiece has so much going for it that comparisons to Mike Oldfield's other works just pale in comparison. That being said, it makes it an instant classic.
Distant thunder rolls and off we go to a ride that no one has ever been on before. This is truly a masterpiece of sound and texture and Mike Oldfield proves once again it's not his prowess at manipulating musical tones on his instruments....but that he literally can control his musical genius and point directly at you with the command of a bullet.
I found certain parts of this piece truly breathtaking. Even more fantastic, you don't have to listen to any else he has ever done to really appreciate the depth and beauty which this offers. Again, a masterpiece...dont' miss out
5.0 out of 5 stars In my opinion his best album,
This review is from: Songs of Distant Earth (Audio CD)
To begin with I could say I'm a fan of the enigmatic Mike Oldfield probably in part because of that, and also because of the more accessible music he write since 1980... Personally I see him as "enigmatic" because I'm always learning something new about him or the peoples around him... However I'm not sure at all that everybody always appreciate his work at it's just value... I've read his autobiography "Changeling" who had been released in 2007 but I don't remember much of it since I wasn't feeling well at the time; but I remember that he comment about his experimentation with various drugs like hashish, LSD and cannabis as a young adult... For him it created "a world where Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds made perfect sense" and "gave notes another sense"... He doesn't say it bluntly, but his album "Tubular Bells" have been written during these drugs-filled times, and he recall "never been the same afterward"... Personally I never liked "Tubular Bells" or much of the "progressive" music he was writing in the 70s, but I still bought the re-recorded DTS 5.1 version figuring it might be better, I still believe it is extremely overrated... In my opinion the only excellent or entertaining part on that album is the last 1:30Min, who are his take of the classic "Sailor's Hornpipe"... Regarding his good music, with his collaboration with singer Maggie Reilly at the beginning of the 80s and under the pressure of Virgin Music owner Richard Branson who wanted him to make more popular things his style have somewhat changed, it's more accessible, even if there's almost always a few really mysterious songs on each albums... Personally I'm steadily buying all his albums since then one by one, pretty much everything is worth having, but "The Songs of Distant Earth" is definitely among his best and is in my opinion really underrated... Whatever opinion peoples have of the weirdo Arthur C. Clarke, the writer of the book who inspired this music, it's definitely among Mike Oldfield's best work... I believe that this is the album to try if someone want to get a taste of Mike Oldfield's "electronic" music and NOT the highly questionnable instrumental "Tubular Bells"; the person who like this one is probably going to like every other 80s and 90s albums...
5.0 out of 5 stars A Very Inspiring Album,
I decided to order this album after reading so many (mostly) good reviews about it, and a few other recommendations. Although I must admit, on the first listening of the CD, I wasn't 'in awe' of it, as I have heard other albums with similar styles and this one didn't seem do anything very different from them, although it definitely was 'nice'. But on subsequent listenings, it really 'grew on me', and now I think it's one of the most 'inspiring' albums, not just 'relaxing', run-of-the-mill new age CDs.
Although the style has definitely been heard before, I don't agree with one of the reviewer's statements that it's a poor copy of Enigma's music, as Enigma was not the first one to write this type of music and it's a very popular style in general, in new age, that cannot be only claimed by Enigma. I don't think it's 'slow-building' either, as it's told as a story that is very enjoyable to listen to, I wouldn't mind having more tracks!
So if you enjoy new age music (yes, like Enigma, Delerium, Era, Vangelis), then you will enjoy this album too, most likely. Don't hesitate to get a copy of it.
5.0 out of 5 stars The SONGS OF DISTANT EARTH IS THE TOP AMBIENT CD,
In all my years of listening to music, I have found this CD to be the most spectacular of the Space Music and ambient classification.It is a CD you can listen to over and over and never tire of it.You can relax,sleep by, and play anytime and it's special beauty is clearly heard and over again.
If you like this CD ,You'll be pleased to know He has done other great CDS-Tubular Bells 3,The Millenium Bell,and Tubular Bells 2, and the NEW " TRES LUNAS " CD which recently became available .It is well worth owning all 4 of these CDs.
I can easily get tired of some CDS and listen to them only once or twice but this CD is one you'll always love to hear.
When one buys a CD he has never heard, it's very, very rare he enjoys every track,every song- but you can LISTEN to every song and enjoy EVERY song-A TOTALLY Beautiful CD without exception.
Ascension is my favorite track, a song that continually builds you up for a tremendous ascent into the heights of beautiful music! If I went into space,I'd have to take this CD with me to listen to whether I took anything else or not! :) You'll love it!!
Finally-This CD was the one that made me a Mike Oldfield fan many years ago.I think you'll say the same!
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal - Takes you away......,
When you get this CD... light a candle, turn the lights off and let Mr. Oldfield take you on a most amazing and pleasure filled journey... this epic piece begins with sounds evoking images of creation itself... lonely and erie sounds being heard at first, then the voice of Neil Armstrong from his Apollo space mission enters in, reciting the dramatic opening verses of genesis... which leads to a gentle rhythm next beginning.... subsonic notes ocurring at evenly placed intervals as the main theme is stated which is repeated as a familiar point of reference throughout the rest of the work... feminine voices are then heard coming from 3 distinct locations in space which softly repeat the words "burning".... "melting".... "dissolving".... cleverly and gently evoking images of the newly created planet... This is a thoroughly enjoyable work, with each section leading into the next without any breaks at all, letting one know a musical journey has been embarked on, until at last the masterpieces final section concludes. I believe this to be a very unique piece, with the only connection between this work and the well known and overplayed Tubular Bells being the distinctive tone of Mr. Oldfields guitar itself, which works quite wonderfully as placed within in the context of this work where it brings comfort and familiarity with it's ocassional echoing of the main theme throughout. This is a work which should be listened to undisturbed from beginning to end, as it will take you on a very enjoyable journey for an hour or so if you can find the time to totally immerse yourself in the experience of listening to these songs, and remembering, distant Earth...
5.0 out of 5 stars A very pleasant surprise,
I picked this cd almost randomly out of a catalog, not knowing anything about the recording or the musician Mike Oldfield. But after giving it a few listens, I quickly realized that this is one of the better cds out of the hundreds I own! Aside from the very creative arrangements and fresh style of the music (which relies heavily on synthetic sounds and samples), one aspect of the music that I enjoy is what I perceive to be an interplay between very earthy or soulful sounds (such as tribal chants and distant voices) with more futuristic synthetic sounds. This duality seems to bring out from me an awareness of what is sacred here on earth, as well as what life could be like outside of our beautiful planet. And the fact that a piece of music could actually induce me to contemplate such things is worth 5 stars in and of itself!
Finally, if someone asked me to classify this music, I really wouldn't know how, other than to put it in the category of "great music". In any case, I will be paying much closer attention to Mike Oldfield's music in the distant future.
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply one of the best.,
I've been an Oldfield fan for a long time, and this is the album that got me into his music. It's really a shame that most people who classify themselves as Oldfield fans will tell you that this work isn't good. This album has Oldfield's remarkable genius woven through it, but unlike his other works, it uses a lot of synth and has a very distinct, fluid sci-fi feel to it, making it different enough to earn the ire of some of his earlier fans who got hooked on the likes of Amarok and Ommadawn. Don't get me wrong, the synth is fantastic and used to enrich the music, not overwhelm it as with most sci-fi music. The guitar work is outstanding, definite trademark Oldfield, the themes beautiful, and the music very original and non-repetitive. I often use this CD to introduce people to Mike's music. Even friends I have who seldom listen to anything but longhair classical or heavy metal can't resist this album, it nails everyone every time. If you are reading this, take a chance and pick it up, even if you don't think you would like it. Listen to it a few times, as with all Oldfield's music, it takes time to reveal itself to you. I'd place it as his best work, but I'm in a very small minority of Oldfield fans on that. If at least two of the sound clips intrigue you, definitely pick it up and give it a shot. Grock the net for "Pat's Mike Oldfield Page" if you want to view the definitive website on Oldfield's work.
5.0 out of 5 stars You have to prepare yourself,
By A Customer
So just what is this CD all about, well its quite simple really, what you do is put the CD in the player, adjust your headphones, sit back, relax, and be prepared to hear the most interesting continuous piece of music ever written, based on a wonderful book. This is truely an album preferred by those that appreciate the finer things life has to offer. While i find that Mikes work is not too well known by many, it is greatly appreciated by those who have heard it, especially this album. The mixture of musical diversity all blended to form one complete song is as good as it gets, and while this has been done before by others, none even comes close to this work. 'The Songs of Distant Earth' has been around my various cd players a lot, and it even stayed in the car one for a while too, although i must admit its not what i would call driving music. This is a worthwhile buy and a valuable piece to add to any serious music collection, the only problem that i have here with this CD is that the enhanced portion is only mac compatible.
4.0 out of 5 stars And God Said...,
I had extremely high expectations for this cd, what with my view of Oldfield's Tubular Bells as one of the greatest instrumentals of all-time, my being a huge Arthur C. Clarke (whose novel of the same name inspired the music on this album) fan, and having seen numerous highly ecstatic reviews of this album on the internet. And thus, one day sitting at the computer I popped this album into the stereo, and... I was quite frankly unimpressed. The music just seemed to drivel on with little relevance or elaboration and seemed to bear little or no relation to Clarke's story (aside from the song titles.) However, when I listened to this album a second time and liked it, I realized my mistake. Despite it's relative nature, this is not background music. This is music that you need to listen to while alone, preferably with a very good sound system (or pair of headphones) and just let it wash over you. It certainly is not Tubular Bells, but The Songs of Distant Earth has a majesty and beauty all its own. Skewing the instruments he normally frequents, for the most part, and instead focusing mainly on synthesizers and electronica, definately gives the album a "science fiction" feel, while still adhering to his minimalist compositional style that he does so well. The album really works as a whole unified piece, and singling out particular tracks is not only useless, but detrimental to the album. It's not exactly perfect, however. The frequent use of drum machines gets faintly old after a while, and is not, I think, and element that is going to help the album stand out over time (especially seeing as it wasn't released in, say, 1984). Also, the last track, A New Beginning, is absolutely pointless and out of place, it's just an odd minute of inane African chanting that closes the album on something of an off note. However, no biggie, I'll just hit the "stop" button on my CD player after Ascension from now on. On the whole, I recommend this album to, of course, fans of Oldfield, but also to conscious-minded music fans in general, and if you're a fan of ACC, then pick this album up, who knows, you just might like it. If it seems dreamy and inconsequential at first, I urge you to listen to it again and thereby get lost in it's beauty.
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