Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Mike Oldfield - 1999-07-25 - Katowice, Poland

Mike Oldfield
Spodek Hall, Katowice, Poland
Then & Now Tour 1999

FM Broadcast Recording, very good quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

To wrap up this brief look at Mike Oldfield's career: As the eighties wore on, and with relentless pressure from his record company to make more commercial music, Mike did what he could to balance his musical and artistic goals with pop song limitations, but harbored increasing bitterness, resentment, and feuds with Virgin regarding his music. The success of the pop aspects of Crises (1983) and Discovery (1984) only made things worse as Virgin pushed even harder for more pop/rock songs with 'hit potential'. This resulted in even less room on Mike's subsequent albums for his trademark extended instrumentals, culminating in Earth Moving (1989), which consisted entirely of  short pop songs and no instrumentals. Not surprisingly, this album is generally considered the lowpoint of Mike's career. Fed up by the label's interference in his music, Mike rebelled and just wanted out of his contract, and for his next album, Amarok (1990), Mike purposely made an album that Virgin (and owner Richard Branson) would hate. He went back to his full album long-form instrumental, but in this case also made it more disjointed and experimental and impossible to subdivide into 'singles' (He even included a literal F-U to his record company, as an embedded morse code message of 'Fuck you RB' referring to Richard Branson. The album was released and progressive fans hailed it as a return to form for Mike and one of his greatest works. Virgin was less impressed, and if Mike was going to do an instrumental album, they wanted a sequel to Tubular Bells, but Mike refused. He finished out his his contract with Virgin with a hastily put together mixed bag album of different pop/rock songs and styles (Heaven's Open (1991), and then he was free again to do the music he wanted. His first album with his new label (Warner Bros.) was the long-awaited sequel to Tubular Bells, Tubular Bells II (1992), just to rub it in to his former label. It was a remarkable re-imagining of the original, taking the same themes and structure and doing different variations and extrapolations on them. In subsequent Warner albums, he explored new and varied musical styles, from a softer new age sound on a concept album based on an Arthur C. Clarke novel (Songs of Distant Earth-1994) to Celtic themes (Voyager (1996) to an all-guitar album (Guitars-1999). He also did another sequel to Tubular Bells with Tubular Bells III (1998). His career has continued to explore varied musical styles but he always also returns to the ethereal long-form instrumentals of his early albums. Most recently, Mike released a long-awaited sequel to Ommadawn, Return to Ommadawn (2017), which has received much praise and acclaim. The show featured here is from 1999 and consisted primarily of sections from his recent albums Songs of Distant Earth, Guitars, and a nearly complete Tubular Bells III, in addition to a couple of his singles and 'Ommadawn'. A very nice show to highlight his 1990's work, and to cap this look at the fantastic and innovative musician that is  Mike Oldfield.

01. In The Beginning
02. Let There Be Light
03. Supernova
04. Crystal Clear
05. Shadow On The Wall
06. Ommadawn Part 1
07. Band Intro
08. Cochise
09. Embers
10. Summit Day
11. Muse
12. The Source Of Secrets
13. The Watchful Eye
14. Jewel In The Crown
15. Outcast
16. Serpent Dream
17. The Inner Child
18. Secrets
19. Far Above The Clouds
20. Moonlight Shadow
21. Family Man
22. Far Above The Clouds Encore

Time.: 02:25:32
FLAC - Mike Oldfield_1999-07-25_Katowice,Poland_FLAC.rar

mp3 - Mike Oldfield_1999-07-25_Katowice,Poland_mp3.rar

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Mike Oldfield - 1984-09-10 - Milan, Italy

Mike Oldfield
September 10, 1984
Teatro Tenda Lampugnano, Milano, Italy

Audience recording, very good quality
Available in both lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

Following his successful 1981 European tour, Mike Oldfield returned to the studio to work out how to better juxtapose his favored extended instrumentals along with some more pop-friendly songs and vocals. And with his next album, Five Miles Out (1982), Mike achieved more of a balance between these opposing forces, fashioned some genuine rock songs (as well as a bit more progressive rock), and released his best album of this period, and even sang some lead vocals himself for the first time. The album cracked the British top ten for the first time since Ommadawn, and even had some singles success with 'Five Miles Out' and 'Family Man' (which would later be a hit for Hall and Oates), with Maggie Reilly again contributing some stellar vocals. Following a similar format (Side one - single extended instrumental, side two - shorter pop-rock songs), Crises (1983) was even more successful, climbing to #6 in the UK and near the top of the charts throughout Europe and Scandanavia, due to the success of the singles 'Moonlight Shadow' and 'Shadow on the Wall'. The album again featured vocals by Maggie Reilly, as well as additional guest vocals from Jon Anderson (Yes) and Roger Chapman (Family). 'Moonlight Shadow' (vocals by Maggie Reilly) became the biggest hit (single) of Mike's career. However, rather than being pleased with this success, Oldfield's record label (Virgin) used this only to increase the pressure on Mike to write more 'pop hits', rather than his preferred instrumentals. Thus, on Discovery (1984). more shorter pop songs were included and only a single (shorter) instrumental. Barry Palmer (formerly of Triumvirat) sang vocals on some tracks, as well as Maggie Reilly again. Although containing some good songs, overall a less impressive and less successful album than either Crises or Five Miles Out indicating diminishing returns with too many of the 'pop' style songs. Here is a fine concert from this period, from the Discovery Tour, which features the complete albums of both Crises and Discovery, as well as several songs from previous albums Five Miles Out and QE2, but only a shortened 'Tubular Bells Part 2' to represent his earlier work. 

01 Platinum (excerpts)
02 Tubular Bells Part 2
03 In High Places
04 Foreign Affair - Mount Teide
05 Taurus 1 & 2
06 The Lake
07 Five Miles Out
08 Crises
09 To France
10 Poison Arrows
11 Crystal Gazing
12 Tricks Of The Light
13 Discovery
14 Talk About Your Life
15 Saved By A Bell
16 Moonlight Shadow
17 Shadow on the Wall
18 Taurus III

Mike Oldfield - guitar, keyboards, vocals
Harold Zuschrader - fairlight synthesiser
Mickey Simmonds - keyboards
Barry Palmer - vocals
Maggie Reilly - vocals
Phil Spalding - bass and guitar
Simon Phillips - drums, percussion

FLAC -  Mike Oldfield_1984-09-10_Milan_FLAC.rar
mp3 - Mike Oldfield_1984-09-10_Milan_FLAC.rar

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Mike Oldfield - 1981-04-02 - Eilenreidhalle, Hannover, Germany

Mike Oldfield
April 2, 1981
Eilenriedhalle, Hannover, DE
'Adventure In Hannover' Live 1981

Soundboard recording, excellent quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and Mp3 (320 kbps) versions

More from Mike Oldfield! Despite his early phenomenal success, by the end of the '70's, as the popularity of progressive rock among the general public was declining, Oldfield's albums also saw declining sales. And his last album, the double album Incantations (1978), which consisted of a single 72 minute song broken into 4 sidelong parts and took 3 years to release, was his weakest and least warmly received (even many Oldfield fans thought it a bit too dull and repetitive). Thus, Oldfield was under increasing pressure from his record company to deliver more popular music and move up the charts. Thus, on his next several albums Oldfield mixed his longer instrumental-oriented tracks with a series of shorter, more pop-friendly tracks, as well as including cover songs and more traditional vocals (with lyrics). The first of these albums was Platinum (1979), with side one a long-form instrumental (but broken into 4 separate parts), and side two containing shorter songs, some with vocals (by Wendy Roberts). However, there was another change that also occurred around this time. During the recording of Incantations, Mike began undergoing assertiveness training, which helped him with his confidence, personal interactions, and anxieties about performing live. Thus emboldened, in 1979 Mike went on his first full-fledged tour to support his albums. The next album, QE2 (1980) followed a similar format, and marked the first time Mike worked with vocalist Maggie Reilly, and the beginning of a successful partnership. But this change in style for Mike was not initially very well-received, with the more progressive fans feeling somewhat betrayed and accusing Mike of selling out, and pop audiences just were not really embracing his quirky songs and style. However, the extensive 1981 European tour that followed was very successful and helped expand his audience, and several excellent recordings exist from this tour.
    Here is a wonderful show from Mike's 1981 European Adventure Tour, a superb soundboard recording featuring some unique arrangements of Oldfield's signature long-form tracks as well as some of the newer shorter tracks from recent albums, and featuring a crack supporting band and vocals from Maggie Reilly.

CD 1
1. Welcome  0:39.67
2. Taurus I  11:10.66
3. Sheba  3:34.49
4. Mirage  5:07.73
5. Introducing  1:16.27
6. Platinum 1-4  15:09.14
7. Tubular Bells Part 2  7:19.17
8. Sailor's Hornpipe  2:34.03
9. Conflict  5:27.64
Total Disc Time: 52:20.05

CD 2
1. Ommadawn  20:54.70
2. Tubular Bells Part I  17:29.17
3. QE2 / Portsmouth  7:46.48
4. Punkadiddle  6:35.35
Total Disc Time: 52:46.20

Mike Oldfield - Guitar, vocals
Maggie Reilly - Vocals
Morris Pert - Percussion
Tim Cross - Keyboards
Rick Fenn - Bass, guitar
Mike Frye - Percussion

FLAC - Mike Oldfield_1981-04-02_HannoverDE_FLAC.rar

Mp3 - Mike Oldfield_1981-04-02_HannoverDE_Mp3.rar