Hergest Ridge - Mike Oldfield

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Hergest Ridge - Mike Oldfield

1 CD(s) - New Age - Label: Universal - Distributor: Universal Music; Sony DADC - Released: 07/06/2010 - 600753267547

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Review of "Hergest Ridge - Mike Oldfield"

published 17/06/2010 | Snaplight645
Member since : 14/11/2009
Reviews : 5
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Excellent
Pro A great improvement in quality, some very interesting bonus material.
Cons New 2010 mix is not musically superior but is still a very worthy alternative mix.
very helpful
Originality
Quality and consistency of tracks
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"Hergest Ridge Deluxe Edition 2010 mix - Mike Oldfield."

*** This review is currently not showing the new cover picture! ***
I'll start by saying that Hergest Ridge is my all-time favourite album. Closely followed by Ommadawn. I like plenty of other stuff as well but for different reasons.
I first discovered Hergest Ridge back in the early 1980s. I had the original vinyl version and I played the record constantly. I liked it from the outset but the more I listened, the more I fell in love with it. In the mid 1980s I bought the CD version. This was a remixed version and gave more prominence to the vocal parts, among other things. I liked it even more, and this is what I've listened to, regularly, for nearly 25 years. For me this music really does conjure up images of a wild and windy landscape. But not a modern one, an ancient landscape. Very Celtic and pagan. It has a magical, mystical feel to it. I just love those vocals, raw and mysterious.

Then along comes the 2010 remix... 2 CDs and a DVD.
The first thing that really grabbed my attention was the improvement in sound quality. Cleaner, clearer, warmer with lots of detail. Worth buying for this alone!
The new mix is noticeably different and interesting but still very familiar. There is one part of the new mix that I find irritating though. Part One at 12:12 there is a repetitive rythmic guitar strum that I feel is too loud and drowns out the melody. Unfortunately this goes on for nearly two minutes before the volume is faded down and it once again rejoins the music at the correct level. This is my only real complaint and perhaps I will warm to it in time. I am, after all, very used to the old version having listened to it for so many years. There are many other variations which are very successful and pleasing. The truth is that this music could be remixed in an infinite number of ways. Every version would be different and have strengths and weaknesses and none would be truly definitive. Overall, I give this a big "thumbs up", it's nice to have a number of different versions to listen to. Within minutes of it finishing I was online ordering "Ommadawn" which has been given similar treatment - can't wait for that to arrive! Also on the first disc is a delightful version of "In Dulci Jubilo" which is different from the one I am used to. "Spanish Tune" is an extract from Hergest Ridge that was the B side of a promotional single - previously unreleased.

On the second CD is the original 1974 vinyl mix, never before released on CD. The sound quality is excellent. Also on the CD are demo versions of Hergest Ridge. These are fascinating! Sound quality has been nicely cleaned up for CD. Sound wise it is rough, well it is just a demo of course. It is wonderfull listening all the same because it's pretty much all there - the whole album! Musically lovely but without the full instrumentation. All worked out in advance. As a bit of a composer myself, I am in awe (I work differently, I make things up as I go along).

As for the DVD... This features the 2010 mix in Dolby 5.1 surround and is a great experience. I don't have a 5.1 setup but even through stereo speakes the virtual surround effect is very interesting. I've not fully explored this yet. On screen it is very simple. An aerial view of Hergest Ridge with computer 3D gliders in flight.

This review is currently showing the old sleeve picture! The sleeve design is good and the booklet informative. I like the new cover picture which is an aerial view of Hergest Ridge with a glider in flight. It's good but it dosen't look like a ridge! I mean Hergest Ridge is a big hill but the aerial photo makes it look flat and two dimensional - but I am just quibbling - it's great really!

Go out and buy this stunning album today!

Since writing this, my copy of Ommadawn, Deluxe Edition has arrived and I've reviewed it as well - Please see my other reviews.

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Comments on this review

  • MEL0611 published 17/06/2010
    Good review x
  • JOHNV published 17/06/2010
    I heard this soon after it was first released in 1974 and loved it, but not since then - so I'd be interested in this edition. But I think they have the right cover image - if we are talking about the original vinyl (which i realise we're probably not!). Enjoyed your review very much.
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1 CD(s) - New Age - Label: Universal - Distributor: Universal Music; Sony DADC - Released: 07/06/2010 - 600753267547

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EAN: 600753267547

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