What does it sound like?:
Following on from the release late last year of the 7 cd box of Oldfield’s albums for Warners comes this 2 cd ‘best of’ covering the same period featuring key highlights plus a dozen or so rarities.
Disc 1 concentrates on pieces released as singles, including several non-album remixes and closing with the rerecorded version of ‘Sailor’s Hornpipe’ from the 2003 version of TB.
Disc 2 features rarities and remixes, and starts with a demo version of TB2’s ‘The Sentinel’. Billy Connolly gives the rundown of instruments on ‘The Bell’, also from TB2 instead of the more familiar Alan Rickman version – Viv Stanshall’s attempt at the same piece appears on CD1. Several B sides are given rare outings, but the remainder of CD2 harks back to the period when Oldfield’s music was adopted by the ‘ambient/house’ scene. Of the remixes offered in this genre, the best is The Orb’s ‘Orbular Bells’ mix of ‘The Sentinel’.
What does it all *mean*?
The first cd is a handy collection for the casual fan – the second is for the more hardcore completist follower of Oldfield.
Goes well with…
Prog fans will like most of the music on offer here, while the ambient remixes may open his music up to a different market/audience completely.
Might suit people who like…
Fans of Oldfield’s catalogue or lovers of this type of rock. A good summary of his work during this period which may lead the new listener to seek out and give a listen to the full albums that these pieces are taken from,