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Topic: Return To Ommadawn to be released January 20, 2017< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
Tubularman Offline





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Posted: Dec. 09 2016, 10:27

little bit miserable comments here i must agree..  :O  i think people maybe would have been more open mind if mike did not give his album this title.
So far i really love what ive heard.. really much!
But the quality on that radio audio is too bad.. So i cant jugde anything yet.
Im very happy Mike did this. The cover its something new and interesting! Cant wait to see more!  :D


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bee Offline





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Posted: Dec. 09 2016, 19:09

it seems to me that we just need to be patient - we have heard a very short extract - that is all and, without the context of the whole album, we are  unable to know what wonderful journey lies ahead.

it's a a new album! with the indication there may be another in the future! this is good news indeed - i'm very happy to hear this

the promise of music is a beacon of light in this dark winter - we should celebrate

bee :D


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....second to the right and straight on till morning....



You heard me before
Yet you hear me again
Then I die
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seventeen64 Offline





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Posted: Dec. 09 2016, 22:37

The age of the internet and its responses is the age of visceral, immediate response laced with emotion and  fervour rather than measured thoughts and reconsideration. Not that I am accusing anyone, but that is the climate we live in now.

Someone once described something to me and I still believe it today, I'll paraphrase badly: Something made new related to old can never take away from the old, but add something new. e.g. even if (shock horror) we don't personally like RTO, and some of us won't, we still have a lot of albums and pieces we do cherish - those that make us Oldfield fans and thankful for his contribution. Lets not forget that. Personally, I think its great that our man is still wanting to make music. He could've retired completely when moving to the Bahamas - but instead still feels the need to express himself. As long as he continues to feel that need, I'll continue to listen.


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First_Excursion Offline





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Posted: Dec. 10 2016, 01:40

Quote
(Harmono)
Edit: starts at about 2 hours 12 minutes.

Thanks!

Quote
(Lancelot)
This sounds very sterile to me, in the vein of Oldfield's superficial new age output since Voyager. I hope I am wrong as I cannot judge the album from a 30 sec snippet...

I know exactly what you mean, but as you say it's hard to judge when hearing these short extracts out of context. I've listened to the snippets a few times over a few days now and despite having the same feelings, I am remaining hopeful.

Quote
(equinoxe)
The title of the album is...really? (thought it was only the working title) and the cover is...naah, nevermind...

I know.

Quote
(Priabonia)
Sounds like every other rubbish album post QE2...

FMO was the last really great one for me, but I don't start using the word "rubbish" until we get to 1991. :laugh:

Quote
(cAveMan)
Mike has stated he re-used the original voices as a nod to the original album...

I am glad they are there. I don't see how you can have 'Ommadawn' in the title without at least acknowledging Clodagh's contribution to the title and of course Sally's voice should be there too. It would have been interesting to hear what they would have come up with had they been involved.

Quote
(tarquincat)
I just don't get this site. Is it just full of miserable old sods who won't except anything...

Quite the opposite, many of us think Mike's music is effing awesome excepting all the later stuff. Teehee. At least it's got us all here talking about him again.

Quote
(tarquincat)
Now, having gone back to "long form solo multi instrumental album", he is being criticised for going back to "long form solo multi instrumental album"...

I agree with TOBY's response, I don't think anyone's criticising him for that specifically. It's all the "sequel" business. For me,  Tubular Bells: oh hell yes. Tubular Bells 2, 3, 2003, 4? Thanks but no thanks.

Quote
(qjamesfloyd)
Meat Loaf has released Bat Out of Hell 1, 2 ,3. does he get the same backlash?

Meatloaf is a complete embarrassment to himself. We credited Mike with more credibility.

Quote
(Tubularman)
...people maybe would have been more open mind if mike did not give his album this title.

Agreed, though despite the choice of title and ahem... cover, I expect most of us will give it a red hot go like we always do. We'd all love to have another great Mike Oldfield album in our lives.

Quote
(seventeen64)
As long as he continues to feel that need, I'll continue to listen.

I will continue to buy. It's been a while since I continued to listen much beyond that point but here's hoping.  :p
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mitch65 Offline





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Posted: Dec. 11 2016, 00:54

I must confess that when the album cover first appeared I thought it was fan art so I was a little disappointed that it was the actual cover. To be fair, a cover does not an album make and I am hopeful the finished product will do the original justice.
I was not a fan of MOTR........really wasn't :(
I've recently been playing Ommadawn and Sanctuary II, which I really like, more times than I care to mention so my anticipation for RTO is very high.
We do set the bar so high that disappointment is always a possibility, I remember the first time a heard Amarok and thought wha.....? now, like so many others, it's my favourite Oldfield album.
One thing I can be absolutely sure of though is that my wife will not like it!  :laugh:  :laugh:  
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equinoxe Offline





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Posted: Dec. 11 2016, 06:10

Quote (mitch65 @ Dec. 11 2016, 00:54)
To be fair, a cover does not an album make and I am hopeful the finished product will do the original justice.

Look at Jarre's Oxygene and Equinoxe, or Oldfield's FMO and Crises albums covers. IMHO the cover is important, because it adds a special additional mood to the whole album. I realize covers was more important in the 60s, 70s and 80s because of large vinyl format, so the images were also biger and were a part of a whole record. Today's music is in digital files format, so who really cares about the covers?
I don't like the new cover of Return To Ommadawn, because it looks just too... generic. These are just my humble thoughts.
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Lancelot Offline





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Posted: Dec. 11 2016, 07:10

I completely agree with equinoxe. A cover in my opinion should grasp somehow visually the essence of the album, its mood, or at least reflect somehow on the music either seriously either ironically.  

My problem with this cover is that it degradres Mike's music to the level of banal high fantasy, a videogame or Harry Potter iconography. Mike's music always had extremely strong visual and narrative evocative power, and a good album cover designer should know this - as many fans, as many visualisations and stories...

Now it will be a little bit difficult to listen this music without seeing giant fantasy turtles in the snow with flashing eyes and fighters with deers. This is sooo far from my "Ommadawn feeling"... which is somehow much more transcendental and pantheistic.  

That's why I prefer more abstract covers or covers with the musician's portrait on it. That is a much less agressive way to interpret visually an album.
 
I think I will make an alternative cover for my RTO after I buy it!
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equinoxe Offline





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Posted: Dec. 11 2016, 08:43

Quote (Lancelot @ Dec. 11 2016, 07:10)
My problem with this cover is that it degradres Mike's music to the level of banal high fantasy, a videogame or Harry Potter iconography.

Yes, i have more or less the same feelings about the new cover.
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Gunz412 Offline





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Posted: Dec. 12 2016, 05:29

I too am surprised at the negativity towards the sample clip, especially as for memory the initial views of Man on the Rocks were positive when it actual fact the album was a bit of an abomination (Dreaming in the wind excepted)
Sure, there is element repetitiveness but for man who has done so much it is difficult to see how he could produce something truly original but still please the purists.

And let’s not forget his famed quote about playing one note and meaning it. This has resonated through his entire career and there are similarities across his entire catalogue.
It sometimes feels like he only knows a handful of chords and builds every album around them.

I am just excited at the prospect of a traditional Oldfield album with no electronica, cheesy lyrics, guest artists and commercial samples.
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mountie926 Offline





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Posted: Dec. 12 2016, 12:11

One edition of "Return Of Ommadawn" will include a DVD with a 5.1 surround sound mix. And you can order prints or T-shirts
https://shop.virginemi.com/mikeold....77af5d7

To add my two cents to the discussion here:
Mike consulted fans in his Facebook groups during the process of making the album. This includes the style and even the name of the album. Therefore much was fan driven.
I am personally looking very much forward to an album in the style of the 70s with two long elaborated instrumentals. And I like samples I heard so far.
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hergest fridge Offline





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Posted: Dec. 13 2016, 14:26

"Cheer up everyone it's only an album innit?" :)

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Basilrathbon Offline





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Posted: Dec. 22 2016, 08:04

Quote (Lancelot @ Dec. 11 2016, 07:10)
I completely agree with equinoxe. A cover in my opinion should grasp somehow visually the essence of the album, its mood, or at least reflect somehow on the music either seriously either ironically.  

My problem with this cover is that it degradres Mike's music to the level of banal high fantasy, a videogame or Harry Potter iconography. Mike's music always had extremely strong visual and narrative evocative power, and a good album cover designer should know this - as many fans, as many visualisations and stories...

Now it will be a little bit difficult to listen this music without seeing giant fantasy turtles in the snow with flashing eyes and fighters with deers. This is sooo far from my "Ommadawn feeling"... which is somehow much more transcendental and pantheistic.  

That's why I prefer more abstract covers or covers with the musician's portrait on it. That is a much less agressive way to interpret visually an album.
 
I think I will make an alternative cover for my RTO after I buy it!

I agree with you about the cover; it's truly awful and about as far from being a Mike Oldfield album cover as one can imagine!

Furthermore I feel not just the cover but the time of year of RTO's release is wrong; to me Mike's instrumental music is very much evocative of summer, of lush valleys beneath bright blue skies, of long walks in the remoter parts of Herefordshire and Gloucestershire. A January release and a third-rate Dungeons & Dragons cover is just wrong!

Of course ultimately it's the music that matters and the samples I've heard so far make me confident that RTO could be a classic. Once I've bought it I'll probably save it to my mp3 player and never look at the cover again!
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TubularRidgeDawn Offline





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Posted: Dec. 22 2016, 14:15

I have been looking forward to this new album of Mike's with quite some anticipation since I heard of its development. Mike is in a no win situation really with whatever he does here. If he makes it too much like the original he will be criticised for living in the past and being too New Age, and if he goes in the other direction he will be criticised for not being faithful to the original. I guess we all have our own expectations, and we need to hear the album in full to fairly judge it.

But I think it's great that he has been inspired to revisit Ommadawn, something which I did not think would ever happen, and I am still very much looking forward to its release in January.

As for the cover ... anybody played Skyrim?


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En yab na log a toc na awd
taw may on ommadawn egg kyowl
ommadawn egg kyowl
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larstangmark Offline





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Posted: Dec. 28 2016, 15:28

After "The Millenium Bell" the album covers could only get better. Actually I think Mike's albums after Crises look are not that good, so I don't expect much tbh. A generic fantasy painting is better than the cover of "Music of the Spheres" which looked like an old maths book.

Looking forward to hearing the album! :)


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Yann Offline





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Posted: Jan. 03 2017, 04:35

Seriously, I don't understand all this story about the cover.

The original cover of Incantations was AWFUL, I repeat, AWFUL, and the album is one of his top ones. Crises? quite bad. Islands? Generic. Indeed, with very few exceptions as the original TB or the new cover for Incantations (which was a last minute change), Oldfield never had great covers.

So what?

Are you more interested in the image than in the music? Then maybe you should go for Beyonce instead of Oldfield.
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Lancelot Offline





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Posted: Jan. 04 2017, 10:42

Quote
Are you more interested in the image than in the music? Then maybe you should go for Beyonce instead of Oldfield.


I think nobody told here, that she or he is interested more in the image than the album, so you can keep please these arrogant commens to yourself. Unlike you, for example I am not familiar with album covers of Beyonce as well.  

What I tried to expain (but I doubt you got my point) that the problem with this album cover for me is that it connects a banal fantasy iconography to Mike's music. You are right, Mike's covers were never too strong. But beeing even generic or bad, they were either abstract (Tubular Bells), either  connected somehow to the the music or a special song (Crises, Five Miles Out), etc.  

Now beeing a person with strong visual education, for me the image of an album holds a message about the artistic product, just like a book cover. And I wanted to express here that my perception of Ommadawn is very far from giant turtles and warriors, thats why I am disappointed with this cover.  

Saying this, at the end of course it is the music what will really matter. So we can probably continue this elevated aesthetic discussion about the harmony and disharmony between the music and the image when the album is released.
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falk Offline





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Posted: Jan. 04 2017, 17:45

No we are not discussing the record yet since we have not heard it, but my two great heroes, mike oldfield and mark knopfler normally have the whole package, including the cover, and that is part of why i like them.
However, this cover says nothing about the record, or i certainly do not hope so, and it is far away from the original Ommadawn, which is my big problem with it. I certainly hope it says nothing about a record, which i happen to have big hopes and dreams for, like the record of the year, like it was with Mikes old albums, or at least until 1987 in my humble view, plus Amarok.
and now he writes about a new Tubular bells? i am aware the last ones belong to his former record company, and i see that as the ONLY reason to make another TB. I love mike when he pulls the strings and makes hourlong onetrackrecords in two parts, and a new ommadawn is fantastic, except the cover. But another TB after this? don´t do it mike. leave the memories behind you and do something original
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Korgscrew Offline





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Posted: Jan. 04 2017, 18:16

I know that everyone gets passionate about music and artwork, but I hope we can all find ways of talking about it without ripping each other's throats out :)

I think that for as long as the album cover (and a couple little snippets of music) is all there is to talk about, it's going to be a big topic for debate whether it's ultimately important to the overall package or not.

My own observation, from having worked on various projects where I've ultimately been responsible for the whole package (not creating the artwork myself, but guiding it), is that the packaging design is really a very important aspect of the product as a whole. That of course is going to depend on the delivery medium - I suspect it's going to have fairly little effect over how someone feels about playing the album on Spotify, but in the realm of physical media, I think you have to approach it from the point of view that you're not really selling someone the music (because they can download that) but an experience. It does also depend on who the artist is, who their customers are and how they're buying (like, for example, Mike Oldfield isn't an almost unknown artist selling CDs at gigs), but my experience has been that if you put the time into getting the packaging right, creating something that people want to pick up and engage with, you're much further on your way to convincing someone that you've got an album that they're going to enjoy.

Is that superficial? I don't personally think so, it's just how people are. I think at least some of us would like to have an album in packaging which makes us feel good in the same way that we'd rather listen to the album in a nice comfy chair rather than sitting on a sharply pointed spike. The music's not going to be changed by sitting on a spike, but the experience of listening certainly is and I imagine it'll be changed for the worse in most people's opinion (yeah, there are always exceptions...let's just leave that thought right there :D).

I like the original Ommadawn cover. It's certainly not a fancy piece of design, probably not something you'll want painted as a mural on your wall or made into a t-shirt like some have with Tubular Bells...but I think it links closely with the music, even down to having echoes of the "I like thunder and I like rain" verse of On Horseback.

I think, from that point of view, Return to Ommadawn is a tricky concept to approach. The title sounds like a fantasy album if you don't know Ommadawn as the title of Mike's 1975 album. I'm also not sure if the cover is inappropriate for the album content, as Mike does seem to have gone down a bit more of a fantasy-Celtic path with at least some of the music. Perhaps the very process of making the album has felt like a kind of Hero's Journey for Mike, with many battles and conquests along the way...

But...we (as long term fans) all know what Ommadawn is. On hearing the words 'Return to Ommadawn', I think a lot of us expect something that harks back to 1975 and exists within the same world as the original...a world which I can say Lancelot isn't alone in having imagined as being free from giant turtles, stags and warriors. That's a matter of expectation, though - it's not something which necessarily has anything to do with what's actually on the album, which is why I mention that long term fans probably have a different perspective.

I personally see Ommadawn as an album that was deeply connected with the place (both figuratively and literally) where Mike was at the time. I feel the cover reflects that rather nicely, his pensive gaze hinting at his inner state while we're left to imagine what rainy landscape he might be looking out at. I wonder, though, whether Return to Ommadawn will have the same connectedness with Mike's current surroundings, or whether Mike's been immersed in an entirely different world...

I liked how Amarok took some of the ideas of Ommadawn and became its own thing, including William Murray's own take on the cover photograph. I wonder how fans would have felt had he called that Return to Ommadawn (or Ommadawn II) - which it was...it had become its own thing by the end of it, and I think that calling it Amarok allowed it to assume its own identity. The cover portrait shows us that it's a very different Mike Oldfield who's recorded it, and we know that very different music awaits us...

I enjoy what Steven Wilson does with his albums, he's done some nice two-disc sets which are like little hardback books, with a lot of artwork in the middle. I feel that really enriches the whole experience...providing visual food for thought without being prescriptive. I think that's a tough line to tread, making a certain visual statement while still leaving enough open for the listeners to bring their own ideas to the table and enjoy the album in their own ways.
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daznug Offline





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Posted: Jan. 05 2017, 05:58

I like that the new cover features a text design that is very close to the original font and design of the original Tubular Bells cover.  With "RETURN TO OMMADAWN" in capitals and "Mike Oldfield" underneath. The colour matches too.

This is the first time that MO has replicated the original cover text design.  

Subtle?
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pauly Offline





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Posted: Jan. 05 2017, 20:04

This is my first post since joining a few years back so hello everyone.
Having heard the Steve Wright edit and the other small snippet of RTO I was hooked. I'm made up with the return to the old format of a Part 1 and Part 2 as I'm a big fan of longer instrumental pieces.
I've read all the posts regarding the album cover and get what people say about the cover reflecting what's on the record but I suppose it's down to personal taste and expectation. I personally like the new cover just because it looks nice and am looking forward to it arriving and listening to what's inside the cover.
I don't think we'll be disappointed.
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