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Topic: INSTRUMENTAL VERSIONS of all tracks on DELUXE CDs!, Instrumental Versions Man On The Rocks< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
scienceguy Offline




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Posted: Jan. 19 2014, 05:11

I think it is fair to say that the majority of us Mike Oldfield fans favour his INSTRUMENTAL compositions most of all.

As such, I am sure I was not the only one to have mixed feelings when I heard the news that Mike was going to be composing and releasing a ROCK ALBUM that would comprise about a dozen individual VOCAL SONGS...

Personally, whilst I love many of Mike's previous vocal songs, such as Five Miles Out, Family Man, To Be Free, Man In The Rain and of course Moonlight Shadow, these IMO are far outshadowed by his numerous INSTRUMENTAL masterpieces to date.

So is there anyone else here who thinks it is AWESOME news that both DELUXE versions of MAN IN THE ROCKS will include a second CD containing fully INSTRUMENTAL VERSIONS of all Mike's new music compositions contained on this album? :)

The pertinent question that needs answering regarding this is whether the INSTRUMENTAL VERSIONS are simply the VOCAL VERSIONS with the vocal removed, or whether they include an additional INSTRUMENTAL component to replace the removed VOCAL component? I would expect the latter would be considered to be the ideal... I guess we will have to wait and see! :p

Either way, I would like to say a huge THANK YOU to whoever is responsible for making the INSTRUMENTAL VERSIONS happen!!! :D

Anyway, what does everyone else think about this? Am I the only person who thinks this news is AWESOME?!!! :)
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qjamesfloyd Offline




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Posted: Jan. 20 2014, 07:16

I really doubt that Mike would just remove the vocals and call it an instrumental, after hearing Sailing, just remoin th vocal would render it uninteresting, so I would think/hope Mike would be adding more lead guitar etc to make it an instrumental.

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Nexus6 Offline




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Posted: Jan. 29 2014, 08:30

Shortly after Man on the Rocks was announced on Caroline Monks facebook she requested for some ideas for a deluxe version (actually she asked the question twice) and I was the first one on the first request for ideas asking for Instrumental versions to be included... The publishing date was then moved at a later stage... Maybe they hadn't thought of including instrumental versions of the songs and Mike needed some time to get it sorted? Instead voice now guitar?
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Nexus6 Offline




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Posted: Mar. 01 2014, 04:35

How wrong I was... The instrumental part is more like karaoke... Just missing Luke's voice... What a missed opportunity... Well, for other people to fill in, I guess.
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Philippe Tavares Offline




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Posted: Mar. 01 2014, 04:52

:p I'm not one of you then !! lol I prefer studio versions !!
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scienceguy Offline




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Posted: Mar. 02 2014, 05:34

Quote (Nexus6 @ Mar. 01 2014, 04:35)
How wrong I was... The instrumental part is more like karaoke... Just missing Luke's voice... What a missed opportunity... Well, for other people to fill in, I guess.

Have you received your copy and listened to the instrumental versions then? :O

I am still waiting to receive delivery of mine  :/
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captainjjb Offline




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Posted: Mar. 02 2014, 15:36

The instrumental version is, to my ears, just the same music without the vocals.  In parts this does make it an odd listen indeed.  I kinda thought he might have put some of the tunes in, but no.
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Nexus6 Offline




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Posted: Mar. 02 2014, 17:52

Quote (scienceguy @ Mar. 02 2014, 15:34)
Quote (Nexus6 @ Mar. 01 2014, 04:35)
How wrong I was... The instrumental part is more like karaoke... Just missing Luke's voice... What a missed opportunity... Well, for other people to fill in, I guess.

Have you received your copy and listened to the instrumental versions then? :O

I am still waiting to receive delivery of mine  :/

Still waiting for my discs, but listening on Spotify...

As I said, same versions as studio versions, without Luke. A missed opportunity....
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scienceguy Offline




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Posted: Mar. 03 2014, 03:27

Quote
The instrumental version is, to my ears, just the same music without the vocals.  In parts this does make it an odd listen indeed.  I kinda thought he might have put some of the tunes in, but no.

Quote
...listening on Spotify... same versions as studio versions, without Luke. A missed opportunity....

EDIT (04/03/2014): Having now listened to both VOCAL and INSTRUMENTAL versions of this album I have changed my position on this matter...

See my post below for details
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qjamesfloyd Offline




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Posted: Mar. 03 2014, 07:19

If it is the case that only Luke's vocal have been removed, then that is a huge supprise, I thoght Mike would have made more of the tracks than that. In that case, no point in buying the deluxe version, I'll save money and just buy the single disc. I don't underdtand the point of such a release, also the instrumental versions also appear to have different track lengths? :/

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Thea Cochrane Offline




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Posted: Mar. 03 2014, 18:26

Quote (qjamesfloyd @ Mar. 03 2014, 12:19)
If it is the case that only Luke's vocal have been removed, then that is a huge supprise, I thoght Mike would have made more of the tracks than that. In that case, no point in buying the deluxe version, I'll save money and just buy the single disc. I don't underdtand the point of such a release, also the instrumental versions also appear to have different track lengths? :/

I'm struggling to think of an instance of an instrumental version of a song that hasn't just had the vocals removed. Why were you expecting Mike to add guitars playing the melody?
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Korgscrew Offline




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Posted: Mar. 03 2014, 19:29

Quote (Mat Cochrane @ Mar. 03 2014, 22:26)
I'm struggling to think of an instance of an instrumental version of a song that hasn't just had the vocals removed. Why were you expecting Mike to add guitars playing the melody?

The instrumental version of Tricks of the Light on the Elements set has a synth melody line added to it, so there's at least a small precedent for it in Mike's work.

I think I'd say that the karaoke versions are what I expected, but not what I'd have hoped for, if that makes any sense. I suspect it's not really what fans hoped for when they requested instrumental versions either (though I can't personally say the idea of even songs with a guitar instead of a singer taking the lead line really appeal...though it might have been entertaining if they'd got Hank Marvin in to do them...). I think it's a case of the request being taken a bit too literally "You want instrumentals? *mutes vocals* There you go, instrumentals!"

I think the demos would have made a nicer second disc, then maybe the third disc in the super deluxe set could have been videos (if they'd shot the videos before the discs went to pressing, at least...) or even a 5.1 mix (though that's more work). Nobody asked me, though ;)
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scienceguy Offline




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Posted: Mar. 04 2014, 06:53

I have now listened to both the VOCAL ALBUM (CD 1) and INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM (CD 2 of DELUXE EDITION) of Man On The Rocks and here's my two cents...

Whilst it is clear that (as far as I can tell) the INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM is simply the VOCAL ALBUM with the vocal removed, in my opinion, not only does the INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM most certainly work as a whole in its own right, but IMO it is much, much better than the VOCAL ALBUM. :)

IMO despite the vocals having been removed the INSTRUMENTAL VERSIONS do NOT in fact sound at all like 'KARAOKE' music tracks.

Instead, Mike's wonderful multilayered progressive instrumental musical compositions are allowed to flourish unimpeded by the vocals.

MOONSHINE in particular stands out as being significantly better without the vocals. In fact, ALL the tracks sound significantly better without the vocals!  

For those who are interested here is my review of Man On The Rocks that I have posted on AMAZON:

Buy The DELUXE EDITION for the INSTRUMENTAL VERSIONS!

INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM: 5 STARS!

VOCAL ALBUM: 3 STARS

If like me you are a die-hard fan of Mike Oldfield you will probably favour his instrumental compositions more than his vocal tracks, which to date (thankfully) have typically been limited to few and far between.  

Without a doubt Oldfield’s primary talent lies within his unrivalled ability to compose absolutely amazing complex, multi-layered, progressive instrumental compositions; wherein, he is akin to a modern day Mozart.

Mike’s sporadic attempts at vocal songs over the years have misfired more often than not. The reason being that in most cases (with the odd rare exception) the vocal quite simply does not work very well and in fact is distracting to the extent that it significantly lessens the wonderful immersiveness of Oldfield’s music.

So I was very dubious indeed when it was announced that this album would comprise purely vocal songs… Could it be that in this instance the vocals might work and not prove to be such a distraction? Unfortunately, in my opinion, the answer is NO. As previously, I find that the vocals significantly lessen the wonderful immersiveness of Oldfield’s music. So, as far as the VOCAL ALBUM goes it is a disappointed 3 OUT OF 5 STARS from me.

That said, THANK YOU CAROLINE MONK (and of course Mike) for ingeniously deciding to release a DELUXE VERSION with a SECOND CD comprising ALL OF THE SONGS AS PURELY INSTRUMENTAL TRACKS!

The INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM is absolutely AMAZING!!!

I repeat… The INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM is absolutely AMAZING!!!

Personally I am of the view that without exception all of the tracks on this album sound much, much better without the vocals. In fact, I rate the Man On The Rocks INSTRUMENTAL Album to be 5 OUT OF 5 STARS (with the VOCAL album scoring 3 STARS).

In my opinion, the Man On The Rocks INSTRUMENTAL Album is as good as The Songs Of Distant Earth, which many (including me) have considered to be Mike’s best work of the past 20 years. No kidding! The Man On The Rocks INSTRUMENTAL Album really is THAT GOOD! There is not a single bad track on the album (how many other music artists can you say that about?); and as with The Songs Of Distant Earth the best way to listen to it is to sit down, relax and simply play the whole album from start to finish.

Without a doubt, Oldfield is back on top form. The Man On The Rocks INSTRUMENTAL Album is Oldfield at his best.

So, if like me your preference is ‘Classic Oldfield’ you should most definitely buy the DELUXE EDITION and listen to the INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM on CD NUMBER 2.

Hell, even if your preference isn’t ‘Classic Oldfield’ you should STILL definitely buy the DELUXE EDITION and listen to the INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM on CD NUMBER 2.

That is where the real treasure lies!

In my opinion, without a doubt the INSTRUMENTAL ALBUM is far, far superior to the VOCAL ALBUM. The absence of vocals allows Mike’s music to fully shine in all its majesty. It is absolutely AMAZING.

I am very much hoping that with what will indubitably be an extremely positive response to Man On The Rocks that Mike will decide to compose more new albums; wherein, I would ask (pretty pretty please with a cherry on top) that purely INSTRUMENTAL VERSIONS of all the new tracks be included again (if they are not instrumental already) even if included as a SECOND CD as part of a DELUXE EDITION as it was here.

Well done Mike! Absolutely fantastic work!
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qjamesfloyd Offline




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Posted: Mar. 04 2014, 07:15

Ok you have convinced me, I'll get the deluxe version so I can have a more balanced opionion of the instrumental versions. But I don't see the point of just removing a vocal track and releasing it, there must be more of Mike's guitar or something going on? If you remove the vocal of Moonlight shadow does it stand up to more than a couple of listens? However as Korgie says, bring something like what Hank Marvin did with Moonlight Shadow that is different, that is the guitar replacing the lead vocal, that is an instrumental version of a song.

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scienceguy Offline




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Posted: Mar. 04 2014, 08:57

Quote (qjamesfloyd @ Mar. 04 2014, 07:15)
Ok you have convinced me, I'll get the deluxe version so I can have a more balanced opionion of the instrumental versions. But I don't see the point of just removing a vocal track and releasing it, there must be more of Mike's guitar or something going on? If you remove the vocal of Moonlight shadow does it stand up to more than a couple of listens? However as Korgie says, bring something like what Hank Marvin did with Moonlight Shadow that is different, that is the guitar replacing the lead vocal, that is an instrumental version of a song.

I would be really interested to hear your opinion and whether you agree :)

To be perfectly honest when I sat down to listen to the INSTRUMENTAL VERSIONS for the first time I already had it in mind that they were going to sound like KARAOKE music tracks, so this was what I was expecting. Suffice to say I was VERY pleasantly surprised when they did not!  

Incidentally, I deliberately listened to the INSTRUMENTAL Album FIRST, i.e. BEFORE the VOCAL Album; wherein, my rationale was that I wanted to view the INSTRUMENTAL Album entirely in its own right as a whole and I didn't want to spend the whole time thinking about what was missing as compared with the VOCAL Album whilst listening to it... I don't know whether or not this would make a difference but I thought this might be worth mentioning, in case you might like to do the same. ;)

Upon reflection, aside from finding the vocal to be distracting I have deduced additional reasons why in all instances I consider the INSTRUMENTAL versions of Man On The Rocks to be better than the VOCAL equivalents...

As typical with Mike's musical compositions, the instrumental component of ALL the tracks on Man On The Rocks is PROGRESSIVE in nature; in that the primary melody emerges not right away, but later on in the track within a build-up of multiple instrumental layers. This is precisely the same as typically occurs in Mike's past purely instrumental compositions; and it really works, as has been proven time and time again.

With every track on Man On The Rocks the PROGRESSIVE structure of the INSTRUMENTAL component, and in particular the manner in which the primary melody emerges, is such that it appears to the listener that nothing is actually 'missing'. IMO this is why the INSTRUMENTAL Versions do NOT sound like 'KARAOKE' music tracks. ;)

With the added VOCAL track (i.e. the VOCAL versions) the vocal adds the primary melody, on top of the already richly layered INSTRUMENTAL component, not only right from the start of the track, but also repeated again and again (and again) throughout the track... In my opinion, this adds a HIGHLY REPETITIVE (and hence annoying) quality to the music tracks that is absent with the INSTRUMENTAL versions.

IMO as a result of this the VOCAL track in all instances is not only superfluous, but in fact is one layer too many, adding far too much repetition of the primary melody throughout the track to the extent that the track is in fact made considerable WORSE as compared with the INSTRUMENTAL Version.

This is why I have put the VOCAL Album (CD1) away in my cupboard, where it will likely reside gathering dust indefinitely.

IMO the INSTRUMENTAL Album is by far the best version... It's FANTASTIC... In fact, I am going to go and sit down and listen to the whole album again right now! :)
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Thea Cochrane Offline




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Posted: Mar. 04 2014, 16:32

Quote (Korgscrew @ Mar. 04 2014, 00:29)
I think it's a case of the request being taken a bit too literally "You want instrumentals? *mutes vocals* There you go, instrumentals!"

It is normal practice with a large release like that to do instrumentals during the mixing stage though (and "no lead vocal" versions) to be used in the background on televisions programmes and so on.

I'd be surprised if they hadn't been done before lots of fans asked for them.

I'm completely with you on the whole Shadows thing though, I thought the melody played on the Tricks of the Light instrumental was a bit cheesy.

One positive: if you wanted to you could use phase cancellation to extract the vocals and have them on their own. (I'm going to regret saying that if someone uses that to do a dubstep mix of Irene now.)
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EeToN Offline




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Posted: Mar. 04 2014, 17:53

I think it's great that instrumental versions are released, I expect lots of fans doing all kinds of interesting stuff with them. :) Like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-t-Jg-8TDOY


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knife edge Offline




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Posted: Mar. 05 2014, 05:12

I've listened to the instrumental tracks, and... sorry, but the truth is the truth: they are simply the normal tracks without the vocal line, with the base tracks slightly differently mixed.
The fact that the instrumental base is (obviously) more evident without the vocals, doesn't make it an "instrumental album" in the classic Mike's sense. And if these tracks without Luke's vocals are considered better than the vocal version... well, really bad review for MOTR.
The instrumental doubling of the vocal line is already there in the normal vocal version of the songs, no way they can transform the "karaoke style" tracks in real instrumental tracks. No way "instrumental" MOTR can be compared with the masterpiece TSODE (blasphemy :D ), but not even with Guitars or Voyager. It can be interesting from an audio producer point of view, but nothing more (and remember, Mike is not playing all the instruments). I expected something very different from Mike's "instrumental versions".
Maybe someone has forgotten who Mike is and what its music can be... that is a pity, because maybe also Mike has forgotten some of his own music genial sparkle.
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scienceguy Offline




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Posted: Mar. 05 2014, 07:19

Quote (knife edge @ Mar. 05 2014, 05:12)
I've listened to the instrumental tracks, and... sorry, but the truth is the truth: they are simply the normal tracks without the vocal line, with the base tracks slightly differently mixed.


Yes indeed they are, and they work excellently in their own right as progressive instrumental tracks.

The fact that the VOCAL has been removed does not automatically mean that they sound 'incomplete', in fact IMO they sound precisely the opposite :)

Quote
The fact that the instrumental base is (obviously) more evident without the vocals, doesn't make it an "instrumental album" in the classic Mike's sense...


I disagree. It is indeed an INSTRUMENTAL Album that very much works as an INSTRUMENTAL Album; and in fact works much, much better than when the VOCALS are added on top.

IMO what makes the INSTRUMENTAL Album work in the 'Classic Mike' sense is the fact that the instrumental base comprises multilayered progressive instrumental music with the same structure as past purely instrumental (Classic Mike) tracks  ;)

If the VOCAL Album did not exist I am confident that you would view the INSTRUMENTAL Album very differently. You really need to view it as a separate entity and basically forget about the VOCAL Album entirely when listening to it. IMO it works extremely well in its own right as a progressive instrumental album. The reason it does NOT sound like KARAOKE is due to the multilayered progressive structure of the instrumental component and since the primary melody is included within the instrumental component (as you yourself have astutely observed) whereas with KARAOKE it typically is not. :)

Seriously, go and listen to the INSTRUMENTAL Album from start to finish without mentally comparing it to the VOCAL versions and judge it in its own right... IMO it is very, very good indeed.

If you STILL don't like it, then let's agree to disagree... Personally, I think it's AMAZING :)
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knife edge Offline




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Posted: Mar. 05 2014, 07:31

Instrumental progressive music is another thing, for sure not the instrumental version of this album. There's nothing progressive in this music (with or without vocals), and it was never intended to be. Nor it sounds like any of the past intrumental Mike albums, by no means.

Anyway, I agree to disagree :D and I'm happy to be still listening to past Mike's progressive music and to be able to separate their quality from the instrumental MOTR.
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