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Question: Favourite Discovery Track :: Total Votes:87
Poll choices Votes Statistics
To France 13  [14.94%]
Poison Arrows 11  [12.64%]
Crystal Gazing 2  [2.30%]
Saved by a bell 7  [8.05%]
Talk about your life 6  [6.90%]
The Lake 33  [37.93%]
Discovery 6  [6.90%]
Tricks of the light 9  [10.34%]
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Topic: Favourite Discovery Track, Choose< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
Holger Offline




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Posted: April 13 2005, 12:50

Quote (Sir Mustapha @ April 06 2005, 22:28)
I figured out what is my problem with "The Lake": the piece is too goddamn cutesy! It's sweety sugary syrupy all the way through!

Well, I mostly don't agree. It does get a little cheesy towards the end, I'll admit that much, but it's not enough to spoil the track for me. The rest, not.
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Korgscrew Offline




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Posted: April 13 2005, 15:33

Quote (Sir Mustapha @ April 13 2005, 17:13)
Yeah, because Discovery definitely isn't a pop album with pop songs released to try and please the record label a little bit. Not at all. Of course, Discovery is far from pop. It's an instrumental album with a little bit of vocals, and that's why "The Lake" is put right in the end with a big, huge "(instrumental)" label next to it. Hmm...

Is that an attempt to belittle my opinion? It seems to be accompanied by an attempt to make yourself look clever. Most of your posts come across that way, actually. Very music journalist, really. I can understand you wanting to make your posts something 'more' but you don't need to be so damn obvious about it.

A little more respect would be nice, otherwise things are likely to turn nasty.
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hiawatha Offline




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Posted: April 13 2005, 15:49

If I thought Discovery had any "pop" in it, I would not love it as I do. Even "Saved by a Bell", which I still like even though it is my least favourite track.

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Where the Falls of Minnehaha
Flash and gleam among the oak-trees,
Laugh and leap into the valley."
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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: April 13 2005, 16:40

Quote (Korgscrew @ April 13 2005, 15:33)
Is that an attempt to belittle my opinion? It seems to be accompanied by an attempt to make yourself look clever. Most of your posts come across that way, actually. Very music journalist, really. I can understand you wanting to make your posts something 'more' but you don't need to be so damn obvious about it.

Well, hey, I am a music reviewer, and I have to make justice to my status of cynical bastard! But I actually wasn't talking about your opinion. I really didn't intend to say that in a personal level to anyone here, but it sounded really wrong. Sorry.

It just came to me the idea that Mike was trying to transform his pop album into a conceptual epic, which sounds really, really silly in retrospect. When Mike is making a radio oriented listener-friendly album of catchy songs, doing those recurring-melodies tricks and treating them like his old instrumental sounds like he's trying to convince himself and his listeners that it is not a pop album (which it is) - either a big dishonesty, or a silly fear of turning "mainstream".


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hiawatha Offline




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Posted: April 13 2005, 18:56

Quote (Sir Mustapha @ April 13 2005, 16:40)
...doing those recurring-melodies tricks and treating them like his old instrumental sounds....

Let's see.

Recurring melodies in "Tubular Bells"? Check
Recurring melodies in "Hergest Ridge" (both sides, even?) Check
Recurring melodies in "Ommadawn" ? Check
Recurring melodies in "Incantations"? Check
Recurring melodies in "Platinum"? Yep, if you include "Sally"
Recurring melodies in "QE2? Check. (see Taurus I and the title track)
Recurring melodies in "Five Miles Out"? Check
Recurring melodies in "Islands?" Check

Again, this is hardly a new trick or deception with him prior to and around the time of "Discovery". Many of the recurring-melodies even involve short songs ("Five Miles Out" song and "Taurus II", for example). It is the way he likes to compose. Based on the above, "Discovery" would seem odd if there were not any recurring melodies.

The preceeding message is not an attempt to belittle any opinion.


--------------
"In the land of the Dacotahs,
Where the Falls of Minnehaha
Flash and gleam among the oak-trees,
Laugh and leap into the valley."
- Song of Hiawatha
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raven4x4x Offline




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Posted: April 14 2005, 06:32

Quote (Sir Mustapha @ April 14 2005, 01:13)
Yeah, because Discovery definitely isn't a pop album with pop songs released to try and please the record label a little bit. Not at all. Of course, Discovery is far from pop. It's an instrumental album with a little bit of vocals, and that's why "The Lake" is put right in the end with a big, huge "(instrumental)" label next to it. Hmm...


I'm a bit mystified by this attitude: I really don't see what the big deal is. Yes, he was doing songs because of a request from his record company, but surely he should be applauded for not going all the way down that road and still maintaining some of himself in it. Trying to link songs together like does not for me turn it into a wannabe concept album, I just see it as trying something interesting like he usually does. If that attempt didn't quite work for you then you don't like the album, I don't see any reason to see it any differently than that.

On the Tubular Bells / Lifehouse thing, it seems likely to me that Mike may have considered Tubular Bells as an unfinished project. Not in the same way as Lifehouse of course, but we all know that when he recorded TB2003 he wasn't happy with the original. Selling millions of copies won't have changed his feelings for it if he could have done better.

Oh, and a hint Sir M: drop the sarcasm. There are a lot more effective ways to get an opinion across that don't sound like you are insulting the intelligence (or worse) of those who disagree. I know you aren't trying at all to insult anyone, but being sarcastic generally isn't the nicest way to go about things.


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familyjules Offline




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Posted: April 14 2005, 06:59

Quote (raven4x4x @ April 14 2005, 06:32)
Oh, and a hint Sir M: drop the sarcasm. There are a lot more effective ways to get an opinion across that don't sound like you are insulting the intelligence (or worse) of those who disagree. I know you aren't trying at all to insult anyone, but being sarcastic generally isn't the nicest way to go about things.

I think some of you guys are getting the wrong end of the stick with Sir M.  It's just the way he writes.  Sure if it was just provocative with no substance behind it, you'd all have a point, but Sir M argues passionately and the debates he is involved in are always interesting to read.  I think he provokes lots of fascinating exchanges, and I'm always interested in his opinions, even if they come complete with a little bit of an edge to 'em.

Jules


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raven4x4x Offline




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Posted: April 14 2005, 09:00

Perhaps it's just me, but sarcasm seems to imply that the other person's arguement is so obviously wrong that a mere presentation of it is enough to disprove it. It just seems so insulting, even if that is not the intent. There's a difference beweeen being provocative and sounding insulting. I'm not saying that anyone means to be insulting, but sarcasm can so easily sound that way. Of course, Sir M's opinions are always interesting and thought provoking, as you can see by the sheer volume of discussion he generates!  :)  ;)  

One thing about this discussion: I'm very glad to see a major discussion about Discovery, normally it is one of the more ignored Oldfield albums.


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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: April 14 2005, 12:26

Regarding Hiawatha's post above - that's something I wanted to be brought up. You should remember how Tubular Bells, Hergest Ridge, Ommadawn and Incantations are all one composition only, and not a collection of radio-oriented cuts. For that, I see Platinum, QE2 and Five Miles Out much more as song-oriented instrumental works than radio-oriented material. Five Miles Out sure had 'Family Man', but it almost sounds like a "bonus track" of sorts, included there because it wouldn't bother. But 'Crises' is a full-blown half-radio-oriented album, and there's none of that there - no frills, no tricks, just great pop material. So I can't see why he should be so paranoid of it in Discovery.

Quote
Yes, he was doing songs because of a request from his record company, but surely he should be applauded for not going all the way down that road and still maintaining some of himself in it.


But that's the thing: Mike Oldfield, to me, doesn't mean "one single melody popping up on the entire album". It means solid songwriting and melodicism, and Discovery already had plenty of it to begin with. Why should I care about the "unity" of an album like that? Not even the Moody Blues were doing that kind of thing, not even when their artistic ambitions were soaring above the stratosphere.

About the sarcasm thing, Jules is right, that's really the way I write. Many times I have opinions to express, I try not to write them like I was writing a long-winded serious political speech that nobody would want to read; I don't want to make my opinions look more important and more significant than anyone else's (though I do try to make them valid, but that's what words are for). I just end up going too passionate and over-the-top and let paragraphs like that skip. I just didn't want to attack anyone's opinion here. I just want to be (or make myself look) clever, I mean, I like being clever. I'll try hard to be less personal about it from now on. I hope it helps!


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hiawatha Offline




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Posted: April 14 2005, 12:47

Quote (Sir Mustapha @ April 14 2005, 12:26)
You should remember how Tubular Bells, Hergest Ridge, Ommadawn and Incantations are all one composition only, and not a collection of radio-oriented cuts.

I disagree (but respect your opinion). Some of these are more than one cut, even if the cut is long and not radio-friendly. I think we will agree that Side 1 of both "Ommadawn" and "Tubular Bells 1" are to be treated as one long "cut", right? However, sides 2 of both appear to be a few differing, unrelated bits strung together, at least to me.

Piltdown Man, On Horseback, Guitars Sounding Like Bagpipes, Paddy's pipe section, and the other parts of the back sides are easily considered each as its own cut/track, and might do OK if they were shuffled around on their Side 2.

The same is not true of the first sides of both: both the order and the presence of all parts is considered to be integral.

HR and Incantations? There's a good case to be made that few will disagree with that both are album-length unified works.


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"In the land of the Dacotahs,
Where the Falls of Minnehaha
Flash and gleam among the oak-trees,
Laugh and leap into the valley."
- Song of Hiawatha
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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: April 14 2005, 13:32

Quote (hiawatha @ April 14 2005, 12:47)
Piltdown Man, On Horseback, Guitars Sounding Like Bagpipes, Paddy's pipe section, and the other parts of the back sides are easily considered each as its own cut/track, and might do OK if they were shuffled around on their Side 2.

Well, that varies from person to person. I mean, do you consider the short tracks at side two of "Abbey Road" as different songs, or as an unified suite?

But you have to agree that, no matter what, Tubular Bells and Ommadawn were written to be considered as one thing, and hearing that "basses" melody from TB side A popping up at the guitar solo at the end of side B isn't any different from hearing the verse melody of "Moonlight Shadow" being "reprised" on the second verse. At least to me.


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hiawatha Offline




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Posted: April 14 2005, 13:40

Quote (Sir Mustapha @ April 14 2005, 13:32)
I mean, do you consider the short tracks at side two of "Abbey Road" as different songs, or as an unified suite?

Ask me after I've heard "Abbey Road" :)

Chances are, I've heard many of the songs, but have no idea what album they go into.


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Where the Falls of Minnehaha
Flash and gleam among the oak-trees,
Laugh and leap into the valley."
- Song of Hiawatha
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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: April 14 2005, 13:51

Okay, sorry. :) But there's no need to answer that - let's just be reminded of how subjective that question is.

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raven4x4x Offline




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Posted: April 14 2005, 23:30

Quote (Sir Mustapha @ April 15 2005, 01:26)
But 'Crises' is a full-blown half-radio-oriented album, and there's none of that there - no frills, no tricks, just great pop material. So I can't see why he should be so paranoid of it in Discovery.


Does having a tune common to two songs somehow disqualify it from being a radio-oriented album? I don't see how it does. It isn't as if To France and Talk About Your Life are the exact same song with different lyrics or anything, it's just a common tune between them. In my view neither the common tune or the flow between certain songs turns in into anything other than a collection of songs, just a collection of songs with a little more connection than most.


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familyjules Offline




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Posted: April 15 2005, 05:26

Quote (hiawatha @ April 14 2005, 13:40)
Ask me after I've heard "Abbey Road" :)

You ARE kidding?!?!

Hiawatha, I dispatch you immediately to listen to the Beatles' masterpiece!!

A 1,000 word review on my desk by Monday, please!

;)

Jules


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Korgscrew Offline




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Posted: April 15 2005, 10:23

I don't really feel that Mike was trying to turn Discovery into anything...

It's nothing like a conceptual epic - there's no concept. You'd have to look to The Millennium Bell for that.

Why should Mike say "Ok, I'm going to make a pop album, so I must only make separate tracks, with no attempt at making them more cohesive, because that's what the pop genre demands"? I'd not really class it as pop anyway - that would be Islands, Discovery falls more into the soft rock category. Back to the question though...why should he say that? Because reviewers might not like the fact it doesn't fall in line with their preconceived notions of what an album of its type should be? Well, sod that...
He'd already ruined the possibility of it being a 'normal' commercial album anyway, by putting The Lake on there.

Might it not be posssible that Mike didn't just feel like trying it? You know, not all musical decisions are driven by paranoia - they're often driven by creativity, an experimental spirit, the desire to play...
I'm sure the reason for the linked songs is nothing more than Mike having said "Hey, hang on a minute, look what happens if I do this...and I can fit this in here...and...I quite like that, I think I'll keep it", rather than "Ooh, I'm making a pop album, but what if I turn mainstream? Noooooo, I must stop this! Quick, let's glue all the tracks together like Dark Side Of The Moon so that nobody notices that these are just pop songs".

He's not disguised anything by doing it, he's just made it a bit more fun. It's never bothered anyone before...I don't see any other opinions on this board complaining about the way the Discovery songs are integrated from before my pointing it out. I don't think that what he did was really that obvious, for the most part. The To France/Poison Arrows link is, and the To France quote is, but the rest is quite subtle.
It's also a usual thing when compiling tracks onto an album to make sure that they work when placed next to each other, paying attention to key signature and tempo, then also deciding how long there should be between them. All Mike did was take that a stage further...and good on him, I say. I like Discovery, and feel it's much more coherent than Crises (thanks partly to it having only two singers, who are of course brought together on Tricks Of The Light - another plus point in its structure), or indeed any of his other albums of songs.
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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: April 15 2005, 14:00

Quote (raven4x4x @ April 14 2005, 23:30)
Does having a tune common to two songs somehow disqualify it from being a radio-oriented album? I don't see how it does.

It doesn't. And it's not a question of disqualifying the album - it's the intention behind those cheap tricks. Whatever the intention is, it sounds amateurish. Very amateurish. Let's see, I'm fairly sure many bands when listening to, I dunno, Tommy, for the first time, say "Wow, look at how the songs are all meshed together, and there are little pieces that appear in lots of tracks! Why don't we try doing that?", and end up producing something very clumsy and childish in result. Discovery isn't clumsi or childish, but that quotation sounds like someone who just listened to Platinum and decided to try the trick. And it was Mike himself who did those two albums, you see. It's like he was so absorbed by the idea of pasting melodies in two tracks or more, he felt the need to do that on Discovery, because that's what he's supposed to do.

You know, I never said I hated the album because of that, or that I thought it was a bad pop album. I just said I didn't give a damn about that quotation trick. It sounds amateurish. You know, Discovery already makes sense, and has a good structure already, and even the main chord sequence of To France reappears in Talk About Your Life. That was perfect, but there had to be the To France melody there to make the "cohesion" show. Why?

Also, I don't buy that thing of "ruining" the possibility of making Discovery a normal pop album by putting The Lake there. Sheesh, it's tacked on right at the end, and with an "(instrumental)" label next to it. That's saying "hey, the pop ends HERE. If you can't stand instrumental music, lift the needle before it reaches The Lake. BUT YOU CAN STILL BUY IT! THERE ARE SEVEN POP TUNES BEFORE IT THAT YOU CAN LISTEN!"


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Korgscrew Offline




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Posted: April 15 2005, 18:34

Quote (Sir Mustapha @ April 15 2005, 19:00)
Also, I don't buy that thing of "ruining" the possibility of making Discovery a normal pop album by putting The Lake there. Sheesh, it's tacked on right at the end, and with an "(instrumental)" label next to it. That's saying "hey, the pop ends HERE. If you can't stand instrumental music, lift the needle before it reaches The Lake. BUT YOU CAN STILL BUY IT! THERE ARE SEVEN POP TUNES BEFORE IT THAT YOU CAN LISTEN!"

That's irrelevant, and you know it. If you're really bent on being clever, I'm not going to let you get away so easily with your subject-deviating trick (insert evil grin here - we don't have a suitable emoticon for it).
We were talking about labels, standard classifications, genres. If you want to make a standard, genre fitting pop album, it won't have a long instrumental track on it, because that's just not what the pop genre's about. In having a long instrumental track, Discovery deviates from the pop genre (and that's not the only way it deviates...).

Why put the To France melody in Talk About Your Life? Well hey, why not? Same thing as quoting parts of Taurus II in Orabidoo and Five Miles Out. It never sounded amateurish to me...indeed, I feel it's fairly subtle (I'll save you the bother of commenting on that: 'It's about as subtle as Mike picking up a megaphone and shouting "Hellooooo, my songs quote each other!! Isn't it great how cohesive my album is?"'). I can really only reiterate, it's what Mike does. He enjoys putting different themes in different places. I don't think he can really ever be expected to conform completely to a particular genre, simply because of his background. Whether his non-conformism works or not is open to debate, but I'd argue that anything he does which doesn't fit within the genre in which he appears to be working at any time is more because it's hard for him to actually fit himself in completely, rather than because he's trying to break out.
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MusicallyInspired Offline




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Posted: April 15 2005, 18:37

Quote
It doesn't. And it's not a question of disqualifying the album - it's the intention behind those cheap tricks. Whatever the intention is, it sounds amateurish. Very amateurish. Let's see, I'm fairly sure many bands when listening to, I dunno, Tommy, for the first time, say "Wow, look at how the songs are all meshed together, and there are little pieces that appear in lots of tracks! Why don't we try doing that?", and end up producing something very clumsy and childish in result. Discovery isn't clumsi or childish, but that quotation sounds like someone who just listened to Platinum and decided to try the trick. And it was Mike himself who did those two albums, you see. It's like he was so absorbed by the idea of pasting melodies in two tracks or more, he felt the need to do that on Discovery, because that's what he's supposed to do.

No, I disagree. I think the tracks meld quite well together. I've always admired Discovery for that. And it's why I like the album over all the other song-albums he made.

Quote
You know, I never said I hated the album because of that, or that I thought it was a bad pop album. I just said I didn't give a damn about that quotation trick. It sounds amateurish. You know, Discovery already makes sense, and has a good structure already, and even the main chord sequence of To France reappears in Talk About Your Life. That was perfect, but there had to be the To France melody there to make the "cohesion" show. Why?

Why not?

Quote
Also, I don't buy that thing of "ruining" the possibility of making Discovery a normal pop album by putting The Lake there. Sheesh, it's tacked on right at the end, and with an "(instrumental)" label next to it. That's saying "hey, the pop ends HERE. If you can't stand instrumental music, lift the needle before it reaches The Lake. BUT YOU CAN STILL BUY IT! THERE ARE SEVEN POP TUNES BEFORE IT THAT YOU CAN LISTEN!"


Are you saying that he was doing it to appeal to a broader audience, but put the "(instrumental)" label on The Lake as a warning? You know it could also be that Virgin or someone other than Mike decided to do that, which would completely change the outlook of the whole situation. I don't think he was trying to appeal to others at all. IMO, he was being forced to write songs and he did, but he did it with his own style and melded all the songs together. I don't even consider most of them 'songs', really. I see them as pieces of a long instrumental with lyrics inserted at certain areas. Poison Arrows is a good example...it starts out quiet and slower paced while Barry is singing some lyrics and as it builds and builds he stops singing and Mike goes on a big guitar solo the first time the song is actually becomes loud, and then it goes back to his singing again. It sounds more (to me) like the structure of an instrumental than an actual song. And other songs on the album reflect this idea to me, as well. But I don't think that was trying to appeal to anybody with the album. He's as he always was and I still believe this; He doesn't care what anyone thinks of his music and he makes it for himself.


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Ratty Offline




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Posted: April 15 2005, 18:46

Well someones got to get back to the point in question. I voted for Discovery. There you go people...easy!! ha ha ha     :)

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