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lord_raiden Offline




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Posted: May 18 2000, 13:48

As all Mike's albums did, the TMB did it also! After several times of listening to this album, I say, I love it!
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trcanberra Offline




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Posted: Mar. 13 2008, 06:37

Quote (lord_raiden @ May 18 2000, 13:48)
As all Mike's albums did, the TMB did it also! After several times of listening to this album, I say, I love it!

Me too I must admit.  I have listened to it every day for the last week - very rare for me to do that with a CD - getting more out of it each time still.
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Bassman Offline




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Posted: July 07 2008, 20:49

I was catching up on some stuff on the PC today and played it for the first time in ages.  It really is an entertaining and enjoyable little album.  Almost like ear-candy, but with a bit more substance and forethought than it's detractors would have one believe.  As a concept album, it may be a bit unsure of it's own footing, but ultimately, the concept out of which it was born soon becomes apparent.  Some may say it was a bit of a rush job, as though that was synonymous
with "bad".  But I see it more as an impulsive desire to celebrate the event, but not taking a lot of time in which to create it (and hopefully not "overthinking" it).

Not too long ago I was sharing the "Saqsaywaman" files with someone-can't remember who, and in the midst of it I listened a bit more carefully than usual to the early version of "Sunlight Shining Through Cloud".  Man, the rap was disorienting, but it wasn't at all horrible if you cast off the constrictive shackles of what we want our traditional Oldfield music to sound like.  Very appropriate, don't you think?  I sort of allowed myself to forget WHO it was and concentrated on WHAT it was.  We are too-often foiled and confounded by our own expectations.  And frankly, I think anyone who doesn't "get" that song really betrays a lack of knowledge of world music and all the different permutations or cross-pollenizations that world music can encompass.  Not to mention the audible musical cues with which the song addresses slavery.  The percussion that sounds like chains is awesome!

There are a lot of little high points scattered throughout the album, but SSTC is the one that speaks the most obviously to me.  And anyone that says they can't dance to the dance tracks is just being too self-conscious.

Is TMB "great, great, great"?  Obviously it is for some.  I find it's more than good enough for me.

Amazing Grace, indeed.

:)


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nightspore Offline




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Posted: July 08 2008, 00:54

Quote (Bassman @ July 07 2008, 20:49)
listened a bit more carefully than usual to the early version of "Sunlight Shining Through Cloud".  Man, the rap was disorienting, but it wasn't at all horrible if you cast off the constrictive shackles of what we want our traditional Oldfield music to sound like.

I don't think there's a musical genre that Mike hasn't explored.

I agree with you about The Millennium Bell, Bassman. My favourites are "Amber Light", "Peace on Earth", and "Santa Maria". What gives "Sunlight Shining Through Cloud" a boost, I think, is Mike's use of the "Amazing Grace" poem. What a pity he so seldom used such literary works. (I know he did in Incantations with "Hiawatha", but the poem is recited more like a mantra there, rather than as something that the music will reflect and interpret.) The clever thing about "Sunlight..." is that the spoken, rap words give the music a confessional, very personal feeling, which, given the subject matter, is entirely appropriate. (Verdi created a similar "spoken word" effect in La Traviata, where Violetta, dying, expresses her deepest feelings.)
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Dirk Star Offline




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Posted: July 08 2008, 06:25

Sorry Bassman but I just find that Amazing Grace narrative really jarring myself.You know I don`t think it`s helped by the fact that Amazing Grace was in the charts for what seemed like an eternity over here in the early 70`s.But also there`s something about this particular "version" that always reminds me of this I`m not against the use of narrative in song/music, though, quite the opposite really.My favourite track on TMB for instance is probably Liberation where the narrative just really adds that extra dimension to it for me.Musicaly speaking SSTC is probably fine I dare say it`s just a purely personal thing for me.But the thing is once that rap/narration thing starts to get under my skin.I think it`s probably for the best that I don`t describe how I feel about it when the "chorus" comes in.

On the whole though I agree with what you say about TMB I must admit.I think there is a lot more substance and forethought in this album than perhaps some people give credit for.Probably more than I`ve even given myself at times.Liberation,Mastermind,Amber Light,The two orchestral pieces and even the title track itself(barring the very end of it)..I love all of those tracks and I could listen to them numerous times quite happily.My problem is there`s about 2-3 tracks on this album(depending on my mood) that really grate on me.And the thing is even if I skip past them or manage to sit through them I suppose.I`m always aware that they`re all coming back again at the end.With renewed vengance and gusto.I actualy think that`s part of the reason why I`ve listened to this album so many times.I`d say apart from TB3 I`ve probably listened to it the most out of Mike`s more "recent" releases.Still waiting for it to all fit into place I suppose.It`s unfair of me I know because for me there`s probably as much to admire on TMB as there was on Mike`s Guitars album.Maybe more so now that I really think about it.

Incidentaly a friend of mine who used to post on here a little while back was of the opinion that TMB was Mike Oldfield`s best work.That he actualy felt for the first time that everything did fit into place.I remember talking to him about it close to the time it was released and he was frankly bemused as to why I was at complete odds with it.Mind you he does have a tendancy to practicaly change his mind overnight about these things sometimes,so Lord only knows how he feels about it now?
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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: July 08 2008, 08:51

Quote (Dirk Star @ July 08 2008, 06:25)
Sorry Bassman but I just find that Amazing Grace narrative really jarring myself.You know I don`t think it`s helped by the fact that Amazing Grace was in the charts for what seemed like an eternity over here in the early 70`s.But also there`s something about this particular "version" that always reminds me of this I`m not against the use of narrative in song/music, though, quite the opposite really.My favourite track on TMB for instance is probably Liberation where the narrative just really adds that extra dimension to it for me.Musicaly speaking SSTC is probably fine I dare say it`s just a purely personal thing for me.But the thing is once that rap/narration thing starts to get under my skin.I think it`s probably for the best that I don`t describe how I feel about it when the "chorus" comes in.

Glad you mention Liberation there, because I was going to use it as an example to me not being against the narration itself. My main problem with Sunlight Shining Through Cloud is with the voice; that PARTICULAR voice, that to me, sounds absolutely, atrociously, abysmally, blood-curlingly disgusting. I wouldn't expect such a horrible thing even from the worst excesses of 90's "trendy" techno trash. I HATE that voice, and if it wasn't for it, I'd probably merely think of the track as a mediocre, but passable attempt at a "statement".

(and if I were religious, I'd be offended by such use of the poem)


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Check out http://ferniecanto.com.br for all my music, including my latest albums: Don't Stay in the City, Making Amends and Builders of Worlds.
Also check my Bandcamp page: http://ferniecanto.bandcamp.com
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Bassman Offline




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Posted: July 08 2008, 13:22

Thank you guys, for illustrating exactly what I was talking about.  Dirk, even though you personally don't like SSTC, you "get" it, and you spoke thoughtfully and with regard to the spirit of the thread.  Sir M, you neither like it nor "get" it.  And that's fine too (in fact, the more you hate it, the better I like it).  I am actually more amused that you showed up right on time to prove it.  Best birthday present I've gotten so far today!

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Sweetpea Offline




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Posted: July 08 2008, 14:39

Quote (trcanberra @ Mar. 13 2008, 06:37)
I have listened to it every day for the last week - very rare for me to do that with a CD - getting more out of it each time still.

This isn't one of the albums I've ever binge-played. While I think it's best taken in the celebratory spirit it was made, I don't think The Millenium Bell is 'great, great, great'. Maybe a single 'great', but that's on the best of days. I've mentioned, before, that I suspect I'd like it more without all the singing/speaking since I think there are some very nice tunes. But then, my preferred approach to music is to seek & find melodiousness rather than meaning. So while I commend the intent of the work, I think the musicality suffers under its conspicuousness. Is TMB impulsive or overthought? I don't know, but I think "Mastermind" is perhaps an example of too little thought, as it's such an intriguing piece, yet so unsatisfying. And the end piece sounds a bit of a mess to me, though I love the variation on "The Doge's Palace" there. So, admiration and disappointment on my part.


(PS: I love "Pacha Mama"!! )


--------------
"I'm no physicist, but technically couldn't Mike both be with the horse and be flying through space at the same time? (On account of the earth's orbit around the Sun and all that). So it seems he never had to make the choice after all. I bet he's kicking himself now." - clotty
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Tati The Sentinel Offline




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Posted: July 08 2008, 15:24

Pacha Mama is the only track I like,the rest are pure..."where's the Mike Oldfield I like?" :(

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"I remember feeling that I'd been judged unfairly and that I was going to prove them wrong." - Peter Davison, 2011
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Alan D Offline




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Posted: July 08 2008, 17:02

Quote (Sir Mustapha @ July 08 2008, 13:51)
My main problem with Sunlight Shining Through Cloud is with the voice; that PARTICULAR voice, that to me, sounds absolutely, atrociously, abysmally, blood-curlingly disgusting.

I can't help thinking that this may not be a musical issue at all, but more like a physiological or psychological one. There are people who find the sound of an electric guitar simply intolerable - they never get to hear the music because they can't get past (what to them is) the unpleasantness of the sound. I've mentioned before that I myself have problems with the sound of a piano (and I think SP shares this to some degree, if I recall correctly) which is at its most acute with solo piano. I wish it were otherwise, because it effectively closes off to me all those works of genius that take the form of a piano sonata, but there's really nothing I can do about it.

But I don't think this is intrinsically a musical issue: when this happens, the unpleasant experience of the 'sound' simply swamps out any attempt to properly appreciate the music. It happens in lots of circumstances (is there anyone who can survive listening to a treble recorder for more than ten seconds?), but it's not necessarily permanent. (Bob Dylan's voice used to make me want to shoot the record player but now poses me no problems at all, though I don't know why; the same is true of coloratura soprano singing - it used to make me cover my ears; now it makes me thrill with excitement.)

Sometimes, with the best will in the world, we just hate the sound, and then the music doesn't stand a chance.
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The Big BellEnd Offline




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Posted: July 08 2008, 18:02

Flippin heck I hope lord raiden has'nt been sat by his computer waiting for replies to his post.

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I, ON THE OTHER HAND. AM A VICTIM OF YOUR CARNIVOUROUS LUNAR ACTIVITY.
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Marky Offline




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Posted: July 08 2008, 20:23

Quote (Alan D @ July 08 2008, 22:02)
... I've mentioned before that I myself have problems with the sound of a piano (and I think SP shares this to some degree, if I recall correctly) which is at its most acute with solo piano....

Sometimes, with the best will in the world, we just hate the sound, and then the music doesn't stand a chance.

I agree with this: I find lead electric piccolo unlistenable every other Tuesday (allowing for leap years). But surely Simon Phillips could listen to a piano - or is that why he took up bashing the drums?? Mmmm.

PS I have cancelled your Christmas present, the unforgettable album, 'A week in a dungeon with Daniel Barenboim'.
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nightspore Offline




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Posted: July 08 2008, 21:38

Quote (Sweetpea @ July 08 2008, 14:39)
And the end piece sounds a bit of a mess to me, though I love the variation on "The Doge's Palace" there.

Reprising the past melodies is a pretty standard procedure in some musical genres, Sweetpea. It's done virtually the same way, for example, in Salad Days, a Gilbert and Sullivan-ish piece from 1954 (Monty Python did a send-up of it, but it's actually quite amusing in its own right).
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nightspore Offline




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Posted: July 08 2008, 21:45

Quote (Alan D @ July 08 2008, 17:02)
I've mentioned before that I myself have problems with the sound of a piano (and I think SP shares this to some degree, if I recall correctly) which is at its most acute with solo piano. I wish it were otherwise, because it effectively closes off to me all those works of genius that take the form of a piano sonata, but there's really nothing I can do about it.

I used to think I disliked the sound of the trombone, but then I heard Bruckner's aequali for solo trombone played in a vast, echoing empty cathedral, and I was immediately a convert. It's well-known that Mozart disliked the sound of the flute, although it didn't stop him writing for it, of course. I like both the piano and the electric guitar... actually, there's a medieval instrument that sounds quite like an electric guitar - I have a record of Praetorius pieces somewhere that features it - but its name eludes me for the moment.
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Sweetpea Offline




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Posted: July 09 2008, 01:02

Quote (nightspore @ July 08 2008, 21:38)
Reprising the past melodies is a pretty standard procedure in some musical genres, Sweetpea.

Yes, I'm aware of that, nightspore. But that doesn't change my impression of "The Millenium Bell". I'm all for reprising themes, but they don't sound well integrated, here. This might be due to what I feel are uninspired transitions and a banal dance beat. Perhaps this is an example of a lack of "overthinking", as Bassman has suggested? Though I believe a little extra thought would have made these passages into a more memorable finale.

Alan is correct; piano music is one of my bugaboos. There are some exceptions but, in general, my reaction to a 'tinkling' piano is similar to being assaulted with perfume sprays = instant headache.


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"I'm no physicist, but technically couldn't Mike both be with the horse and be flying through space at the same time? (On account of the earth's orbit around the Sun and all that). So it seems he never had to make the choice after all. I bet he's kicking himself now." - clotty
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Sweetpea Offline




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Posted: July 09 2008, 01:03

Quote (The Big BellEnd @ July 08 2008, 18:02)
Flippin heck I hope lord raiden has'nt been sat by his computer waiting for replies to his post.

:laugh:  An eight-year wait. Is that a record, here?

--------------
"I'm no physicist, but technically couldn't Mike both be with the horse and be flying through space at the same time? (On account of the earth's orbit around the Sun and all that). So it seems he never had to make the choice after all. I bet he's kicking himself now." - clotty
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Sweetpea Offline




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Posted: July 09 2008, 01:25

Quote (Tati The Sentinel @ July 08 2008, 15:24)
Pacha Mama is the only track I like,the rest are pure..."where's the Mike Oldfield I like?" :(

Tati, I think you may have a point about it not sounding very Oldfieldian. While it's impossible to pigeonhole him, there are tip-offs that help us recognize a MO work. It could be that he downplayed his own tendencies in favor of the bigger musical picture behind The Millenium Bell, which is an admirable thing for any artist to do. At the same time, it's another example of Mike trying something different and, IMO, it works quite well in some ways, though it falls short in some others.


--------------
"I'm no physicist, but technically couldn't Mike both be with the horse and be flying through space at the same time? (On account of the earth's orbit around the Sun and all that). So it seems he never had to make the choice after all. I bet he's kicking himself now." - clotty
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Alan D Offline




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Posted: July 09 2008, 04:03

Quote (Marky @ July 09 2008, 01:23)
I find lead electric piccolo unlistenable every other Tuesday (allowing for leap years).

I'm still trying to figure this out ....
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nightspore Offline




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Posted: July 09 2008, 04:22

Quote (Alan D @ July 09 2008, 04:03)
Quote (Marky @ July 09 2008, 01:23)
I find lead electric piccolo unlistenable every other Tuesday (allowing for leap years).

I'm still trying to figure this out ....

He's taking the p*ss, Alan.
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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: July 09 2008, 08:47

Quote (Alan D @ July 08 2008, 17:02)
I can't help thinking that this may not be a musical issue at all, but more like a physiological or psychological one.

Perhaps it's both; because I'm quite sure I would be able to cope with that voice in a different, more appropriate context. The woman's pretty much trying as hard as she can to sound not simply inhuman, but anti-human in every aspect. That's not bad in itself, but the song's meant to be a serious, straightfaced, honest-to-goodness statement of salvation. If I weren't aware of the song's intentions, I would have taken it as a - perhaps quite tasteless - joke.

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Check out http://ferniecanto.com.br for all my music, including my latest albums: Don't Stay in the City, Making Amends and Builders of Worlds.
Also check my Bandcamp page: http://ferniecanto.bandcamp.com
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