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Question: How to improve Ommadawn, side/part 1? :: Total Votes:54
Poll choices Votes Statistics
You can't. It is perfection as it is. 35  [64.81%]
You can't improve it because it is terrible to begin with. 1  [1.85%]
Give it the "Tubular Bells 2003" re-production treatment 7  [12.96%]
Make it longer 7  [12.96%]
Make it shorter 1  [1.85%]
Add a satirical British prime minister speech to the climax. 3  [5.56%]
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Topic: How to improve Ommadawn, side/part 1?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
hiawatha Offline




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Posted: Jan. 05 2005, 20:23

Just wondering what others think. I've been listening to it a lot lately, and I think I figured out what has been vaguely bothering me for a while about it. I love some of the sections so much that perhaps I wish they had gone on longer. Many of them are there for mere seconds. I guess "Incantations" spoiled me.

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familyjules Offline




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Posted: Jan. 06 2005, 04:26

Quote (hiawatha @ Jan. 05 2005, 20:23)
Just wondering what others think. I've been listening to it a lot lately, and I think I figured out what has been vaguely bothering me for a while about it. I love some of the sections so much that perhaps I wish they had gone on longer. Many of them are there for mere seconds. I guess "Incantations" spoiled me.

Heresy!  Ommadawn pt 1 is as close to the perfect listening experience as music gets!

Jules


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raven4x4x Offline




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Posted: Jan. 06 2005, 05:01

You'll never find me saying that Ommadawn is anywhere near perfect, but I don't think making it longer would make me like it any more. Yes, its a very pleasent album but it just doesn't turn me on like other albums. The exception is the Part One climax. That is close to the perfect listening experience.

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familyjules Offline




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Posted: Jan. 06 2005, 05:38

Quote (raven4x4x @ Jan. 06 2005, 05:01)
Yes, its a very pleasant album but it just doesn't turn me on like other albums.

The reverse is true for me.  The other albums don't trun me on as much as Ommadawn.  Although I've been giving Incantations a through listening to this week and at times it comes close.

Jules


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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: Jan. 06 2005, 06:01

I voted on the last alternative just for a twist.

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EeToN Offline




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Posted: Jan. 06 2005, 06:20

I'd improve Ommadawn Part One by changing it to the 1983 concert version - if I were Mike. :) That version shows me that it can be even more dynamic than it is on the album.

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Ugo Offline




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Posted: Jan. 07 2005, 19:36

I'd remove all of those vintage synths and replace them with a real orchestra, and I'd also use it in the beginning of Part 2 [which always sounded very orchestral to me :)]. And I would play the arpeggio in the sung section with a piano, not with a moog-like synth. Also, IMHO a harmony vocal part on the words "Abdul Annie yd yadored" or whatever :), and all the rest of it, would sound cooler than a simple unison.

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moonchildhippy Offline




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Posted: Jan. 13 2005, 10:44

Ommadawn is PERFECTION, in itself    :) .  I don't think it can be improved upon :) .

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Phil Moakes Offline




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Posted: Jan. 13 2005, 11:49

Ommadawn is flawed in so many ways, but that's partly what makes it work. It's naive, its raw - and it has 1 and half minutes in the middle of Part 1 of the best melodic guitar solo ever. Plus anguish guitar at the end of Part 1.

Being a deconstructionist I'd be happy for Ommadawn to get the TB2003 makeover, but I think it would lose some of that passion. The approach was valid for TB - it is a far more contemplative piece - and I'd buy it anyway. But Ommadawn has a soul that would lose something in the paint job. I do agree that it would work really well with a stronger orchestral flavour.
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familyjules Offline




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Posted: Jan. 13 2005, 11:55

Quote (Phil Moakes @ Jan. 13 2005, 11:49)
Ommadawn is flawed in so many ways, but that's partly what makes it work. It's naive, its raw

I don't know what music some of you other guys listen to, but I don't hear flaws, I don't hear naivety, and it's only 'raw' in that's it's not as overpolished as Mike's later pop oriented stuff.

I mean part 2 may be flawed (though I still love it), but part 1 is just beyond reproach IMO.

Jules


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Holger Offline




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Posted: Jan. 13 2005, 14:57

Quote (familyjules @ Jan. 13 2005, 17:55)
Quote (Phil Moakes @ Jan. 13 2005, 11:49)
Ommadawn is flawed in so many ways, but that's partly what makes it work. It's naive, its raw

I don't know what music some of you other guys listen to, but I don't hear flaws, I don't hear naivety, and it's only 'raw' in that's it's not as overpolished as Mike's later pop oriented stuff.

I mean part 2 may be flawed (though I still love it), but part 1 is just beyond reproach IMO.

Jules

I feel that way about both parts, or all three parts, depending on how you look at it... what flaws are there in part two, anyway?
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hiawatha Offline




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Posted: Jan. 13 2005, 16:19

I don't call it flaws, but to me much of the first section of Side 2 seems like is is too experimental. I've never particularly liked the pipes section all that much: however I know this reflects on what I think of the sound of Uillian pipes  NOT on Paddy's playing of them (i.e. I have no doubt it is most excellent). After that, however, I love "Three Blind Mice", and I think the section just before that is the best on the entire album.

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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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Phil Moakes Offline




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Posted: Jan. 13 2005, 17:27

I suspect we quibble a bit over terms. You can argue over production values, arrangements, the mix etc and find 'flaws'. What I meant was that those imperfections make it human, and put it head and shoulders above other examples of similar genre that followed. In my opinion, Ommadawn Pt 1 is still Mike Oldfield's best 19 odd minutes ever, even given the stiff competition from the Tubular Bells variations. It gets at something that is raw and simple and still gives me that 'Oh my god' feeling down the back of the neck - nearly 30 years later !!
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Ugo Offline




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Posted: Jan. 13 2005, 18:35

Quote (hiawatha @ Jan. 13 2005, 22:19)
[...] After that, however, I love "Three Blind Mice", and I think the section just before that is the best on the entire album.

Can you please give me some more details about where's "Three Blind Mice" on Ommadawn? The only "Three Blind Mice" by Mike I know is at the end of one of his improvisations on the Sallyangie bonus CD. :)

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hiawatha Offline




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Posted: Jan. 13 2005, 19:01

It's that rather distinct section that runs for a few minutes previous to "On Horseback". I do not know the clock times for it. From the moment I first heard it, I thought it was a version of "Three Blind Mice".

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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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familyjules Offline




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Posted: Jan. 14 2005, 04:11

Quote (hiawatha @ Jan. 13 2005, 16:19)
I don't call it flaws, but to me much of the first section of Side 2 seems like is is too experimental. I've never particularly liked the pipes section all that much: however I know this reflects on what I think of the sound of Uillian pipes  NOT on Paddy's playing of them (i.e. I have no doubt it is most excellent). After that, however, I love "Three Blind Mice", and I think the section just before that is the best on the entire album.

I agree about the first 5 minutes on part 2, but I absolutely ADORE the pipes section - it melts me to a puddle every time.  Also love the "Three Blind Mice" part, and On Horseback, but I think the major flaw with part 2 is that the different sections sound too distinct - I wish they blended together better and referred to each other like Mike's best long pieces tend to.  But there's some great music on part 2 and maybe I wouldn't risk changing a hair if it came down to it.

Jules


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familyjules Offline




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Posted: Jan. 14 2005, 04:16

Quote (Phil Moakes @ Jan. 13 2005, 17:27)
I suspect we quibble a bit over terms. You can argue over production values, arrangements, the mix etc and find 'flaws'. What I meant was that those imperfections make it human, and put it head and shoulders above other examples of similar genre that followed. In my opinion, Ommadawn Pt 1 is still Mike Oldfield's best 19 odd minutes ever, even given the stiff competition from the Tubular Bells variations. It gets at something that is raw and simple and still gives me that 'Oh my god' feeling down the back of the neck - nearly 30 years later !!

I agree that it's his best 19 minutes ever, but I'll be damned if I hear any 'imperfections'.  I do hear some very human, very dynamic and very organic music making (a miracle for what is essentially a one-man band), and maybe this is what you mean by 'raw'.  I tend to reserve 'raw' for punk rock, garage bands, live albums and shaky demo recordings myself!

And yesterday I saw Incantations describes as 'simple' and today it's Ommadawn's turn.  Am I surrounded by rocket scientists and brain surgeons?!?!  This music is 'simple'?  I'll be damned if I know anyone capable of doing something this complex.  I suppose the basic chord structures or whatever may be 'simple', but surely the execution is anything but?

Jules


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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: Jan. 14 2005, 05:17

I'm not sure if I hear 'flaws' on Ommadawn, either. The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of 'flaws' is Tubular Bells, and Ommadawn doesn't even touch my mind. Easily Ommdawn is the most polished album of his 70's era. In fact, speaking in metaphors, I'd say that 50% of the process of making Ommadawn was spent polishing it until it was ideally perfect. So any 'flaws' would be a real accident, not part of its charm.

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Ugo Offline




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Posted: Jan. 14 2005, 05:18

Quote (hiawatha @ Jan. 14 2005, 01:01)
It's that rather distinct section that runs for a few minutes previous to "On Horseback".

Ah, now I get it. It's the section that I used to call 'the la-la-la section', and the Amarok Player did that too... even if Korgscrew told me that it's nah-nah-nah. :D Thanks, Hiawatha.

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familyjules Offline




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Posted: Jan. 14 2005, 05:53

Quote (Sir Mustapha @ Jan. 14 2005, 05:17)
Easily Ommdawn is the most polished album of his 70's era.

I disagree - I think that honour would go to Incantations.

Jules


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