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Topic: Live CDs - (bootlegs?), What do you think of the Live Albums?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
Platinumpty Offline

Group: Members
Posts: 146
Joined: May 2011
Posted: Jan. 04 2021, 08:53

Happy New Year all!  

Let's hope 2021 brings only good things (like a release date for TBIV).

Meanwhile, over the last few years I've spotted a range of live MO albums being offered up by the cunning algorithms on Amazon.  Eventually I succumbed and bought two of the best-reviewed.  I thought I'd let you know my thoughts:

Mike Oldfield, Live Then & Now (Poland radio broadcast from July 25th 1999, Spodek Hall, Katowice).

Pleasingly timed just before the Millennium Bell, so containing none of the horrors of that album, this is an excellently recorded, crystal-clear and rather fantastic live set leaning heavily on SODE and TBIII, but also including some of the best tracks from Guitars, and abbreviated Ommadawn Part 1 and a few "hits" (Moonlight Shadow, Shadow on the Wall, Family Man).

Apart from the slightly intrusive and odd interlude's from the Polish radio presenter at the end of CD1 / start and end of CD2 its really rather magnificent and well worth your spondulicks.  MO himself is on top form throughout and his guitar is beautifully mixed.

Mike Oldfield, Adventures in Hannover

Jumping back to 1981, this was recorded in the Eilenriedehalle, Hannover on 2nd April, at the end of the German leg of the "European Adventures" tour.  It's also a recording of a radio broadcast, so the sound quality is similarly good although the in-situ sound mixing is a little variable (at times the bass guitarist sounds like he's sitting in your lap).

The QE2-era touring band (Reilly, Pert, Fenn, Cross, Frye is in full-flight here but perhaps haven't quite found their feet as much as they would on later tours.  Like the Then and Now release, it's a double-CD.  There's a lot from QE2 and generous versions of Tubular Bells Part 1, Platinum and Ommadawn Part 1.  My highlights would be Platinum which I think MAY be the same version included on The Complete Mike Oldfield live side (although I seem to have misplaced that album so I can't check).  Also, there's a lovely version of the end of TB side 2.

Both have decent enough artwork but very little by the way of liner notes.  I guess the radio stations own the copyright to the recordings while MO owns the underlying rights so I suppose these releases were approved by both parties and are therefore not "bootlegs" as such.

Has anyone on here heard any of the following and would you recommend an investment of time or money.  Any "new" MO material is highly welcome while I wait out the long, cold winter and anticipate a new album.

Not Heard:

A Foreign Affair - Italian Radio, 1984
Carnegie Hall 1993
The Art in Heaven Concert, Berlin 1998

Worth it or should I just get vinyl copies of TCMO and Exposed, neither of which I seem to have, shockingly enough.  I may have pawned them during a brief period of writer's poverty.

Penny for your thoughts.
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