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Topic: Mike's most 80's sounding album?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
Modeler Offline




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Posted: Mar. 08 2008, 13:29

There was a lot of great feel-good music around in 1987, but the era had its own sound - that of the "Michael Bolton-esque" power ballad. It hasn't aged well has it?

Crises had elements of the early 80's sound, which to my ears has stood the test of time. In other words the Prophet-5 and OB-X still sound great, but the old DX-7 has grown an extraordinary layer of cheese over the years (or at least the way it was used back then has). Discovery leans towards that, but Islands... blimey! :O

Case in point, "Magic Touch". There's nothing wrong with the song, but the style is so "end credits of late 80's family movie" it's unreal. I can just picture a guy with a huge mullet turning up the reverb on the snare drum to a level marked "grand canyon". At one point I'm sure he says "Magic Torch", which just gets me thinking of some old kids' TV show.

Just wanted to get that off my chest. I like the rest of the album, particularly "North Point". There aren't many of Mike's album's that you can put a date on purely by the sound, but this is one of them.


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Doo dom dop
Doodily doop n'dop n'dop
A-doodily doo dom dop
Doodily doop n'dop n'dop

Man, they don't write songs like that any more...
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trcanberra Offline




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Posted: Mar. 08 2008, 23:47

Yes, some albums do sound more of their time than others - I think you are right that this is one of them.  I like the songs a lot still, the video version on Magic Touch more than the CD one.

Haven't quite got "into" Wind Chimes yet, will have to give it a few more listens.

Oh, and love Flying Start.
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The Caveman Offline




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Posted: April 16 2008, 14:57

It's not a favourite but it marks the time.I got my first electric guitar the same Xmas from mum and dad as i got this so i'm fond of it for that associated memory(incedentaly i got Rendevous by JMJ the same year.You want to talk about dated???!!!;).I love Flying Start but the rest is very dated and i never liked the song Islands at all.North Point (or Nort point as Anita sings it)is good though.

BTW Modeler jsut figured out the bit at the bottom of the message.You actually sat and wrote out thre lyrics to that bit of Platinum.You have to much time my friend! :laugh:


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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: April 16 2008, 15:11

Quote (Modeler @ Mar. 08 2008, 13:29)
Case in point, "Magic Touch". There's nothing wrong with the song, but the style is so "end credits of late 80's family movie" it's unreal. I can just picture a guy with a huge mullet turning up the reverb on the snare drum to a level marked "grand canyon". At one point I'm sure he says "Magic Torch", which just gets me thinking of some old kids' TV show.

With that bit, you just won 5 internets. I just don't agree entirely because I think there's everything wrong with Magic Touch. Magic Touch is the embodiment of wrongness.

If Islands is dated, though, Earth Moving is 2 to the power of dated. And it achieves a quite great feat: it's about four or five years too late in terms of sound and production; that is, it was dated even before it was recorded. It still has a handful of very good songs.


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Dirk Star Offline




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Posted: April 16 2008, 18:00

Quote (The Caveman @ April 16 2008, 14:57)
It's not a favourite but it marks the time.I got my first electric guitar the same Xmas from mum and dad as i got this so i'm fond of it for that associated memory(incedentaly i got Rendevous by JMJ the same year.You want to talk about dated???!!!;).I love Flying Start but the rest is very dated and i never liked the song Islands at all.North Point (or Nort point as Anita sings it)is good though.

BTW Modeler jsut figured out the bit at the bottom of the message.You actually sat and wrote out thre lyrics to that bit of Platinum.You have to much time my friend! :laugh:

Flying Start is probablly the only song I like from this album as well.And I agree with you about JMJ`S Rendezvous,even when that thing came out it sounded old.Like he`d gone about five years backwards from his Zoolook album in fact.

I agree with Sir M regarding the songs though,as I think Earth Moving out does Islands in terms of the 80`s Final Countdown effect.Some of those snare drums are practicaly "gated" out of sonic existence for crying out loud.And it`s not just a "dated" thing either.You know I was`nt sat there at the time it came out thinking to myself..."man this is soooo 80`s"..But I was sat there thinking.."What the hell happened to the sound/production values that he had used for the songs on Crises or Discovery." It`s not just a case of "oh yeah old father time has`nt been that kind to it, but there`s still much to admire."Because the whole aural/stylistic nightmare of it was evident from day one of release.

Consequently because I`m not a big fan to the kind of "sound" Mike went for here,I find it very difficult to take many of the songs seriously.That said I don`t think any of the songs from both Islands and Earth Moving are anywhere near as strong as some of the tracks from Crises or Discovery.And it`s almost impossible to imagine a song like Magic Touch recorded in any other kind of style than the kind of cod Bon Jovi effect it gets here.
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Scatterplot Offline




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Posted: April 17 2008, 01:47

Earth Moving for sure. I detested it from the start. It was a formula album designed to emulate the commercial sound/success of Mike+The Mechanics but fell very short of the goal. Other than that, all other MO 80's albums had some form of "arty-ness".

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We raise our voices in the night
Crying to heaven
And will our voices be heard
Or will they break Like the wind
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The Caveman Offline




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Posted: May 16 2008, 03:53

In a dramatic change of mind i listened to Islands the other night.I have an old tape (TDK D90 of course....ah nostalgia)with Islands on one side and Heaven's Open on t'other.Islands has the title track edited out cos i really don't like it.But whatdyaknow......i actually enjoyed listening to it.Especially Wind Chimes part 1.Really strange given my normally dismissive attitude to it.Just shows what a bit of time can do. :)

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THE COMING OF THE GREAT WHITE HANDKERCHEIF IS NIGH.
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Major Gowen Offline




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Posted: June 29 2008, 22:30

I recently heard Islands for the first time, quite strange listening to it 'new' in 2008. It does seem very much of its time, but then I’m going through an 80s phase in my music listening so I don’t mind too much.

The Wind Chimes starts brilliantly and then tails off after about ten minutes. I think I’d like the title track a lot more if there was a different singer. I’ve never taken to Bonnie Tyler's voice.

There’s a nice little run of tracks on what was Side 2, Flying Start through to The Time Has Come. Magic Touch slightly reminds me of Patti Smith’s Because The Night. Normally I don't touch these kind of Euro power ballads with a bargepole, but I'm quite disposed towards these songs.
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nightspore Offline




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Posted: June 29 2008, 23:50

Quote (Major Gowen @ June 29 2008, 22:30)
The Wind Chimes starts brilliantly and then tails off after about ten minutes. I think I’d like the title track a lot more if there was a different singer. I’ve never taken to Bonnie Tyler's voice.

Yes, The Wind Chimes Part 1 is magnificent, isn't it? Islandsas a whole isn't popular on this forum, which puzzles me. Unusually for me, I enjoy all but one of the actual songs on this record - the one I don't like is "Magic Touch". The melodies soar for the first time, and aren't so bedeviled by false stresses (where the beat of the song falls on an unimportant word or syllable) as on the earlier records. As for Bonnie Tyler, that harrowed, wracked, "I've-just-been-washed-up-on-desert-island" voice seems perfect for the song, in my opinion.
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ommadawn69 Offline




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Posted: June 30 2008, 02:22

Quote (nightspore @ June 29 2008, 23:50)
Quote (Major Gowen @ June 29 2008, 22:30)
The Wind Chimes starts brilliantly and then tails off after about ten minutes. I think I’d like the title track a lot more if there was a different singer. I’ve never taken to Bonnie Tyler's voice.

Yes, The Wind Chimes Part 1 is magnificent, isn't it? Islandsas a whole isn't popular on this forum, which puzzles me. Unusually for me, I enjoy all but one of the actual songs on this record - the one I don't like is "Magic Touch". The melodies soar for the first time, and aren't so bedeviled by false stresses (where the beat of the song falls on an unimportant word or syllable) as on the earlier records. As for Bonnie Tyler, that harrowed, wracked, "I've-just-been-washed-up-on-desert-island" voice seems perfect for the song, in my opinion.

I love Wind Chimes part one as well. Absolutley brilliant!!!!!!
Part two is okay, but not brilliant.  :D

I agree with you nightspore, I think, well to me anyway, Bonnie's voice was really good for the title song. Nice song.

Magic Touch is a song that I really like on the album, but with Max Bacon singing it. On the cd version it is Jim Price that sings it and it loses it's "magic". On the Elements box set was the original with Max singing it, way better.

On the cd version of "Islands" I think "When the Nights on Fire" is the best song altogether. Amazing song.


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Sweetpea Offline




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Posted: July 01 2008, 04:52

Quote (ommadawn69 @ June 30 2008, 02:22)
I think "When the Nights on Fire" is the best song altogether. Amazing song.

I like that one a lot, too. Of all the voices Mike has used, I think Anita's may be my favorite.

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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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ommadawn69 Offline




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Posted: July 01 2008, 19:42

Quote (Sweetpea @ July 01 2008, 04:52)
Quote (ommadawn69 @ June 30 2008, 02:22)
I think "When the Nights on Fire" is the best song altogether. Amazing song.

I like that one a lot, too. Of all the voices Mike has used, I think Anita's may be my favorite.

I was always particular with Maggie, who wouldn't be, but Anita has a sweet voice that I love. And Islands shows that, with North Point and Time has Come. But When the Nights On Fire, WOW, just blows me away. :)

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Ugo Offline




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Posted: July 02 2008, 19:54

I don't think that Islands sounds particularily 1980s-ish. Indeed, to my ears, it sounds 1990s-ish. :D FMO and Platinum, to me, sound very 1980s and very much dated. If I were Mike, I'd do a heavy metal re-recording of "Five Miles Out" (the song), with no Vocoder and lots & lots & lots & lots of guitars. I think it'd work great. :)

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Sweetpea Offline




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Posted: July 07 2008, 04:55

I do remember hearing "Islands" get radio airplay, and thinking it was a nice song, but I didn't know it was by Oldfield at the time. I didn't have any sort of MO-radar back then. When I got the album, last year, I was surprised with "When the Night's On Fire". IMO, it's superior to "Islands", though that may be due to my lack of enthusiasm for Bonnie Tyler.

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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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Southside Jimmy Offline




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Posted: Feb. 22 2019, 17:45

Well Ommadawn69 - I love Max's version too - it was my version on the Elements Box Set though... a bit less American.
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