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Topic: my thoughts, one of the few who LIKE this album< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
tubularbills Offline




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Posted: Aug. 06 2003, 15:11

So here it goes:

I like this album much better than the original. For whatever reason, i had it in my head before i heard this album, that it was going to be quite different. The notes would be different, different melodies, and anything else that would make Mike want to change from the original.

But its not that different at all. Which is awesome. i love what notes he plays, i love the melodies, and i love the instruments. Much like the original, it's an awesome piece of music.

The changes that i noticed in any notes or melodies were subtle (although noticable to any MO fan). but they seem to enhance it and make it better, than taking away from it.

One thing i really enjoyed was that there seems to be more piano (or at least, its more up front that the original). The "Finale" section has a lot more piano in it (especially starting with Double Speed Guitars and Distortion guitar). And when Tubular Bells is announced, you can hear these 4 notes on piano getting repeated back and forth and then BAM! the bells. i love it.

The finale has waaaaaaaaaay better sound quality that the original. My speakers don't sound like they're going to explode, there's not scratchyness or distortion, and each instrument seems to stick out during its "solo" whereas in the original some instruments were barely audible because of so much background noise.

I like the seperation of tracks.
Although at first listen, i thought it was played faster than the original...but it's not. It still takes him 47 seconds in the beginning to bring in the bass, it still takes him apprx 2:30 during the finale section to announce the first instrument. And the entire part one, like the original, is just over 25 minutes.

The speeded up sailer's hornpipe is pretty cool.

No matter where i have played this CD, i have had no problems at all. My Computer's DVD drive, CD-ROM drive, my family's CD player, my family's DVD player, my normal stereo, my car. NO PROBLEMS at all with the copy protection. NONE. the tracks don't skip, don't stop. they play smoothly and evenly like they should. I have turned up the volumn in all these sources very loud, and i don't hear any static from anything. The copy protection has not affected the sound quality at all.

I am not returning this album for 2 reasons:
1) i bought it in Germany when i was on vacation, so it would be way to much of a pain in the ass.
2) it's a great album, and i am not disappointed.

Hopefully there are more people out there who actually have good things to say about this album, like myself.


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davidramirer Offline




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Posted: Aug. 07 2003, 02:18

i fully agree ;)
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Ugo Offline




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Posted: Aug. 07 2003, 04:50

First of all sorry for the complete mess of this post, but I did it this way because by doing quote-quote-quote-quote-quote [...] it would be even messier. :)

My main comment is that I also fully agree with you, Bill, on all of your points. Here are some further, and more detailed, comments.

"I like this album much better than the original."

Me too. TB 1973 sounds dated to me, this one does not.

"One thing i really enjoyed was that there seems to be more piano [...]. The "Finale" section has a lot more piano in it [...] And when Tubular Bells is announced, you can hear these 4 notes on piano getting repeated back and forth and then BAM! the bells."

Since I am a keyboardist, I enjoy this as much as you. And I also love those 4-note riff.

"The speeded up sailor's hornpipe is pretty cool."

Sure it's speeded up? The duration is pretty much the same. ;)

"No matter where i have played this CD, i have had no problems at all. My Computer's DVD drive, CD-ROM drive, my family's CD player, my family's DVD player, my normal stereo, my car. NO PROBLEMS at all with the copy protection. NONE. the tracks don't skip, don't stop. they play smoothly and evenly like they should. I have turned up the volumn in all these sources very loud, and i don't hear any static from anything. The copy protection has not affected the sound quality at all."

Exactly (and I mean EXACTLY) the same as me. :D :D

"Hopefully there are more people out there who actually have good things to say about this album, like myself."

Here's one. :)


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tubularbills Offline




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Posted: Aug. 07 2003, 10:15

WOO HOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Ugo Offline




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Posted: Aug. 07 2003, 12:18

Yeah. Call me blindfish, call me fanatic, call me mad, but that's what I think. ;)

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Korgscrew Offline




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Posted: Aug. 07 2003, 13:36

I think there have actually been a lot of good things said about the music itself, just they've been rather overshadowed by other things...

I'd not say Tubular Bells 2003 sounds dated - it's a new album, it would be unfortunate if it did...but it sounds very, very 2003 to me - I'll be interested in what people think of it in 30 years' time, something tells me it may stand up worse than the original (which doesn't sound dated to me, though it doesn't sound contemporary either...if I were to pick a 70s album of his that sounds dated, that would be Platinum - as usual with pop music, the rhythm section is what dates it).

I thought that what he'd done with Introduction was generally very nice - the smooth sound makes an interesting contrast to the slightly rougher original.
Other parts didn't sit so easily with me - I didn't really think much of the spring reverb type sound on Fast Guitars, which seemed to detract from rather than add to the section, though the playing seemed good.
I personally did hear distortion on Finale - the bass in the left channel seemed to be clipping. I don't know what stage that crept in at, or whether it's even on the master (considering what's been done to it after the mastering stage...), but it's not something I'd have let slip through if I were Mike.

Bagpipe Guitars was nice, though less bagpipey than the original. Caveman I thought was quite silly, in a not so negative way, though however he recorded the drums, there was something stopping them from sitting quite right (just that they're digitally recorded perhaps? Or samples...is the snare sound as ringy as I remember it?).

The thing which struck me most about the hornpipe was the mandolin playing. He gets the speed fine, but it sounds like he's beating the living daylights out of the poor thing! More pleasing sounds can be coaxed from that Vanden F5, methinks...

But let me not be too negative, I can tell he had a lot of fun recording the album. There's probably a lot of stuff I've missed out as well, there's only so much I can comment on from memory!

I'd not really like to comment too heavily on the effects of copy protection on the sound quality, as I've not heard both a copy protected and Audio CD edition side by side (indeed, I've not heard the Audio CD edition at all). Certainly there were aspects to the sound which I felt could have been down to large amounts of error correction, but they could also be down to how the album was mixed or mastered. It does affect the sound, though, just as using a less reliable brand of CDR affects the sound, and having a lot of scratches affects the sound...you may not notice it, but it's there.

Ugo - didn't you order a Canadian edition? I'd have been surprised if you did find any copy protection problems with that!
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Ugo Offline




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Posted: Aug. 07 2003, 14:21

Quote (Korgscrew @ Aug. 07 2003, 19:36)
Ugo - didn't you order a Canadian edition? I'd have been surprised if you did find any copy protection problems with that!

Richard: Yes I did ;)...  I got it after I bought the regular European, copy-protected release, because, after reading here all the bad things (?) that it did to CD players, I decided to buy a safer item. ;) But the copy-protected one never gave me problems and still doesn't. :) [Sorry for the excess of smileys.]


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qjamesfloyd Offline




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Posted: Aug. 07 2003, 15:13

i am glad we are finaly talking about the music on this release,i think it's great(but you all know that,because i keep saying it)It's a bit weird for Korgscew to say there have been good things said about the music,and then go on to rip it to shreds in the next paragraph though :/

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TOBY Offline




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Posted: Aug. 07 2003, 17:30

Well to be fair there's been good things and bad things said about it by most people. I must say I agree with most of the citicisms, good and bad, I think most are fair. If newer younger fans think the original sounds dated to their ears then fair enough thats their view. A positive way to look at it is that at least they have this newer version to apreciate and I think thats a good thing. Personaly I think the original is a million times better on every level but that was always going to be the case and that isn't to say I don't like TB2003, parts of it I think are pretty awful by comparison but other parts add interesting new details and new colours to familiar tunes. It certainly makes a difference hearing the Finale in time and Mike's playing here is amazing, all the instruments really sing and it hammers home the fact that if nothing else this is where Mike's genius lies and not in programing drum computers and sequencers. I do hope to god his next album celebrates this fact instead of carying on with the psudo-newage instrumental pop that characterised most of his 90's stuff .

To end on a much needed positive note I've listened to TB2003 a lot since it came out, my only copy is on minidisc so I listen to it when I go out for walks in the country and on my local beaches, and whatever it's guise what you really apreciate at the end of the day is that Tubular Bells is just a fantastic piece of music, a complete work of genius. Ommadawn may have the edge as far as sheer originality is concerned but there's something about TB which is amazing, it's hard to put into words. I know some fans think it's a bit cool to not like it because it's the one album that everyone goes on about, just like some Led Zepplin fans dislike Stairway to Heaven, but the fact of the matter is Stairway to Heaven is one of the greatest songs ever writen, thats why people bang on about it and Tubular Bells is one of the greatest pieces of contemporary music ever writen. I'm glad younger fans are starting to apreciate it as a result of TB2003.
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Gandalph Offline




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Posted: Aug. 07 2003, 20:00

Quote (tubularbills @ Aug. 06 2003, 15:11)
No matter where i have played this CD, i have had no problems at all. My Computer's DVD drive, CD-ROM drive, my family's CD player, my family's DVD player, my normal stereo, my car. NO PROBLEMS at all with the copy protection. NONE. the tracks don't skip, don't stop. they play smoothly and evenly like they should. I have turned up the volumn in all these sources very loud, and i don't hear any static from anything. The copy protection has not affected the sound quality at all.

So you happen, by random chance, to have systems that can cope with the copy protection. But it was *DESIGNED* to cause you problems. This is what I object to on principal.

Please answer me this question honestly. If Mike's next release has stricter copy protection on it and it DOES cause you problems, will you still be happy with it?

If we just let the matter go away, this is exactly what will happen. This is why I feel all us Mike Oldfield fans should stick together and make a fuss about copy protection.


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Korgscrew Offline




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Posted: Aug. 07 2003, 22:30

Quote (qjamesfloyd @ Aug. 07 2003, 20:13)
It's a bit weird for Korgscew to say there have been good things said about the music,and then go on to rip it to shreds in the next paragraph though :/

Heh, well...I didn't say it was me who'd said the good things about it ;)

But more seriously, I didn't mean to rip it to shreds - I enjoyed listening to it, just it's not perfect, so please, take my comments along with the others made here and you'll probably find the truth somewhere inbetween. Like I also say, I'm doing this from memory, and the parts which really stood out (and have stuck in my mind) were where something wasn't quite right...the rest just seemed very competently done.

I feel that being the same piece of music does tempt comparison with the original though, and indeed, I'm not sure the fact that this is the second time around does it any favours where I'm concerned. Somehow it felt like a cover version at times rather than a 'proper' album (now what the heck gives me that feeling I can't say, and can only begin to explain). Is it just me, or did part one seem more segmented than the original?

Anyway, it made for a really interesting listen, and there's definitely some good playing in there...just somehow it's less intriguing than its 30 year old brother. Maybe I'll get the DVD-A when that comes out...
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tubularbills Offline




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Posted: Aug. 08 2003, 10:49

Quote (Gandalph @ Aug. 07 2003, 19:00)
So you happen, by random chance, to have systems that can cope with the copy protection. But it was *DESIGNED* to cause you problems. This is what I object to on principal.

I somehow think that copy protected albums were made so that you couldn't play them or that whenever you did play them , it would be all crapped out.

Whenever i play it on my computer, there is a seperate program that plays the music, and it's not in MP3 form. Therefore, the only way to copy it or burn it to my computer would be to open up sound recorder and record it by holding a microphone up to the speakers.

Since i don't want to do that, the copy protection's purpose is worthwhile.

I've played other copy protection CDs and i get the same result where the music on your computer isn't in MP3 form (or WMV or anything of the sort), it can only be played on the audio software it was designed for which is on the CD.

Although the copy protection isn't completely fool proof (it's rather easy to copy this to the old fashioned audio cassettes from my stereo), but it's a freakin audio cassette, so who honestly cares?

I refuse to speak up and protest and be all pissy and whiney against the copy protection when i don't think its caused that much of a problem.


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Gandalph Offline




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Posted: Aug. 08 2003, 11:55

Quote (tubularbills @ Aug. 08 2003, 10:49)
I refuse to speak up and protest and be all pissy and whiney against the copy protection when i don't think its caused that much of a problem.

You didn't answer my question though.

If Mike's next release has an improved form of copy protection on it that stops you playing it on some of your CD playing devices and causes you other problems will you still be happy with it?


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Korgscrew Offline




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Posted: Aug. 08 2003, 19:38

I didn't want to turn this into another copy protection discussion, but it seems to have happened, so...

Quote
Whenever i play it on my computer, there is a seperate program that plays the music, and it's not in MP3 form. Therefore, the only way to copy it or burn it to my computer would be to open up sound recorder and record it by holding a microphone up to the speakers.


I'm actually not sure what format it is in, but they say it's compressed (it's nice that they're up front with their information...). I haven't heard it, their software won't work on my Mac and even if it did, I'm not sure I trust the record company enough to want to install their software on my computer!
There would actually be a better way of making a copy from it than you suggest, it just involves the right cable, and no, I'm not going to say any more. I think there might actually be another way as well.

The system's certainly not completely fool proof because not only does it let you copy to cassettes (or indeed, any other recording device with an analogue input - computers and stand-alone CD burners amongst them), but it also lets a lot of people rip the disc straight to their hard disc.
Just as it plays in some CD/DVD players but not others, it'll play in some CD/DVD drives but not others...and for those cases where it does play (as a normal CD would, without the player software), it'll also copy. In fact, I think it'll sometimes copy even when it won't play...
Anyone wanting to pirate it will just try a few different PCs until they find a drive which accepts it.

Now, Macrovision offer a number of 'options' with Cactus Data Shield, and the more that are used, the more protection is offered (which I assume reduces the chances of finding a drive which will play it properly). That's great - they can just stick on a load more options for Mike's next release and it'll be better protected. Wonderful...but Macrovision also warn that the more options are used, the less compatible it becomes - that means that, the more worried the record company get about people copying the disc, the less will actually be able to play it. It seems at the moment that preventing copying is more important to Warner (and Mike) than buyer satisfaction, so who knows what way things could go...
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tubularbills Offline




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Posted: Aug. 10 2003, 12:35

If the music is good enough, i will be happy with any CD from him. My TB3 CD is starting to get some scratches on it (which prevents me from playing it sometimes) yet i still listen to it, and i think its a great CD.

Besides, the copy protection (i think at least) will only prevent it from being played on a computer. you'll still be able to play it on a normal stereo system.


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theweightless Offline




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Posted: Aug. 10 2003, 14:18

i like TB2003 very much..it's just wonderful :cool:

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Korgscrew Offline




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Posted: Aug. 10 2003, 15:18

Quote (tubularbills @ Aug. 10 2003, 17:35)
Besides, the copy protection (i think at least) will only prevent it from being played on a computer. you'll still be able to play it on a normal stereo system.

That's the idea, but it's not how it works out at the moment. I don't have figures to give an idea of exactly what percentage of players can't handle it, but some can't. As I said above, the more heavy the protection, the less compatible it's going to be with standard CD players, and that's not something I'm making up - it's stated in Macrovision's audio copy protection FAQ (buried somewhere on http://www.macrovision.com ), albeit amongst a load of marketing whitewash. It's a fact that goes hand in hand with the way the system works - the question is, how many people will have to complain of problems before the record company decides to drop the system? And how many have complained already? There are certainly quite a number who have complained by returning the CD without making their opinions known on the internet...

Now, the thing I like about CDs is that they'll play anywhere. Copy protected CDs only play in some places - I'd call it a lesser format because of that, especially when considering that the audio quality isn't quite as good...is the price lower as a result? If £15 for a CD is a low price, then I'd hate to see what their idea of a high price is (actually, I know: £17 for a remastered Tubular Bells - and they wonder why people aren't buying CDs...at least the HDCD format which the remasters are on is an improved rather than worsened format).

In the end, you'll be able to play it on whatever the record company wants you to play it on. They may provide a player in future - this already happens with some pre-release CDs, they're sent out sealed inside a portable player. I doubt they could do that for commercial CD releases unless player technology became very cheap (which actually, it is...it's possible to buy a portable player for not much more than the price of a CD these days), but they're certainly beginning to show that it's possible to release music which only plays in certain devices...
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MO fan Offline




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Posted: Aug. 11 2003, 15:22

"Please answer me this question honestly. If Mike's next release has stricter copy protection on it and it DOES cause you problems, will you still be happy with it?"

NO !!!!

If this copy protection continues it will create more of what the music industry does not want... Former paying customers going pirate to get a decent working 'Red book' copy.

"This is why I feel all us Mike Oldfield fans should stick together and make a fuss about copy protection."

CORRECT, the more fuss the better or things can only get worse !!!!

Cheers MO fan    :D
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tubularbills Offline




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Posted: Aug. 11 2003, 18:19

Quote (theweightless @ Aug. 10 2003, 13:18)
i like TB2003 very much..it's just wonderful :cool:

COULDN'T HAVE SAID IT BETTER MYSELF!!!!!!!!!!

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TOBY Offline




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Posted: Aug. 11 2003, 19:20

Yup MO fan you're completely right, I think we should underline what you said. Tubularbills I think I should point out to you, because you made fairly derisory comments about 'pissy and whinny' fans elsewhere on these forums, that I own a 'normal stereo system', it plays ALL MY OTHER CD's, and it couldn't and didn't play TB2003. Please don't take this as a personal attack chap but I want to use this as an example to illistrate how important it is that fans back each other up over this. There are a lot of fans out there like myself who simply cannot enjoy TB2003 like you do. So please put yourself in my shoes I think you'd have to admit it simply isn't fair. Sorry to get upset, yet again, but this is a highly contentious issue where feelings run high and I just wish fans would back each other up a bit more, though I'm glad to admit I think most probably do.
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