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TOBY Offline




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Posted: May 28 2003, 19:43

Personaly I think the transition between Basses and Latin is awfull compared to the orginal, the momentum just drops suddenly and latin doesn't pick things up at all, definately the weakest point in the album for me. This section on the origianal just flowed effortlessly.
Ugo how can you not compare it to the original?????? And anyway you are comparing it to the original, you just did in your above post chap ;)

One thing I've noticed is that there seems to be a drop in volume for 'two slightly distorted guitars' has anybody else noticed this? Also why does Cleese say mandolins twice? I'm beginning to find that slightly annoying. Oh well... us fans eh!! There's just no pleasing us
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Ugo Offline




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Posted: May 28 2003, 21:15

Quote (TOBY @ May 29 2003, 01:43)
Ugo how can you not compare it to the original?????? And anyway you are comparing it to the original, you just did in your above post chap ;)

[...]

Also why does Cleese say mandolins twice?

1) I think that people are only hurtin' themselves by comparing the two works. [That's why I quoted S&M, that, before Metallica used it, stood for Sadomasochism. :)] You can't compare a debut piece by a 20-year-old with the 22th album (not counting the compilations) by a 50-year-old with lots & lots & lots & lots of music of all kinds behind his shoulders. It's fairly obvious that they cannot be the same thing, and of course it's also obvious that they cannot have the same power/impact/fury/fire/whatever :), so IMHO it's useless to comment on TB 2003 and say that e.g. the guitars were far more powerful in 1973... Back then, Mike was a nervous and very tormented 20-year-old kid, whose music was his only means of expression; now he's a rather laid-back 50-year-old who can allow himself to do music just because that's what he really likes. :)  But, on the other hand, I also think that a comparison, even if I don't like it, is inevitable. People are doing it all the time here, and they always will as long as TB 1973 and 2003 exist. I did a comparison between the two works not for the sake of comparing them, but just for the sake of explaining more clearly what I meant, i.e. that the Basses/Latin transition is one of the rare instances in TB 2003 of an exact copy from TB 1973. The fact that on TB 1973 the transition happens 'effortlessly' as you say is maybe due to the fact that the section corresponding to 'Basses' in TB 1973 is very simpler (in its orchestration) than 'Basses'. [See? I'm comparing the two again. It's unescapable. :)]. By the way, I just re-heard TB 1973 and the transition sounds to me not at all 'effortless'; in fact it sounds rather abrupt.

2) Maybe Cleese saying 'Mandolin' twice was supposed to be funny. To me it is. :)


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Ugo Offline




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Posted: May 28 2003, 21:48

Quote (Ugo @ May 29 2003, 03:15)
[Self-quote... :)]

You can't compare a debut piece by a 20-year-old with the 22th album (not counting the compilations) by a 50-year-old with lots & lots & lots & lots of music of all kinds behind his shoulders.

That would be the same as comparing Eric Clapton's 2003 live version of 'Key to the highway' with Derek and the Dominos' 1970 version of that (on "Layla") and then say: 'It's got none of the fire of the original'. Of course... how can a solo-with-acoustic-guitar, stripped-down-to-the-bone performance have the same fire as a full electric band's deliberately extended, wonderfully hard-hitting 9 minute 54 second performance? It's simply ridiculous. Yet the song is always 'Key to the highway'...  :)

P.S.: Jokin', of course. :)


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gregrobson Offline




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Posted: May 29 2003, 02:11

For me I like the change into Latin. I thought the whole point of TB was changes in style and pace happened throughout the piece. I think it's eclectic to have it suddenly change from one point to another?
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TOBY Offline




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Posted: May 29 2003, 12:40

Ugo I think I know what you're getting at chap if what you're saying is that your enjoyment of TB2003 is spoiled by comparing it to the origianl, but as you say it's inevitable and completely impossible not to compare them. The music is so similar (well obviously it is its a rerecording afterall) that even as you're listening to the new version you're continuously second guessing it, expecting to hear a familiar detail. I think the difference in opinion between you and probably most fans, myself included, is that you're treating this as a whole new album in the vein of TB2 whereas most of us are treating it as what it quite literaly say's on the tin, a rerecording, so obviously everybody's going to compare the two versions, you may not wish to but I do. As you say its inevitable and impossible not to.

If you've got two different version of the same piece of music people are always going to compare and contrast them, people certainly do in classical music where you have multiple versions of one piece of music. I don't think its in any way as you say 'useless' to do this, why is it useless???? People compare and contrast art all the time, its part of the enjoyment of it. In a musical world as diverse as Mike's its certainly part of the enjoyment for me to compare TB1973 to TB2003 but also Ommadawn to TB, Amarok to Ommadawn, TSODE to TresLunas, I could go on and on but we're getting way off topic in a section which was supposed to be for fans reviews. I'm leaving it there.
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Ugo Offline




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Posted: May 29 2003, 14:59

Quote (TOBY @ May 29 2003, 18:40)
I think the difference in opinion between you and probably most fans, myself included, is that you're treating this as a whole new album in the vein of TB2 [...]

I don't think its in any way as you say 'useless' to do this, why is it useless???? [...]

[Short reply, 'cause I'd like to end this as well... :)]

1) The fact is that I am totally unlike most people here in my musical tastes. Most people here think Tr3s Lunas is crap, I love it. Most people here think that EM, HO and the Introduction video are crap, I love 'em all. :) Most people here think TKF is one of Mike's best albums, I don't think it works very well on its own (i.e. apart from the movie). In a similar way, unlike the majority of people here, as I stated on point 3 of my review post, I consider TB 2003 more an entirely new version of TB than simply a rerecording of it.

2) Maybe 'useless' is not the right word. What I mean is that, by comparing TB 2003 with TB 1973, the music on TB 2003 will neither improve not get worse... it's there, and there it stays, in spite of all our efforts in coping with it. :) If you know a better word to express this, please tell me. Apart from this, I admit that doing comparisons of similar music works is, yes, very stimulating.


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Korgscrew Offline




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Posted: May 29 2003, 15:01

I think that, as Tubular Bells 2003 is meant as improvement, it's natural for people to compare it and find parts where it isn't as good. Certainly it can't be expected to be the same as the original, for the reasons already mentioned, but when people don't find it as good as the original, that question of 'is this really progress?' does start to appear in their minds...

I did also feel that somehow it felt a little (and only a little) more like a collection of separate pieces than the original did - I think that's down to the instrumentation of the different sections.
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Holger Offline




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Posted: May 29 2003, 15:22

Quote (Ugo @ May 29 2003, 14:59)
Most people here think TKF is one of Mike's best albums

Dunno, I get a feeling I'm more or less the only one who thinks that...
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TOBY Offline




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Posted: May 29 2003, 17:03

Ugo I'm a bit of a closet Tre3Lunas fan myself, we're agreed. :)
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Chic
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Posted: May 29 2003, 18:14

I think Tubular Bells 2003 is amazing, best bits are Latin, Finale, Harmonics, Peace and Ambient guitars.  Mikes guitar playing is awsome.  Bought the album today for £15.99, its not cheap but well worth it, got my dad interested in MO again.  Love it!!!
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James
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Posted: May 29 2003, 19:12

Hey Toby
Im relieved you didn't say you were a closet tranny LOL!!!!1
just joking Im a Tres Lunalover too!
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MusicallyInspired Offline




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Posted: May 29 2003, 22:07

Well, I don't know about you pansies, but I'm open about loving Tr3s Lunas, myself :D. Well I don't love it but I really really like it. *Almost* reaches TSODE goodness.

I've managed to have a listen to TB2003 finally. I know it's contradictory to everything stated here but I got a hold of some online MP3s (don't ask me how cuz I'm not tellin' you ;)), though I believe they are the low quality WMV files that are on the 'CD' because it's mono and it's highly compressed to nothing lol. And I'm still buying the album when it comes out this tuesday anyway so I don't look at it as I'm breaking any rules. I'm just sampling it anyway....though I would have liked to have my first listen to the great CD quality version first....but I just couldn't wait!...anyways...don't want to turn this thread into internet-music-download debate...

Anyways, I loved TB2003 just as I thought/knew I would. I agree with what most people said about the middle parts of part 1 being the most changed.

Introduction:
I like it. Though I couldn't really hear it well because of the low-quality-ness. Some people have said the whole entire atmosphere is ruined. I think he was going for more of a Sentinel-ish more groovy kinda feel (much like Sentinel what Sentinel is) and not a...hmm...let's say: organized, 'professional', classical-like, serious piece. Overall from what I heard I really like it. Though I wish I could hear it clearly!! And I like the acoustic part much more than on the original.

Fast Guitars:
I like the bedroom-guitar feel much like other people have said. Definitely more....gooder...lol.

Basses:
Basses really caught me offguard hehe. Didn't expect to hear it so heavy. I love it though. It works great!

Latin:
I've liked this version ever since I heard it on the radio interview thing. Very calm and mellow and mysterious...my favourite!

A Minor Tune:
I liked the version on TB2 (end of Clear Light), particularly the TB2 Embryo version, waaaay better than the old TB version. I think he's done a good job on the new recording, though. Made more of a TB2 feel to it but kept the TB73 'stillness' and no building up (which IMO is a loss because I love build ups lol but it's still ok). But I still like the TB2 version better, I think.

Blues:
Very good. Though I'm trying to decide between it and Blue Saloon as my favorite 'bluesy' MO song. I'm glad the distorted guitar that starts after the blues theme is finished isn't so ear piercing now lol. That sound always drove me nuts when I listened to it...made me cringe. Just sounds so corny. Very good now, though. And I don't mind the grand piano version of the honky-tonk and nasal-choir version of the original.

Thrash:
Not as powerful as I imagined it to be. Still good. More like a fun jam version. Everyone picking up anything they can and all playing the same power chord thing. Groovy, man.

Jazz:
Jazz is also much more interesting. The kind of percussion used really gives the song a beat and almost gets you dancing in your seat. The original had a more mysterious/scary/uneasy/suspensful/something feel to it while this one is more 'fun'.

Ghost Bells:
Lovely bell sounds......yes..

Russian:
One person said there was too much reverb...I couldn't really tell because of the low-quality-ness. But it sounded alright to me. I like reverb anyway....(maybe not as much as Booster but I do ;)) A new fresh sound to a good ol' Oldfield fingerpicking song.

Finale:
Excellent. Need I say more? I like the drums.

Harmonics:
Exactly like the original except way way better. This track is exactly the kind of example of how TB2-ifying it would make me like it. The original tune, but just much higher quality and better playing.

Peace:
I never liked listening to the original version, but this version was really interesting. Even though it's pretty much the same lol.

Bagpipe Guitars:
Very similar to the original. Almost seamless. With the exception of the sounds being better. Until the acoustic guitar comes in. Very nice way to take away the reptetivitiness of it. It's very good. The transition from Bagpipe Guitars to Caveman is very powerful. You hear this deep BOOM when the piano has come in and played for a bit and then timpanis come in and these cool sounds...building up. And the guitars go nuts and play stuff much cooler and wilder than on the original. But still, the original and this has their own good way of building up. I like the piano on the original better because you can really hear it and the really low chords banging away and then it goes all the way up the keyboard and hits those 2 keys and it goes silent abruptly. On the new version it does the same thing but the piano is a little quieter and it doesn't stop abruptly but echoes out abruptly....if you can understand the difference. Both are good. Not sure which is better....not sure if either can be better than the other.

Caveman:
Caveman made me laugh lol. I doubted it would but there's something about a high-pitched male's voice that brings the chuckles. I never thought I'd laugh at Mike's sense of humour before :). The voice effect is much like Galadriel's effect on Fellowship of the Ring when Frodo offers her the ring. Almost the same. The same 'harmony'.

Ambient Guitars:
Definitely a big highlight of the album. The ultimate in chill-out goodness. Beats anything on Tr3s Lunas, IMHO. Though maybe not Return To The Origin......or To Be Free (lol j/k). I loved how he's using his compressed clean sound for this part. The original's sound was more in the background and almost like playing a guitar a little more fiercly but in the distance. On the new recording their more up-front but played calmer. Very intreseting. And the organ solo is also a another good way to take away the repetetiveness of the theme.

Hornpipe:
Excellent. The electric guitar is a nice touch. Reminds me of the old 70's through 80's handplayed songs like this and some with Elec Guitar in them. Ie- In Dulci Jubilo, In The Pool, Blue Peter, Mike Oldfield's single, Mike's Reel, etc.

Overall: Excellent. Just pure Oldfield. It's interesting. You can hear the 'old Oldfield' playing the older themes and almost in the 'old' way but then on top of that you have the 'new Oldfield' playing the old themes in a newer way and combined with synths. It takes the best of both eras so you've got new and old Oldfield mixed together. You've got handplayed old Oldfield instruments playing along with the new Oldfield synths and guitar style and sounds. I'm really intrigued to hear his future projects if he combines the to again like he had said he was interested in doing.


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christopher Offline




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Posted: May 29 2003, 22:59

Well here is an early review based on the Mp3's I was able to acquire while I wait on my shipment of TB2003 and the Complete TB to arrive.  

I've got Finale, Caveman, and Ambient Guitars.

Finale is good... though it lacks in the punch and chug-along feel that it sounded to have on the Radio 2 interview.  And anyone who EVER SAYS that TB2 is dated is without a doubt mad as hell!  This will be even more dated than TB2 could ever hope to be!  Especially with those damn small bells that Mike used on Tres Lunas instead of just a build up cymbal like the old days.  SOOOOO new agey!  Other than that the track is ok.  Oh yes if you don't count the really really bad synth drum at the end of Finale... oh God for a dated sound.  And yes I believe (whom ever said that the bell is in background) is right... where is the bell???  HELLO???  

Ok on to Caveman... very nice and moves along nicely.  But, yet again some lousy dated synth drums and they even sound dated by todays standards here in America (which isn't saying much really!;)  Like the cavewoman... nice touch! :)  

Ambient Guitars is quite good really... it is very beautiful and flows well.  However, it gets too melodramatic in places and over-the-top complicated.

I'll give a more complete review later on in a week or so... but for now I stand by what I've written.

I do believe that at this point, with the three tracks I've heard so far, I can safely say that TB2 is by far a better album, more developed all around, and doesn't sound nearly as dated as these three tracks will in two or more years.  

Basically Oldfield has yet again relied on his fucking computers and keyboards too much!  God if computers haven't made men of Mike Oldfield's calliber lazy I don't know what!!  He used to be so real and now he is reduced like a great deal of the music industry to synths and dated material sounds... sad really.

The melodies are nice and a definite improvement over the original... with regards to sound quality and being in tune... and he brings them more alive than in the original.  Other than that, and I can't believe I'm the one dogging this album, but it has, so far, no redeeming value.  I'll stick to TB2 thank you!

Christopher

PS on a side note... TB2 was meant to have synths and sound as it did, but it still sounds more authentic and real than TB2003.
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Korgscrew Offline




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Posted: May 30 2003, 15:12

Mike claims to have only used about 10% modern instruments on the album. I don't actually think he necessarily has relied on computers or synthesisers too heavily - more just that even when he plays by hand, his production style lends it that certain kind of sound (listen to Muse from Guitars, for example - totally hand played on acoustic instruments, and yet I think it has that precise 'digital' sound to it).
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Q! Offline




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Posted: May 30 2003, 16:37

Quote (christopher @ May 29 2003, 22:59)
This will be even more dated than TB2 could ever hope to be!

I don't know what you mean by 'dated'. Everything sounds 'dated' after a while, that's the way it is. I've never heard anyone saying that TB2 sounds dated. If I'd listened to it now for a first time I would never say it was recorded in 92, it sounds nothing like the music from the early 90s. Neither does Tb2k3 sound like today's music.

My prediction is that some of the modern music (nu-metal, european dance and most of the pop music) will quickly start sounding really dated because it has very little to offer musically, and once it's no longer 'hot' it'll be forgotten. (like the pop from the early/mid 90's, it's totally forgotten, you almost never hear it on the radio). Mike doesn't have to worry about that, cause his albums don't suffer from that. :)

Quote
TB2 was meant to have synths and sound as it did, but it still sounds more authentic and real than TB2003.

I disagree. While I love TB2, I think it has a bit too many synthy moments. TB2k3 sounds way more natural.

Damn, I've edited that post like 10 times!


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TOBY Offline




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Posted: May 30 2003, 18:04

I agree with the latter part of your arguement. Whilst I do think SOME of TB2003 is to synthy, most of it is OK. It's only really the synthy flute and that bass sound I have a problem with. Like Korgscrew say's its that very digital sounding production that now typifies what he does which I think goes against the grain of his style of playing and what his music partly is about, or rather what his music used to be partly about ie: traditional musicianship and a great warmth of sound.

I have frequently said in the past that TB2 sounds dated or at least a certain percentage of it sounds dated. Those synth sounds frequently used on it, again that awfull synth flute sound (very 'in vogue' in 1992 it was all over Enya's stuff as well as loads of others at the time) and that terrible synth stuff used on Darkstar just puts some of it utterly in 1992. TB2 was also the first time we saw those, now apparantly mandatory on every MO album, synth drum pads rear their ugly head. Why does he still use them? That drum sound went out of fashion about 8 years ago.
While some of TB2 is quite lovely, I can see why newer fans go for it, the whole thing just sounds way over quantized and way to sequenced and synthy for me. TB2003 at its worst falls down the same trap but at least Mike's playing is superb with tons more expression to it than we've seen on recent albums.
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Q! Offline




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Posted: May 30 2003, 18:49

Quote (TOBY @ May 30 2003, 18:04)
It's only really the synthy flute and that bass sound I have a problem with.

I'm fine with the bass, but the flute sucks indeed. That's the only part that is imo definitely much better in the original (this and the very ending of the finale - man those drums are horrible). And I also agree about the synth flute in TB2, it doesn't sound that bad but it's being used way to often on that album. If it was in fact commonly used back then I can agree on TB2 sounding dated :) (I have a 4cd Enya compilation but can't find any song with that kind of flute heh).


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Ugo Offline




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Posted: May 31 2003, 19:46

Quote (Q! @ May 31 2003, 00:49)
And I also agree about the synth flute in TB2, it doesn't sound that bad but it's being used way to often on that album. If it was in fact commonly used back then I can agree on TB2 sounding dated :)

I think that TB itself (not TB II, but Tubular Bells) is dated without being 2003, i.e. the music itself is very 1970s. And that is something that no rerecording can ever change. :)

[To everyone: sorry about this. It's just a piece of silly nonsense to re-subscribe the topic, because I have mistakenly cancelled it from my Topic Tracker. Don't take anything seriously about the above lines. :) :D]


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timshen Offline




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Posted: May 31 2003, 22:51

Just got my copy of Boxed 2003 through the post last night. Have listened to TB2003 and watched the pathetic (not what it contains, but the amount and presentation of what it contains) DVD (which for some reason does not work on my PC, only on my DVD player).

Am listening to TB2003 on my PC now (very annoying with the few seconds break between each track). I love the new re-recording overall and am sure that it will be my preferred choice over TB1973 for future listens - mainly due to the much better quality.

A few things I wish Mike had not changed are:

1. The Nasal Choir - I was REALLY looking forward to this and was shocked when I heard a pub piano (?) - it sounded very out of place.

2. The less prominant classical guitar sounds - many times the fantastic guitaer work is 'smoothed down' or put further into the background.

3. The haunting whistling sound is left off in one section which I thought really made the atmosphere in the original.

4. Bring back the original Piltdownman - this is more like Watered-down man (and woman!!!;). I thought the piano buildup in the original was better.

5. I preferred the original Thrash - this seems to be a bit messy compared to the original )although I still love the new one - just not as much ATO)

The rest is just an awesome improvement IMHO - I especially love Latin, A Minor Tune, Finale, Ambient Guitars.

Well done Mike!
:cool:


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maria Offline




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Posted: June 02 2003, 09:50

i just got it and for what i see there's already a lot of reviews, as i'm a bit off these days i haven't read them all yet. then i'll just add that tubular bells 2003 has pleasantly surprised me. i've listened to it three times and i can say i love the care he's spent to do it... the guitars are brilliant, every instrument is so well defined that the chest almost hurts with the emotion of so pure sound...
the only bit i don't get used is the reed and pipe organ... and john cleese is ok but i prefer the mcing of viv stanshall.

about the caveman bit i have to say that the first time i listened to it, it sounded weird cause of that second voice but i can see he has spent the same energy than in the original and i just love the thunderstorm produced by the electrical guitars. there's still a big amount of tension... in just few listens i'm getting keen on it. and for the ambient guitars... i don't have words... i think it's one of my favourite bits (along with peace, bagpipe guitars and the caveman) not only in tubular bells, but in his whole discography.

even i'm finding out that in this new recording some bits have caught more my attention. i'm referring to the 'finale' section. this one in the original was not one of my favourites, but in the new one every instrument is so clear and sharpened and so well played that i can just love it.
tubular bells 2003 is full of jewels, bits of guitar playing in which i can feel he has really enjoyed and put the best of him playing them.

i'm glad that he has respected the spirit of the original and also that he has proved his hands and brain are really in good shape.

well done, mike.


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