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Marky Offline




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Posted: Nov. 06 2007, 18:16

I always liked Guitars and was disappointed at its reception by many fans. But what disappoints me about the album itself is not whats on it or how its recorded but what could have been on it. It does not showcase Mike at his best or most varied as a guitarist. It doesn't have that flamenco or improvised piece on, for example. Muse is more or less its testimony to his unplugged playing.  Amarok is infinitely better as a window for his virtuosity. Guitars sounds nice, its good to play and its got nicely composed pieces all of which show he is a good guitarist. But it does not show him as a great guitarist, which is what I felt it could have done. He has played better pieces since then, so he has it in him. That's all that disappoints me - the lack of fulfilled potential, not what the music sounds like.  And that sums me up as a fan: I care!
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Tati The Sentinel Offline




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Posted: Nov. 06 2007, 19:25

Guitars,IMHO,it's Mike shouting out loud,"I'm a guitarist,not a multiinstrumentist!"

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"But it's always the outsider, the black sheep, that becomes the blockbuster." - Mike Oldfield, 2014

"I remember feeling that I'd been judged unfairly and that I was going to prove them wrong." - Peter Davison, 2011
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Inkanta Offline




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Posted: Nov. 07 2007, 09:35

I'm still liking it after all these years and continue to be blown away by the intricacy of "Enigmatism." Never tire of listening to it, or to "Muse" & "From the Ashes" for that matter. A couple of the pieces I generally skip, but oh well. So glad it's in the "catalog." :)

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"No such thing as destiny; only choices exist." From:  Moongarden's "Solaris."
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Sweetpea Offline




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Posted: Aug. 31 2008, 16:06

Quote (Marky @ Nov. 06 2007, 18:16)
It does not showcase Mike at his best or most varied as a guitarist. It doesn't have that flamenco or improvised piece on, for example... its got nicely composed pieces all of which show he is a good guitarist. But it does not show him as a great guitarist...

I understand what you're saying, Marky. One might expect that with a musician such as Mike, an album called Guitars would be the place to really show off. This reminds me of the discussion in the Mike's Styles forum where it's been said that Mike's guitaring is usually in service to the music as a whole. As you've said, there are some really lovely compositions on Guitars, but not many moments that scream 'I'm a guitar god!!'. I don't know if Mike has a raging guitar-hero inside that's itching to get out but I suppose there's nothing stopping him from recording a Guitars II. Still, even if it were more of the same, I'd love that too.


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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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Ray Offline




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Posted: Sep. 01 2008, 08:02

It's an age thing....he's too old.  

Most guitarist chill out as they get older and their fingers get rhumatism!!


;)

Ray


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Looking out over the harbour in Peel.......
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Major Gowen Offline




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Posted: Sep. 01 2008, 22:07

Guitars contains some of my favourite pieces by Mike. Muse is such a simple but beautiful track, and Cochise seems to adhere to the adage of always leave them wanting more - at any moment you expect it to explode into life but it always holds back, thus creating a fair amount of tension. B. Blues has a very - how can I say it - Mediterranean flavour, and it reminds of me of Yello's sometime guitarist Chico Hablas, whose guitar playing I like a lot. Four Winds sounds like a lot of fun, but Enigmatism is just jaw-dropping, it knocked me sideways on first hearing and it's gorgeousness is up there with Hergest Ridge. Out Of Mind is so OTT but it's one of Mike's better attempts to rock out!, and I love the way he really gets going on the riffs. The rest of the album is so-so, but at least half of Guitars is brilliant.
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Dirk Star Offline




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Posted: Sep. 02 2008, 03:41

Quote (Major Gowen @ Sep. 02 2008, 03:07)
Guitars contains some of my favourite pieces by Mike. Muse is such a simple but beautiful track, and Cochise seems to adhere to the adage of always leave them wanting more - at any moment you expect it to explode into life but it always holds back, thus creating a fair amount of tension. B. Blues has a very - how can I say it - Mediterranean flavour, and it reminds of me of Yello's sometime guitarist Chico Hablas, whose guitar playing I like a lot. Four Winds sounds like a lot of fun, but Enigmatism is just jaw-dropping, it knocked me sideways on first hearing and it's gorgeousness is up there with Hergest Ridge. Out Of Mind is so OTT but it's one of Mike's better attempts to rock out!, and I love the way he really gets going on the riffs. The rest of the album is so-so, but at least half of Guitars is brilliant.

Totaly agree with you there MG apart from Summit Day (No you did`nt mention it there`ll be in here in their hoardes you know  ;) ) But yeah Summit Day is the stand out track for me no doubt about it.Sometimes when that melody comes around for the third and final time it wipes me out completely.It always reminds me of a piece from John Tavener`s The Protecting Veil entitled The Dormition.Which follows the same kind of "third time`s a charm" principle if you like.There`s also a choral version of that particular piece from Tavener "Hymn for the Dormition of the Mother of God" which is equaly as moving.Imho though Summit Day matches them both musicaly and spiritualy/emotionaly for me.And I`m talking about some of the most moving music I think I`ve heard heard in my life here,so you know I`m not saying that lightly.

I loved your description of Cochise though and the tension it creates.I don`t think I`ve ever really thought of it that way before.But now that you mention it that really resonated with me I must admit.On the subject of the album`s title I think I agree with much of what Marky and Sweetpea were alluding to here.Who knows maybe Mike has got another album up his sleeve somewhere down the line entitled Guitarist..Or something he`s still yet to do of course despite all his years in the biz an album entitled Mike Oldfield..Well he is a guitar player after all what better an album title to prove it once and for all?
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Sweetpea Offline




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Posted: Sep. 03 2008, 01:29

Quote (Ray @ Sep. 01 2008, 08:02)
It's an age thing....he's too old.

:O  Ray!! How could you? After all, don't they say "It's not the years - it's the mileage"?  ;)


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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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Major Gowen Offline




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Posted: Sep. 03 2008, 01:30

Quote (Dirk Star @ Sep. 02 2008, 03:41)
Totaly agree with you there MG apart from Summit Day (No you did`nt mention it there`ll be in here in their hoardes you know  ;) ) But yeah Summit Day is the stand out track for me no doubt about it.Sometimes when that melody comes around for the third and final time it wipes me out completely.It always reminds me of a piece from John Tavener`s The Protecting Veil entitled The Dormition.Which follows the same kind of "third time`s a charm" principle if you like.There`s also a choral version of that particular piece from Tavener "Hymn for the Dormition of the Mother of God" which is equaly as moving.Imho though Summit Day matches them both musicaly and spiritualy/emotionaly for me.And I`m talking about some of the most moving music I think I`ve heard heard in my life here,so you know I`m not saying that lightly.

Who knows maybe Mike has got another album up his sleeve somewhere down the line entitled Guitarist..Or something he`s still yet to do of course despite all his years in the biz an album entitled Mike Oldfield..Well he is a guitar player after all what better an album title to prove it once and for all?


After reading your lyrical description of Summit Day I've been giving it more attention. Yes, it's a lovely tune, and the repeated melody on the electric guitar at the end is stirring stuff. Guitars as an album possesses a lot of moving moments, there's a great deal of direct, emotional impact. Maybe it's due to the simplicity of the guitar-only set-up.

Call this pure hypothesizing but perhaps one day Mike will follow up Guitars with a piano-only affair called Pianos, or a bass-only album called Basses?
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trcanberra Offline




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Posted: Oct. 19 2008, 02:21

Listened to this one again today.  I enjoyed it, some very nice melodies - and I had forgotten how much I liked 'Out of Mind'.  Some of the acoustic work is very good - don't think Mike is showing his age on this one.
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nightspore Offline




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Posted: Oct. 19 2008, 07:25

Quote (Major Gowen @ Sep. 03 2008, 01:30)
After reading your lyrical description of Summit Day I've been giving it more attention. Yes, it's a lovely tune, and the repeated melody on the electric guitar at the end is stirring stuff.

I wonder why he called it "Summit Day". Mike shows on records like The Songs of Distant Earth that he can make the title of a piece exactly capture what the piece is about - but sometimes his titles seem wildly whimsical. The words "summit day" connote to me some meeting - eg, involving the United Nations - but perhaps he was referring to the slowly-climbing (ie summit-approaching) crescendo of the piece.
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Holger Offline




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Posted: Oct. 19 2008, 12:03

Quote (nightspore @ Oct. 19 2008, 13:25)
Quote (Major Gowen @ Sep. 03 2008, 01:30)
After reading your lyrical description of Summit Day I've been giving it more attention. Yes, it's a lovely tune, and the repeated melody on the electric guitar at the end is stirring stuff.

I wonder why he called it "Summit Day". Mike shows on records like The Songs of Distant Earth that he can make the title of a piece exactly capture what the piece is about - but sometimes his titles seem wildly whimsical. The words "summit day" connote to me some meeting - eg, involving the United Nations - but perhaps he was referring to the slowly-climbing (ie summit-approaching) crescendo of the piece.

From this article:

Quote
'Summit Day' - "Inspired by John Krakauer's best-seller Into Thin Air which dealt with a climbing tragedy on Mount Everest. I wrote the song as a tribute and attempted to put the emotion of the final push to the summit into music."
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Sweetpea Offline




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Posted: Oct. 19 2008, 13:45

Thanks for that info, Holger. I had no idea that was the inspiration for "Summit Day". Listening again, with that in mind, I think it's a fitting piece of music. Actually, all this talk has made me listen a little more carefully to the album. It's funny when you think you've got something pretty well figured out but, on re-examination, you find something new and intriguing.

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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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nightspore Offline




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Posted: Oct. 19 2008, 19:48

Thanks, Holger. A tragedy on Mount Everest? I think Mike's piece, with its climbing crescendo and the ever-present feel of imminent loss, more than does that idea justice!
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Ray Offline




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Posted: Oct. 21 2008, 13:15

Quote (Sweetpea @ Sep. 03 2008, 06:29)
Quote (Ray @ Sep. 01 2008, 08:02)
It's an age thing....he's too old.

:O  Ray!! How could you? After all, don't they say "It's not the years - it's the mileage"?  ;)

Opps missed this one - a while ago now but here goes.....


I never Joke!

:D  :D  :D  :D

In Mr Oldfield's case its not the mileage - it's the Strumage!

Ray  :cool:


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Looking out over the harbour in Peel.......
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smillsoid Offline




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Posted: April 14 2009, 14:00

Like all the best Mike albums, this one is a grower.  A slow grower admitedly, but now it's definitely one of my faves.  It sounds very 'real' and 'immediate' somehow.

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nightspore Offline




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Posted: April 14 2009, 20:04

Quote (smillsoid @ April 14 2009, 14:00)
Like all the best Mike albums, this one is a grower.  A slow grower admitedly, but now it's definitely one of my faves.  It sounds very 'real' and 'immediate' somehow.

Not for me. I loved "Summit Day" right from the start, and it's still the only piece on the album I care for.
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smillsoid Offline




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Posted: April 14 2009, 20:57

Oh well.  Such is life.  So to speak.  As it were.

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