Five Miles Out is the seventh record album by Mike Oldfield, released in 1982, at a time when his music was moving away from large-scale symphonic pieces towards a more accessible pop style. This 2013 reissue includes the original album remastered, plus a CD of live tracks from Cologne 1982, and a DVD of the album in 5.1 Surround Mix.
Meant to show to the world at large that his music was ready for the concert stage, and that he was ready for live exposure (Oldfield suffered for many years from stage fright), Exposed is sometimes wonderful, sometimes bombastic. This double-CD set consists of performances of "Tubular Bells" and "Incantations," the latter abbreviated considerably, with "Guilty" tossed in for good measure.
Mike Oldfield, one of the legendary figures of British progressive rock, returned with this ambitious two-disc set. 2005's Light + Shade is divided into two parts: the "Light" portion featuring upbeat and melodic tunes, and the "Shade" disc leans to moodier and more atmospheric compositions. As is his custom, Oldfield plays all the instruments on Light + Shade, as well as handling most of the recording himself; several of the selections from the album became part of the score for the virtual reality games Maestro and Tres Lunas.
Mike Oldfield's groundbreaking album Tubular Bells is arguably the finest conglomeration of off-centered instruments concerted together to form a single unique piece. A variety of instruments are combined to create an excitable multitude of rhythms, tones, pitches, and harmonies that all fuse neatly into each other, resulting in an astounding plethora of music. Oldfield plays all the instruments himself, including such oddities as the Farfisa organ, the Lowrey organ, and the flageolet. The familiar eerie opening, made famous by its use in The Exorcist, starts the album off slowly, as each instrument acoustically wriggles its way into the current noise that is heard, until there is a grand unison of eccentric sounds that wildly excites the ears. Throughout the album, the tempos range from soft to intense to utterly surprising, making for some excellent musical culminations…
Following a long-established production pattern, Mike Oldfield assembled some relatively simple pop- and rock-flavored numbers following one long introductory piece on his 1983 Disky release, Crisis. The 20-minute opening title-track is a quintessential Oldfield texture study that consists of sparkling synth washes with edgier material weaving in and out. A fine setup, this track cleanses the aural pallet, preparing the listener nicely for the tunes that follow. Yes fans who can adjust to the sugary highlight "In High Places" will enjoy Jon Anderson's springy vocal work on the track. The energetic guitar romp "Taurus 3" will also appeal to most prog and art rock fans. Those in search of more ethereal Oldfield material should be aware of this record's pop leanings, but open-minded listeners will have a good time exploring Crisis, one of Oldfield's better releases of this type.
Earth Moving was one of the last installments in Mike Oldfield's series of pop experiments, and the record does sound as if the musician was running out of patience with the genre. Many listeners have written off this period, but there were interesting moments that passionate fans still appreciate. Oldfield commits completely to the pop/rock format on Earth Moving by excluding the kind of long intro piece that he often used to kick off other '80s recordings. Instead, the composer puts a sprawling but focused (by Oldfield standards) eight-minute number, "Nothing But/Bridge to Paradise," at the end of this 1989 release…
Compared to the previous Amarok, Heaven's Open is far less experimental and clearly more conventional. But this is not necessarily a bad thing though! This album has the same structure as albums like Five Miles Out, Crisis and Islands in that half of the album consists of shorter songs while the other half is one longer piece.