Essential Listening: Mike Oldfield – The Studio Albums: 1992-2003 (8CD)

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The Studio Albums: 1992-2003 (8CD)

This new box set, supported by Mike Oldfield, contains 8 albums from the Warner years:

-          Tubular Bells II

-          The Songs Of Distant Earth

-          The Voyager

-          Tubular Bells III

-          Guitars  

-          The Millennium Bell

-          Tr3s Lunas  

-          Tubular Bells 2003

 

After leaving Virgin Records, Oldfield joined the Warner Bros. roster in 1992 and released his first sequel. ‘Tubular Bells II’, which climbed to the top of the chart in England. Tom Newman (who engineered the original) and Trevor Horn joined Oldfield as producers for the album, which includes the singles ‘Sentinel’, ‘Tattoo’ and ‘The Bell’.

Another sequel arrived in 1998 with ‘Tubular Bells III’, which was followed a year later by another instalment in the series ‘The Millennium Bell’. With ‘Tubular Bells 2003’, Oldfield revisited the original album and re-recorded it so he could take advantage of technological advances in the studio that were unavailable to him in the early Seventies.

The other four albums heard in this collection reflect a wide range of musical styles, starting with his follow-up to Tubular Bells II, 1994’s ‘The Songs of Distant Earth’, inspired by Arthur Clarke’s  novel of the same name. Clarke approved of the results and even wrote a forward for the album.

Oldfield returned in 1996 with a traditional Celtic-themed album ‘Voyager’, that marked a dramatic stylistic departure. On this, Oldfield used a mix of traditional and acoustic instruments as well as synthesizers. For 1999’s ‘Guitars’, the musician recorded all of the music using only electric, acoustic and synthesizer guitars. ‘The Millennium Bell’ was written to usher in the new Millennium at a live concert in the centre of Berlin, in front of a 500,000 crowd.

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