Mike Oldfield — Ommadawn
(Caroline CAR 1855, 1975/2000, CD)
by Mike McLatchey, Published 2015-05-21
McLatchey's Top Tier #19
I was in my early to mid teens when I was at a friend's house down the street. One end of a long living room sat the record player was and there were LPs scattered everywhere. I was sifting through them and pulled this one out and looked on the back and saw that it had two tracks, "Ommadawn Part 1" and "Part 2." This fascinated me intensely, it was the first time I had encountered much outside the usual classic rock lengths and I absolutely had to hear it. I'm not sure how much Oldfield really made a dent in the US, but he was rather popular in the mid 70s; in fact I doubt you'd be hearing about Richard Branson and Virgin Airlines had there been no Tubular Bells. But, and I don't think I'm too alone in saying this, Oldfield's third album was his classic and I played this death even before I hit my 20s. It was a true original musical statement, perhaps a refinement of his two prior albums and had a pretty large guest cast, including vocalist Clodagh Simmons from Mellow Candle who really shines on Side 1. It was also a very cosmic and multicultural album, not only with the Celtic motifs but the hypnotic drumming and the way the whole album is charted to rise to each climax. I tried out a lot of other Mike Oldfield albums out in the day but none of them really stuck like this one. And there's a pretty interesting deluxe edition to boot.
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more