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Ommadawn Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 89 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, July 11, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

With his first release, Tubular Bells, Mike Oldfield created a genre that can best be termed "symphonic folk-rock." Ommadawn, his third album, continued in a similar though somewhat more ambitious and less portentous vein. Including the African percussion group Jabula and Paddy Moloney of the Chieftains on uilleann pipes, this is Oldfield's most easily palatable release. Oldfield plays almost 20 instruments here. The two instrumental pieces that make up nearly the entire album are similar to ambient music in intent and effect, with an almost constant recycling of themes. The album closes with "On Horseback," a classic piece of English whimsy. --James Swift

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Ommadawn: Part 1 - Mike Oldfield
  2. Ommadawn: Part 2 - Mike Oldfield

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 11, 2000)
  • Original Release Date: 1975
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Blue Plate Caroline
  • ASIN: B000000I0I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #399,816 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Which is best? TUBULAR BELLS, HERGEST RIDGE or OMMADAWN? I could make a case for any of them. There is plenty of debate in about their respective merits, but frankly it's like arguing over which is the most important bird species.
The simple fact is that you need to own all three albums. There are many who believe that Oldfield was put on this Earth to make OMMADAWN. If Oldfield had disappeared completely from the music scene after recording OMMADAWN, then his place in history would have been assured. Without this trilogy of albums, there would have been no market for the likes of Andreas Vollenweider, and a much smaller audience for composers as diverse as Tangerine Dream, Steve Reich, Arvo Part and even late Jan Garbarek.
With TUBULAR BELLS, Mike Oldfield opened up what would be known as New age music to a mass audience. With OMMADAWN, he sealed his place in music legend, and perhaps unwittingly discovered a new audience by composing a suite of melodies with immense appeal to children. Some time after this, Oldfield was hired to re-work the theme tune to the BBC children's programme, BLUE PETER.
OMMADAWN represented a departure from his previous solo, multi-tracked recording technique. Other musicians were involved, not just in the recording but in the composition and arrangement too. Influences from the folk music of Ireland, Africa and Eastern Europe can be clearly heard. Paddy Moloney of the Irish band the Chieftains contributed the distinctive uillean pipes. It was way ahead of its time, and for me, it confirms the 22-year-old Oldfield as not just one of the great classical guitarists in rock, but as one of its greatest composers.
Everyone peaks at some point in their life, and Oldfield did it between the ages of 19 and 22.
Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
After having "Tubular Bells" in my cassette and CD players for roughly 13 years straight, I figured it was time to give some more of Oldfield's works a try. Upon reading the Virgin Record's bio, the first artist written about naturally was Mike Oldfield. Branson talked about "Ommadawn" being his best album, so I decided to try it for myself. Needless to say, this is slowly becoming as addictive a listen as TB was. Oldfield has way better production here and explores dynamics of minimalist structures leading into his signature layering. The writing is just as haunting here as always, with the arrangements switching notes at the drop of a hat, strings and synths weaving in and out. My favorite part of the 19 minute first song is the guitar break about ten minutes in. Listening to Oldfield work some fretboard magic makes this worth the price of the CD alone. The whole thing sounds like Debussy going mad with some Oberheim boards and a guitar. The end folk piece, loosely written around Pachabel's Canon, is amusing if not repetitious, but overall this is a stunning album that is essential to anyone starting off with Oldfield's earlier material.
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Format: Audio CD
Mike Oldfield was one of my greatest discoveries, when I was a teenager (now I'm 30 and still listen to him). The first contact with "Ommadawn" for me was a section, extract from final on Part 1, featured on his 1985's "The Complete/Live Side" - for me, this section is still one of Mike's best peaces ever made, although he's made more than 30 albums so far. In those years, his longplays were very hard to find, but I was lucky to got his "Boxed" anthology at the beginning of 90's. Wow! what an album! Immediately after that, I bought a CD, because it's just been realesed in my country. Today, "Ommadawn Part One" is regularly in my CD-player at least once a month. For those who are about to take steps into Mike's music, I highly recommend this album as a typical for his earlier works ('73 Tubular Bells, '74 Hergest Ridge and '77 Incantations) - although these albums have a similar structure, they are all unique in a way. "Ommadawn" is a wonderful mix of ethno, pop-rock and symphonyc music, built on three or four simple melodies, which reaches the climax at the end of Part 1. Accompanied by female, male and children choirs (Penrhose kids from the Manor, where this album was recorded), this peace brought me to places I've never been before, even with his music. Every time I think of this record, the word POWER comes to my mind. It really is powerfull and if you'll listen to the final section of Part 1, when screaming guitars, african drums and choir explode together in a total climax, you'll know what I mean.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
Mike Oldfield had only just turned 22 when he made "Ommadawn", an album of such incredible musical depth and innovation for its time that I'm forced to wonder who he was in a past life. The symphonic rock style of "Tubular Bells" and "Hergest Ridge" is reinvented here, and although some may call it "New Age", little in that genre has produced anything as exciting or uplifting as "Ommadawn". Oldfield certainly had a knack for hummable melodies, which he would then repeat and augment with chanted vocals, African percussion, Irish folk instrumentation, acoustic and electric guitars, or anything else that fit his fancy; the backwards sound mosaic that opens side two has an especially moving pull to it. By the time it's over, Oldfield leaves you breathless; then, you're swept away by "On Horseback", a singalong which sounds like Sesame Street on acid. This album will make you feel young, old, wise, innocent, spirited, and spaced out all at once. File under "symphonic-space-folk-world-newage-pop-rock" and just listen.
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