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Mike Oldfield

Live at Montreux 1981 DVD

Review by Gary Hill

I'd have to say that the first thing that caught my attention on watching this video is how young Mike Oldfield looks here. Now, mind you, I understand that it is now 25 years later, and I'm not referring to his youth in comparison to today. What I mean is that someone who looks this young (I wouldn't have pegged him at over 21 - but he is actually 27 at the time - if my math is right) could create such incredible music. This stuff is complex, beautiful and powerful. The thing is it is also performed impeccably. The other thing that impressed me is just that performance quality. I (and I'd guess a lot of others) have always regarded Oldfield as more of a studio musician. So, it's rather amazing to see just how well he and his band of cohorts do translating his awesome music to the live performance venue. For fans of Oldfield and fans of progressive rock in general this one is a must have. It's filmed very well, the sound is excellent and the music is simply awe-inspiring. I'd suppose the only complaints come from technical issues. For one thing on my player I was not able to skip forward (either one track at a time or playing at double speed or higher). Instead the search button seemed to be disabled and the fast-forward or reverse brought me to the select scene menu. The other issue is the fact that this has no bonus materials at all, only the concert. The truth is, though, as good as this stuff is these are just minor quibbles. This DVD is top-notch really.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2006 Volume 3 at

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