Mike Oldfield - Crises

Mike Oldfield - Crises Mike Oldfield has re-issued a five disc box set of his 1983 album Crises. This album was responsible for another big hit, titled "Moonlight Shadow," featuring the vocals of Maggie Reilly, hitting number four on the UK charts, along with topping out in several other countries. The title track is a quintessential Oldfield textured 21 minute piece that consists of glistening synth washes which weaved through punchier sections. Fans of Yes will enjoy "In High Places" featuring Jon Anderson's vocal work. The high energy guitar on "Taurus 3" will likely appeal to progressive and art rock lovers. Oldfield fans should be aware of this record's pop leanings, yet it is still considered one of Oldfield's better releases of this style.

For fans seeking the surround sound version, they'll need to purchase the box set, which effectively is two albums.  Many fans have expressed disappointment over the step away from the consistency of previous releases in the 30th anniversary series, which all had been packaged in the same size gatefold boxes, containing 2 CD's and a DVD in most cases.  But, crises comes in a box that is taller and wider than a DVD case, and at least two times as thick.  It is like a small board game box, which requires some shaking and gravity to open, and the upsizing is a real hassle for adding to a collection.

With the negatives out of the way, there is a lot more to be positive about when unwrapping and listening to the 3 CD's and 2 DVD's in the Crises box set.  The CD's contain the full Crises album remastered, along with several bonus tracks, and two discs from his live concert at Wembley Arena on July 22, 1983.  But we know it is the DVD's that will attract most fans, which feature the complete Crises album remixed in 5.1 surround sound and is featured in both Dolby Digital and DTS.  The second DVD however only contain portions of the live concert at Wembley in stereo and video footage that is lacking in sharpness.  A few promotional videos fill out this disc.

As for the surround sound version, Oldfield has created a captivating mix that is full on with all six channels.  He has Placed the bass in the center channel, which works well for listeners with full range center speakers, and really provides distinct placement of an instrument that roots the music.  Keyboards are sprinkled across front and rears punctuating their various parts with a brilliance that extends to the upper ends of human hearing.   With the vast amount of parts written for his pieces, surround sound lends itself well to the use of all channels versus creating a stage in the front channels and using the rears for ambience.  Guitars come in from the left rear, and second parts are added in the center channel, but don't expect instrumentation to stay in the same location.  From sirens that move across the mix from front to rears, guitars and keyboards find themselves moving among the five primary channels, with delay and reverb taking position in opposite speakers or filling areas of the mix that may have otherwise been somewhat empty.  Oldfield's vocals on the title track are tucked gently into the mix, allowing for the music to organically fall around his voice.  As the 21 minute epic nears the end, keyboards call and answer from left to right speakers, with arpeggiated swirls carrying the segment along, accentuated by drums that pound between the left and right rears, with the kick drum punching from the front.  There are a rich amount of lows, so expect your sub-woofers to get a work out.

The original vinyl split the title track from the remaining five songs, which all clock in at less than four minutes each.  Three of the pieces are pop leaning, especially the hit song "Moonlight Shadow."  Simply put, these songs are less complex, with fewer layers and place most of the instrumentation in the front channels.  However, the rears do receive an appropriate amount of synths, acoustic guitars, and backing vocals, taking elements of these songs that were somewhat buried in the original stereo mix.

While the quality of the video is somewhat weak on the live DVD, it has been clearned up nicely, and the stereo audio tracks sound excellent.  Covered more extensively on the two CD's, it is the fantastic line up of musicians for the "Crises" tour that make the performance, including: Mike Oldfield on guitar and vocals, Maggie Reilly on vocals, Roger Chapman on vocals, Anthony Glynne on guitars, Graham Pleeth playing keyboards, Phil Spalding grooving on the bass, Simon House jamming on the violin, Pierre Moerlen hitting it on the percussion and Simon Phillips kicking it on the drums. They performed to a full concert hall each night, with the largest attendance exceeding forty thousand people.  This is the energy that is showcase on the two pieces, "Crises" and "Tubular Bells" on the DVD, along with several other tracks from the Wembley show on July 22, 1983 on the CD's.

Strongly recommended for progressive rock fans, and required for collectors of Mike Oldfield's surround sound series.  Even with the downside of the packaging, this is a must have in your collection. This Deluxe box set version of Crises went out of print, so snatch up your copy when you see it available!

Disc: 1 - CD

1. Crises
2. Moonlight Shadow
3. In High Places
4. Foreign Affair
5. Taurus 3
6. Shadow On The Wall
7. Moonlight Shadow
8. Shadow On The Wall
9. Mistake
10. Crime Of Passion
11. Jungle Gardenia
12. Moonlight Shadow
13. Shadow On The Wall

Disc: 2 - CD

1. Woodhenge/ Incantations Part Three
2. Sheba
3. Ommadawn Part One
4. Mount Teidi
5. Five Miles Out
6. Tubular Bells Part One

Disc: 3 - CD

1. Taurus I
2. Taurus II
3. Crises
4. Moonlight Shadow
5. Shadow On The Wall
6. Family Man

Disc: 4 - DVD (Video Content - Stereo Audio)

1. Crises (Live at Wembley)
2. Tubular Bells Part One (Live at Wembley)
3. Moonlight Shadow – Mike Oldfield, Maggie Reilly (Promo)
4. Shadow On The Wall (Promo)
5. Moonlight Shadow – Mike Oldfield, Maggie Reilly (Promo)
6. Crime Of Passion – Mike Oldfield, Barry Palmer

Disc: 5 (DVD 5.1 in both DTS & Dolby Digital)

1. Crises
2. Moonlight Shadow
3. In High Places
4. Foreign Affair
5. Taurus 3
6. Shadow On The Wall

  • ThreeAudio CD's a DVD-Video, and a DVD-Audio with a 5.1 surround sound mix.

 

Get your copy here:

 

 

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Jodi Shaw - In Waterland

Jodi Shaw - In Waterland

There are moments in life when by some form of magic a connection happens that leads to a wonderful discovery. Jodi Shaw is one of those brilliant connections which initially formed through a mutual friend on Twitter. After seeing many of her posts, mostly related to music, I asked about her latest release "In Waterland."  Jodi shared the link to her Band Camp page, and I immediately was captivated by her music. A refreshing mix of folk, ambient, progressive...

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John Bassett - Unearth

John Bassett - Unearth

Taking a break as the front man of progressive/psychedelic rock band, KingBathmat John Bassett has released his first solo acoustic album in late March 2014.  An English multi-instrumentalist and singer best known for writing and producing several albums by KingBathmat, Basset utilizes his songwriting skills and production magic while playing literally all the instruments excepting the drums which are handled by Nathan Summers.  The melancholy collection of songs on Unearth fall on the gentle end of acoustic progressive...

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Julie Slick - Terroir

Julie Slick - Terroir

If you don't recognize the name Julie Slick, she is the bassist for the Adrian Belew Power Trio and Crimson ProjeKct bands. Her second release "Terroir", which translates to "from the earth," features luxuriant soundscapes, tangled rythms and an impressive list of guest musicians including sought after drummers Pat Mastelotto and Marco Minnemann along with legendary guitarists Adrian Belew and David Torn. Guitar Player's Anil Prasad described Slick as being, "One of the best bassists in the world." Using...

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Katatonia - Dethroned and Uncrowned

Katatonia - Dethroned and Uncrowned

Katatonia has release "Dethroned and Uncrowned," a radical reinterpretation of their 2012 release, "Dead End Kings." Fans have been mixed over the album which finds Katatonia exploring the more ambient and Progressive elements of Dead End Kings, while remaining truthful to the core of the album's songs. Katatonia says, "The album is foremost stripped down rather than 'pimped', it's also semi-acoustic and most things have been turned around, completely!  The album title doesn't lie, the drums have been...

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Kate Bush - Director's Cut

Kate Bush - Director's Cut

Many artists during the past decade have been releasing albums of covers, but how often does an artist cover themselves?    On her latest release "Director's Cut", Kate Bush revisits earlier songs she recorded on two earlier albums, "The Sensual World" and "The Red Shoes", which did not reflect her original vision. She has reworked some tracks completely: such as the opening track The Sensual World is now called Flower Of The Mountain, and has been expanded to include...

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Keb' Mo' - The Reflection

Keb' Mo' - The Reflection

When I first saw the title for Keb' Mo's latest release "The Reflection", I thought it was going to be a greatest hits collection.  Thankfully I was wrong, and it is a smooth collection of R&B songs primarily written by the songwriter.  His first studio release since the 2006 album "The Suitcase", the August 2011 album "The Reflection" is a self-produced album with  twelve tunes that features duets with India.Arie and Vince Gill, as well as performances by...

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King Crimson - Discipline

King Crimson - Discipline

Discipline's ground breaking exacting guitar, bass, and drum parts marked an evolution for the most respected and creative progressive rock band.  The first of what would become a trilogy for Fripp's most capable team of technicians, which included guitarist Adrian Belew and bassist Tony Levin along with Bill Bruford on drums. This quartet is tailor-made for a vibrant, immersive surround experience. A good example is the midrange bass march of the title track, which percolates evenly all around...

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King Crimson - Larks' Tongue in Aspic

King Crimson - Larks' Tongue in Aspic

Crimson fans, it is time to rejoice, Larks' Tongues In Aspic has arrived as a 5.1 surround sound release with several live discs from that era. With its raw tone, inspired improvisations and hard hitting odd-metered rhythms, the album marked a radical departure for this most forward thinking of groups and was the first to include Bill Bruford and John Wetton as band members. Fans can pick up the standard CD and DVD-Audio set, or pay a bunch more coin...

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King Crimson - Starless and Bible Black

King Crimson - Starless and Bible Black

This DVD-A/CD edition of King Crimson's "Starless and Bible Black" features new 5.1 surround sound mixes by Steven Wilson and stereo mixes by Robert Fripp and Steven Wilson, both in high resolution audio formats. Also included is some 1973 footage from New York's Central Park and copious audio extras and rarities, including Doctor Diamond and Guts On My Side. An experimental hybrid of live material and studio recordings, Starless sits between the astonishing re-inventions of Lark's Tongues In Aspic and...

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King Crimson - USA

King Crimson - USA

Continuing their 40th anniversary series, USA is the ninth album to receive the high resolution treatment.  The CD features a completely new stereo album mix of the full concert by Robert Fripp & David Singleton, while the DVD features High Resolution Stereo mixes (24bit/96khz) of all three editions of this concert album.  The discs come in a slipcase digipack format with Sid Smith sleeve notes, rare photos and archive material. Originally released as a single album from recordings near...

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Kompendium - Beneath the Wave

Kompendium - Beneath the Wave

Sprung from the blood, sweat and tears of Rob Reed, founder of welsh progressive-rock band Magenta,  Kompendium's debut concept album follows the spirit of all those great progressive rock albums from the 70s without sounding like any of them. Three years in the making, this exquisite album melds the talents of over two dozen artists and ensembles into an incredible album, Beneath The Waves takes on a rare depth, emotion and intensity.  Held together by a dynamic vocal...

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Led Zeppelin - Celebration Day

Led Zeppelin - Celebration Day

On December 10, 2007 Led Zeppelin reunited for a single performance at the London 02 Arena as a tribute to the late Atlantic Records president Ahmet Ertegun. A crowd of 18,000 lucky attendees who had won the lottery from the 20 million that entered for tickets were rocked by a two hour set by this power house quartet. Celebration Day is certainly not a substitute for their original recordings where Robert Plant squeeled out vocals on beloved favorites...

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Led Zeppelin - I, II, and III

Led Zeppelin - I, II, and III

In early June 2014, the first three Led Zeppelin albums were released in a variety of packages, all remastered by producer and guitarist Jimmy Page.  The band also has open its vaults containing dozens of unheard studio and live recordings.  Each of the first three albums feature a second disc of audio comprised entirely of unreleased music related to that album. At first glance the options seem overwhelming, but when broken down by album, the there are three media...

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Lynyrd Skynyrd - Southern Surroundings

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Southern Surroundings

Once again you can get yourself surrounded with Lynyrd Skynyrd on their re-issued “Southern Surroundings” disc, now released on Blu-ray. This special compilation was initially available on DVD-Audio in 2012 and features some of Lynyrd Skynyrd's greatest hits all mixed in 5.1 surround sound by Grammy-winning producer Elliott Scheiner. There are some significant differences between the 3 disc DVD set and the single disc Blu-ray released in June 2015. While the Blu-ray contains “Sweet Home Alabama (Live At The...

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Margin - Psychedelic Teatime

Margin - Psychedelic Teatime

The debut release from Berlin based psychedelic prog project Margin titled "Psychedelic Teatime” covers much ground between old and new progressive and psychedelic rock.  Flowing together, developing melodies with sounds and noises that are wonderfully fuse together, the spirit of 70’s prog shines through with a unique modern flare. I first heard this release on progstreaming.com, a site dedicated to featuring full length progressive rock albums.  While I primarily focus on high-resolution releases, I was intrigued by the quality...

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Marvin Ayres - Harmogram Suite

Marvin Ayres - Harmogram Suite

A long way off from some of the bands to which Marvin Ayres has contributed, such as Culture Club, Simply Red, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, and Prefab Sprout, makes his latest release "Harmogram Suite" an intriguing addition to the ambient and modern classical genres.  Between his new wave days Ayres delved into film soundtracks, audio-visual installations and ambient jazz.  Now he's produced his most ambitious work: a six-movement symphony. The most amazing facet of the current release is how...

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Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On

Marvin Gaye - Let's Get It On

A high-resolution release of Marvin Gaye’s classic 1973 Let’s Get It On album from Motown Records and Universal Music Group us now available on High Fidelity Pure Audio (HFPA) Bluray since late April 2015. Included is a 5.1 surround mix, with the original tape transfer and mastering supervised and conducted by the album’s original producer, Cal Harris. It is reported that Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab transferred the original two-track, quarter-inch analog master tapes using the crucially acclaimed Gain...

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Mike Keneally - Sluggo

Mike Keneally - Sluggo

Mike Keneally's inventive 1997 release Sluggo has been reissued as a upper deluxe set including a new surround mix.  Out of print for several years, Keneally always had reservations about the original mix, but the upshot is he is completely happy with the sound of the revamped album, and so am I! The super deluxe set contains a CD with the 2013 stereo mix including two bonus tracks, "Craney" and "Bob Dylan's Nose"  The DVD-A contains both MLP 24bit...

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Mike Oldfield - Crises

Mike Oldfield - Crises

Mike Oldfield has re-issued a five disc box set of his 1983 album Crises. This album was responsible for another big hit, titled "Moonlight Shadow," featuring the vocals of Maggie Reilly, hitting number four on the UK charts, along with topping out in several other countries. The title track is a quintessential Oldfield textured 21 minute piece that consists of glistening synth washes which weaved through punchier sections. Fans of Yes will enjoy "In High Places" featuring...

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Mike Oldfield - Five Miles Out

Mike Oldfield - Five Miles Out

Mike Oldfield has re-released his 1982 "Five Miles Out", as a three disc 2CD+DVD edition, with the DVD featuring a 5.1 surround sound mix. Returning to extended compositions on Five Miles Out, Oldfield continues the "Taurus" series with the mammoth "Taurus II," with references to Irish music, brass bands and Oldfield's beloved Morris. The title track stands out, referring to flying in bad weather, but it would be his song "Family Man" that would become a huge worldwide...

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Neil Young - Psychedelic Pill

Neil Young - Psychedelic Pill

Neil Young and Crazy Horse have released their first album of original music in almost a decade, now available in a few formats.  Ahead of his lossless music download site, Pono Audio (www.mypono.com/) planned for mid 2013, Young continues to release his music in high resolution formats.  Before we get too deep, it is important to note that the Bluray Audio disc contains additional tracks not found on either the vinyl record, nor compact disc formats.  We picked...

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Nick Drake - Five Leaves Left

Nick Drake - Five Leaves Left

While Nick Drake's short career ended with his death in 1974, his popularity since then has only risen.  It is no wonder that his 1969 debut release "Five Leaves Left" has received the High Fidelity Pure Audio treatment which includes both a stereo and multi-channel mix. Besides a fine production, Drake's performance balances between accessibility and self-reflection, while avoiding the pitfalls on either side. Five Leaves Left is considered his most successful effort on which he injects the songs...

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No Man's Land - Unprotected

No Man's Land - Unprotected

For Progressive Rock fans there is an awesome site progstreaming.com that provides streaming of new albums for a couple of months.  While the stream is not high quality audio, it offers a way to discover new music, and that is how I heard about No Man's Land's latest release "Unprotected" reviewed here. One of Athens, Greece's most long-lasting bands started in the mid-eighties releasing their first album ''Zalion'' (1988)  with a neo-psychedelic gem sound. The followed this up with...

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Nosound - Afterthoughts

Nosound - Afterthoughts

Founded by Italian guitarist/vocalist Giancarlo Erra, Nosound has already received plenty of accolades. On their newest release, Afterthoughts, the five piece band continue to craft lush bittersweet instrumentation with introspective vocals that mesmerize the listener. Keyboardist Marco Berni and drummer Giulio Caneponi join the band as full-time members on Afterthoughts, and Chris Maitland, former member of Porcupine Tree and no-man, returns as guest percussionist. The bands line up also includes Paolo Vigliarolo  on acoustic guitar, Alessandro Luci playing bass...

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nosound - lightdark

nosound - lightdark

In late November 2013 Nosound released their album Lighdark, which was re-mastered as a 2 disc set, including a DVD containing high resolution stereo and 5.1 surround mixes, plus video extras. Grab your copy of the free hires downloads of the track Kite from the promo web sitewww.lightdark.net, which includes FLAC 24/48 stereo and 5.1 files! Recorded in Italy, England and the US throughout 2006 to 2007, their album Lightdark further enhanced the depth of their debut album Sol29...

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Peter Gabriel - Play

Peter Gabriel - Play

Play is back, the innovative collection of Peter Gabriel's music videos originally released in 2004 has been reissued. Included are 23 5.1 mixes that primarily accompany the original videos, However, Games Without Frontiers was reworked and without having any videos for In Your Eyes, Solsbury Hill and the soulful Washing Of The Water, all new videos were created for these songs. The great news for high resolution multi-channel fans is the 5.1 surround mixes in both Dolby Digital and DTS...

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Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon

Pink Floyd - Dark Side of the Moon

The Dark Side of The Moon became Pink Floyd's first number 1 album in the US, remaining on the chart for 741 weeks from its release in 1973.  Fans whom have grown up with this recording have likely purchased all formats that have been available starting with vinyl, compact disc, and SACD.  For the person on the go, an eight track and cassette were available through the 70's and early 80's.  Well, it's probably time to get out...

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Pink Floyd - The Division Bell

Pink Floyd - The Division Bell

Should fans rejoice or proclaim their displeasure of the 20th anniversary box set of the Division Bell by Pink Floyd. This seven disc set includes a newly remastered two-LP edition of the album directly from the original analogue tapes. It has been expanded to include all the full length tracks that were edited down to fit on a single LP with cover art by Hipgnosis/StormStudios, and is presented in a gatefold sleeve. So far the set is more of...

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Pink Floyd - The Endless River

Pink Floyd - The Endless River

In the summer of 2014 Pink Floyd surprised fans with an announcement of their first new release since 1994. Produced by David Gilmour, Phil Manzanera, Youth, and Andy Jackson, "The Endless River" utilizes and expands upon music from the sessions of The Division Bell. After listening to over 20 hours of material, the three musicians spent the last year adding new parts. The group also we re-recorded tracks and generally harnessed studio technology to make a 21st century Pink...

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Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here

Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here

Fans will be delighted with this lavish reissue of Pink Floyd's 1975 Wish You Were Here album, which topped the album charts in both the UK and the US. Containing the classic cut Shine On You Crazy Diamond, a tribute to founder member Syd Barrett, the Immersion version features the classic Studio album mixed in surround sound and digitally remastered. This limited edition high quality box set features rare and unreleased audio and video material, plus a new...

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Quatermass - Quatermass

Quatermass  - Quatermass

Esoteric Records has released a two disc deluxe edition of the one and only album by Quatermass, originally released in 1970 on the Harvest label, but difficult to find for many years. Crossing genres from progressive rock instrumentals to hard rock vocal sections, Quatermass was somewhat unique while also having similarities to bands like ELP, Deep Purple, Atomic Rooster, and even the Nice.  This 2013 edition features new mixes by member Peter Robinson in both Stereo and 5.1...

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