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.

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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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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 - 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...

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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...

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RPWL - Wanted

RPWL - Wanted

Germany based art rock band RPWL has followed up their celebrated album “Beyond Man and Time” with their 2014 multi format release “Wanted.” Available as a limited edition CD and DVD with 5.1 Dolby-Digital surround sound, which includes the bonus track "Still Asleep" on DVD only.  For analog audiophiles, a double vinyl version is available, as well as a single CD copy. For high resolution fans, like myself, it is surprising that “Wanted” is only available as a Dolby...

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Rush - 2112

Rush - 2112

Originally released in 1976, 2112 was the Canadian three-piece band's breakthrough album. Guitarist Alex Lifeson described it as, "the first record where we sounded like Rush." Fans have been waiting for the high resolution surround sound version, which was released on Dec 18, 2012 as three deluxe editions. These include a CD/DVD or CD/Blu-ray, with the package including the remastered album and three bonus live tracks on CD. The second disc includes...

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Rush - Moving Pictures

Rush - Moving Pictures

Seven years in and their ninth release, Rush released their critically acclaimed Moving Pictures,  often considered one of the greatest  hard rock albums of all times. Taking some cues from the new wave movement they superbly blend their progressive hard rock approach, all honed to perfection.  This release is chalk full of classics, and the band performs several songs regularly in concert and classic rock radio often pulls from this album too...

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Rush - Sectors

Rush - Sectors

In late November 2011, just in time for the holidays, Universal Music released three separate six-disc box sets by Rush.  Collecting the entire Rush output between 1974 and 1989, including both live and studio albums, the Rush Sector box sets span the entire historic Mercury Records tenure of Geddy Lee (bass, keyboard, vocals), Alex Lifeson (guitar) and Neil Peart (drummer).  (John Rutsey drummed on Rush's debut.)  Each 'Sector' contains five of their 15 Mercury albums...

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Sorrow;s Path - The Rough Path Of Nihilism

Sorrow;s Path - The Rough Path Of Nihilism

OriBased in Athens, Greece, Sorrows Path has been a long time in the making, and members have endured a tough road along the way.  Originally formed by Takis Drakopoulos (bass) and Kostas Salomidis (guitar) back in 1993,  playing gigs and releasing their first demo a few years later.  Tragically their original founding bassist died, and after being signed to a label and recording a release in 1998 that...

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Soundgarden - Superunknown

Soundgarden - Superunknown

Debuting at number one on the Billboard charts when first released in 1994, Superunknown went on to sell over nine million copies worldwide.  Certified five-times Platinum in the US, Sungarden received two Grammys for their singles 'Black Hole Sun' and 'Spoonman' in 1995. 2014 is the 20th anniversary of this beloved album, and is receiving the deluxe box packaging that includes four CD’s and a Blu-ray.  The first disc contains the re-mastered album with 16 tracks, including bonuses found...

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Squackett - A Life Within A Day

Squackett - A Life Within A Day

Squackett is the collaboration pairing progressive rock veterans Chris Squire bassist for Yes, and former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett, who have been working on the release of "A Life Within a Day" for four years now.  The two began working together after having actually met in the mid-80s in the U.S while Chris Squire was working on a solo Christmas album (Swiss Choir) and needed some guitar parts. Squire...

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Steve Katz - Barricades

Steve Katz - Barricades

As an avid listener of music, I am constantly seeking new artists and unearthing forgotten gems.  Also, as a audio enthusiast, I turn my attention to releases that have been well recorded, produced, and mastered.  I came across Steve Katz recently, and was excited to find a new artist that easily met my expectations of good music and excellent sound quality. A New York based singer/songwriter, Steve Katz often performs in the northeast...

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Steven Wilson - Drive Home

Steven Wilson - Drive Home

Steven Wilson released a second album in 2013 titled "Drive Home," featuring unreleased tracks, videos, and live recordings, all available in high-definition surround sound audio. There is a new video for lead track Drive Home, along with the video for The Raven That Refused To Sing (both directed by Jess Cope), and four tracks recorded live in Frankfurt during Wilson's recent tour. Additionally, you'll get high resolution (96/24 stereo and 5.1 surround) audio...

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Steven Wilson - Grace for Drowning

Steven Wilson - Grace for Drowning

Producer, writer, and musician Steven Wilson released his second solo album "Grace for Drowning," on September 27, 2011. Building on his artistic depth that has made him a twice Grammy winner, the new release is more experimental and eclectic that his first outing "insurgence." Wilson says, "It's my biggest project to date," and includes slowly changing pictures that accompany the music. We suggest skipping the double CD version, and getting the Blu-ray edition featuring...

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Steven Wilson - The Raven That Refused To Sing

Steven Wilson - The Raven That Refused To Sing

Steven Wilson has released his exhilarating third album, The Raven That Refused To Sing, consisting of 6 songs, three of which are more than 10 minutes each. His current band, which includes some of the world's most respected musicians features guitarist Guthrie Govan, bassist Nick Beggs, drummer Marco Minnemann, saxophonist/flautist Theo Travis and keyboard player Adam Holzman, all who take Steven's music into new and unexpected directions. I...

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Storm Corrosion - Storm Corrosion

Storm Corrosion - Storm Corrosion

When the friendship between Steven Wilson and (Porcupine Tree) and Mikael Akerfeldt (Opeth) extended into a musical collaboration, fans became very excited to hear their first release titled Storm Corrosion. While getting blotto on red wine, Akerfeldt created the first riff for Drag Rope, which opens the album. Echoing the vocal harmonies of Gentle Giant, the remainder of the songs are distinctly Wilson and Akerfeldt. From the heavy to dream state...

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Talking Heads - Box Set (Dual Disc)

Talking Heads - Box Set (Dual Disc)

Talking Heads' 30th anniversary was commemorated by sonically upgrading their eight, era-defining polyrhythmic albums via Dual Discs in a molded white plastic box set. Each disc contains complete album tracks and bonus cuts remastered in Stereo on its CD side, while the DVD programming on the flip offers up the audio tracks in expansive new 5.1 Surround Sound mixes, with all of the sonic upgrading personally supervised by keyboardist/guitarist Jerry...

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Tedeschi Trucks Band - Revelator

Tedeschi Trucks Band - Revelator

Let's take Trucks whom is one of the best blues guitar players out there and Tedeschi whom has a beautiful voice and a talented guitar player, and put this married couple on a fabulous release called Revelator. From the opening chords of "Come See About Me" to the last notes of "Shelter", this is an wonderful collection of tunes that has it all from  blues to funk, with a lot of...

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The Eagles - Hotel California

The Eagles - Hotel California

The classic Eagles album, Hotel California, has been reissued by Warner Japan in a 5.1 and stereo mix on a Hybrid SACD in August 2011. Previously only available in the United States as a multi-channel DVD-Audio, and sold at obscene prices on ebay, fans and collectors should grab their copy of this release today! Includes description and lyrics. Hotel California was the first Eagles album to feature Joe Walsh. By combining with Don...

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The Vicar - Songbook 1

The Vicar - Songbook 1

Listen up, Songbook #1 by The Vicar is literally one of the most intriguing and innovative records of our time.  A throw back to the psychedelic sixties with an air of Beatles, King Crimson, and an edge of Phillip Glass, the album traverses many musical styles while staying the course on its unique sound.  Composer David Singleton has brought together several renowned musicians including Robert Fripp, Tony Levin, Jakko Jalszyk, Theo...

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The Who - Quadrophenia

The Who - Quadrophenia

A couple of years ago the Who released a super deluxe version of their 1973 studio album Quadrophenia. However, the surround version didn’t contain all the tracks. Universal Music has corrected this horrible omission and has released the entire album in 5.1 surround sound on the Pure Audio format, which also includes a high fidelity stereo mix. Fans can pick up one of two versions, either the five disc Quadrophenia Live in London deluxe box set or the single...

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Tom Petty - Damn the Torpedoes

Tom Petty - Damn the Torpedoes

The Blu-ray reissue of Tom Petty's "Damn the Torpedoes" includes a fantastic new 5.1 mix in DTS HD Master 24-bit 96k audio, along with nine additional bonus tracks not included on the original album. Seven of these tracks are previously unreleased including two studio tracks, "Nowhere" and "Surrender," both written by Tom Petty and recorded and completed during the Damn The Torpedoes sessions. If you purchase one...

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Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Hypnotic Eye

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers  - Hypnotic Eye

Hypnotic Eye is the latest release from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and the first album from the band in four years. This marks their 13th studio album, and punches out some great rock & roll by this veteran artist. Petty says "We hadn't made a straight hard-rockin' record, from beginning to end, in a long time."  I say, about time! For surround sound and hi-res fans, this album is very much like their 2010 Mojo Blu-ray release...

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Transatlantic - Kaleidoscope

Transatlantic - Kaleidoscope

Progressive super group Transatlantic is back with their fourth release titled Kaleidoscope.  Featuring: Neal Morse formerly with Spock's Beard, Roine Stolt from The Flower Kings, Mike Portnoy formerly from Dream Theater, and Pete Trewavas of Marillion. With five epic tracks that combine the Classic Prog sound  with Neo Prog elements, Kaleidoscope has been mixed in surround sound, and the deluxe box features many extras.  The bonus cd includes covers of pieces by the...

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Depeche Mode - Live in Berlin
Gentle Giant - The Power and the Glory
Roger Waters - Amused to Death

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