From the beginning of Mike Oldfield's career, he has had the attention of an audience. His first album, on then innovative Virgin Records, was Tubular Bells. Tubular Bells gained fame as parts of it were used in the film The Exorcist. So successful is that connection that parts of Tubular Bells cannot be heard without The Exorcist springing immediately to mind.
Mike Oldfield continued to create well-received classical works. He followed up the success of Tubular Bells with Hergest Ridge (1974), Ommadawn (1975), and a structurally different work with Incantations in 1978.
Incantations was released as four movements of a single piece on two LPs. The composition of the music was formed from Oldfield's affection for minimalism by using musical parts in a repetitive style. On Incantations, the compositions were narrowed to fewer instruments playing the parts written than were used by him previously.
On August 2, Mercury Records UK (who have acquired the Virgin rights to Oldfield recordings), will continue what is an already started remastering reissue campaign of expanded titles overseen by Oldfield himself. The previous titles leading chronologically up to Incantations have already been given the expanded/remastered treatment and released. Incantations continues with that and is expected to be as wonderfully received as the previous reissues have been.
The album will be released in several
forms including a single disc release that strangely adds in a
remastered version of a separately released disco track from 1979,
"Guilty," after the original four movements of the album. In
addition, a two-CD, one-DVD set is planned as a Deluxe Edition,
expanding the original album with an extra disc of related tracks
including a 2011 remix of the perplexing "Guilty" track, which is
not so out of place on a bonus disc as it is placed directly after
the concluding original album.
The DVD offers six 5.1 Surround Sound tracks including "Guilty," as well as two previously released promotional videos. Also on the DVD are Live Wembley recordings of Incantations, Parts I-IV, from 1979. Lastly, a two-LP set is planned with the first 500 being hand-signed by Mike Oldfield. Note that this reissue and previous Oldfield Deluxe Edition remasters have only been available in the US as import titles.
Let's hope that Incantations is followed up with upgrades to his later works. I'd love to hear what is done with Platinum (1979), his next chronologically released studio work.
1. Incantations Part One Remastered Stereo Mix
2. Incantations Part Two Remastered Stereo Mix
3. Incantations Part Three Remastered Stereo Mix
4. Incantations Part Four Remastered Stereo Mix
5. Guilty 7″ Single Version
1. Diana 2011 Stereo Mix
2. Northumbrian 2011 Stereo Mix
3. Piano Improvisation 2011 Stereo Mix
4. Hiawatha 2011 Stereo Mix
5. Canon For Two Vibraphones 2011 Stereo Mix
6. William Tell Overture
7. Cuckoo Song
8. Pipe Tune
9. Wrekorder Wrondo
10. Guilty 2011 Stereo Mix
11. Diana - Desiderata 2011 Stereo Mix
1. Diana 5.1 Surround Sound Version
2. Northumbrian 5.1 Surround Sound Version
3. Piano Improvisation 5.1 Surround Sound Version
4. Hiawatha 5.1 Surround Sound Version
5. Canon For Two Vibraphones 5.1 Surround Sound Version
6. Guilty 5.1 Surround Sound Version
7. William Tell Overture Promotional Video, 1977
8. Incantations Parts One & Two Live At Wembley Conference Centre, 1979
9. Incantations Parts Three & Four Live At Wembley Conference Centre, 1979
10. Guilty Promotional Video, 1979