Mike Oldfield: Five Miles Out a jpoc music review
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jpoc rating
Six out of ten.
I'd have awarded eight out of ten if there had been no lyrics.
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the jpoc review
This CD, which dates from 1982-1983 is made up of two halves. The first, which was originally side one of the vinyl release is Taurus II and it is the sort of music that somebody familiar with Tubular Bells and Ommandawn would expect. Take the creative style of Tubular Bells, add in a greater range of musicians and a proper rock drummer and that's just what you get. Because of those additions, Taurus II is a better piece of music than Tubular Bells. They create extra dimension and texture that make the sound more interesting to the ear. Certainly, if you like Tubular Bells, you should buy this CD to listen to this one track at least.

The other half of the CD is rather more mixed. There are four tracks and three of them, at around four minutes each, follow the more normal rock song format and the first "Family Man" even found singles chart success! The music on these tracks is fine as far as it goes though Oldfield's style is better suited to longer pieces where he can develop his themes. However, as a lyricist, Oldfield rivals Rick Wakeman for the title "worst British progressive rock lyricist" with a sequence of cringe inducing banalities.

One interesting aspect of this CD is a guest appearance on drums on one track by ELP man Carl Palmer.

If you are new to Mike Oldfield, get Tubular Bells first. It is the best and purest example of his style but if you like it, this CD is a good example of how his work evolved and matured. If you can ignore the lyrics, the music is fine.