Mike Oldfield

Hergest Ridge

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Released as another lengthy composition, Hergest Ridge was the album that followed Mike Oldfield's momentous Tubular Bells release, with many of the same instrumental elements and methods employed throughout its two sections. Because of the time of its release, Hergest Ridge was overshadowed by the effects of Oldfield's first album for Virgin, but even so he manages to invoke some interesting patches of music by using instruments like the glockenspiel, sleigh bells, the Lowrey organ, oboes, and a variety of mandolins and guitars to maintain the same type of diversity as Tubular Bells. Symphonic throughout most of the album's two parts, the highlight of Hergest Ridge is Oldfield's use of 90 multi-tracked guitars clustered together to create one of the most unique sounds ever to surface on his albums. Actually, Hergest Ridge entered the British charts in the number one spot in the fall of 1974, but Tubular Bells finally took its place only three weeks later. The album was highly regarded in the U.K. upon its release and it continued Oldfield's creative pace, proving that the genius put forth on his claim-to-fame album would indeed have some effect on works to come.