Mike Oldfield

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Collection Review

by Dave Thompson

A noble attempt to pursue Mike Oldfield's career beyond the usual range of suspects, Collection updates and refines the 1985 compilation that was the first serious attempt to anthologize his greatest hits and bits. So yes, all the usual suspects are here -- that is, "In Dulci Jubilo," "Portsmouth," "Guilty," "Moonlight Shadow," "Five Miles Out," "To France," and so on. Excerpts from the first four albums also pop up with dark inevitability. But there's also room for less heralded and certainly less feted material from later in his career, surprising jewels like "Heaven's Open," "Good News" and "Pran's Theme" from The Killing Fields, "Islands," and "Innocent" -- few of which will necessarily thrill those listeners who really wish he was still creating vast soundscapes à la Ommadawn and Incantations. But it definitely charts his development in a very digestible manner.

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