Mike Oldfield

Sentinel

Song Review by

It took Mike Oldfield 30 years to finally deliver the album which his audience and record company had been demanding -- a fully fledged successor to Tubular Bells, the LP which started it all for him in the first place. This time, of course, there was no room whatsoever for the guess work that gave the original its still-fetching naivety -- produced by Trevor Horn, Tubular Bells II was everything that the world expected, with the opening "Sentinel" setting the scene with perfect panache. Without actually repeating the so-familiar themes of old, its re-invention of the original album's opening minutes came close enough to reiteration that, for many reviewers, the only real point of comparison was the Rutles' approach to the Beatles' catalog, parody to the point of perfection. There again, as Oldfield himself remarked, "there's no point writing a sequel if it's completely different. There's certain points where the two works converge, but then they'll separate and follow two distinct paths again." And so, the tinkling bells that, to cinemagoers, still invoke memories of The Exorcist jangle amid a host of new themes, instrumental and, surprisingly, vocal, to create a soundscape that is, in its own way, as delightful -- and evocative -- as that which it emulates.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Sentinel 1992 WEA 3:57
The Bell/Sentinel-Restructure 1992 Warner Bros. 14:26
Tubular Bells 2 1992 Reprise / Warner Bros. 8:06
The Bell [#1] 1993 WEA 7:39
The Best of Mike Oldfield: Elements 1994 Virgin 3:56
Themes & Dreams 1995
Various Artists
Global TB 3:57
No Image 1995
Various Artists
Polygram
Escapes 1996
Various Artists
WEA 3:56
Collection 2002 EMI Music Distribution 3:56
The Platinum Collection 2006 EMI Music Distribution 3:58
Two Sides: The Very Best of Mike Oldfield 2012 Mercury 8:09
The Studio Albums 1992-2003 2014 Rhino 8:07
Top 100 90s 2014
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Music / WSM 8:08
Original Album Series 2016 Rhino
No Image
Various Artists
Rhino