Mike Oldfield - "Exposed" (EMI 110 min.)

Now THIS is the only Mike Oldfield DVD to really own, so you can safely forget most of "Elements - The Best of Mike Oldfield" (yeah, right!) that was reviewed here earlier. "Exposed" is a completely different matter, and features the full film of the same concert as on the double album of the same name from 1979, showing Oldfield at his first and only tour when he still was a pure progressive artist. The DVD (also a double one) offers you four different angles and options to watch this great concert. The first and undoubtedly most preferable for most viewers is the main edit. The second edit is a split screen, the third edit is filmed from the right side of the stage, while the fourth edit is filmed from the very back of the Wembley Conference Centre. So this DVD actually features about seven hours of footage, even if the concert only lasted for nearly two hours. The DVD starts with a few glimpses from backstage and comments from some of the musicians involved. And Oldfield sure knew to use the right musicians, as people like Benoit and Pierre Moerlen, David Bedford, Pekka Pohojola and Maddy Prior are among the many you'll see here. The concert opens with a slightly shortened version of "Incantations", and the music is the same as on the album. The only really noticeable difference is the inclusion of "Guilty" between the first and second part of "Tubular Bells". Everyone in the band, choir and orchestra seem to enjoy him or herself on stage, and are occasionally in fight with paper planes from the audience! Prior's dancing on stage and among the audience during "The Sailor's Hornpipe" brings a joyful end to "Tubular Bells". Oldfield himself has never been the most spectacular or flamboyant character on stage, but makes up for that with his relaxed attitude and beautiful playing. "Guilty" reappears at the end as the encore, and sounds actually better here than earlier in the concert. There will never come a better Oldfield DVD than this, not just because this is the only concert footage from the 70's of him that exists, but also because it shows him at the very end of his creative peak when he still was a progressive heavyweight to count on. It's very nice to have such a moment frozen in time; just before it all went downhill. Remember him this way, and forget everything he has done since.

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