Mike Oldfield – Exposed

9 Oct


Album info

Reissue: New ‘Phoenix’ Decode

Release: DS1p

Source: SQ  HDCD (Decoded)

Process: ‘Phoenix’



29 Responses to “Mike Oldfield – Exposed”

  1. starsky1808 October 19, 2014 at 22:02 #

    I managed to squeeze in a listen to the latter tracks of this release. It’s great to finally hear this concert in Quad (I mentioned before that the DVD release was only in Stereo) and it’s been well worth the wait. Yes it does sound like a concert, the concert I was at back in 1979 and I’m happy. A big thank you for making this release available and all the work involved. This is a must have for all Oldfield fans and lovers of live concerts although from memory the first two tracks do drag on a bit, hopefully I will hear something in the mix that excites me.

  2. starsky1808 October 16, 2014 at 15:07 #

    As a big collector of Oldfield’s music I would love to have this new decode. As I am unable to have this as a freebie can I donate and get it that way? Thank you.

    • Owen Smith October 19, 2014 at 13:36 #

      As someone who donates regularly I don’t understand your problem. Access to the Freebies folder is restricted to those that support the blog, but it’s not that hard to be deemed supporting.

      • starsky1808 October 19, 2014 at 21:53 #

        I no longer have any problems thanks, I just totally had a blind area in my understanding of supporting the blog which has now been cleared and I do feel a bit of a numpty at not seeing something which was quite clear in ‘the rules’.

  3. gjwAudio October 10, 2014 at 03:33 #

    HA !!!!

    I just knew this would show up “soon”.

    Great choice OD – can’t wait to hear it on my system 😉

    • starsky1808 October 13, 2014 at 12:59 #

      Can you please comment on how this sounds when you’ve listened to it. I went to this series of concerts in 1979 and would love to hear the quad version ( I am not able to download from here ) and was very sad when the DVD of the concert was released but only in mono/stereo. Cheers

      • Owen Smith October 19, 2014 at 13:45 #

        Based on my listening, I’m sure that if you went to this tour originally then you will love the Phoenix decode.

  4. prefabfan September 22, 2014 at 17:16 #

    Not aMO fan, thought tb was his one lucky shot. But ill give this a chance if o ly to enjoy your quad processing.

  5. Owen Smith September 13, 2014 at 13:32 #

    I was blown away the first time I listened to this album (in the SQ*Final release). Inevitably that is a never to be repeated exprience and so it proves here. That does mean I can comment more on the music and mix. As others have said, Incantations is overlong here, but on the other hand it has some of the most effective sections. The best stuff is all in tracks 1 and 2, tracks 3 to 5 are less inspired. I have one gripe with the mix, the bongos front right in track 1 about 5 minutes in are far too loud and dominate the mix, spoiling that section. It’s a relief when they stop. I even checked if I had some silly speaker level settings, which I don’t.

    The quad use is low key, no fancy effects, instead it conveys mostly ambience. The place where it works best is also my favourite section of the music, where the audience claps in time to the xylophone. The claps from the audience really give a sense of space in the auditorium, it’s like a flash gun going off and suddenly showing you the entire hall.

    I can’t comment on how much better the SQ/III decode is, it’s so long since I listened to the previous release. But I can say it’s very effective.

    • Owen Smith October 19, 2014 at 13:44 #

      I agree with OD that SQ/Phoenix makes this sound much more like a live concert recording. And it actually does sound like there are discrete instruments in the rears now that the separation isn’t lost due to leakage into the fronts. They’re not used much, but they are effective when they are used. Also the audience is more obvious with the new decode, they were almost noticeable by their absence previously except during the Xylophone clapping section (which is even better with this decode).

      I said with SQ/III that the clapping to the Xylophone was like a flashgun suddenly exposing the shape of the hall. That’s no longer the case, I get a sense of the space all the way through now which is a big improvement. I’m also hearing details and wrong notes that I’ve never noticed before, there is definitely more detail here or maybe it’s just not drowned with rear leakage.

      And the bongos front right 5 minutes into track 1 are still too loud and spoil the mix, though the Phoenix decode does tame them a little.

  6. bigheadrascal September 10, 2014 at 21:04 #

    Got completely lost in this much the same as a good book or movie. Could an “out of body experience” be something like this? “incantations Pt. 3 & 4” was the peak. SQ III is the living end. If you had told me this was a discrete recording, I wouldn’t have doubted you a bit.

  7. gjwAudio September 8, 2014 at 20:04 #

    Hi OD… what a Great Choice for top-of-the-Fresh-Decodes-Pile !! Woo-HOO

    Sadly (very, very, very…) I cannot listen to anything at this time – The Listening Room is completely off-line. What a shame, since I so love this period of Oldfield’s music. In the meantime…

    Q1: How/What do you do to unravel the HDCD encoding ? From everything I’ve read, there is no software-based algorithm that completely undoes all the processing contained in those Pacific Microsonics boxes. Surely, you are not in possession of either the Model One, or Model Two (see here for a wonderful write up -> http://www.goodwinshighend.com/manufacturers/pacific_microsonics/pacific_microsonics_model_two.htm ).

    Q2: If the decode process is SQ/III, should not the release number be designated “DS1f-3” ?

    Q3: Does this mean that “someday”, everything SQ/II & QS/II will get the xx/III treatment and appear for re-release ?

    I’ll eagerly d/l this new version now, but (dammit) must wait – what seems like FOREVER – to audition and compare with the previous incarnation. Based on comments by other listeners, I can hardly stand the anticipation to get at the SQ/III upgrades.

    Thanks in advance, for continuing to push the envelope of this dead-and-long-forgotten technology 🙂

    • oxforddickie September 8, 2014 at 20:32 #

      Yes, i hope your situation solves itself very soon!

      Q1: The latest HDCD plug-in for Foobar2000 does a every good job of most encoded CD’s as they have not been encoded with ‘Peak Extension’ enabled, although it does now have the option of halving the level if it is recognized.

      Q2: No, the number indicates how many times it has been released.

      Q3: For QS there would be little point as the improvement in QS/IIa was just a small tweak in the ‘logic/expansion’ stage, but the re-issue of those QS titles that were pre QS/II will still continue.
      As for SQ there is nothing fundamentally wrong with SQ/II, it’s still better than any hardware decoder available, bar none, and it would take sometime to start re-doing all of them. There may be the odd re-release every now and then but not a full blown re-issue.

  8. starsky1808 September 8, 2014 at 12:53 #

    Sadly I can’t comment on this re-issue ( I can’t download yet ) but would be interested to know if it sounds better than the surround track that is on the dvd release of the 1979 Wembley concert. I was at the final concert of that tour in 1979 which was at Belle Vue in Manchester and the recording of that evening was never used in any of the album /cd releases as far as I know. The first half of the concert ‘ Incantations ‘ does tend to go on a bit to long but the second half ‘ Tubular Bells and Guilty ‘ showed the incredible skill of not just Mike but the other many musicians that were on stage with him. Enjoy

    • oxforddickie September 8, 2014 at 13:11 #

      Is that DVD exactly the same as the audio release and if so was it a different mix? If it’s 5.1 then it obviously would be.

      • starsky1808 September 8, 2014 at 16:37 #

        I have just dug out my copy of the dvd and it doesn’t actually give many clues, I will have a listen … well I can answer my own question, the dvd does not have a surround track at all in fact one of the tracks is in mono … very disappointing when the album and cd releases were in quad.

        • oxforddickie September 8, 2014 at 16:51 #

          Mono? in this day and age?

          • starsky1808 September 8, 2014 at 17:42 #

            I remember the album coming out in 1979 and as the label says .. an SQ Quadraphonic recording taken from various concerts around Europe. The DVD is of the Wembley concert which was broadcast live on BBC radio 2 so could have used that stereo recording. Like you say .. in this day and age surely the Quad mix should have been used.

  9. gjwAudio June 16, 2014 at 09:43 #

    Hi OD

    I just wanted to say how much I continue to enjoy your works… and tonight’s treat has been DS1f on continuous repeat (wallowing here in paperwork again !). Thank you for the various Oldfield decodes. Wish I was at the venue, but these recordings are a fine “second best”.

    Will this album be on the roster for a re-do ? I hope so, when the opportunity presents itself. This live performance of Mike’s tunes is a great example of putting a slightly different spin on the original compositions/melodies.

    Wishful thinking: Imagine a new multichannel mix of 1992’s “Tubular Bells II”… so many colours to paint with ! Maybe for the 25th anniversary (likely NOT). Oh well, it’s a great thought exercise.

    Thanks again for Exposed.

    • oxforddickie June 16, 2014 at 10:12 #

      Thanks for the comments, it had to be the first release for me, i’d played my original LP to death. Now i was asked if i’d be willing to re-do the conversion for release on SACR-R by someone, unfortunately i can’t remember who it was, and he never got back to me, even though i was happy to do it. So, i guess i could do a new decode of it, will give it some thought.

    • Owen Smith June 16, 2014 at 13:39 #

      I agree this is a great album, and nice to hear different interpretations to the studio albums with good audience interaction. Also the only blog release from an HDCD, for the trivia hounds.

      I can’t see what value there would be in converting this to DSD for release on SACD-R. There are a lot fewer players that can play SACD-R than there are DVD-A, and also the source is in PCM already so I can’t see what value there is in converting it to DSD. At best it will have a neutral effect on audio quality.

      • oxforddickie June 16, 2014 at 13:55 #

        It was a project to put all of Mike Oldfield’s quad output onto SACD-R, for release elsewhere but certainly not here. I agree, sound wise there would be no advantage, but people have these ideas, for whatever reason.

  10. Owen Smith May 11, 2013 at 17:19 #

    Just been listening to this again and it’s great. I particularly love the xylophone section where the audience joins in clapping in time to the music.

  11. OxfordDickie December 24, 2011 at 12:34 #

    Please delete them, work in progress and not for public listening – yet!

  12. teamster December 24, 2011 at 03:56 #

    In case I'm not understanding something…the archive includes a separate folder of “Pictures” .wav files?

  13. OxfordDickie February 22, 2011 at 15:02 #

    I try my best to keep the releases even, but will see what i can do

  14. Highlander February 22, 2011 at 13:55 #

    Really looking forward to this one OD, thanks for the re-up. Jazz and progressive rock are my two favorite genres, if you have more lurking around. I really appreciate the effort you put in to provide us with this great blog of yours. Thanks!

  15. Neb-Maat-Re June 12, 2010 at 08:32 #

    Huge thanks for this, OD!

  16. grill February 15, 2010 at 19:31 #

    A work of high standard. A must for MO fans. Thanx a lot.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: