relatively ambiguous. Even if we could interpret them, they still sound offensive. Side two ends rather anti-climatically in ' retrospect of side one. The music seems to float away; a ball of energy, of many moods, floating off · into the canyons, under the sea and into the obscurity of the overwhelming thrust of nature. A purposeless, little sailor jig, which I refuse to consider as a part of the piece, ends the record, perhaps Oldfield's little soft-shoe off of the scene. It is not important as to who Mick Oldfield is but what he has presented us with. Tub~lar Bells is an intense listening experience that you can't boogie to. If you don't want to concentrate or listen closely, don't buy this record. But if you give Oldfield a chance, you are giving yourself a chance to experience your imagination through that media known as Tubular Bells. -Michael Sajecki
But then a speed jolts us, destroys this initial mood, and creates a new direction for the piece. Oldfield is conscious of rock-electricity, it is employed most rastefully and methg_d.ically in his -presentation. Oldfield's lightning quick trc1nsiti6ns from piano to mandolin to electric guitar are all valid, each instrument adds c1 new dimension to the piece, a new dir)ction to be pursued. The instruments seem to plc1y themselves. The instruments are characters in Tubular Bells, they -c1re Oldfield's accompc1nying musicians. . Percussion is not used on this record to lay the base of the sound. Yet Tubular Bells is not pointless free form. This is one of thepc1rndoxes of the record. One which Oldfield convinces us not to dwell · in. 'Th_e initial pic1no melody is ever present; hc1unting us, introducing gentle mandolin, explosions, musical explosions/ of c1 triumphant, jolting nature. And then bass coupled with , fuzz guitar, Oldfield's only condescension to giving his piecEJ a stifling unity, becomes the central focus, the dominant theme which brings side one to a close. With the' bass· and fuzz · guitars humming, the Master of Ceremonies, Viv Stc1nshall intvoduces Oldfield's cast of chc1racters, his instruments, one by one. This is the closest ·thc1t Oldfield comes to self-indulgence. Side one flows to an end with a beautiful choral treatment of the bass-line coupled with a lilting acoustic ending. The instant in which we flip the record over, reinforces the transition from side one to side t'wo. For c1lthough Tubular Bells is designed as c1n entity; it is not rec1lized. There are·ceruin recurrences of style and mood, but side two is moving in a direction of its own. A gentle, mandolin-type guitar melody, with pic1no accompanying, sets the focus for side two, as the·serenity of gentle acoustics helps us to visualize gondolas floc1ting down the wc1ter streets of Venice; or a waterfall dripping slowly as ~classes into a gr~at river. The music is as imaginative as yo~ want to visualize it. A little Scottish flavor enters the scene, as butterscotch guitaring and tympani helps us to visualize the pride and strength of the old, scottish clans. Oldfield plays a bagpipe-sounding guitar (?) as the drums begin to pulsate. Perhaps the single flaw of the album is the grunts and howls heard at this point on side two. Whether these grunts reflect distaste, pain or condescension is all
Has The Train Been Gone" and "My Soul · I~ A Witness" are in the gospel vein, the former a fifties nightclub crooner, the latter a traditional gospel footstomper in the style recently adopted by Leon Russell and Delaney and Bonnie. "Sunday Morning" is a strange combination of Beatles and bluegrass with banjo played by Dennis Coates. A reprise of the title song starts Side two rolling and "Space Race," the current single, immediately follows with its Arp buzzing alongside a clavinet, piano and organ, all played by Preston. Whew. (Whaddya mean, "Whew?" So what?-Ed.) And as if that isn't enough, he also plays bass throughout the album. Talk about your complete musician. ('(eah, let's talk about Roy Wood-Ed.) , Also on this side is Dylan's "It's Alright Ma, I'm Only. Bleeding" which is . not very impressive since the only one able to do justice to Dylan is Dylan himself. (Check out Manfred Mann's covers, they're good, too.-Ed.) On That's The Way, Preston covered another Dylan composition, "She Belongs to Me" which was ineffectual as well. It.seems he might h.ave learned something from the non-s 1 1ccess •of the LP as a whole but then again, now he's more established and we all know the ability of established artists to wax bad songs for sheer monetary gain. Closing the album is "Minuet for Me," Preston's attempt at the classics. The keyboard parts are done well but ·the strings just seem to mock tpe overall concept of it and if there's one thing a modern composer/ pianist just doesn't do, it's treat the classics lightly. The album might lack the significant material to become one of the most important albums of our time ,but it's inerely an exercise in self-indulgent expertise. Preston shows that he can play an~ play he does. He might even prove to be one of the masters of keyboards for the 70's, let's hope he's give the chance. -Andrew Cutler
Tubular Bells TUBULAR BELLS - Mick Oldfield (Virgin/Atlantic) It is most difficult to speak of an intense li~tening experience. How does one put sounds into words? The same problems one might find when trying to describe the type of ' music · that thEE Mahavishnu Orchestra plays, are again encountered when one speaks of Mick Oldfield's Tubular Bells. Oldfield presents us with a concept album here. The concept being that simplicity breeds complexity. Tubular Bells is designed to be a single piece, an instrumental portrayal of musical moods ' and experiences. Mick plays'· all the instruments himself ala Roy Wood; a total listing of · every instrument that appears on the album would only waste space: -guitars, keyboards, percussives and of course, the tubular bells themselves. There is no danger of self-indulgence or boring solos on this album. Oldfield doesn't play every instrument well, but well enough for his own purposes. It all begins with a simple piano melody , then the tinkling of a glockenspiel; bass and organ . round out this initial mood, a mood executed with the lightness of c1 tear drop, the musicc1l compression of an instc1nt's emotion. A guitc1r enters here with c1n c1lternate melody; a melody which moves simultaneously with the first. The listener can choose to )concentrate on whichever melody he prefers. Both c1re equally distinguishable. The piece has lulled us into a Siddarthian mood of meditation, we cc1n close our eyes and se~ stars, planets, and galaxies; we can hear the ocean funneling in our ears.
Like authentic rock 'n' roll? Like to have a good time? Like to get your ears blasted? Well then, go see Alice Cooper in the Aud on New Years Eve. But in the meantime, Festival East is presenting The Doobie Bros. with Billy Joel at Kleinh_ans Nov: 14 at 7 pm. Tickets are $6, $5, $4 at the same places we tell you all the time.
B'illy Preston EVERYBODY LIKES SOME KIND OF MUSIC BILLY PRESTON (A&M) Billy Preston rode to fame on the crest of the wave created by the Beatles. Toward the end of their career, the Beatles used Preston's keyboard talents, most notably on Get Back. Subsequently this led to his being known as the "fifth Beatie" and a solo album on Apple, That's the Way God Planned It, produced by George Harrison. Unfortunately this album never made it and Preston disappeared only to resurface a few years later with his debut album for A&M, I Wrote A Simple ;song . and then catapaulted into nationwide attention with the bizarre single "Outa Space" which was followed by "Will It Go Round In Circles." Now Billy Preston is recognized for his keyboard genius and it really is about time. With Everybody Likes Some Kind of Music, Preston displays the diversity of styles he can assume alongside with his virtuosity and some very slick horn and string arrangements by Paul Riser and Clarence McDonald. Side One open with the title cut, a short intro number which is followed by a strong keyboard rocker, "You're So Unique." The next two cuts, "How Long
Queen QUEEN (Elecktra)
In this day and age of rockdom, there are those groups which have attained that meas~re of excess, the jaded gold, and platinum record, /md these fat, 'cats wallow in their successes, producing records which are not only inferior to their own standards, but also offensive to the ears of the listening public. Then, there are those third generation rockers, who by permutations, cross-mutations and combinations, hope to capture enough of the best ele~ents of the legendary figures of the rock world, so as to sound as appealing as possible to the listener. Ideally, they will also come upon a style of their own, something to identify them. Enter Queen. Queen is a squad of newcomers to the rock world. Freddie Mercury - vocals and
Gordon Lightfoot (above) modeling the authentic K-Tel Canadian Folkie Outfit. Includes: blue workshirt, faded jeans, genuine suede cowboy boots, boxer shorts, a Martin D-28 guitar (with extra E strings), and instructions on developing your own scrufty beard. Those foterested in seeing the outfit modeled will be pleased to note that Festival East is presenting said folkie Nov. 11 at 8 pm in Kleinhans Music Hall (the best from the west and the most in the east, to say the ' least). Tickets are $6, $5, $4 at all Festival tipket outlets.
STRAIT, t NOVEMBER t 973
STRAIT, t NOVEMBER 1973
Made with FlippingBook Online newsletter