96KHZ/24-BIT, FLAC*, Universal Music/Mercury (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)
A new reissue of Oldfield’s fifth album from 1982, which saw him less prog, more folk and pop, along with Vocoder and Fairlight CMI moments aplenty, the marvels of their day. Newcomers may be surprised to encounter Hall & Oates hit ‘Family Man’, but it’s Oldfield’s song and this is where it first appeared – ably sung by Maggie Reilly, though less so on the bonus live set from Cologne. These 1982 live tracks (8-15) hardly merit the 24/96 treatment, though include a fine ‘Tubular Bells Pt 1’, and show how the multiple personalities of the 24-minute ‘Taurus II’ combined less incongruously in its live arrangement than in the studio, where it spasms between splices of jazz-rock, fusion and ye olde Robin Hood music. Note that the physical 2CD version comes with a DVD of surround mixes and 12-minutes of video. What to choose – quantity or quality? JF
Sound Quality: 75%
Hi-Fi News Lab Report
Tracks 7-15 including ‘Five Miles Out’ [above] look to be upsampled from CD to 96kHz while tracks 1-6 with ‘content’ up to ~40kHz give me pause as this album was created with a Fairlight CMI (30kHz mono sample rate in 1982). PM
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