Mike Oldfield – Hergest ridge


Released: 1974 By Virgin

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SKU: 35819 Categories: ,


  1. Part One [21:40]MP3 soundclip of Part one [3:00]
  2. Part Two [18:51]

Additional information

Weight 105 g



Jewel Case

2 reviews for Mike Oldfield – Hergest ridge

  1. Richard Carter

    Hergest Ridge is a hilly ridge which Mike was able to see from his house at the time of writing the album. He moved there after the success of Tubular Bells to escape the attention.

    The cover – Again done by Trevor Key, the album cover features a dog and a model glider. Mike Oldfield used to enjoy flying model gliders from the top of Hergest Ridge, which is probably why one features on the cover. The LP featured a close up picture of Bootleg’s head (Bootleg being the dog) mostly in silhouette, with what is presumably the countryside surrounding Hergest Ridge behind him (it certainly looks very similar to the countryside in that area, but could be other places). Bootleg was one of two Irish Wolfhounds from The Manor. Wolfhounds from The Manor have since appeared on albums by other artists.

    The album was recorded mostly at The Manor, although Tom Newman seemed to recall (in an interview with David Porter) having done some sessions at Chipping Norton studios as well. The equipment used would have been much the same as that used for Tubular Bells. Tom also said that the album was mixed at Air studios in London.

    The album was remixed by Mike Oldfield in 1976 for the Virgin 4 LP set ‘Boxed’. After doing this, Mike stated that this remix must be the version used for all future releases of the album. The original mix of Hergest Ridge can therefore only be heard on LP, and then only on some pressings. All CD and cassette releases of the album feature the ‘Boxed’ mix and not the original. The remix done for ‘Boxed’ was encoded in quadrophonic (a way of providing surround sound using 4 speakers, on which there were several slight variants). The quadrophonic encoding is still present on the CD release of Boxed, and may also be present on CD versions of Hergest Ridge, although one source I saw said that there was also a stereo version of this remix. Without a quad decoder (I believe the version that made it to CD was SQ encoded), I can’t tell…I would question the idea of a stereo mix however, as because of the way quad worked, it was completely stereo compatible (you get no extra sounds by playing the album through a quad decoder, just the instruments appear in slightly different places).

    There are ‘lyrics’ in part 2, which you’ll be able to hear if you have a copy of the remix (like most people). Attempts by fans at deciphering them have failed, and it seems that they are an example of Clodagh Simmonds‘ skill of making up nonsense lyrics, which she did again on Ommadawn (though there she threw in some Irish Gaelic words as well).

    2001. Richard Carter

  2. Conrad Leviston

    For his follow-up to the enormously succesful Tubular Bells, Mike Oldfield opted to go for the same formula of two long tracks, but with a change of mood. Inspired by the countryside surrounding his new home, he created music based on the mostly peaceful environment he now lived in.The mood is sedate, even soporific, and Oldfield could easily be accused of aimless meandering. For me, though, the album effectively refutes such claims about eight minutes in with the sublime use of oboes. The heart-meltingly beautiful section that follows the oboes’ introduction has to be some of the best-arranged music Oldfield has ever produced.
    The music continues sedately, and this would be one of the ultimate albums to go to sleep by at night, were it not for the fact that the mood is shattered part way through the second half with what is often referred to as the storm” section.
    Normally a louder section on an otherwise quiet album would serve as a wonderful release

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