Robert Reed releases tribute video to Mike Oldfield's Ommadawn

Rob Reed & Les Penning
(Image credit: Nineteen 73)

Robert Reed and Les Penning have paid tribute to Mike Oldfield's Ommadawn on the album's 45th anniversary with a new video for their double A-side CD single which reimagines the Oldfield classic. Ommadawn 45 will be limited to 300 copies and is released on October 28th through Tiger Moth Records.

The video was filmed on Hergest Ridge and at also Kington, at the house that Mike Oldfield used to have his studio where Ommadawn was made. Penning, of course, played recorder on thew album, as well as 1976's Portsmouth. You can watch the video in full below.

"The re-imagining of the Ommadawn Jig with Robert Reed brought back memories of the original recording at The Beacon on Bradnor Hill," says Penning. "Since Michael and I had been playing for our supper at Penrhos Court for a year or so and had already recorded the first version of In Dulci Jubilo for the previous 1974 Christmas, I was no stranger to his studio with its thick curtained windows, subdued lighting and a sort of velvet atmosphere.

"We recorded in the studio itself, a little apart from the desk and the clearest memory of all is of the U87 mic a little raised in front of me and the several takes of tricky fingering to get the little ‘snap’ in the melody just right. I had no idea then that what we had just done would ring down the years and delight succeeding generations. When I emerged back into the sunny day the skylarks were singing, high above the hillside ferns."

As well as the Ommadawn 45, the CD also contains a reworking of the 1973 hit record Eye Level, originally recorded by The Simon Park Orchestra.

"I remember my brother buying that single in the early 1970s," adds Reed. "There was always a tradition of lovely records like this that became hits. This went to number one as it was the theme to the TV series Van Der Valk. Over a cream tea one afternoon, Les and I decided to give it a go and it was great fun. The Ommadawn Theme is one of the iconic, instantly recognisable sections of the album and Les played the same recorder he used over 40 years ago. The moment he played it for the first time, it sounded just like the record. Magical."

Reed recently announced the release of a new electronic prog album, Cursus 123 430, inspired by the likes of Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis, Ultravox and Depeche Mode.

Get Ommadawn 45.

Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.