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MIKE OLDFIELD

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Mike Oldfield biography
Michael Gordon Oldfield - Born 15 May 1953 in Reading, Berkshire, England

Mike OLDFIELD took up the guitar at seven and was composing instrumental pieces by age 10. With his sister Sally, he secured a record deal under the name SALLYANGIE and released the folkish album "Children of the Sun" in 1968. He then landed a position playing first bass and later guitar with WHOLE WORLD, led by ex-SOFT MACHINE co-founder Kevin Ayers. During the next few years he also served as a studio musician at Abbey Road, where he experimented with a wide range of instruments. He gradually built up a home studio and began working on a large-scale project, playing all of the parts himself. This was the prototype for "Tubular Bells", but OLDFIELD had no success generating label interest until he met with future Virgin Records founders Simon Draper and Richard Branson. They loved his ideas and gave him plenty of freedom to record in their state-of-the-art The Manor studio, and ended up releasing "Tubular Bells" on their brand new label when no other record company showed interest. The record shot to first place in the UK and elsewhere, attracting the attention of director William Friedkin, whose use of the intro segment in "The Exorcist" generated widespread recognition (OLDFIELD was not pleased by the association, however).

Retreating from his newfound celebrity, OLDFIELD recorded several more critically acclaimed albums, similar in scope and approach but constantly developing new instrumental and compositional skills. In 1979 his single "Guilty" showed that shorter vocal-based pieces and more recent music styles were beginning to creep into his work; he also returned to touring in 1979 after undergoing therapy to combat his reclusive, solitary tendencies. His work in the 80s included such far-ranging releases as "Crises" (including vocals by Jon ANDERSON), the soundtrack to the film "The Killing Fields", and a song called "Family Man" which became a hit for HALL & OATES. Known for consistently offering a visual spectacular in his live performances, he also developed an interest in video artistry, including a video album called "Wind Chimes". The 90s saw a return to longer symphonic-style works, including "Amarok" and "Tubular Bells II", for which he departed the increasingly commercial Virgin Records for the smaller WEA label. His "Songs of Distant Earth" album was the first CD ever to include CD-ROM content, as well as album notes by legendary sci-fi author Arthur...
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Buy MIKE OLDFIELD Music


Tubular BellsTubular Bells
Remastered · Extra tracks
Mercury UK 2009
$3.82
$2.64 (used)
Return To OmmadawnReturn To Ommadawn
Virgin Emi 2017
$6.74
$6.73 (used)
Songs of Distant EarthSongs of Distant Earth
Warner Spec. Mkt. Uk 2008
$3.74
$2.74 (used)
Music of the SpheresMusic of the Spheres
Decca 2008
$10.99
$5.72 (used)
Tr3s LunasTr3s Lunas
Extra tracks
Warner Bros Uk 2002
$5.33
$6.01 (used)
Man On The Rocks [2 CD]Man On The Rocks [2 CD]
Mercury 2014
$10.00
$7.21 (used)
Qe2Qe2
Remastered
Universal Uk 2012
$5.48
$6.48 (used)
Tubular BellsTubular Bells
Deluxe Edition · Extra tracks
Mercury Uk 2009
$16.99
$14.21 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
MIKE OLDFIELD - EXPOSED - 12" VINYL DOUBLE LP - LIMITED EDITION - QUADRAPHONIC USD $6.32 [0 bids]
JOB LOT - MIKE OLDFIELD - BLUE PETER + GUILTY - 2 (TWO) x 7" VINYL SINGLES USD $1.32 [0 bids]
Mike Oldfield Hergest Ridge 1974 UK "Virgin V 2013" EX Original Stereo Mix PORKY USD $23.19 Buy It Now
MIKE OLDFIELD crises (uk 1983) LP EX+/VG V 2262 new age prog rock pop rock USD $18.99 Buy It Now
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MIKE OLDFIELD - Crises - CD - Original Recording Reissued Original Mint USD $25.95 Buy It Now
Mike Oldfield - Portsmouth / Speak (Tho You Only Say Farewell) Virgin VS-163 Ex+ USD $6.64 Buy It Now
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Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells BRAZIL 2nd press LP 1977 Virgin USD $59.99 Buy It Now
Five Miles Out Mike Oldfield Virgin Records 37983 Vintage Vinyl Record LP 1982 USD $10.95 Buy It Now
Mike Oldfield - QE2 [Remastered] [CD] USD $8.29 Buy It Now
Mike Oldfield - Guitars [Vinyl New] USD $22.83 Buy It Now
Mike Oldfield-Millennium Bell CD NEW USD $12.29 Buy It Now
Mike Oldfield Wonderful Land 7" vinyl single record UK VS387 VIRGIN 1980 USD $27.89 Buy It Now
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Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells - 3rd vinyl LP album record UK V2001 VIRGIN USD $18.57 Buy It Now
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MIKE OLDFIELD *** Blue Night *** VERY RARE & SCARCE 1989 Spain PROMO 7" Single USD $119.99 Buy It Now
MIKE OLDFIELD & MAGGIE REILLY-MOONLIGHT SHADOW-ORIGINAL YUGOSLAV 7" 45rpm 1983 USD $5.99 [0 bids]
12m 13s
The Killing Fields - Barcoded Mike Oldfield vinyl LP album record UK OVED183 USD $21.23 Buy It Now 16m 22s
Mike Oldfield - Music of the Spheres 2CD Limited Edition USD $4.65 [1 bids]
18m 52s
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19m 46s
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23m 59s
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Mike Oldfield Etude - Soundtrack Sleeve 7" vinyl single record UK VS731 VIRGIN USD $23.90 Buy It Now 24m 12s
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24m 13s
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35m 30s
Mike Oldfield 7" vinyl single record One Glance Is Holy German 112761100 USD $11.92 Buy It Now 42m 13s
Mike Oldfield La Déchirure (The Killing Fields) vinyl LP album record French USD $65.17 Buy It Now 44m 39s
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46m 1s
Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells - 2nd vinyl LP album record UK V2001 VIRGIN USD $25.23 Buy It Now 48m 39s
Mike Oldfield The Killing Fields vinyl LP album record Japanese 25VB-1017 USD $45.20 Buy It Now 50m 4s
Mike Oldfield Platinum vinyl LP album record Japanese VIP-6948 VIRGIN 1979 USD $51.85 Buy It Now 50m 7s
Discovery Mike Oldfield vinyl LP album record Japanese VIL-6127 VIRGIN 1984 USD $45.20 Buy It Now 50m 11s
Mike Oldfield - Crises [Remastered] (2013) 2CD 30th Anniversary Edition USD $5.59 [3 bids]
51m 13s
MIKE OLDFIELD - HERGEST RIDGE VINYL LP. V2013. USD $2.65 [0 bids]
51m 30s
MIKE OLDFIELD - The Killing Fields LP 1984 Virgin V2328 A1/B1 Ex USD $6.64 [0 bids]
51m 37s
MIKE OLDFIELD. EARTH MOVING. 1989. CASSETTE ALBUM USD $2.00 [0 bids]
52m 31s
Sentinel Mike Oldfield UK CD single (CD5 / 5") YZ698CD WEA 1992 USD $23.30 Buy It Now 55m 45s
Mike Oldfield CD single (CD5 / 5") Sentinel UK YZ698CDX VIRGIN 1992 USD $16.63 Buy It Now 55m 48s
MIKE OLDFIELD - PORTSMOUTH - 7" VINYL 1976 VIRGIN 1ST PRESSING USD $6.38 Buy It Now 56m 31s
MIKE OLDFIELD - Cuckoo song / Pipe tune - UK 7" Vinyl single USD $1.32 Buy It Now 57m 6s
Mike Oldfield Etude - Theme From The Kil... 12" record (Maxi) UK USD $34.55 Buy It Now 57m 13s
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MIKE OLDFIELD ommadawn 1975 UK VIRGIN 1ST A1/B1 VINYL LP + INNER BRIDGET ST JOHN USD $4.99 [0 bids]
1h 3m
MIKE OLDFIELD L.P. 1973. 'TUBULAR BELLS.' VIRGIN - V2001. 2nd PRESS. EX. USD $3.99 [0 bids]
1h 7m
MIKE OLDFIELD L.P. 1980. 'QE2.' VIRGIN RECS - V2181. 1st PRESS. EX+. USD $2.66 [0 bids]
1h 8m
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1h 11m
David Bedford ?Nurses Song With Elephants Japan Mini LP Mike Oldfield USD $27.99 Buy It Now 1h 12m
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1h 12m
MIKE OLDFIELD, TUBULAR BELLS, 1973, VG+ CONDITION USD $11.97 [0 bids]
1h 14m
MIKE OLDFIELD - THE COMPLETE TUBULAR BELLS (2003) (3x CD + DVD PACK - SEALED!!) USD $23.39 [4 bids]
1h 16m
MIKE OLDFIELD - CRISIS ~12" ALBUM ~UK ISSUE "83"~ ROCK~POP~UK SELLER~FAST POST USD $21.23 [0 bids]
1h 17m
Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells - LP - V2001 USD $9.97 [0 bids]
1h 21m
MIKE OLDFIELD - MIKE OLDFIELD'S SINGLE (FROM TUBULAR BELL) - 7" VINYL 1974 USD $19.96 Buy It Now 1h 25m
MIKE OLDFIELD - PORTSMOUTH - 7" VINYL 1976 VIRGIN USD $3.98 Buy It Now 1h 25m
Mike Oldfield Return To Ommadawn - NEW CD / SEALED 2017 USD $8.91 Buy It Now 1h 26m
MIKE OLDFIELD Tubular Bells II * SEALED JAPAN SHM CD out-of-print! WPCR-16722 USD $99.00 Buy It Now 1h 30m
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1h 37m
Mike Oldfield / Les Penning - Pipe Tune & Cuckoo Song - 7" - MINT-UNPLAYED USD $13.50 Buy It Now 1h 37m
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1h 45m
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MIKE OLDFIELD OMMADAWN 1975 UK PRESS 12" VINYL RECORD ALBUM USD $1.38 [2 bids]
1h 46m
MIKE OLDFIELD L.P. 1983. 'CRISES.' VIRGIN - V2262. 1st PRESS. EX. USD $2.66 [0 bids]
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ROBERT WYATT-THEATRE ROYAL 1974-2011-VINYL 2xLP+CD-MIKE OLDFIELD-NEW & SEALED USD $33.27 Buy It Now 2h 2m
Mike Oldfield original autograph & Tubular Bells CD cover & CD USD $262.27 [0 bids]
2h 3m
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2h 13m
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2h 21m
MIKE OLDFIELD - ISLANDS (RARE PORTUGUESE ALBUM) USD $10.48 [0 bids]
2h 24m
Mike Oldfield QE2 Vinyl LP VG/VG USD $5.31 [0 bids]
2h 30m
Mike Oldfield five miles out cd USD $3.06 [0 bids]
2h 31m
RARE MIKE OLDFIELD LP QE2 GOLD STAMP PROMO ORIGINAL1980 EPIC CLASSIC ROCK USD $39.99 [0 bids]
2h 41m
MIKE OLDFIELD TUBULAR BELLS VIRGIN VIP-6901 Japan PROMO VINYL LP USD $13.50 [4 bids]
2h 50m

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MIKE OLDFIELD discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

MIKE OLDFIELD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.10 | 1062 ratings
Tubular Bells
1973
3.93 | 546 ratings
Hergest Ridge
1974
2.51 | 172 ratings
The Orchestral Tubular Bells
1975
4.31 | 1217 ratings
Ommadawn
1975
3.93 | 419 ratings
Incantations
1978
3.13 | 278 ratings
Platinum
1979
3.49 | 300 ratings
Q.E.2
1980
3.68 | 354 ratings
Five Miles Out
1982
3.44 | 396 ratings
Crises
1983
2.78 | 243 ratings
Discovery
1984
2.68 | 148 ratings
The Killing Fields
1984
2.63 | 197 ratings
Islands
1987
2.05 | 166 ratings
Earth Moving
1989
4.06 | 539 ratings
Amarok
1990
2.52 | 169 ratings
Heaven's Open
1991
3.57 | 292 ratings
Tubular Bells II
1992
3.73 | 283 ratings
The Songs Of Distant Earth
1994
3.10 | 207 ratings
Voyager
1996
3.38 | 210 ratings
Tubular Bells III
1998
2.95 | 176 ratings
Guitars
1999
2.31 | 139 ratings
The Millenium Bell
1999
2.44 | 140 ratings
Tr3s Lunas
2002
3.72 | 194 ratings
Tubular Bells 2003
2003
2.78 | 141 ratings
Light + Shade
2005
3.05 | 174 ratings
Music Of The Spheres
2008
3.19 | 170 ratings
Man On The Rocks
2014
4.04 | 289 ratings
Return To Ommadawn
2017

MIKE OLDFIELD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.76 | 89 ratings
Exposed
1979

MIKE OLDFIELD Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.92 | 46 ratings
Tubular Bells II & III Live (DVD)
1999
2.59 | 41 ratings
The Art In Heaven Concert Live In Berlin (DVD)
2000
4.33 | 15 ratings
DVD Collection
2003
3.15 | 32 ratings
Elements - The Best Of (DVD)
2004
3.83 | 36 ratings
Exposed
2005
4.39 | 73 ratings
Live At Montreux 1981
2006

MIKE OLDFIELD Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.78 | 42 ratings
Mike Oldfield - Boxed
1976
3.58 | 14 ratings
Airborn
1980
3.00 | 4 ratings
Impressions
1980
2.98 | 9 ratings
Music Wonderland
1981
3.70 | 37 ratings
The Complete Mike Oldfield
1985
3.28 | 6 ratings
Collector's Edition Box I
1990
3.20 | 8 ratings
Collector's Edition Box II
1990
2.57 | 23 ratings
Elements: The Best of Mike Oldfield
1993
2.96 | 14 ratings
Elements: 1973-1991
1993
2.67 | 16 ratings
XXV - The Essential Mike Oldfield
1997
2.06 | 9 ratings
The Best Of Tubular Bells
2001
2.83 | 6 ratings
The Mike Oldfield Collection
2002
2.67 | 9 ratings
The Complete Tubular Bells
2003
2.53 | 14 ratings
The Platinum Collection
2006
4.10 | 10 ratings
Two Sides: The Very Best of Mike Oldfield
2012
2.47 | 11 ratings
Tubular Beats
2013
4.00 | 4 ratings
The Studio Albums: 1992-2003
2014
3.67 | 3 ratings
The Best Of: 1992-2003
2015
4.00 | 3 ratings
The Space Movie
2015
4.33 | 3 ratings
The 1984 Suite
2016

MIKE OLDFIELD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.75 | 4 ratings
Tubular Bells
1974
4.04 | 8 ratings
In Dulci Jubilo
1975
3.60 | 5 ratings
Don Alfonso
1975
2.00 | 1 ratings
Don Alfonso (German Version)
1975
3.24 | 10 ratings
Portsmouth
1976
3.83 | 6 ratings
William Tell Overture
1976
3.80 | 5 ratings
Cuckoo Song
1977
2.00 | 1 ratings
Take 4
1978
4.00 | 6 ratings
Guilty
1979
3.60 | 5 ratings
Blue Peter
1979
3.00 | 3 ratings
Extract From Tubular Bells (live)
1979
3.50 | 4 ratings
Arrival
1980
4.00 | 4 ratings
Wonderful Land
1981
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Singles
1981
3.50 | 4 ratings
Five Miles Out
1982
3.60 | 5 ratings
Family Man
1982
2.25 | 9 ratings
Mistake
1982
3.16 | 6 ratings
Moonlight Shadow
1983
3.23 | 12 ratings
Shadow on the Wall
1983
3.90 | 10 ratings
To France
1984
3.93 | 14 ratings
Pictures in the Dark
1985
3.32 | 13 ratings
Shine
1986
2.22 | 9 ratings
Innocent
1989
3.00 | 9 ratings
Tattoo
1992
3.50 | 2 ratings
Man In The Rain
1998
5.00 | 2 ratings
Tubular Bells Limited Edition
1998
4.00 | 2 ratings
Far Above The Clouds CD 1
1999
3.00 | 1 ratings
Far Above The Clouds CD 2
1999

MIKE OLDFIELD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ommadawn by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.31 | 1217 ratings

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Ommadawn
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by martindavey87

2 stars 'Ommadawn' is the third studio album by Mike Oldfield. It was released in 1975 and much like its predecessors, it's split into two "parts". Oldfield, only 22 at this point, was already a worldwide star after the success of his first album, 'Tubular Bells', and much in the same vein as before, he plays the majority of the instruments here, while covering a variety of folk, celtic and new age themes.

However, while I liked 'Tubular Bells', I thought Oldfield's follow up, 'Hergest Ridge' was a huge, huge let down, and 'Ommadawn' is only just slightly better than that. While the music is certainly well written, setting a nice atmosphere and progresses interestingly while maintaining a similar theme throughout, I just struggle to stay engaged all the way through.

In particular, the first part is really good, with lots of hauntingly beautiful melodies and varying dynamics. But the second half is where I completely switch off. Everything just seems so messy and uninspiring. At least five minutes of it is just a smorgasbord of noise, and by the time that dissipates, all interest is gone.

There's also a quick song tacked on at the end; 'On Horseback'. It has a spoken verse and a short, sung chorus. It's nothing fancy, and the lyrics make no sense to me, but it's catchy nonetheless. Not enough to save this album, though.

Overall, this is only just a step up from 'Hergest Ridge', and even then, it's much too similar for my liking. Oldfield has been one of my biggest musical inspirations, so I know better things are coming, but I think 'Ommadawn' is an album that I'll probably never come back to.

 In Dulci Jubilo by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1975
4.04 | 8 ratings

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In Dulci Jubilo
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars After the instant success of Tubular Bells Mike Oldfield moved to countryside, where he recorded the albums Hergest Ridge and Ommadawn. His fourth album Incantations would be released no sooner than in 1978. During this mid-70's period he recorded some (rather uncommercial) singles oriented to folk music. 'In Dulci Jubilo' originally appeared as a B-side of Don Alfonso, and Mike re-recorded this German traditional Christmas carol with the recorder player Leslie Penning.

It sounds joyous and fresh. It begins in a very modest way with recorders and simple percussion, but towards the end Mike lets his electric guitar take the lead role, making it instantly recognizable as his version. The B side features 'On Horseback' which ends the Ommadawn album. I have always liked it. A naiive and happy appraisal of riding a horse. The children of the local pub owner fit in very nicely.

 Crises by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.44 | 396 ratings

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Crises
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by martindavey87

4 stars Here's one I remember fondly, I must have been around 17 or 18 years-old at the time, and as I was helping my mum unpack her shopping bags, I came across Mike Oldfield's 'Crises', a CD she'd bought as it was only a couple of quid and she'd loved it since her days of owning it on vinyl. I'd encountered Oldfield's music many times throughout my childhood due to both of my parents being fans, but it was upon hearing this album that this fledgling young progressive rock fan really started to properly appreciate his music.

The next day I went to the same shop and bought my own copy of the album.

Featuring a bit of a mixed bag of styles and influences, 'Crises' is based around its 21-minute title track, a song with plenty of rocking riffs and some interesting keyboard melodies. There are times when the song does tend to lag, but the first half of it is genuinely exciting stuff, full of energetic performances and some thrilling guitar work.

After this, there are five shorter tracks, and this is where the album truly shines. For starters, there's acoustic rockers such as 'Shadow on the Wall' and 'Moonlight Shadow', which would go on to be a huge hit for Oldfield, showing that there was definitely still potential for mainstream success after Tubular Bells. 'In High Places' (featuring Jon Anderson of Yes) and 'Foreign Affair' are both more slower tempo, synth-based pop songs, but do well to highlight just how versatile Mike Oldfield can be with his music.

'Crises' is a fairly underrated album in Mike Oldfield's discography, though perhaps my opinion is swayed by the fact that it's essentially the album that made me a fan. Either way, while I doubt there's many people who'd consider this one of his best, it's still a solid release, and well worth looking into if you're into progressive rock or 80's pop.

 Five Miles Out by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.68 | 354 ratings

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Five Miles Out
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by martindavey87

3 stars 1982's 'Five Miles Out' sees Mike Oldfield continue to tread the line between pop and progressive rock music, essentially considered "progressive pop", it features an eclectic mixture of instruments, sounds, and ideas, and shows a man who clearly knows no bounds when it comes to songwriting.

Often considered pretentious, cheesy and boring, some of the music here is fairly demanding of the listener, and the production, which has 80's pop firmly stamped all over it, certainly makes the album feel somewhat dated. And yet, therein lies its charms. For this is indeed an 80's album, and it was a time when Mike Oldfield was steadily stepping away from his folk music roots and finding new inspirations for his music.

'Taurus II' is a great 25-minute instrumental, with some interesting musical passages and a nice combination of beautiful and haunting melodies. It took me quite a few listens to really get into, but it's totally worth the patience. There are themes in this song that reoccur in 'Orabidoo', though sadly those are the only notable parts of said piece, as, at 13 minutes in length, this track is fairly lackluster.

The title track and 'Family Man' (which interestingly is a song I remember from my childhood a long, long time ago) are both decent pop rock songs. 'Five Miles Out' being a rather ambitious and experimental track, which employs some rather peculiar songwriting techniques and sounds, but it certainly works, leaving us with one of Oldfield's most interesting and catchiest songs.

Overall, 'Five Miles Out' will never be Mike Oldfield's finest work, but it has its merits and is certainly worth checking out.

 Hergest Ridge by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.93 | 546 ratings

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Hergest Ridge
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by martindavey87

1 stars After the massive success of 'Tubular Bells', an album that made Mike Oldfield and the Virgin brand household names, it's almost surreal to hear the follow-up, 'Hergest Ridge', disappoint on every level.

While the music itself isn't unlike what Oldfield did before, everything just seems so lifeless here. Which isn't too surprising, considering that he wrote it while uncomfortable with the fame that had come with its predecessor. A mixture of progressive rock, new age and folk music, if there was anything I could consider a highlight it would be the last five minutes, which features an odd kind of symphonic duel guitar harmony. It's nothing overly eventful though. I'll probably never listen to it again.

With all of that said, I am a huge Mike Oldfield fan, and I love how diverse his discography is. It just doesn't seem right that I struggle to find anything remarkable on this album, but sadly that's all it comes down to.

Sorry Mike. Can't win 'em all.

 Return To Ommadawn by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.04 | 289 ratings

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Return To Ommadawn
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by BrufordFreak
Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Though full of new music, as opposed to some of the re-hashing send-ups Oldfield has released over the years, this one is a beautiful little reminder of just how awesome those mid-1970s albums of Mike Oldfield's were.

1. Return To Ommadawn (Pt.1) (21:10) many old themes, riffs, and weaves rendered anew and with great recording clarity. (9/10) 2. Return To Ommadawn (Pt.2) (20:57) a couple nice melodic riffs overextended and underdeveloped. (8.5/10)

Total Time 42:07

Line-up: Mike Oldfield - acoustic, classical, 12-string & electric guitars, acoustic & electric basses, mandolin, harp, bouzouki, banjo, grand piano, spinet, Farfisa organ, ARP 2600 & Solina synths, bodhran, glockenspiel, accordion (6), assorted percussions (marimba, gong, tubular bells)

A solid 4 star album; a very good progressive rock album--a nice, fresh take on the Ommadawn style and themes with very clear recording and solid performances.

 Man On The Rocks by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.19 | 170 ratings

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Man On The Rocks
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by russellk
Prog Reviewer

2 stars No, Mike. Just no.

It's not that it's not prog. OLDFIELD's done plenty in his career that isn't prog rock. It's not that it's poor quality. In fact, every note is played with consummate professionalism. It's not even the composition of the songs: some of them are actually pretty good, and in one case (the title track), excellent. No, it's the arrangements. OLDFIELD manages to smother each track in MOR sauce, and the choice of vocalist (so clean, so British) doesn't help either. It's as though Mike took all those wonderful elements that make up the unique OLDFIELD experience and stuck them in a 1980s blender. Voila, MOR on the rocks. I'm not saying he wasn't trying, just that the recipe is a bit stale. I've not been able to listen to the thing right through, and I've tried half a dozen times. This time I drifted off somewhere between 'Minutes' and 'Dreaming In The Wind'.

There is so much good music in this world, and even plenty of interesting bad music. Go find something compelling to listen to.

 Tubular Beats by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2013
2.47 | 11 ratings

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Tubular Beats
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by russellk
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Fascinating thing, this. I have to say at the start that you ought not to buy it, and don't waste any time listening to it - unless you're an OLDFIELD completionist or an electronica fan. It's basically a reinterpretation of OLDFIELD classics in an techno/house style. A collaboration between OLDFIELD himself and YORK, a German dance music composer. Yeah.

Is it any good? Surprisingly, it's better than I would have expected. The original tracks are recognisable, their melodies not entirely subsumed by the beat. YORK actually adds some decent variation to the music. It's certainly not cringeworthy, and I've heard plenty of projects that are (my other love is 90s electronica/IDM). But it's not great either. I doubt I'll be back to listen to it again.

Two stars reflects its status here, not the quality of the actual music, which rates a solid three stars.

 Return To Ommadawn by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.04 | 289 ratings

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Return To Ommadawn
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by russellk
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Well, this album is an unexpected and wholly welcome treat.

MIKE OLDFIELD has been prog rock's premier melody maker for getting on towards half a century, ever since 1973's Tubular Bells. His combination of long-form, folk and new-age inspired work captured the hearts of a generation. With the advent of disco and punk, however, he put the long- form works aside and made poppier albums for the next twenty years (with a few glorious exceptions). Then, after the millennium, he began to fade away.

Until this. Like the title says, it's a return to his 1975 masterpeice, Ommadawn, IMO the best of his catalogue and, quote simply, the best single prog rock piece ever written. So I might have had a few expectations when I (belatedly) found out this had been released.

The album is good. Remarkable, even. It is certainly structurally similar to Ommadawn, with Part One beginning with an extended acoustic introduction based on a simple celtic tune, followed by a rhythm-based crescendo into a typical Oldfieldian guitar-laden climax. Part Two is a little more pastoral, but no less beautiful, if in places almost cloying in its sweetness. I'm fairly certain the vocals from the original Ommadawn have been sampled and re-used, and certainly the children's vocals from 'On Horseback' make a brief appearance. As with Ommadawn, OLDFIELD plays virtually all the instruments with breathtaking virtuosity.

At this point my personal joy at this wonderful gift has to take second place to the pragmatics of a review. This is a wonderful thing, but it isn't essential, not to progressive rock music and not even to Oldfield's canon. It's a return, after all; a going-back, a regression. So, as beautiful as it is, I'd counsel those new to OLDFIELD to sample something from his first four albums, or perhaps Amarok. This can be an additional purchase if you like what you hear. But, for me, this is up with THE ORB's latest as the record of 2017.

 Moonlight Shadow by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1983
3.16 | 6 ratings

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Moonlight Shadow
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars It's Mike's birthday today, he's 64 now. Here's a little First Review For This Single. 'Moonlight Shadow', the pop hit that made Maggie Reilly famous and brought Mike Oldfield back to high places on charts, needs no introduction. It's among the smash hits of the early/mid 80's that was being played constantly back then. It was also made into a pretty nice music video. In many European countries it reached No. 1 spot, but in the UK it lost to Rod Stewart's 'Do You Think I'm Sexy', Paul Young's 'Wherever I Lay My Hat' and The Police's 'Every Breath You Take'.

The flip side features 'Rite of Man', a folky singalong type of a song sung by Mike himself. He's certainly not a great singer, but just about every man of the street could do justice to a song like that. The very repetitive chorus "Speak up! Speak up! Speak up for the rite of man" dominates this simple working man's song that features some accordion. Thumbs up for the rarity, but frankly it's not a song I'd choose to listen to again. The rating of a pop single on a progressive rock site feels rather pointless really. From the prog's point of view this single is of no use at all; the album Crises as a whole is a great work, and the songs sung by Jon Anderson ('In High Places') and Roger Chapman ('Shadow on the Wall') are more interesting for us than 'Moonlight Shadow'. On a pop site it would easily be worth four stars, so why not give three stars here, for the masterful and pretty charming pop song. It's not Mike's fault that it became so overplayed.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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