MENU
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

MIKE OLDFIELD

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mike Oldfield picture
Mike Oldfield biography
Born in 1953 in Reading, 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 C. Clarke. "Voyager" showed his appreciation f...
read more

Mike Oldfield official website

MIKE OLDFIELD MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s

MIKE OLDFIELD forum topics / tours, shows & news


MIKE OLDFIELD forum topics Create a topic now
MIKE OLDFIELD tours, shows & news Post an entries now

MIKE OLDFIELD Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Show all MIKE OLDFIELD videos (3) | Search and add more videos to MIKE OLDFIELD

Buy MIKE OLDFIELD Music


Return to OmmadawnReturn to Ommadawn
Import
Imports 2017
Audio CD$7.95
$3.60 (used)
Tubular BellsTubular Bells
Remastered · Extra tracks · Import
Mercury UK 2009
Audio CD$5.02
$5.00 (used)
Tubular BellsTubular Bells
Deluxe Edition · Extra tracks · Import
Mercury UK 2009
Audio CD$10.65
$7.82 (used)
Original Album SeriesOriginal Album Series
Import
Imports 2016
Audio CD$10.66
$10.65 (used)
Hergest RidgeHergest Ridge
Import
Universal UK 2010
Audio CD$9.87
$16.47 (used)
Tubular BeatsTubular Beats
Eagle Rock Entertainment 2013
Audio CD$7.36
$7.26 (used)
IncantationsIncantations
CD+DVD · Import
Universal UK 2011
Audio CD$9.87
$11.93 (used)
Five Miles Out (2CD/1 DVD)Five Miles Out (2CD/1 DVD)
Import
Mercury / Universal UK 2013
Audio CD$15.62
$14.55 (used)
OmmadawnOmmadawn
Import
Universal UK 2010
Audio CD$9.87
$9.86 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
MIKE OLDFIELD Tublar Bells YQ7005VR OBI LP Gm8089 USD $8.05 [4 bids]
Impressions 2xLP 1st Vinyl (Mike Oldfield - 1980) TELLY 4 (ID:14878) USD $11.58 Buy It Now
MIKE OLDFIELD ommadawn Deluxe Edition, 2CD+DVD USD $90.99 Buy It Now
MIKE OLDFIELD/ROYAL PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA - Orchestral Tubular Bells - CD USD $14.95 Buy It Now
45 POP Mike Oldfield family man-live punkadiddle Virgin 1982 Canada VG+ HEAR USD $2.60 Buy It Now
Mike Oldfield The Killing Fields Soundtrack 17 Track Vinyl LP USD $9.06 Buy It Now
Mike Oldfield Hergest Ridge 2 Track Vinyl LP USD $9.06 Buy It Now
TUBULAR BELLS MIKE OLDFIELD RECORD LP USD $19.95 Buy It Now
Mike Oldfield Lp Tubular Bells 1973 Virgin Epic records USD $12.95 Buy It Now
Moonlight Shadow: The Collection by Mike Oldfield (CD, Apr-2013, Spectrum... USD $2.25 [3 bids]
Mike Oldfield Incantations UK 2-LP vinyl record (Double Album) VDT101 VIRGIN USD $18.45 Buy It Now
Opening Theme from Tubular Bells -... Mike Oldfield 7" record UK USD $16.76 Buy It Now
MIKE OLDFIELD CRISIS RARE CASSETTE TAPE! USD $12.69 Buy It Now
MIKE OLDFIELD - Five Miles Out [Vinyl Single 7 Inch,1982] UK VS 464 Prog *EXC USD $7.74 Buy It Now
MIKE OLDFIELD - Blue Peter [Vinyl 7 Inch, 1979] UK VS 317 Pipe-led Ending *VG+* USD $6.45 Buy It Now
MIKE OLDFIELD - MAN ON THE ROCKS (UK) NEW CD USD $16.41 Buy It Now
Mike Oldfield Take 4 - White Vinyl - sti... UK 12" record (Maxi) USD $24.54 Buy It Now 13m 33s
Mike Oldfield light shade - + 2 CD - CD Compact Disc USD $11.44 Buy It Now 17m 23s
Mike Oldfield the best of elements - CD Compact Disc USD $7.89 Buy It Now 19m 8s
Willam Tell Overture Mike Oldfield UK 7" vinyl single record VS167 VIRGIN 1976 USD $16.77 Buy It Now 26m 38s
Mike Oldfield Shine UK 7" vinyl single record VS863 VIRGIN 1988 USD $16.77 Buy It Now 28m 19s
Crime Of Passion Mike Oldfield 7" vinyl single record UK VS648 VIRGIN 1983 USD $12.87 Buy It Now 38m 48s
Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells New Zealand vinyl LP album record V2001 VIRGIN USD $43.96 Buy It Now 39m 1s
Mike Oldfield Opening Theme From Tubular Bells 7" vinyl picture disc single UK USD $36.18 Buy It Now 43m 58s
World Tour '82 / 83 Mike Oldfield tour programme UK TOUR PROGRAMME 1983 USD $68.63 Buy It Now 45m 13s
Mike Oldfield 2-LP vinyl record (Double Album) Exposed Japanese VIP-9909~10 USD $63.77 Buy It Now 45m 57s
Mike Oldfield The Singles Japanese 12" vinyl single record (Maxi) VIP-5905 USD $69.86 Buy It Now 46m
Mike Oldfield Ommadawn vinyl LP album record Japanese YX-7083-VR USD $63.39 Buy It Now 46m 3s
La Déchirure (The Killing Fields) Mike Oldfield vinyl LP album record French USD $63.39 Buy It Now 46m 4s
Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells German vinyl LP album record 87541XOT VIRGIN USD $20.65 Buy It Now 51m 57s
Mike Oldfield vinyl LP album record Tubular Bells - 2nd UK V2001 VIRGIN USD $24.54 Buy It Now 52m 2s
Mike Oldfield Five Miles Out 7" vinyl picture disc single UK VSY464 VIRGIN USD $19.36 Buy It Now 53m 47s
Mike Oldfield QE2 Greek vinyl LP album record 062-VG50052 VIRGIN 1982 USD $24.54 Buy It Now 57m 27s
Etude - Soundtrack Sleeve Mike Oldfield 7" vinyl single record UK VS731 VIRGIN USD $23.24 Buy It Now 57m 29s
Blue Peter - 1st Mike Oldfield 7" vinyl single record UK VS317 VIRGIN 1979 USD $23.24 Buy It Now 1h
In Dulci Jubilo - Solid Mike Oldfield UK 7" vinyl single record VS131 VIRGIN USD $12.87 Buy It Now 1h
Mike Oldfield Hergest Ridge UK CD album (CDLP) CDV2013 VIRGIN 1984 USD $22.66 Buy It Now 1h 9m
Five Miles Out Mike Oldfield German 7" vinyl single record 103 920 VIRGIN 1982 USD $16.77 Buy It Now 1h 10m
Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells - Green Label UK vinyl LP album record V2001 USD $18.06 Buy It Now 1h 11m
Tubular Bells - 1st - VG Mike Oldfield vinyl LP album record UK V2001 VIRGIN USD $102.23 Buy It Now 1h 14m
Mike Oldfield 7" vinyl single record Innocent UK VS1214 VIRGIN 1989 USD $12.87 Buy It Now 1h 24m
Mike Oldfield - Amarok [New CD] USD $8.08 Buy It Now 1h 25m
Women Of Ireland Mike Oldfield German 12" vinyl single record (Maxi) USD $15.47 Buy It Now 1h 25m
Tubular Bells 2003 0809274992123 by Mike Oldfield, CD with DVD, BRAND NEW USD $9.84 Buy It Now 1h 28m
Mike Oldfield Guilty - Blue Vinyl 12" vinyl single record (Maxi) UK VS24512 USD $18.05 Buy It Now 1h 31m
Mike Oldfield vinyl LP album record Discovery German V2308 VIRGIN 1984 USD $16.45 Buy It Now 1h 37m
Shine Mike Oldfield 12" vinyl single record (Maxi) German 608134-213 VIRGIN USD $37.49 Buy It Now 1h 42m
Mike Oldfield Mike Oldfield's Single 7" vinyl single record UK VS.101 VIRGIN USD $19.36 Buy It Now 1h 42m
Family Man Mike Oldfield UK 7" vinyl single record VS489 VIRGIN 1982 USD $14.81 Buy It Now 1h 45m
In Dulci Jubilo - 4-Pr Mike Oldfield 7" vinyl single record UK VS131 VIRGIN USD $12.87 Buy It Now 1h 49m
Mike Oldfield "The QS Quadrophonic" Ommadawn UK vinyl LP album record QVQS2043 USD $102.23 Buy It Now 1h 54m
Mike Oldfield Boxed - Quad Vinyl Box Set UK VBOX1 VIRGIN Audiophile 1976 USD $47.72 Buy It Now 1h 54m
Arrival Mike Oldfield UK 7" vinyl single record VS374 VIRGIN 1980 USD $14.18 Buy It Now 2h
Mike Oldfield - Two Sides: Very Best of [New CD] Japan - Import USD $13.75 Buy It Now 2h 7m
Mike Oldfield The Killing Fields vinyl LP album record UK OVED183 VIRGIN 1989 USD $20.65 Buy It Now 2h 11m
Mike Oldfield Cuckoo Song 7" vinyl single record UK VS198 VIRGIN 1977 USD $14.18 Buy It Now 2h 12m
Mike Oldfield Five Miles Out German CD album (CDLP) CDV2222 VIRGIN USD $16.19 Buy It Now 2h 15m
Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells - Beige Label UK vinyl LP album record V2001 USD $37.49 Buy It Now 2h 16m
Mike Oldfield Women Of Ireland - The Remixes 12" vinyl single record (Maxi) UK USD $37.49 Buy It Now 2h 20m
Mike Oldfield In High Places 7" vinyl single record Spanish A109205 VIRGIN USD $42.67 Buy It Now 2h 24m
Mike Oldfield Tricks Of The Light Spanish 7" vinyl single record A-106813 USD $42.67 Buy It Now 2h 24m
Shadow On The Wall Mike Oldfield 7" vinyl single record Spanish B-105606 USD $42.67 Buy It Now 2h 24m
Mike Oldfield Tattoo UK CD single (CD5 / 5") YZ708CDX WEA 1992 USD $29.12 Buy It Now 2h 27m
Mistake Mike Oldfield 7" vinyl picture disc single UK VSY541 VIRGIN 1982 USD $14.18 Buy It Now 2h 29m
Mike Oldfield Theme From The Exorcist Japanese 7" vinyl single record USD $62.09 Buy It Now 2h 33m
Blue Peter - Injection Moulded Mike Oldfield UK 7" vinyl single record VS317 USD $16.77 Buy It Now 2h 33m
Mike Oldfield Music Of The Spheres CD album (CDLP) UK 4766206 UCJ 2008 USD $20.06 Buy It Now 2h 34m
Mike Oldfield Portsmouth - Two Virgins Label UK 7" vinyl single record VS163 USD $29.72 Buy It Now 2h 38m
Tubular Bells - The 2009 Stereo Mixes Mike Oldfield CD album (CDLP) UK USD $16.17 Buy It Now 2h 38m
Mike Oldfield Wonderful Land UK 7" vinyl single record VS387 VIRGIN 1980 USD $27.13 Buy It Now 2h 42m
Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells III CD album (CDLP) German 3984243492 WEA 1998 USD $13.60 Buy It Now 2h 42m
Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells II - VG vinyl LP album record UK WX2002 WEA 1992 USD $50.44 Buy It Now 2h 54m
Mike Oldfield vinyl LP album record Tubular Bells - Quadrophonic - 1st UK USD $69.86 Buy It Now 2h 54m
Airborn - punch-hole Mike Oldfield USA 2-LP vinyl record (Double Album) USD $50.82 Buy It Now 2h 57m
Mike Oldfield - Music of the Spheres USD $9.97 Buy It Now 3h 57m
Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells USD $7.97 Buy It Now 3h 57m
Mike Oldfield - Five Miles Out USD $7.97 Buy It Now 3h 57m
Mike Oldfield - Hergerst Ridge - Remastered USD $9.97 Buy It Now 3h 57m
MIKE OLDFIELD - MIKE OLDFIELD'S SINGLE - THEME FROM TUBULAR BELLS - 7" SINGLE USD $6.46 [0 bids]
4h 4m
Mike Oldfield - QE2 - Virgin - 1980 #746555 USD $10.35 Buy It Now 4h 35m
MIKE OLDFIELD - OMMADAWN CD ALBUM 1975 (2000) USD $6.47 Buy It Now 5h 4m
Mike Oldfield Hergest Ridge 12" Vinyl LP Album Virgin Records V2013 1974 EX/EX USD $5.17 [0 bids]
5h 24m
Mike Oldfield - Ommadawn - RARE Israeli Israel Made 1975 RED/GREEN Virgin Labels USD $24.64 Buy It Now 5h 42m
MIKE OLDFIELD Tubular Bells promo CD *FREE POSTAGE* USD $3.30 Buy It Now 5h 43m
MIKE OLDFIELD Boxed (Tubular Bells Hergest Ridge Ommadawn Collaborations) 4 LP USD $25.90 Buy It Now 5h 46m
MIKE OLDFIELD_Moonlight Shadow_used 45 VINYL_7"_ships from AUS_zz5_shE5r USD $8.96 Buy It Now 5h 50m
MIKE OLDFIELD Tr3S Lunas WPCR-11229 CD JAPAN 2002 OBI USD $69.98 Buy It Now 5h 53m
Mike Oldfield - Guitars (1999) USD $14.88 Buy It Now 5h 56m
Mike Oldfield Exposed Israel Israeli Hebrew & Misprinted Limited SQ Quadrophonic USD $38.24 Buy It Now 6h 17m
Tubular Bells 0602527035413 by Mike Oldfield, CD, BRAND NEW FREE P USD $19.10 Buy It Now 6h 18m
1975 - MIKE OLDFIELD & DAVID BEDFORD - Orchestral Tubular Bells - Press Advert USD $11.64 Buy It Now 6h 32m
Pictures In The Dark Mike Oldfield UK 12" vinyl single record (Maxi) VS836-12 USD $21.62 Buy It Now 7h 7m
Ommadawn - Quad Mike Oldfield vinyl LP album record UK QV2043 VIRGIN USD $69.86 Buy It Now 7h 29m
MIKE OLDFIELD "AMAROK" CASSETTE 1990 SPAIN RARE! NEW & SEALED! USD $4.95 Buy It Now 7h 32m
Mike Oldfield - Ommadawn 2010 (NEW CD) USD $7.43 Buy It Now 7h 33m
Mike Oldfield - The Collection 1974 - 1983 (NEW CD) USD $9.05 Buy It Now 7h 33m
Mike Oldfield - Platinum 2012 (NEW CD) USD $9.05 Buy It Now 7h 33m
Mike Oldfield - Incantations (NEW CD) USD $9.05 Buy It Now 7h 33m
Mike Oldfield Five Miles Out 7" vinyl single record UK VS464 VIRGIN 1982 USD $16.77 Buy It Now 7h 33m
Mike Oldfield 7" vinyl single record Portsmouth Australian K6582 VIRGIN 1976 USD $49.14 Buy It Now 7h 37m

More places to buy MIKE OLDFIELD music online Buy MIKE OLDFIELD & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
MIKE OLDFIELD has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

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)

4.09 | 1015 ratings
Tubular Bells
1973
3.95 | 516 ratings
Hergest Ridge
1974
2.53 | 164 ratings
The Orchestral Tubular Bells
1975
4.32 | 1152 ratings
Ommadawn
1975
3.93 | 396 ratings
Incantations
1978
3.12 | 262 ratings
Platinum
1979
3.49 | 285 ratings
Q.E.2
1980
3.70 | 335 ratings
Five Miles Out
1982
3.44 | 376 ratings
Crises
1983
2.78 | 232 ratings
Discovery
1984
2.68 | 139 ratings
The Killing Fields
1984
2.63 | 187 ratings
Islands
1987
2.05 | 159 ratings
Earth Moving
1989
4.06 | 517 ratings
Amarok
1990
2.52 | 163 ratings
Heaven's Open
1991
3.56 | 276 ratings
Tubular Bells II
1992
3.73 | 272 ratings
The Songs Of Distant Earth
1994
3.09 | 198 ratings
Voyager
1996
3.39 | 200 ratings
Tubular Bells III
1998
2.95 | 167 ratings
Guitars
1999
2.32 | 132 ratings
The Millenium Bell
1999
2.46 | 132 ratings
Tr3s Lunas
2002
3.72 | 182 ratings
Tubular Bells 2003
2003
2.79 | 132 ratings
Light + Shade
2005
3.04 | 164 ratings
Music Of The Spheres
2008
3.34 | 155 ratings
Man On The Rocks
2014
4.17 | 181 ratings
Return To Ommadawn
2017

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

3.76 | 84 ratings
Exposed
1979

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

3.94 | 40 ratings
Tubular Bells II & III Live (DVD)
1999
2.58 | 39 ratings
The Art In Heaven Concert Live In Berlin (DVD)
2000
4.57 | 14 ratings
DVD Collection
2003
3.15 | 28 ratings
Elements - The Best Of (DVD)
2004
3.80 | 32 ratings
Exposed
2005
4.39 | 68 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
3.57 | 13 ratings
Airborn
1980
3.00 | 4 ratings
Impressions
1980
2.98 | 9 ratings
Music Wonderland
1981
3.69 | 35 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
2.65 | 15 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
4.13 | 8 ratings
Two Sides: The Very Best of Mike Oldfield
2012
3.50 | 8 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)

3.67 | 3 ratings
Tubular Bells
1974
4.00 | 4 ratings
In Dulci Jubilo
1975
3.50 | 4 ratings
Don Alfonso
1975
2.00 | 1 ratings
Don Alfonso (German Version)
1975
3.24 | 10 ratings
Portsmouth
1976
3.80 | 5 ratings
William Tell Overture
1976
3.75 | 4 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
3.20 | 6 ratings
Moonlight Shadow
1983
3.23 | 12 ratings
Shadow on the Wall
1983
4.00 | 9 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
 Moonlight Shadow by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1983
3.20 | 6 ratings

BUY
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.

 Return To Ommadawn by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 2017
4.17 | 181 ratings

BUY
Return To Ommadawn
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by Walkscore

3 stars *Almost* four stars.

While Mike Oldfield has made many sequels to Tubular Bells, it took him 42 years to make the first official sequel to Ommadawn, his masterpiece. In many ways, this is the album we have been waiting for Oldfield to make for almost this long. It is structured into two 21-minute halves (labelled part 1 and part 2), just like his first three albums. And like those, it moves through a series of themes that build and shift, leading to minor musical climaxes. There is a lot to like about this album. First and foremost, we finally get to hear Oldfield play lots of guitar! (I really liked Music of the Spheres, but the one flaw with that album is the paucity of guitar solos. One has to go back to his 'Guitars' album to get this much guitar playing). Another thing I really like about this album is that it is not over-laden with instrumentation (which was a problem with many of his albums from 'Incantations' onward). Much of this album is quiet, allowing the guitar-playing to shine through. Also, unlike Tubular Bells II (which I just reviewed) this album is not a copy of the original, although it clearly refers to the original in a few places (see below). But overall, this music is new and original (unlike TB2, which is like a carbon copy of TB1 from a parallel universe). The sound quality is great, too, very clear. On the whole, a pleasurable listening experience.

On the downside, the music quality is mixed, and not all the melodies are that hot. I have listened to this album now about 10 times, and while my first reaction was very positive, over time the variability in quality has become clearer. So, this is not on par with the original Ommadawn, which for me has maintained its very high level of musicality. Part 1 (side 1) is the better one here. It actually begins with a theme and sound that could have come from Hergest Ridge, then moves into a acoustic guitar pattern that harkens back to, but does not mimic, the original Ommadawn theme. One of the better themes on the album is the one that starts with a repeated bass/electric guitar line of classic Oldfied at just before the 3 min mark (again, more akin to Hergest Ridge than Ommadawn), and taking us to just after 8 mins. After a few other themes, around the 13 min mark, a new theme beginning with African Drums (ala the original Ommadawn), some acoustic and electric solos, starts and takes us to just before 19 mins. This theme has background choir-vocals that are very similar to the original Ommadawn (indeed, they sound like the original Ommadawn theme sung backwards), and this section ends with a similar electric-guitar solo pattern to the end of side 1 on the original Ommadawn. This is the only part of 'Return to Ommadawn' that comes sufficiently close to the original that one could use the term "sequel". After that section, Side 1 ends with a very nice, quiet, flute/acoustic guitar theme. I would give Part/Side 1 8.1 out of 10.

Side 2 is the weaker half of this release. Many of themes sound like more mainstream celtic melodies, with pretty standard chord progressions. The theme that begins at roughly the 2 minute mark sounds like another Oldfield theme, but not anything on the original Ommadawn. I like the section that begins at roughly the 5 min mark, with the Irish/African drumming, the pulsing bass line and the electric guitar solos, lasting about two minutes. The themes that comes after repeat the ones that began this side, and stretch them out for much of the rest of the side (with a short acoustic interlude at around the 15-min mark). The album ends with a theme that is musically much more like the Sailors Hornpipe ending on the original Tubular Bells than the On Horseback section of the original Ommadawn. However, Oldfield briefly repeats the "Hey and away we go" children's-choir vocals from the original Ommadawn/On Horseback ending here, perhaps to make clear to the listener that this part is meant to remind one of that section. Also, at the beginning of this final section, we hear Oldfield say "on horseback? I would rather be HERE", apparently referring to his current abode on the Bahamas (the fold-out photos are of his backyard where he lives there). I personally wish he hadn't including this brief voice-over, as it seems to dismiss or at least put into doubt the original 'On Horseback' section from the original Ommadawn, and does so in an elitist way (how many of us can afford to live in the Bahamas?). But apart from that, the ending is actually not that musical, and the whole side has a few too many standard (major-key) chord progressions, making it more like 'Voyager' or his other albums from the 1990s/2000s. I give Side/Part 2 a score of 7.2 out of 10 on my 10-point scale.

Taken together, this is among the better Oldfield albums of the last 30 years. Just how does it compare with the rest of Oldfield's catalogue? Is it the best album since the original Ommadawn? Well, I went back and listened to his back catalogue to try and place this one. I think it is slightly better than 'Music of the Spheres' (which was his best album, in my opinion, since Amarok). It is better than 'Guitars', although it shares a lot of features with that album (but on 'Return' everything segues together, which 'Guitars' was missing/needing). It is better than 'Songs of Distant Earth', even though it is almost as new-agey. It is far better than any of the Tubular Bells sequels. It is better than 'Discovery', even better than 'Crisis'. I don't think it is better than 'Amarok', but it is close (Amarok, interestingly, is also a sequel of sorts to the original Ommadawn, although it is quite a bit more different from Ommadawn than 'Return'). However, it is definitely NOT better than 'Five Miles Out', nor 'QEII', both of which had more original and more compelling musical statements, even though both of those albums are among those over-laden with instrumentation. (And of course, it is not better than any of Oldfield's first four albums). I would place this somewhere around Oldfield's 8th or 9th best album (out of roughly 27 albums). On balance, I give this 7.6 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to high 3 PA stars.

 Tubular Bells II by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 1992
3.56 | 276 ratings

BUY
Tubular Bells II
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by Walkscore

2 stars The most bizarre musical experience

Before reviewing the new "Return to Ommadawn" I thought I would go back and listen to some of the old Oldfield albums, so I could place it within Oldfield's overall catalogue (will send that review soon). But upon re-listening to this one, I was reminded just what a bizarre experience it is. The whole album is written to match the original Tubular Bells in form, structure and melodies, but using (slightly) different orderings of notes, melodies, or (slightly) different rhythms. It is as if we entered a parallel universe in which everything we have now still exists, but it is just slightly different. There is the beginning repetitive theme played on piano and organ. There is section with the duel guitars. There is the suddently-loud almost punk section. There is the 'Master-of-ceremonies" section with the same theme played by various different instruments over top of a repeated bass line, etc, etc. This is the only album I can think that has ever been written like this. Every part of the original album is represented, and you can tell instantly which part it is, but there is always some (slight) difference. The melody runs up the scale, when in the original it falls. The order of the chords is reversed, but otherwise has the same structure. The sonic timbre is the same, but the notes are in major rather than minor scale. The tempo is in 4/4 instead of 7/8. That sort of thing. Almost as if a computer were programmed to write another Tubular Bells, while making sure no other computer would register an exact match. This must have been a fun, but also difficult, exercise in song-writing for Oldfield, as he clearly thought everyone who knew the original album would need to instantly recognize each part in this one, but at the same time, he could not just plagiarize himself. The problem is, while very interesting, none of the actual music on this album is as good as the original. And some sections just don't work at all. The worst part is the 'Caveman' section, which sounds very similar to the original, but has a mother/daughter voice-over that mocks the caveman in an unintelligent, off-putting way. Oldfield seems to be mocking himself. If this had been the only version of Tubular Bells ever released, it likely would have flopped, and Oldfield would not be known as he is today. It is both not as musical, but also far too close to the original Tubular Bells. It is a very strange trip for anyone who loves the original, and I doubt most will want to listen to this more than once. I give it 3.9 out of 10 on my 10-point scale. Only for true fans, and/or those wanting a parallel-universe type of experience.

 Five Miles Out by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 1982
3.70 | 335 ratings

BUY
Five Miles Out
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by Walkscore

4 stars His Fourth-Best Album.

While following in much the same vein as QEII compositionally, this album is much stronger. "Taurus II" is a side-long piece, and Oldfield's strongest composition since the latter half of Incantations, with a highly memorable main theme, and lots of other strong sections. The rest of the album also contains a number of strong pieces, with the title track, parts of Orabidoo, and Mount Teidi all harkening back to themes in Taurus II. So, in a way, the entire album comes across as a coherent musical statement. This also happens to be the album when Oldfield scored a commercial radio hit (covered by Hall and Oates) with the song "Family Man". While Oldfield would write a number of hit singles throughout the 80s, and even into the 90s, I still to today think this is his best single, and while I am not generally prone to commercial singles, I generally look forward to listening to this one. I like Oldfield's version much better than Hall and Oates' version too. But apart from the single, the rest of the album is strong. It shares with QEII and his other albums from this time period a tendency to excessive instrumentation (additional synths and sequencers, which were now common by the early 1980s), but unlike QEII, Platinum, or Crises there is no track that is off-putting here. The albums is generally highly musical and listenable all the way through. I give it 8.5 out of 10 on my 10-point scale.

 Q.E.2 by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 1980
3.49 | 285 ratings

BUY
Q.E.2
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by Walkscore

3 stars Fragmented, Mixed.

QEII has a lot of strong musical ideas. Unfortunately, this time they are not linked together into a seamless flow, as on his previous albums, but instead appear mostly in shorter fragments. From Incantations onward, many of Oldfield's albums have been over-laden with instrumentation, and QEII fits this description. While I like Oldfield experimenting, sometimes he is best when just playing the acoustic guitar to a simple chord progression. Furthermore, the song fragments here are interspersed with a couple of cheesy tunes and covers. Indeed, on this one Oldfield covers Abba's song "Arrival". As in the previous "I got Rhythm" flop from Platinum, the listener is left with "what was he thinking?". Saying this, the better tunes are generally very good, and if only they had been stitched into a single piece the listener would have been left with something solid. I got around this by making a cassette tape of this album leaving out the cheesy tracks. When you do this, the musicality of the stronger pieces (like "Taurus I", "Conflict" and the title track) shines through. But the fragmented nature of the album means it can't achieve anywhere near the musical greatness of his previous albums. I give this album 7.6 out of 10 on my 10-point scale.

 Platinum by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.12 | 262 ratings

BUY
Platinum
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by Walkscore

3 stars Side A Great. Side B...ughh

The title track, taking up side A of this album (Platinum) is great, while the side B - a mix of throw-away shorts and covers - is pretty poor. This album sees Mike Oldfield in his post-Exegesis period, when he changed from being painfully introverted and shy to out-going. Tom Newman, the engineer at the Manor who recorded Tubular Bells with Oldfield, said he thought Oldfield lost some of his musical inspiration once he got over his pain and shyness. While the first three albums (and Incantations too to an extent) are introverted musical journeys, this album is light as a feather. It was recorded at the commercial height of disco, and is clearly influenced by it. Platinum, the title track, is formally broken into four sections, but is a seamless 19-min instrumental piece of music. It is definitely of a light-hearted vibe - fun, playful - yet still classic Oldfield, with similar melodic structures, bass lines, etc. It seems like Oldfield was having a lot of fun writing and recording this one, playing off the disco thing and the jazzy side of commercial music. And it is quite musical. Up there with the best of Oldfield post-Incantations. Side B is another story. The only song I can listen to here is "Punkadiddle", although it is also quite light. The cover of "I got Rhythm" is so totally not Oldfield - the contrast with everything that came before it will shock. Oldfield's first colossal failure. I would recommend still getting the first side of this album - it is an essential addition to the Oldfield catalogue. But side B is better left alone. I give Side A 8 out of 10. But side B only garners 3.4 out of 10. Since an album rating has to take into account the entire album, I can only give this 6.0 on my 10-point scale (slightly weighted to the first side, because the first side is longer than the second side on the original vinyl).

 Incantations by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.93 | 396 ratings

BUY
Incantations
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by Walkscore

4 stars Original, but Laden.

Oldfield attempted to go beyond his first three albums, by writing an even-longer and more orchestral piece stretching now to four sides of a double- (vinyl) album. The result is highly original, often very musical, and totally Oldfield. However, it over-reaches, particularly on the first two sides. And there is not enough of Oldfield's distinct guitar playing (especially on the first two sides) . I use the word "laden" for this one - it is overly laden with expectations, instrumentation, and repetition. It sounds like Oldfield was trying to come up with something that would meet the now-huge expectations from his fans and the British music press for producing something new and original that went beyond TB and Ommadawn. To do this, he stretched it out to a double-album, but to accomplish this, he had to write in a number of repeats and codas, which are particularly evident on the first two sides. This album also comes across as overly-precise, and in turn, a bit cold, probably because there was an expectation that his next move should come close to perfection, given the slight timing flaws on his earlier albums (which were recorded all by him, without sequencers, etc). On Incantations, the sound quality is very crisp, and the playing is perfectly timed. The xylophones shimmer. But the growth in instrumentation takes away from the guitar, which here plays more of a bit part. Nonetheless many (but not all) of the sections are quite musical, and I particularly like sides 3 and 4, each of which is a shorter piece (roughly 16 mins) not overly-given to repetition (whereas sides 1 and 2 are over 19 minutes each). If Oldfield hadn't tried so hard to stretch this out to four sides, it could have been another 5-star single album. Saying all this, I think this one is still up there among the best of Oldfield's catalogue, his fifth-best studio album (after Five Miles Out, which I put as his fourth-best). I give this 8.3 out of 10 on my 10-point scale.

 Ommadawn by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.32 | 1152 ratings

BUY
Ommadawn
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by Walkscore

5 stars Definition of Masterpiece.

This is a very special album, a true musical masterpiece. I have listened to so many of the albums here on PA, and many classical and jazz albums, and this one stands out as in the top 3 albums of all time. It is so good. Continuing with the composition style he began on Tubular Bells and Hergest Ridge (ie one long composition stretched over two sides of a 45-min vinyl album), Oldfield perfects his ability to weave together multiple themes and develop them. Like side of Tubular Bells and Hergest Ridge, side 1 acts like one 20-minute long piece in which the themes come together in a climax, while side 2 is made up of 3 different fragments of music put together. And the album ends, like TB and HR, with another complete change in direction, this time a folk song sung by Oldfield (and a school choir) On Horseback, where Oldfield sings about equestrian wonders. The version of this album that got released was actually Oldfield's third attempt to write/record it, the first two having to stop due to problems with the multi-track recording tape. It is a good thing too. You can hear the first recording of side 1 on the special edition CD release of Ommadawn, and not only does it not weave together the themes like on the final release, it is beset by a terrible quasi-comic John Cleese-like voice-over. Oldfield says in the liner notes to that the when he started those first recordings he was exhausted. For the final (third) recording attempt, he changed scenery and built his own studio, and then brought in African drummers and local folk musicians, and it was only then that things clicked. The result is magical, wonderful. Side 1 (part 1) is, in my opinion, up there as one of the two best-ever compositions (the other is 'Heart of the Sunrise' by Yes). It begins with a theme that shifts between light (the beautiful classic guitar lines make up the first theme) and dark (when the synth strings and repeated bass come in). This sets the structure of the piece. Over a number of twists and turns (including the addition of the afformentioned African drumming setting a constant pulsing beat roughly two thirds of the way through) the song builds. Oldfield's electric playing here is amazing - both very difficult to play but also very musical, and his solo is a key part of the climax as he plays up the neck. While side 2 has themes that are less connected, the middle of the side contains one of the most beautiful melodies ever committed to record, played on northumbrian bagpipes. Some reviewers don't like the 'On Horseback' finale, but I think it is very musical, and its whimsy imparts a positive glow. While some albums produce positive reactions for the first few years and then start to fade, this album just gets better with each listen. It is one of the few albums where, if anyone puts it on, I can hardly help but not listen to it. Every time I seem to hear something new. It is so well composed and executed. I give side 1 my very top ranking - 10 out of 10. It is the composition that everything else gets compared to. while side 2 is not quite as good, it is still excellent - I give side 2 a 9.6 out of 10. Together, this averages out to 9.8 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which is exceptionally rare. Again, in my top 3 albums of all time, and I have listened to thousands.

 Hergest Ridge by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.95 | 516 ratings

BUY
Hergest Ridge
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by Walkscore

5 stars Oldfield's Third-Best Album.

This is a very strong musical composition, rooted more in English folk music traditions, and slower and more mature than Tubular Bells. This one did not live up to the expectations of fans of Tubular Bells when initially released, and thus so got some bad press, and even Oldfield has said he got a bit bored recording this one (and since then has said it is not his 'favourite' album, which, I think, must be Ommadawn). Nonetheless, this album is really excellent. Like Tubular Bells and Ommadawn, this is one single composition constructed over two sides of a 45-minute vinyl LP, and like those albums involves constantly shifting and weaved-together melodic themes. It takes the listener on a musical journey, and makes an original statement. Also, like those other two, this one ends by breaking with the rest of the music and presenting a distinctly different piece (in this case, an almost-heavy metal repeated distorted-guitar version of an English/Irish jig, thus both keeping with, but also breaking with, the Sailor's Hornpipe ending of Tubular Bells). One thing I particularly appreciate on this album is the excellent guitar playing by Oldfield, of which later albums (from Incantations onward) would have too little. His guitar playing style is really unique - one of the few guitar players you can pick out instantaneously based on his style. I also really like the melodies here, which use non-traditional notes (major 2nds, 6ths, major 7ths) as key bases of the melodic lines, which is one reason why I would call this album 'mature'. They stick in one's mind for eons. Once again, this marks Oldfield as a major original composer. This album makes up, for me, one of the 'trilogy' of 5-star Oldfield albums (with Tubular Bells and Ommadawn). While slightly weaker than Tubular Bells, it is still great. But you have to like slow music to like this album, which thankfully I do. I give it 9.0 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 5 PA stars.

 Tubular Bells by OLDFIELD, MIKE album cover Studio Album, 1973
4.09 | 1015 ratings

BUY
Tubular Bells
Mike Oldfield Crossover Prog

Review by Walkscore

5 stars Brilliant and Unique.

Mike Oldfield's first album is in my opinion his second-best (after Ommadawn), and a wondrous piece of music that remains unique still today after over 40 years. There are a number of keys to its success. First is how Oldfield (on side 1) keeps the rhythm if his opening repeated line going through the series of themes the follow each other, sometimes receding it into the background then bringing it back, then modifying it in new ways with new melodies over top. It keeps your interest by constantly changing melodies, and even keys, while still keeping to that basic rhythm and always referring back on itself; culminating in the famous 'master-of-ceremonies' section where a repeated bass line forms the foundation for a repeated melody played by different instruments whose entrance is announced by the mc with the tubular bells marking the majestic ending to the side. The end of this side, and the beginning of the next side (the album was originally written for two-sided vinyl album) have brought the listener deep into the musical world of Oldfield. The second side is a bit more fragmented, and moves from theme to theme without being rooted in a constant rhythm or repeated pattern, but is still quite good. The 'caveman' section is notably bizarre for having Oldfield 'sing' some unique passages in a made-up grunt-language. Nothing like it before or after, and it works really well musically. The album ends with a cover of a speeing-up Sailor's Hornpipe, which seems to bring the listener out from Oldfield's musical world and back to reality - it sort of wakes you up again, and when you do, you marvel at the wonderful musical journey. While the album is not 'perfect' - there are a couple of timing or tuning glitches, this being Oldfield's first-ever experience recording his own album and sequencers and the like were not available then - it stands today as a very unique musical statement, really a brilliant composition. It marked Oldfield as an original composer, and in a way introduced a whole new style of composing which very few have been able to master. A really essential statement. I give it 9.3 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 5 PA stars.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to Snow Dog for the last updates

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives