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Mike Oldfield


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Reading, Berkshire, England (1967 – present)

Mike Oldfield (born Michael Gordon Oldfield, 15 May 1953, Reading, Berkshire, England) is largely known for Tubular Bells, his groundbreaking album from 1973, the success of which also bankrolled Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Records, for which Tubular Bells was the inaugural release. However, his musical career has spread over more than 40 years encompassing a range of styles, with varying amounts of success. According to the Gibraltar Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock, his style is labeled as Oldfield Progressive.

Before Oldfield started his solo career, he formed a band with his sister Sally Oldfield in 1967 called The Sallyangie and at the start of the 70s played bass and guitar with Kevin Ayers and the Whole World, alongside Ayers, David Bedford and saxophonist Lol Coxhill. At this time Kevin Ayers lent Oldfield a multitrack tape recorder, and it was on this that Oldfield began to put together what would become Tubular Bells, although Branson at one point suggested “Breakfast In Bed” as a title.

Tubular Bells is considered to be the first rock album to incorporate elements of classical composition, particularly the use of repetition with subtle variations in the minimalist style as pioneered by composers such as Philip Glass, Steve Reich and LaMonte Young, although these influences were filtered through rock sensibilities. Oldfield also claimed to have been inspired by Kevin Ayers’ observation that “there was nothing wrong with repetition so long as it was something worth repeating”.


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  • Hasen_Papa

    Man on the rocks ;-)

    13 Apr 1:47pm Reply
  • Killerdwarf

    man on the rocks :-(

    20 Mar 7:58pm Reply
  • onthewall2983

    Mixed thoughts. It veers heavily into cheese a few times, especially the singing but the band Mike's got together behind him is pretty tight. Let's hope his next effort is more adventurous.

    17 Mar 4:07am Reply
  • Slim_rafa


    16 Mar 6:33am Reply
  • dr_bun

    amarok and ommadawn are my favourites

    11 Mar 7:22pm Reply
  • Fenix_7

    Thanks Niai8889 and reagan0! Yeah I have listened to Tubular Bells and it's very good. Also tried Crises but didn't like that one at all unfortunately. I am trying Hergest Ridge now and I am enjoying it.

    11 Mar 2:27am Reply
  • Lemuria777

    The new album, is totally different, but not so bad though.

    10 Mar 5:03pm Reply
  • ramos59er

    thanks Krissi

    8 Mar 11:25am Reply
  • reagan0

    I'll put in another vote for Five Miles Out. Ommadawn is one of my favorite MO albums, though. After hearing Tubular Bells as a young teen (around the time The Exorcist was released), I was next introduced to QE2, as it was brand new at the time. It was then the next album I bought. Later, I went back and filled in the rest.

    8 Mar 5:33am Reply
  • Niai8889

    Fenix_7 - you really should try Tubular Bells as the first Oldfield stop, but if you're already familiar with that as well, try Hergest Ridge or Incantations next; the albums he made around those two. Beyond that, the eponymous pieces of Five Miles Out or Crises are good.

    4 Mar 1:56am Reply
  • tfaaon

    new album today !!

    3 Mar 1:27pm Reply
  • EmperorLuddite

    Hergest Ridge and Ommadawn everytime.

    1 Mar 9:47pm Reply
  • Fenix_7

    This shoutbox just won the "least helpful shoutbox of the year" award, Congratulations!

    26 Feb 2:14pm Reply
  • gerjust

    Ich habe 1972 das erste Mal von Mike gehört und bin seitdem ein absoluter Fan seiner Musik.

    23 Feb 12:18pm Reply
  • HaHaHaYoureDead

    как же он скушен, послушайте лучше бу ханссона, майк там и рядом не стоит

    15 Feb 4:29pm Reply
  • galoma

    "Sailing" is just awesome! It reminds me of "Shine" and Mike's 80s in general. Very catchy, and the guitar is still so characteristic...:)

    11 Feb 9:25pm Reply
  • Fenix_7

    Have only listened to Ommadawn, and like it a lot. Now I would like to explore the sound further, but I am kind of intimidated by the huge amount of albums. Anyone knows where I can go next?

    4 Feb 2:27pm Reply
  • rdx_TP

    Not enough people knowing about Hergest Ridge.

    1 Feb 12:15pm Reply
  • mecchaumai

    Everything about Tubular Bells.

    20 Jan 10:10pm Reply
  • mecchaumai


    20 Jan 9:43pm Reply
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