Mike Oldfield is an artist like no other. Over the last 37 years he has produced timeless, unique and inspirational music that has enthralled listeners the world over.
In terms of overnight success stories, Mike Oldfield's is astounding. After a short stint playing bass in Kevin Ayers' backing band, he was taken under the guiding wing of a 22-year-old Richard Branson and Tubular Bells was born. Thrillingly enigmatic music that sounds like nothing before or since, a critical and commercial success, and, to cap it all, the coveted Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition after an excerpt was used in the film The Exorcist.
A blessing and a curse, the magnitude of Mike's sudden success could easily have stalled him and yet he returned almost immediately with another two-movement pastoral masterwork Hergest Ridge and a year later issued the groundbreaking world music suite Ommadawn. Mike Oldfield is that rare beast, the intuitive artist, a confident and creative multi-instrumentalist, not bound by rule or convention and content to follow his own path: "All I want to express with my music is my feelings. I think it's the purpose. To show images, landscapes, love, hate, fury."
Mike Oldfield -"Everything on Tubular Bells was done on the first take - it was lovely, so spontaneous. I had such a long time to prepare it, and I had just one little chance to do it, and now I listen to it and it has a lovely spontaneous energy. It's got mistakes, and I could easily have cut them out, but I left them on."
Mike Oldfield - "I'd like to see somebody come and play differently from everybody else, not using the Blues scale, not turning into jazz, but making something new out of nothing."
Mike Oldfield -"I don't listen to my old albums. I'm too afraid. I'm always thinking about the next album. There comes a point when I finish an album, and I say: 'That's that.'"
John Peel - "Without borrowing anything from established classics or descending into the discords, squeals and burps of the determinedly avant-garde, Mike Oldfield has produced music which combines logic with surprise, sunshine with rain."