Mike Oldfield

Michael Gordon Oldfield is a musician and composer, born in England on May 15, 1953. Famous for being the interpreter of the opening theme of the film The Exorcist. His musical career includes a mix of styles; combining progressive rock, classical music, folk, electronic, new age, ambient and influences from all over the world. He has more than two dozen albums to his credit.

Personal life

Son of a doctor (Raymond Oldfield) and a nurse (Maureen Liston) who raised him along with his 3 brothers as Roman Catholics. His brother and sister are also outstanding musicians and have collaborated on several occasions; his younger brother died at an early age, he had Down’s Syndrome.

During his adolescence he immersed himself in the world of drugs which brought him serious mental health problems that he had to deal with for years. All of this led him to create a foundation through which he sponsors people to receive care and psychological help, called Tonic.

His love life has been a bit hectic, he had a brief marriage of weeks with Diana D’Aubigny. He was romantically involved with Norwegian singer Anita Hegerland with whom he had two children, Greta and Noha (1988 and 1990 respectively).

Sally Cooper who was her loving companion in the early 80’s is the mother of 3 of her children, Molly, Luke and Dougal. Unfortunately in 2015 one of her sons, Dougal, died unexpectedly at the young age of 33, while working in London as an assistant editor of a film production company, the cause of his death was determined as natural causes, this represented a hard blow for the prize-winning musician and composer.

He had a 13-year relationship with Fanny Vandekerckhove with whom he also has 2 children, Jake, born in 2002 and Eugene in 2008.

His passion for engines is widely known, he is a fan of motorcycles and bicycles and has a large collection of them. Another of his passions is model construction airplanes, a hobby to which he dedicates much of his time.

Musical career

His beginnings were early, from his adolescence he dedicated himself to play guitar in local clubs. He dedicated himself to composing long-lasting instrumental pieces capable of evoking different emotions.

Oldfield began playing in a rhythm group, then joined Sally, his sister in a duo called The Sallyangie the folk music, resulting in an album called Children of the Sun. He then joined his brother to play back to his rock roots in Barefoot.

Mike Oldfield is a multi-instrumentalist musician, though he has excelled in virtuoso guitar performance, digital sequencers and synthesizers. He has experimented with a great variety of popular music instruments which has stood out in his discography, mainly in the 70’s. He has counted a total of 40 instruments that have been played by Oldfield in different moments of his artistic career.

For almost three decades he worked hand in hand with Virgin Records. Getting to have an overwhelming success, which began after the release of Tubular Bells, after being used as part of the soundtrack of the film The Exorcist. On the album, Oldfield played a total of 20 instruments superimposed in layers.

This would become the iconic album of his musical career, having 2 more sequences in later years, in 1992 and 1998, being immediate commercial hits.

Few debut albums have generated as much impact in the musical field as was tubular Bells, although at first failed to take off in the way the label expected, being part of the film was a catapult to success. Its slow acceptance was probably due to the fact that it was a product of experimentation with a new way of creating music.

Mike Oldfield has known how to handle and experiment with different musical styles, which makes it almost impossible to pigeonhole it into a unique style, I am evident in his 1979 album Incantations which marked his return after an absence of 4 years, while punk music reached its epitome.

During the 80’s he experimented with commercial pop and it was precisely in the middle of this decade that he composed the music that would form part of the soundtrack of the film The Screams of Silence.

From 1992, Oldfield began recording with Warner, where he released the second part of the album Tubular Bells. His compositions have gone through different musical styles, creating unique pieces through experimentation with different instruments. In 2004 he joined Mercury Records to continue creating quality music.

Next we can see Mike Oldfield with Rosa Cedron:

Discography

Mike Oldfield has recorded more than 30 albums and a similar number of singles that have been great hits throughout his musical career. Among them are:

Tubular Bells (1973).
Hergest Ridge(1974).
Ommadawn(1975).
Encantamientos(1978).
Platino(1979).
QE2(1980).
Cinco millas fuera(1982).
Crisis(1983).
Descubrimiento(1984).
Los campos de exterminio(1984).
Islas(1987).
Earth Moving(1989).
Amarok(1990).

Throughout his musical career he has received the NME Award for Best Varied Musician on three occasions (1975, 1976 and 1977), in addition to being awarded in 1975 for his album Tubular Bells with a Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition.

His latest work Return to Ommadawn was released in 2017 and was positioned as one of the best-selling albums of the year, reaching great popularity, even reaching fourth place in the UK Album Chart.

More than 4 decades have passed since the release of his flagship album, Tubular Bells and it still retains its importance, captivating more and more people with its charm and freshness. Today he continues to be active in creating more and better music to satisfy his fans.