Reference Entry

Oldfield, Mike

Allan F. Moore

in Oxford Music Online

Published in print January 2001 |
Published online January 2001 | e-ISBN: 9781561592630 | DOI:

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[Michael ]

(b Reading, May 15, 1953). English rock composer and guitarist. At the age of 19 he recorded the instrumental album Tubular Bells, funded by Richard Branson's Virgin record shops. In 1973 it became Virgin Records' first release and sold more than ten million copies over the next eight years. Written with the help of David Bedford, it was a quasi-minimalist piece at the melodic end of progressive rock. From this position he subsequently wrote and performed music for the eve of the Prince of Wales's wedding in 1981 and film music for Puttnam's The Killing Fields (Virgin, 1984).

The achievement of Tubular Bells was such that in 1992 he released Tubular Bells II (WEA), which showed an attempt to evade the new-age tag his music had acquired; this was strengthened by a remix by dance outfit The Orb. Between these two, Oldfield recorded a dozen largely instrumental albums: ...

Reference Entry.  336 words. 

Subjects: Popular Music ; Contemporary Music

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