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Oldfield, Mike

Entry updated 29 October 2021. Tagged: Music, People.

(1953-    ) English composer and performer, whose multi-layered, multi-instrumental and usually vocal-free work has enjoyed considerable commercial success. His first and perhaps most influential release, Tubular Bells (1973) was a fluently inventive, varied and musically charming piece, not least in its cod-caveman interlude "Piltdown Man". Of his many dozen subsequent releases, Oldfield's most straightforwardly science-fictional album is The Songs of Distant Earth (1994), an instrumental concept-suite adaptation of Arthur C Clarke's thus-titled 1986 novel (the album was released with a "forward" by Clarke). Though pleasant enough, the music is rather flavourless, especially when compared with the rest of Oldfield's tuneful and inventive output. [AR]

Michael Gordon Oldfield

born Reading, Berkshire: 15 May 1953


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