21
Apr
08

Mike Oldfield

I like Mike Oldfield’s music. A lot. I’m sure that many Americans don’t even recognize the name, especially the younger set, although many have heard at least a fragment of his music: namely “the theme from The Exorcist.” However, the “Exorcist theme” is only a tiny fragment of a much larger piece called “Tubular Bells,” which just happened to be the first album released by Richard Branson’s Virgin label. The portion used in the Exorcist was also extracted and sold to Hollywood without Oldfield’s knowledge, and he received no remuneration for it.

As an interesting aside, Oldfield wrote the song “Family Man,” which was picked up by Hall and Oates within a year of its writing, “Dolbyized” and palatized for the American pop scene. Oldfield’s version, originally sung by Maggie Reilly, sung by Pepsi DeMacque below (who is just dead sexy, imho), is rather more “dynamic,” as you will see if you watch the clip of the live performance in Montreux, below.

Enough of that. I’ll let the music speak for itself. The three clips that follow are:

1.) A live performance of a segment from “Tubular Bells” in Montreux Switzerland (?? or London, or Berlin – I’ve heard three opinions and haven’t been able to track this down yet). Oldfield is playing the guitar, his first instrument of choice, although he is a multi-instrumentalist. Turn off the lights, put on the earphones, and turn up the volume for this one.

2.) “Five Miles Out,” from the album by the same name. A hit in England, it got precious little, if any, airplay in the U.S. Oldfield created this video himself, on his home computer. Oldfield is singing mostly through the vocoder in this tune, while Maggie Reilly sings mostly in her clean, pure voice.

3.) “Family Man,” a la Oldfield, from the same concert noted above in No. 1.

I’ll be sharing more Oldfield here, in the future.

Note: If the video feed via WordPress is herky jerky or just plain spazzes out (as it has been doing this evening), just click on the video window to go directly to YouTube and watch.

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