Michael Gordon "Mike" Oldfield (born 15 May 1953, Reading, Berkshire) is an English multi-instrumentalist musician and composer, working a style that blends progressive rock, folk, ethnic or world music, classical music, electronic music, New Age, and more recently, dance. His music is often elaborate and complex in nature. He is best known for his hit 1973 album Tubular Bells, which launched Virgin Records, and for his 1983 hit single "Moonlight Shadow". He is also well known for his hit rendition of the Christmas piece, "In Dulci Jubilo".
Brother of Terry Oldfield and Sally Oldfield.
Oldfield's career began fairly early, playing acoustic guitar in local folk clubs. At this time, he already had two fifteen-minute instrumental pieces in which he would "go through all sorts of moods", a precursor to his landmark 1970s compositions. In his early teens, Oldfield was involved in a 'beat group' playing Shadows-style music (he has often cited Hank Marvin as a major influence, and would later cover The Shadows' song "Wonderful Land"). In 1967 he and his sister Sally formed the folk duo The Sallyangie and were signed to Transatlantic Records after exposure in the local folk scene. An album, Children of the Sun, was issued in 1968. After Sallyangie disbanded, he formed another duo with his brother Terry, called Barefoot, which took him back to rock music.
In 1970 he joined The Whole World - backing group to vocalist Kevin Ayers, formerly of the Soft Machine - playing bass guitar and occasionally lead guitar. The band also included keyboardist and composer David Bedford, who quickly befriended Oldfield, and encouraged him in his composition of an early version of Tubular Bells. Bedford would later arrange and conduct an orchestral version of that album. Oldfield is featured on two Ayers albums, Whatevershebringswesing and Shooting at the Moon.
Having recorded a demo version of Tubular Bells, Oldfield attempted to persuade record labels to take the project on. In 1972 he met the young Richard Branson wh
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