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1972-1991: The Virgin era
1972 > Mike plays his tape to Tom Newman and Simon Heyworth, both working at The Manor, who convinces Richard Branson, to release the work. After considering the names Breakfast In Bed and Opus One the work is entitled Tubular Bells. Virgin
1973 > When the sessions were completed, Richard Branson and Simon Draper set up the Virgin record label and issue Tubular Bells on it on May 25, as nobody or record company seems to show interest on the recording. It raises Nº 1 all over Europe.
 > In June, a live performance of Tubular Bells is given at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London with Mick Taylor, Steve Hillage, Fred Frith, Ted Speight, David Bedford, Kevin Ayers, Pierre Moerlen, John Field and Terry Oldfield.
 > A four minute extract from Tubular Bells is used as soundtrack for William Friedkin's The Exorcist.
1974 > Tubular Bells part 1 is presented for the BBC tv channel in a new intimate concert.
 > Mike moves to Herefordshire nearby Hergest Ridge. Here, he writes a new composition called Hergest Ridge released on August 24. David Bedford
 > In December 9, orchestral arrangements of Tubular Bells and Hergest Ridge are performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London with David Bedford conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with guitar solos by Steve Hillage.
1975 > The Orchestral Tubular Bells is recorded in studio, this time with Mike on guitar, and released on July. Mike don't go on tour with the Scotland National Orchestra and is replaced by Steve Hillage and Andy Summers.
 > Mike's mother, Maureen Liston, dies. Maureen was alcoholic and suffered a mental disease after she borns a boy with the sindrome of Down. He moves on September to Througham.
 > In October Mike releases his third great symphonic work called Ommadawn, probably his best recording till date. He spents around 9 months on this new piece.
 > Tubular Bells is named Best Instrumental Composition at Grammy awards in New York.
1976 > Due to his big success, Mike begins to have emotional problems, he is depressed, insecure and takes drugs, so he retreates from public view to rural Gloucestershire to compose Incantations.
 > On October 26, Virgin releases Boxed with remixes of Tubular Bells, Hergest Ridge and Ommadawn, as well as a record entitled Collaborations including Mike's works with other artists.
1977 > After two-and-a-half years  a more optimistic and outgoing Mike reappears in January as guest guitarist in a performance of David Bedford's suite The Odyssey  at the Royal Albert Hall. The Come Back
 > The Liffey Light Orchestra makes the first live performance of The Orchestral Ommadawn at Trinity Coolege, Dublin. The Orchestral Ommadawn arra<<<ngement is never recorded.
1978 > Incantations is released on November 24. Outtakes from Incantations plus portions of Orchestral Tubular Bells, Orchestral Hergest Ridge, Ommandawn and Portsmouth are used on the soundtrack of The Space Movie.
 > Mike's comeback to public life brings a new look and new attitude due to his attendance at a seminar held by Exegesis, a form of therapy designed to enhance individual assertiveness. During the seminars Mike meets Diana Füller, daughter of his Exegesis teacher; they get soon married but they get divorced after two weeks.
1979 > After having been through therapy Mike feels ready to go on the road for the Tubular Shows. The tour opens in Madrid and Barcelona, Spain, with 50 musicians and 25 roadies, with 11 further concerts in Europe. As result of the tour a live recording, Exposed, is released on July 17.
European Tour 1979European Tour 1979European Tour 1979
 > Mike meets Sally Cooper, a Virgin's secretary. They'll have three children, Molly, Sally and Dougal, together but never get married.
 > The tour is so expensive that it becames a financial disater for Mike and he goes nearly to ruin.
 > Extracts from various Mike's work are used for the NASA's film The Space Movie.
 > On November 23, Platinum sees the light, the first Mike's recording containing shorter songs and a disco feeling. It is recorded in a rush with session musicians to help recoup the costs of previous tour.
1980 > The second  European Tour begins with a pretty small band. The tour concludes in Knebworth, July 21, and the concert is shot and later released on video as The Essential Mike Oldfield. European Tour 1980
 > Mike gets his airplane pilot license.
 > QE2 is released on October 31, and curiosly both singles taken from it are cover versions of hits by Abba and The Shadows. Mike's relationship with Branson begins to deteriorate because Virgin edits Sex Pistols' records and Mike declares in public that he doesn't like punk.
1981 > Mike goes on tour again through Europe and UK.
 > In July Virgin announces that the ten-million copy of Tubular Bells has been sold.
> In the same month, Mike plays a free concert in London's celebrations of the marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana where he plays his new composition The Royal Wedding Anthem; later he is awarded the Freedom of the City of London.
 > To the end of the year Mike becames part of the establishment, he is included in Who's Who, the exclusive guide to Britain's top people, the only pop musician to appear there apart from him is Paul McCartney.
1982 > Five Miles Out is recorded at a studio built at Mike's home in Buckinghamshire and is released on March 19. Five Miles Out
 > Mike undertakes his biggest tour to date, playing in Europe and North America.
1983 > In May is the tenth anniversary of the release of Tubular Bells and Virgin asks for a second part of it but Mike releases Crises instead on May 27, and plays a major premiere concert in July at Wembley in London.
 > The fight between Mike and Branson grows because Mike thinks Branson is giving him low royalties from the selling of his recordings, so Mike interposes a criminal complaint. Branson wants Mike to do more commercial music, an idea totally opposed to Mike's point of view. Mike is obliged to fulfill his contract with 6 more records.
1984 > For tax reasons, Mike moves to a studio in a house 2000 meters up on a Swiss mountainside overlooking Lake Geneva were he records Discovery, released on June 25. The record includes only one instrumental track forced by the company record who must believe that fans prefer vocals songs over instrumental tracks.
 > A new tour takes place by Europe, the Discovery Tour takes over 50 performances. Later this year his first full-length film score is released on November 26 for the film The Killing Fields by Roland Joffe and produced by David Puttman. The score is very different from previous Mike's works, based around ethnic music from Cambodia.
1985 > Mike meets Anita Hegerland, a norweggian singer who will became Mike's girlfriend for the next years having two children with her, Greta and Noah. Like an Island
 > Mike accepts to do the intro music for an archeological documentary called Hutton Hoo.
 > Virgin decides it is time for a retrospective selection of material from Mike's 12-year recording career. A compilation called The Complete is issued on October 1.
1986 > Mike concentrates on the creation of a video album with the help from video engineer Pete Claridge, eventually released on October as The Wind Chimes.
1987 > The video album is so delayed that the audio portion is released as a new album, Islands, on September 7.
1989 > A seven minute version of Tubular Bells is to be performed on the Nicky Campbell show on the BBC Radio One. This rekindles the idea of a follow up of his first great album, reworking its themes with 90's technology, and idea long awaited by Virgin's executives, but Mike is so frustrated with Virgin and Richard Branson due to royalty payments that his prefers to wait after his contract is over.
 > Virgin do not like his music and obliges him to produce easy pop hits. Mike is very annoyed but he accepts to release Earth Moving on July 10, probably as part of an agreement so he will release the following record, Amarok. Earth Moving is a non-instrumental record, the first in his career containing only pop songs just to fulfill his three-album-left contract with Virgin, but he even puts his best efforts on the recording.
1990 > To compensate for the release of Earth Moving Mike issues Amarok on June 14, a one instrumental track recording that Virgin wants to became Tubular Bells II but Mike insists on saying no to the project. Virgin gets very annoyed and the album has no any kind of promotion. Amarok becames one of the most loved works for his fans. Richard Branson
1991 > Tired up of Virgin Mike decides to complete his contract with another recording called Heaven's Open released on February 18, one of his lowest moments in his career. Mike sings all the songs in the album and signs it with the name of Michael Oldfield. He and Branson break up his commercial relationship and Mike leaves the Virgin label. In those days Mike and Anita split.
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