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The Bag Of Secrets
The Bag Of Secrets
SecretThe working title for Tubular Bells album was Breakfast In Bed and Opus One. While composing Tubular Bells, Mike recorded a demo tape, which he played to Tom Newman and Simon Heyworth. Tom Newman said "It wasn't actually Tubular Bells demos at that time, they were just bits of music". Most of this demo made it onto the finished Tubular Bells album, but Mike discarded several sections, reusing some of them later. The most famous example is a segment - which on the original demo tape included a Hoover in the background - that was later reworked for Amarok (it begins at 16:11).   SecretPiltdown was an archaeological site in England where in 1908 and 1912 fossil remains of human, ape and other mammals were found. In 1913 at a nearby site an ape's jaw with a canine tooth worn down like a human's was found. It was thought that the fossil remains belonged to a single creature who had a human cranium and an ape's jaw. However, in 1953, Piltdown 'man' (appearing in Tubular Bells credits) was exposed as a forgery. The skull was modern and the teeth on the ape's jaw had been filed down. It is considered to be the paleontological hoax of the early 20th century.
SecretA four minute extract from Tubular Bells was used as soundtrack for William Friedkin's The Exorcist.   SecretThe German version of Don Alfonso was produced by Tangerine Dream leader Edgar Froese and sung by a drunken rodie of Tangerin Dream who's name was Paul.
SecretHergest Ridge is a hill on the border of Wales and Herefordshire in England. The Beacon is now a guest house where Mike recorded Ommadawn.    
    SecretIn early pressing of Hergest Ridge you can hear a different mix of the recording different from what you can hear in later and present editions, that pressing is known today as the original mix.
SecretThe name of the dog that appears on Hergest Ridge cover was Bootleg.    
    SecretIt is not known wheter a track called Spanish Tune exits, but apparently is a promo single of Hergest Ridge that was issued with that name.
SecretExtracts from Tubular Bells and Hergest Ridge were used in Roger Vadim's film La Jeune Fille Assassinee (The Murdered Young Girl).    
    SecretThe Orchestral Hergest Ridge was recorded but never officially released. The BBC recorded the 1974 premiere, performed by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with Steve Hillage on guitar, and the 1976 performance by The Scottish National Orchestra with Andy Summers on guitar in Glasgow for Scottish radio.
SecretVirgin purchased the rights to the Glasgow recording of The Orchestral Hergest Ridge, and some portions of it were used on the soundtrack of The Space Movie, a film celebrating the tenth anniversary of the first moon landing, televised in 1979. A Space Movie soundtrack album was considered, but this was also shelved.   SecretIn Dulci Jubilo had two versions, the first one subtitled For Maureen, Mike dedicated the song to his mother who died in 1975.
SecretThe working title for the Ommadwan album was Pickles On My Glockenspiel.    
    SecretOmmadawn is the english spelling of the gaelic word Amadian meaning silly, fool.
SecretDuring Ommadwan sessions Mike recorded a song called Ask Me No Questions written and sung by Brdiget St. John.    
    SecretThough never recorded, an orchestral version of Ommadawn was performed in the 70's.
SecretMike Oldfield composed the soundtrack for a natural science movie called Reflections in 1976 for which he used some previously unreleased tracks like Woodhenge, The Path, demo versions from Hergest Ridge, Ommadawn and an unavaliable song called Making Way (read lyrics).    
    SecretThe Incantations cover was photographed on Cala Galdana. It is a beach on Menorca (Spain), one
of the Balearic Islands. It is a private beach and not open to the public.
SecretEarly pressings of Incantations CD had a shorter version of "Part Three" which timing was only 13:49 due to a limitation in Compact Disc storage capacity. Finally the CD was reissued with "Part Three" complete as on vinyl version.    
    SecretThere is an outtake from Incantations "Part Four" featuring vocals not present on the final record. This outtake was included on the soundtrack of The Space Movie.
SecretIn 1979 an special edition of Tubular Bells (a quadrophonic remix of the Boxed version) saw the light, it was a picture disc with the sound of a model airplane at the end.    
SecretJohn Gorman of Scaffold fame is the master of ceremonies on the TB version on Airborn.   SecretThe working title for the Platinum album was Airborn. The first 30.000 pressed copies of the vinyl included a song called Sally written by Mike Oldfield & Nico Ramsden that, due to problems with the record company, was finally rejected and substituted with Into Wonderland, a song based on the same music track but with a slower tempo an totally different lyrics. However that change was never reflected on the cover, even on CD reissues, confussing everybody.
SecretVirgin wanted to release Alright Now instead of Blue Peter as a UK single. Alright Now was never public released and was only avaliable as a promo flexi-disc.    
    SecretThe working titles for the Q.E.2 album were Mirage and Carnival. Q.E.2 stands for Queen Elizabeth II, the name of the biggest oceanliner in the 80's.
SecretMike was commissioned in 1981 to write a piece of music celebrating the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer. The Royal Wedding Anthem was performed on the day of the wedding at the Guildhall Yard in London, and several minutes of this performance were broadcast on British television.   SecretThe title Waldberg (The Peak) is misnamed: this mountain is called Wallberg and is located in Bavaria.
Secret During Five Miles Out sessions another song called Ready Mix was recorded with Carl Palmer, presumably at the same time as Mount Teide.    
    SecretMike originally recorded the track Five Miles Out in a 1930s style, with Maggie Reilly on vocals.
SecretMike has mentioned that some parts of Crises were removed from the final edit.
    SecretBarry Palmer was already intended to sing on the Crises album in 1983.
SecretMoonlight Shadow was originally intended to be sung by Hazel O'Connor. She recorded an early version entitled Midnight Passion.    
    SecretThe released version of In The Pool is instrumental, but there were two earlier vocal versions of this track, one with Barry Palmer, the other with Maggie Reilly.
SecretMike is believed to have recorded more than 4 hours of music for the film The Killing Fields, and several short pieces of incidental music excluded from the album appear in the film.    
    SecretČtude is Mike's arrangement of Francisco Tarrega's Recuerdos de la Alhambra.
SecretSutton Hoo, an archaeological documentary on British television featured a specially composed theme by Mike.    
    SecretThe working title for the album Islands was Northpoint. The US version of the album, apart from a different cover, seems to be remixed and the vocalist of Magic Touch is Max Bacon instead of Jim Price.
SecretMagic Touch was also recorde with John Pain on vocals, whcih came very close to being issued in place of others. When The Night's On Fire was also recorded with Barry Palmer and Bonnie Tyler on vocals.    
    SecretMike wanted to use Derek William Dick, aka Fish, for the vocals on Islands, Far Country, Earth Moving and Heaven's Open, but in the end, Mike thought Fish's voice would not be the right one for his songs.
SecretA song unoficially named Irish Jag was recorded by Bridget St John on vocals for the recording sessions of Amarok.    
    SecretDuring Amarok, "Fuck off RB" is played in morse code. Listen from 48:05 to 48:42, it is played on a high brass sound.
SecretThe working title for the Heaven's Open album was Man In The Rain.    
    SecretFed Up was a song recorded for the Heaven's Open album that finally was given new lyrics and a slightly altered melody to became Gimme Back.
SecretAlan Rickman, an actor, is the strolling player credited on Tubular Bells II.    
SecretThe Songs Of Distant Earth was the first album ever including a CD-ROM multimedia track.   SecretIn 1994 an asteroid planet was named after MO. When these objects are discovered they are given numbers. A common name may be submitted to the IAU by the discoverer (or by someone else), but it has to be approved by a vote from a committee recommendation. Number 5656 Oldfield was approved in this way. Presently there are over 13,000 listed asteroids.
SecretIn 1994, the BBC were looking for a new theme for Tomorrow's World. Mike offered a tune based on a theme from The Songs Of Distant Earth, which was not used.    
    SecretThe working title for the Voyager album was Celtic Cross. The album cover was photographed on Ibiza (Spain), one of the Balearic Islands.
SecretMike said that he recorded around 70 minutes of music for Tubular Bells III, before cutting it down to 46 on the finished album.    
SecretThe Millennium Bell working track list and cover were changed a few days before its definitive release. See details.   SecretThe song Man In The Rain was previously recorded in 1983 shortly after Moonlight Shadow and later during the Islands recording sessions using a german band with Barry Palmer on vocals. Both were unsatisfactory but the later was revised in 1991 to became Heaven's Open with new lyrics and melody.
SecretThe promo version of The Millennium Bell featured a theme named Excalibur, representing the time of King Arthur that was omitted and a rap vocal by Maxi Jazz in Sunlight Shining Through Cloud that was ununsed.    
    SecretSacsayhuamán, referenced in Pacha Mama lyrics, is a sanctuary and a temple to the sun built by the Inka people and located outside Cuzco within walking distance.
SecretA new version of Amber Light was supposed to be released in early 2000 as single with lyrics by Nelson Mandela but never was.    
    SecretA studio version of Berlin 2000 is avaliable on a very limited promo CD. This track may be released in the near future, possibly in a re-recorded version.
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