In terms of overnight success stories, Mike Oldfield's is astounding. After a short stint playing bass in Kevin Ayers' backing band, he was taken under the guiding wing of a 22-year-old Richard Branson and Tubular Bells was born. Thrillingly enigmatic music that sounds like nothing before or since, a critical and commercial success, and, to cap it all, the coveted Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition after an excerpt was used in the film The Exorcist.
A blessing and a curse, the magnitude of Mike's sudden success could easily have stalled him and yet he returned almost immediately with another two-movement pastoral masterwork Hergest Ridge and a year later issued the groundbreaking world music suite Ommadawn. Mike Oldfield is that rare beast, the intuitive artist, a confident and creative multi-instrumentalist, not bound by rule or convention and content to follow his own path.