Its working title, 'Rock' emphasises the album's directness, heard especially on the guitar-driven 'Irene', inspired by the category 3 hurricane that hit the Bahamas in 2011. However, it is - as you would expect from the man who gave the world Tubular Bells and so much more besides - an album of great variance and contrast; from the commercial punch of opening track, ‘Sailing', to the beautiful folk-influenced ‘Dreaming In The Wind' to the emotional gravitas of its closer, a cover of William McDowell's gospel song, ‘I Give Myself Away'.
'Man On The Rocks' features players such as legendary bassist Leland Sklar (Phil Collins, Crosby, Stills & Nash, James Taylor) and drummer John Robinson (Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton, Daft Punk). Although Oldfield has worked with some of the world's most famous vocalists in the past, here he has found an incredible young talent to interpret his words, Luke Spiller from The Struts.
'It has been a pleasure making Man On The Rocks with such a dedicated team of performers,' says Oldfield. 'For a long period, I felt that I wasn't going to record any new music again. But, after the elation of the Olympics and the explorations of my catalogue, I felt the time was right to return with this, one of my favourite albums to date.'