Beginning with his first solo album, 1973’s Tubular Bells, Mike Oldfield established himself as one of the most forward-thinking musical minds of the 70s. Its iconic use on horror classic The Exorcist aside, the album was a pioneering mix of proto-electronica and traditional instrumentation – including treated tapes and the bells that gave the album its name.
Throughout the remainder of the decade, Oldfield pushed this sound in myriad directions, covering prog and symphonic rock, extending into New Age music, and even incorporating strains of folk and world music. Though each successive album alighted on a new development for Oldfield, a number of key excursions were recorded in cahoots with other like-minded sonic explorers – including two Top 5 UK singles, 1975’s ‘In Dulci Jubilo’ and ’76’s ‘Portsmouth’.
Until now, these collaborative works, recorded with the likes of classical composer David Bedford and folk drummer William Murray, were only available either in their original formats, or on the album Collaborations, included as part of the 1976 box set Boxed. On 2 December, however, Oldfield will make the collection available for the first time ever as a standalone vinyl release in its own right, with artwork from respected British designer Phil Smee.
Also reissued on vinyl that day is Exposed, the 1979 live double-album which was recorded during European tour dates in March and April that year. Capturing Oldfield performing his then latest album Incantations on Disc One, followed by a performance of Tubular Bells on Disc Two, the album closed the curtain on Oldfield’s first decade as a solo performer, while laying the groundwork for what would come in the 80s – not the least of which was Oldfield’s celebrated soundtrack for The Killing Fields (which once again saw him team up with David Bedford) and further singles successes in the shape of ‘Moonlight Shadow’.