Monday, May 28, 2007

Mondays With Mike: Family Ties.

Like many artists Mike Oldfield has included his family and romantic partners in his work. In fact his first commercial recording was with his sister Sally as the duo The Sallyangie, who released Children of the Sun in 1969 to little interest. She has subsequently appeared on a number of Mike's albums, including Tubular Bells and Ommadawn. Their brother Terry also appeared on Ommadawn, and both Oldfield siblings have had long running music careers of their own.

Today's video is for "Innocent," from Oldfield's 1989 album Earth Moving. The vocalist is Norweigian singer Anita Hegerland, Oldfield's girlfriend at the time, with whom Oldfield would have two children. Earth Moving was the first Oldfield album not to feature an extended instrumental piece, consisting entirely of pop songs, and was an attempt to placate Virgin head Richard Branson's continual pressure for Oldfield to concentrate on songs. Disagreements over this and Branson's desire that any long future long composition be released as Tubular Bells II would lead Oldfield to sign with Warner Brothers in 1992 instead of resigning with Virgin when his contract ended.

Even without giving a release date for the album hardcore synth spotters might have reasonably guessed the release date given the prominent shots in the video of Oldfield playing a Korg M1. First released in 1988 the M1 has to date been the best selling synthesizer of all time, with some 200,000 being made before production ended in 1994. Not surprisingly the M1 has turned up on a tremendous number of releases, and still continues to be used by many musicians despite the release of more sophisticated "ROMplers."

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