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'.
Last seen performing at the personal request of Danny Boyle to a global audience of 900 million at the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, Man On The Rocks underlines Mike Oldfield's status as one of the most singular talents to ever emerge from the UK. The recent 2013 BBC 4 Documentary 'Tubular Bells: The Mike Oldfield Story' - the story of Mike and iconic album - further enforces that fact.
"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."
Man On The Rocks will be released on 27th January 2014, in CD, double vinyl and digital editions.
Man On The Rocks
Dreaming In The Wind
Following The Angels
I Give Myself Away