The cover was once again done by Trevor Key. The beach in the cover photograph is Cala Pregonda, in Menorca. The current CD sleeve has a different typeface than the original LP artwork (which is shown at the top of the page). Early copies of the album came with a poster featuring a subtly different photograph from the one used on the cover. The cover photograph used may have been altered by Key. There have been some theories about why this may have been done, although the claim that Oldfield was not actually on the beach is easily contradicted by other photographs from the shoot. It is assumed that Key simply cut and pasted the image of Oldfield onto a slightly different background for artistic reasons. The 2011 reissue of the album was given new artwork which does not feature an image of Oldfield, but simply a new photograph of the same rock formation.
Michael Gordon Oldfield (born 15 May 1953) is a British musician, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter best known for his debut studio album Tubular Bells (1973), which became an unexpected critical and commercial success and propelled him to worldwide fame. Though primarily a guitarist, Oldfield is known for playing a range of instruments, which includes keyboards and percussion, and doing vocals. He has adopted a range of musical styles throughout his career, including progressive rock, world, folk, classical, electronic, ambient, and new age music.
Oldfield took up the guitar at age ten and left school in his teens to embark on a music career. From 1967 to 1970, he and his sister Sally Oldfield were a folk duo The Sallyangie, after which he performed with Kevin Ayers. In 1971, Oldfield started work on Tubular Bells which caught the attention of Richard Branson, who agreed to release it on his new label, Virgin Records. Its opening was used in the horror film The Exorcist and the album went on to sell over 2.7 million copies in the UK. Oldfield followed it with Hergest Ridge (1974), Ommadawn (1975), and Incantations (1978), all of which feature longform and mostly instrumental pieces.
In the late 1970s, Oldfield began to tour and release more commercial and song-based music, beginning with Platinum (1979), QE2 (1980), and Five Miles Out (1982). His most successful album of this period was Crises (1983), which features the worldwide hit single "Moonlight Shadow" with vocalist Maggie Reilly. After signing with WEA in the early 1990s, Oldfield's most significant album of the decade was Tubular Bells II (1992) and experimented with virtual reality and gaming content with his MusicVR project. In 2012, he performed at the opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympic Games held in London. Oldfield's discography includes 26 studio albums, nine of which have reached the UK top-ten. His most recent album is Return to Ommadawn (2017).
Oldfield was born on 15 May 1953 in Reading, Berkshire, to Raymond Oldfield, a general practitioner, and Maureen (née Liston), an Irish woman. He has two elder siblings, sister Sally and brother Terence. When Oldfield was seven, his mother gave birth to a younger brother, David, who had Down syndrome and died in infancy. His mother was prescribed barbiturates, to which she became addicted. She suffered from mental health problems and would spend much of the rest of her life in mental institutions, dying in early 1975, shortly after Oldfield had started writing Ommadawn.
Please help us keep Wikipedia growing