When Mike Oldfield stepped out onstage at the Olympic Park in Stratford, London, on Friday 27th July 2012, it marked his first major live concert performance in his home country in over a decade. However, this was no ordinary show. Oldfield’s music had been personally selected by Danny Boyle to play a central part in Isles Of Wonder, his specially-created work for the Opening Ceremony of the 30th Olympic Games.
In front of an estimated global viewing audience of a billion (not to mention the 80,000 in the stadium), Oldfield opened with the immediately familiar theme from his legendary Tubular Bells before he and his band lifted off into the incredible ‘Tubular Bells Swing’ section, which, as many will recall, accompanied the staff and patients of Great Ormond Street Hospital doing some remarkable choreography. Add into that newly-composed material to signal the arrival of the flying Mary Poppins, a spirited rendition of his 1975 UK Top Five single ‘In Dulce Jubilo’ and the beautifully wistful closing coda, and you have eleven-and-a-half minutes of premium Mike Oldfield. It was a extraordinary night to kick-start an extraordinary Olympics, and this is extraordinary music.
Already one of the most talked about tracks on the Isles Of Wonder CD, this strictly limited 12” coloured single will be the only place you can hear this on vinyl.
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