For peace and quiet in the wake of Tubular Bells’ success, Mike moved to a new home near Herefordshire, where he would relax by flying model gliders. Having invested so much energy in the recording and composing of his first album, Mike didn't think he would record another album for a few more years. However, he was able to record a second album in 1974, named after the nearby Hergest Ridge. Although this album was not as well received by the critics as Tubular Bells, it reached number 1 in the album chart.

A year later, Mike regained his interest in composing and recording, spending around 9 months on a new piece which would be called Ommadawn. Bringing together many different styles of music including Irish and African folk, Ommadawn was unusual for its time: “I had this thing about magic spells and ethnic music, which would now be called world music”.

In 1976, having established his musical career, Mike retreated from public view to sort out the emotional problems that had dogged him since he was a teenager. To make up for his absence, Virgin released Boxed, a four-album set containing remixes of his three albums so far, alongside Collaborations, which gathered singles, excerpts and outtakes representing Mike’s work with other artists, including Leslie Penning and David Bedford, his former bandmate.

One of these collaborations, First Excursion, opens with a guitar motif that gave Mike the idea for his next album Incantations, released in 1978. This double album was the first public appearance of a more optimistic and outgoing Mike Oldfield, ready to face the world again after coming out of therapy.

The predominance of punk (which Mike was then unaware of) in the current charts denied Incantations the success it deserved. However, Mike was able to compose pop music in a popular comtemporay style, as his next single, Guilty, demonstrated. This was a disco tune based around the same chord as Incantations, showing how well Mike’s music can work when translated into a popular format.

Demonstrating the positive change in Mike’s attitude, he mounted his first tour in 1979, overcoming his prior reluctance to perform live. The tour took in most of the major European countries, and included performances of Incantations and Tubular Bells. Ommadawn was considered in the early stages, but dropped for timing reasons.








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