In 1983, the tenth anniversary year of Tubular Bells, Mike released Crises (beginning with a rearrangement of the opening notes of Tubular Bells), and gave a premiere concert at London’s Wembley Arena. The album included Moonlight Shadow , which would become his most successful and well-known composition other than Tubular Bells. Again, several vocalists were employed on this album, including Maggie Reilly, and Jon Anderson of Yes.

For tax reasons, Mike spent most of the following year in Geneva, where he recorded his next album Discovery, and the score for Roland Joffe’s film 'The Killing Fields'. Mike invested a lot of time and energy in matching the music to the film, and so was unhappy about the changes made to his work in the finished film. He said later that he will never compose a film soundtrack ever again, because the amount of work that goes into a film soundtrack is disproportionate to the amount of time that an audience will experience it.

Despite Mike’s dissatisfaction with this, he did not lose his interest in the combination of music with moving pictures. With some help from video engineer Pete Claridge, he began work on a “video album”, the first fruits of which were displayed at the end of 1985 with the release of Pictures In The Dark. This was intended to be issued as a Video CD, but as the format failed to catch on in the market, it was simply issued as a traditional single.

Mike kept a low profile for the next few years, so that he could work on the video album. The most that was heard from him in the meantime was the single Shine, which was written over several long-distance phone calls with Jon Anderson (the title was originally She Was She Was, but was altered to avoid confusion with the current Talking Heads single And She Was).

By 1987, the video album was seriously delayed, so the audio portion was released (the video finally appeared the following year). Called Islands, the album featured several guest vocalists, including Bonnie Tyler, Jim Price, and Anita Hegerland, who would be Mike’s girlfriend for the next few years. Flying Start, sung by Kevin Ayers (marking his return to recording after a long break), was a biographical song about Mike’s old friend. Kevin was so impressed by the song he recorded his own version for his next album, Falling Up.








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