Part two of today’s pre-Christmas Day dinner vinyl ceremony is the other guilty treasure I picked up yesterday, the ‘Five Miles Out‘ album by Mike Oldfield.
Truthfully, I knew nothing about this album previously but when I saw the airplane on the cover I was like “yeah, you’re coming home with me for the holidays”.
Released in 1982, ‘Five Miles Out‘ was released at a time when Oldfield’s music was moving away from large-scale symphonic pieces towards a more accessible pop style. It is one of the very few albums on which Oldfield sings lead vocals, as he is noted for not having any confidence in his voice’s qualities.
However, here Oldfield once again moves back into familiar territory, back into the extended composition game with this album, continuing the ‘Taurus‘ series with the mammoth ‘Taurus II‘, an entertaining enough romp with references to Irish music, brass bands and Oldfield’s beloved Morris. The true standout, though, was the title track, a paean to flying in bad weather that could easily double for Oldfield’s feelings about the sort of monumental critical drubbing he was accustomed to receiving. Most interesting about the album is that ‘Family Man‘ would go on to bec0me a huge worldwide hit for – get this – Hall & Oates.
It’s no ‘Tubular Bells‘ – which, now that I think about it, I totally have to get for HRH – but it’s still an interesting listen. Not AMAZING….but interesting as there’s lots of swirly, trippy instrumentals featuring orchestral manoeuvres, swooshing cymbals and exotica like the zither, bodhran, oboe, Uileann pipes, Hammond Prophet and so on.
Okay, I’m being generous. It has an airplane on it. Other than that, it’s pretty damn shitty.
You win some; you lose some.