If 1985 was to prove a quiet year, then 1986 was to prove no more busy. Having bought a video studio to explore visual expression, Mike spent more time learning, with the help of producer Pete Claridge how to utilise the system to it’s full potential.
Meanwhile, in May he collaborated with Yes singer Jon Anderson when they recorded and released Shine (VS863). Again, as with Pictures in the Dark, a video was produced on his new system, using all the latest tricks and gadgets. But, as with the previous single, it failed to make any impression on the UK charts. The 12″ (VS863-12) included an extended version of the title track with an excellent guitar break, whilst the B side track The Path, remained the same as the 7″. There was also a strange shaped picture disc (VSS863) released which has become one of the most interesting, if not most collectable recordings released. The most interesting thing about the B side of all versions is that The Path was based on a piece of music first heard in 1976 on the Arts Council film Reflections. Hence this track had a very dated feel to it, if very reminiscent of his early work. It’s good to know that Mike keeps an idea in his head for such a long period of time, eventually releasing it when he, and not the charts or a record company, feel it’s correct.
Mike was to appear at three concerts this year. On the 2nd and 6th February he appeared at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, as a guest to the rock group Marillion. Bootleg LP copies of this concert have appeared which both include tracks featuring Mike. The first recorded on the 2nd was titled Marillion and Friends, Double O Charity (Gema NJ1903/SE) whilst the second gig was titled Marillion, Fish out of Water (Normlake Records). The third live appearance was to be at the Royal Albert Hall for a charity concert in aid of the Columbian Volcano Appeal, where Mike played an excellent acoustic version of Moonlight Shadow with Maggie Reilly and Simon Phillips. Luckily this unique event was captured on film and released in 1988 as part of the wholecharity event.
Virgin also continued to reissue the back catalogue of Oldfield’s previous works with Exposed (CDVD2511), QE2 (CDV2181), Platinum (CDV2141), Ommadawn (CDV2043) and Hergest Ridge (CDV2013) all appearing on compact disc.
“I think musicians have begun to realise just how much they can contribute by rasing money and how much audience care about world events and if they can come and support a charity then there very happy to do so” Mike’s comments before the Colombian Volcano Concert, February 1986