“The Mike Oldfield Story” is perhaps the best documentary about this one-of-a-kind artist. The 2013 BBC documentary features contributions from Sir Richard Branson, Danny Boyle, Mike’s family, and the original engineers of the Tubular Bells album among others.
The spine of the film is an extended interview with Mike himself, where he takes us through the events that led to him writing Tubular Bells – growing up with a mother with severe mental health problems; the refuge he sought in music as a child, with talent that led to him playing in folk clubs aged 12 and signing with his sister’s folk group at only 15; his frightening experience of taking LSD at 16; and finally arriving at the Manor Recording Studios as a young session musician where he gave a demo tape to a recording engineer who passed it along to young entrepreneur Richard Branson.
Make sure to see it while it is available:
After the album’s huge success, Mike retreated to a Hereford hilltop, shunned public life, and became a recluse until he took part in a controversial therapy that changed his life.
In 2012 Mike captured the public’s imagination once again when he was asked to perform at the London Olympic Opening Ceremony, where Tubular Bells was the soundtrack to 20 minutes of the one-hour ceremony.
Filmed on location at his home recording studio in Nassau, Mike also plays the multiple instruments of Tubular Bells and shows how the ground-breaking piece of music was put together.
This was first uploaded by YouTube Channel Documentaries Unlimited in 2017.