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Discography > Man on the Rocks


Man on the Rocks

Release Date: March 3, 2014
Location: The Bahamas, Studio D at The Village, LA, Battery Studios, London and The Steakhouse, LA.

Man on the Rocks cover

1. Sailing
2. Moonshine
3. Man On The Rocks
4. Castaway
5. Minutes
6. Dreaming In The Wind
7. Nuclear
8. Chariots
9. Following The Angels
10. Irene
11. I Give Myself Away

Produced by Mike Oldfield and Stephen Lipson.

Mike Oldfield Plays...
Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals.

All songs by Mike Oldfield except I Give Myself Away, written by William McDowell.


For a few years leading up to the recording of Man on the Rocks, Mike had been talking in interviews of wanting to do a rock album with all live instruments. Initially, it appeared he was wanting to play all the instruments apart from drums, and he also mentioned the possibility of working with a cast of well known guest vocalists.

The project appeared to gain a new momentum with the nomination of Stephen Lipson as co-producer. He presided over sessions in LA, while Mike provided his input from the Bahamas, via Skype.

One of Mike's original ideas for the album had been to have a number of different guest vocalists sing the lead vocals, but eventually he and Stephen Lipson settled on Luke Spiller of The Struts (a suggestion of the record company) as the sole lead vocalist.

The seeds of what was to become Man on the Rocks seem to have been sowed in early 2010, when Mike's then-wife Fanny revealed that he wanted to record a 'Telecaster' album. While he later abandoned this idea, it seemed like the concept of an album that was more guitar driven stayed in his mind, morphing into the idea of a rock album. He set about recording a set of rock song demos in his home studio, with the help of drummer John Robinson (recorded by Steve MacMillan at Steakhouse Studio in Los Angeles, with Mike producing via Skype).

Mike's initial demos, with himself singing, were released as part of a three CD collectors' edition set, while two of John Robinson's initial drum tracks - for Irene and Dreaming in the Wind - and a number of Mike's initial parts, were used on the final album.


Steve MacMillan (engineer)

Engineer at the Steak House Studio, LA, for the drums on Irene and Dreaming in the Wind

Also appears in: Tubular Bells II, The Songs of Distant Earth

Chris Owen (engineer)

Second engineer at The Village.

Howard Willing (engineer)

Engineer at The Village.

Paul Dooley (musician)

Played violin on Moonshine.

Stephen Lipson (producer, musician)

As well as producing and engineering on the album, Stephen played some acoustic and electric guitars.

John Robinson (musician)

Session drummer who's played with an absolutely huge number of well known artists. Amongst those are Michael Jackson, George Benson, Elton John, Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood.

Also appears in: Tubular Bells II

Matt Rollings (musician)

Played piano and Hammond B3.

Leland Sklar (musician)

Played bass.

Davy Spillane (musician)

Player of Uillean Pipes and Low Whistles, born in Dublin, Ireland, founded the band Moving Hearts before going on to become a solo artist. Davy has played on numerous soundtracks and also featured on Riverdance, as well as having collaborated with many other artists, such as Van Morrison, Kate Bush, Steve Winwood and Enya. Davy Spillane also makes his own pipes and whistles.

Played whistles on Moonshine.

Also appears in: Voyager

Luke Spiller (musician)

Lead singer of The Struts.

Michael Thompson (musician)

Played acoustic and electric guitars.

Phil Smee (cover artwork)


Electric guitars
Fender Mark Knopfler signature Stratocaster Used in the Bahamas era. Also used in Tubular Beats, Return To Ommadawn
2013 (?) Fender Classic Player Telecaster Deluxe with Tremolo – 2-Colour Sunburst Used by Mike in the Bahamas era.
Also used in Tubular Beats, Return To Ommadawn
2010 Squier Vintage Modified SH Telecaster – Metallic Red Metallic Red Telecaster with maple fretboard. It has Duncan Designed pickups - a humbucker in the neck position and a stacked humbucker in the bridge position. It also features a reversed control plate.
Bass guitars
2007 Fender Roscoe Beck Bass® IV – 3-Colour Sunburst Used in the Bahamas era
Photo Photo Photo
Also used in Return To Ommadawn
Bang & Olufsen BeoLab 4 computer speakers Small pyramid-shaped active speakers, which Mike keeps on top of his Yamaha HS50M monitoring speakers. The BeoLabs are presumably for checking what his mixes are like on consumer-grade equipment. Also used in Return To Ommadawn
Quested V3110 Active monitor speaker. Used in Mike's poolside studio in the Bahamas. Also used in Tubular Beats
Quested X15 15" active subwoofer. Used together with the V3110s in Mike's Bahamas studio. Also used in Tubular Beats
Yamaha HS50M 5" active studio monitors. Used in the smaller recording setup in Mike's Bahamas home. Also used in Return To Ommadawn
Yamaha HS80M 8" active studio monitors. Also used in Music of the Spheres, Tubular Beats, Return To Ommadawn
Studio effects and outboard
Neve 8801 channel strip Mike owns eight of these mic preamp/EQ/dynamics units with built in AD/DA conversion, which he uses as a front end to his digital recording setup in the Bahamas.
Mixing desks
Avid Artist Mix Control surface for digital audio workstations, used in both of Mike's Bahamas studios. Also used in Tubular Beats



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Album review: Mike Oldfield - Man On The Rocks (2014)

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  • Sailing
  • Moonshine
  • Man On The Rocks
  • Castaway
  • Minutes
  • Dreaming In The Wind
  • Nuclear
  • Chariots
  • Following The Angels
  • Irene
  • I Give Myself Away


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