Mike Oldfield TUBULAR.NET

Discography > QE2



Release Date: October 31, 1980
Location: Denham

QE2 cover

1. Taurus 1 10:17
2. Sheba 3:32
3. Conflict 2:48
4. Arrival 2:45
5. Wonderful Land 3:37
6. Mirage 4:39
7. QE2 7:39
8. Celt 3:04
9. Molly 1:13

Produced and Engineered by Mike Oldfield and David Hentschel of Dukeslodge Entreprises Ltd

Assistant Engineers Simon Johnston and Peter Greenslade

Technical advice Richard Barrie

Taurus 1
Mike Oldfield: Mandolin, Bass Guitar, Synthesizers, Banjo, Celtic Harp, Drum Machine, Timpani, Electric Guitars, Bass Pedals, Piano, Claptrap, Vocoder
Phil Collins: Drums
Mike Frye: African Drums
Maggie Reilly: Vocals
David Hentschel: Synthesizer

Mike Oldfield: Vocoder, Syndrums, Chair, African Drums, Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar, Synthesizers, Synthesizers
Phil Collins: Drums
Maggie Reilly: Vocals
Words by Mike Oldfield

Mike Oldfield: Electric and Bass Guitar
Tim Cross: Piano, Synthesizers
Mike Freye: African Drums and Timpani
Morris Pert: Drums

Mike Oldfield: Electric Guitars, African Drums, Celtic Harp, Bass Guitar, Mandolin, Spanish Guitar, Synthesizers, Vocoder, Aboriginal Rythmn Sticks, Vocals
David Hentschel: Synthesizers, Drums, Vocals
Maggie Reilly: Vocals
Strings and Choir arranged by David Bedford
Leader of Strings: Dick Studt
Choir English Chorale

Wonderful Land
Mike Oldfield: Electric Guitars, Bass Guitar, Synthesizers, African Drums, Marimbas, Mandolin, Vibraphone, Spanish Guitar
David Hentschel: CS80 Steel Drums, Synthesized French Horn
Strings arranged by David Bedford
Leader of Strings: Dick Studt

Mike Oldfield: Vibraphone, Synthesizers, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Timpani, Vocoder
Mike Frye: Vocoder/Drums
Horn Section: Raul D'Oliveira - Trumpet
Guy Barker: Trumpet
Paul Nieman: Trombone
Philip Todd: Tenor Sax
Horns arranged by David Hentschel

Mike Oldfield: Synthesizers, 2 x Speed Guitar, Electric Guitars, Bass Guitar, Bass Pedals, Bass Drum, Timpani, Tambourine, Mandolin, Gong, Northumbrian Bagpipes
David Hentschel: Drums and Synthesizers
Mike Frye: Drums, Timpani, Tambourine
Horn Section: Raul D'Oliveira - Trumpet
Guy Barker: Trumpet
Paul Nieman: Trombone
Philip Todd: Tenor Sax
Horns arranged by David Hentschel

Mike Oldfield: Synthesizers, Electric Guitars, Bass Guitar
Mike Frye: African Drums, Timpani, Hi-Hat
Tim Cross: Piano, Synthesizers
Maggie Reilly: Vocals
Words by Tim Cross

Mike Oldfield: Vocoder, Electric Guitars, Bass Guitar


After moving into his new house in Denham, Buckinghamshire, Mike commissioned the studio designer Eddie Veale to build him a studio in two upstairs rooms of the house, with work taking place during the Platinum tour. The studio was still being built on Mike's return, so QE2 was recorded in the living room, using the mixing desks from his touring setup.

Mike also drafted in his live front of house engineer Simon Johnston as an assistant engineer and his touring technical engineer Richard Barrie to assist with getting the studio up and running. Richard had met Mike on the Exposed tour, when the company he worked for at the time, High Life Productions, was asked to supply a PA system mid-way through the tour to replace the experimental system involving Chord electrostatic speakers which Mike had requested, but which had proven inadequate. The High Life system had previously belonged to the Scottish soul band Cado Belle, and Simon Johnston had been their engineer. Mike's touring crew quickly became manned by a number of ex-Cado Belle personnel, jokingly referred to by Richard Barrie as the 'Scottish Mafia'!

It was then perhaps almost inevitable that Cado Belle's singer Maggie Reilly would cross paths with Mike, which she did on the Platinum tour, initially just dropping in to see old friends but eventually joining the tour as a backing vocalist. Mike was clearly taken by her singing, as she then joined him on QE2, the first of five albums which she'd appear on.

Conflict contains a small piece of Bach - part of his Suite no 2 in B minor, a section known as Badinerie.

Nobody seems to know who did the cover. It shows a stylised view of the bow of a cruise ship, like the QE2. The LP took the idea further, and had a 'porthole' cut into the front of it. The inner sleeve had various 'blueprint' type drawings on it, and the centre label had a life-ring design on it.

[Portions based on an interview by Richard Carter with Richard Barrie, February 12th 2014]


David Bedford (arranger)

Classically trained composer, and fellow member of Kevin Ayers's band 'The Whole World', with whom Mike played bass and guitar (David played mostly keyboards). By the end of 1974, David had arranged both Tubular Bells and Hergest Ridge for orchestra. Both pieces were premiered at the Royal Albert Hall in London, with Steve Hillage, from the group Gong, on guitar. Mike was scheduled to play, but was unable to due to 'illness' (the illness was more mental than physical - Mike couldn't cope with appearing in public). The Orchestral TB was later released as an album, with Mike Oldfield on guitar. A recording of a performance of the Orchestral HR in Scotland (also with Steve Hillage - most performances were him, although Andy Summers of the Police did a few in the North of England), made by the BBC, was bought by Virgin, although it was never released.

Bedford also taught at Queen's College, members whose choir were to appear later on Incantations and Exposed. He recorded many albums of his own, often experimental music, some of which Mike played on.

Also appears in: Hergest Ridge, The Orchestral Tubular Bells, Incantations, Exposed, The Killing Fields

Simon Johnston (assistant engineer)

The front of house engineer for many of Mike's live concerts during the 1980s, who had also been the engineer for Maggie Reilly's band Cado Belle.

Simon came to work on QE2 because they used Mike's touring desks to record the album, as the studio at Denham was not yet finished.

Richard Barrie (technical engineer)

Also appears in: Five Miles Out, Islands, Earth Moving, Amarok, Heaven's Open, Tubular Bells II, The Songs of Distant Earth, Voyager

English Chorale (ensemble)

Guy Barker (musician)

Another jazz trumpeter, leads his own quintet as well as doing numerous sessions. Guy has appeared on albums by artists including Peter Gabriel, Tom Jones, Erasure, Van Morrison and Paul McCartney.

Phil Collins (musician)

Drummer singer from Genesis, who also forged a highly successful solo career.

Tim Cross (musician)

Freelance musician and composer who, after studying composition and harpsichord at Dartington College of Arts, began his career writing advertising music. He met Mike through Tom Newman. Tim also collaborated with the Adverts and TV Smith, another connection he made through Tom. He died as a result of lung cancer in 2012.

Also appears in: Exposed, Five Miles Out

Raul D'Oliveira (musician)

Jazz trumpeter (also plays flugelhorn and percussion) who has played with artists such as Elton John, Joan Armatrading and Gary Moore.

Mike Frye (musician)

Classically trained musician, who was principle percussionist for the London Symphony Orchestra. He now runs a company providing bespoke, chauffeur-driven tours of the UK.

Also appears in: Exposed, Five Miles Out

David Hentschel (producer, musician)

Has worked with all sorts of people as engineer, producer, composer and arranger. Some names he's worked with include Elton John, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder and Genesis. He's also written the scores for many films, including Educating Rita and The Squeeze.

Paul Nieman (musician)

Trombonist, has played with artists including Diana Ross, George Harrison, The Stranglers, The Soft Machine and Neil Innes. Paul has also played on many recordings of early music, as a member of various consorts. Now plays in a Brazillian music band, Nóis, and designs websites, as well as continuing playing early music.

Morris Pert (musician)

Although maybe best known as a percussionist (America's Billboard magazine voted him as the no 4 Jazz and Rock percussionist in 1977), Morris Pert is also a composer, having written 3 symphonies. He later set up his own studio in his native Scotland, where he concentrated on composition and electronic music recording. As a percussionist, Morris has worked with names like Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney and Phil Collins. He died in 2010.

Also appears in: Platinum, Five Miles Out, The Killing Fields

Maggie Reilly (musician)

Scottish singer, who rose to fame with Glasgow pop group "Joe Cool" in the early 1970s. The band then merged with another, "Up" and became funk-rock band "Cado Belle". She met Mike in 1980 via Cado Belle keyboard player Stuart MacKillop, who had been working for Abba after leaving Cado Belle. She joined Mike on his 1980 tour, then went on to record songs with him on five albums (including Crises). In the years afterwards, Maggie went on to record with rock musicians such as Jack Bruce, George Harrison, Dave Gilmour and Nick Mason.

Also appears in: Five Miles Out, Crises, Discovery, Earth Moving

Dick Studt (musician)

After beginning playing the violin at the age of 4, Richard joined the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain in his early teens. From there, he went on to become concert master of the London Symphony Orchestra during the late 1970s. Has appeared as soloist and as conductor in numerous concerts , recordings and TV programmes. Also played on 'The Innes book of records' album (1979) by Neil Innes of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, and the theme tune to the ITV (UK TV channel) series 'Jeeves and Wooster'.

Phil Todd (musician)

Saxophonist and flautist, has played with Björk, Brian Eno, Tom Jones (on the same album as Guy Barker...), The Pet Shop Boys, Joni Mitchell and many more. Philip also played alongside Peter Lemer (keyboardist on Platinum) in the Funk-Jazz group Paul Carmichael's Flight.


Drum machines and electronic percussion
Linn LM-1 Electronic drum machine, using samples of acoustic drums [?] Can be seen in the 1981 Montreux concert video, but was released in 1980, so likely bought after the album was recorded.

Also used in Five Miles Out
Pollard Syndrum Possibly a syndrum quad. Mentioned in the album credits.
Roland CompuRhythm CR-78 Analogue drum machine
Simmons Claptrap Handclap synthesiser. Mentioned in the album credits.
Electric guitars
1962 Gibson Les Paul/SG Junior s/n 77138. This is one of the early models of SG which still had the Les Paul logo on the headstock. Mike bought this to replace the SG that was stolen from The Beacon. It became one of his most used guitars, being used extensively on albums and concerts throughout the 70s and 80s. He sold it through Chandler Guitars in February 2006. It was bought by a Swiss fan.
Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo
Mike seems to have been using this guitar a lot at the time, and certainly its sound seems recognisable on the album. His other SG seems to have been bought later on, pointing to it being this guitar on the album.

Also used in Ommadawn, Crises
Bass guitars
1960 Fender Precision Bass, blonde s/n 48986. Mike bought this shortly after recording Tubular Bells. He played it on the BBC Second House performance in 1974. The frets were later removed from it. Sold via Chandler Guitars in February 2006.
Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo
Mike used this bass on the tour for the album, and it seems to have been a favourite of his, so is likely the source of all the Precision Bass parts on the album.

Also used in Hergest Ridge, Ommadawn, Incantations, Five Miles Out
Guitar effects
MXR Pitch Transposer Blue rack unit that can often be spotted in Mike's early 80s guitar racks - e.g. on top of the rack in the Essential Mike Oldfield interview footage. Can be used for anything from subtle chorus-like detuning to extreme pitch shifts. Presumably, as it was shown in his studio in the 1980 Essential Mike Oldfield interview, he was using it on the album.

Also used in Five Miles Out
Solina string ensemble String synthesiser produced by the Dutch organ company Eminent and later rebadged by ARP. It owed much of its sound to its ensemble effect, created by running the sound through three LFO-modulated delay lines. Also used in Ommadawn, Incantations, Platinum, Five Miles Out, Crises, Return To Ommadawn
Barth Musicoder Analogue vocoder built in the early 1980s by the R. Barth company in Hamburg, Germany. In the 1981 Montreux concert video, Mike can be seen playing the vocoder parts on his Polymoog, with the MusiCoder in the rack case next to it. The closeness of the sound to that on the album suggests this is likely the same combination he used in the studio.

Also used in Five Miles Out
Moog Taurus Bass pedals
Moog Polymoog Polyphonic analogue synthesiser. Also used in Platinum
Sequential Circuits Prophet V Photo
Also used in Platinum, Five Miles Out, Crises, Discovery
Yamaha CS-80 Polyphonic analogue synthesiser, used on QE2 but probably owned by David Hentschel.
Neumann KM86 Used for recording acoustic guitars and many other instruments, from the Incantations era onwards. [?] The All Right Now clip suggests that Mike used these for for miking hi hats in this era. He probably continued to use them for acoustic guitars and other instruments as well.

Also used in Incantations
Shure SM57 Dynamic cardioid microphone. [?] The All Right Now video clip suggests that Mike used these for snare drums around this time.

Also used in Tubular Bells 2003
Eastlake studio monitors After the problems with the Quad electrostatic speakers on the Exposed tour, Mike had a PA system built from Eastlake studio monitors. He would then use a pair, driven by one of the touring amp racks, in his temporary studios, as they were very similar to the Westlake monitors he was used to. Also used in Discovery
Mixing desks
Midas live sound desk 32 channel desk, probably a Pro5 (according to Richard Barrie). It was used as the front of house desk for Mike's live shows, but was also pressed into service for creating monitor mixes in some of Mike's temporary studio setups. Also used in Discovery
Rebis Mixer According to Mike in Changeling, this was the first mixer built by Rebis, custom ordered by him for his Througham studio. It was designed as a quadraphonic desk, with quad panpots. After Mike had stopped using it in the studio, he had it put into flight cases and used it on his tours, as well as in many of his temporary studios. Used because the main studio at Denham was still unfinished, so this was brought back out of his touring setup.

Also used in Incantations, Discovery
EMS Universal Sequencer Related to the sequencer from EMS's Synthi KS (available both on its own and as part of the Synthi AKS suitcase synthesiser/sequencer, as used by Pink Floyd and Jean Michel Jarre, amongst others). The Universal Sequencer had control voltage and gate outputs for controlling analogue synthesisers. Mike primarily used it together with his ARP 2600. According to EMS, very few of them were made. [?]

Also used in Incantations, Platinum, Five Miles Out


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Mike Oldfield Tubular.net
Mike Oldfield Tubular.net