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Discography > The Killing Fields


The Killing Fields

Release Date: November 26, 1984
Location: England, Germany and Switzerland

The Killing Fields cover

1. Pran's Theme 0:47
2. Requiem For A City 2:10
3. Evacuation 5:12
4. Pran's Theme 2 1:40
5. Capture 2:23
6. Execution 4:47
7. Bad News 1:11
8. Pran's Departure 2:04
9. Worksite 1:16
10. The Year Zero 0:27
11. Blood Sucking 1:18
12. The Year Zero 2 0:37
13. Pran's Escape/The Killing Fields 3:17
14. The Trek 2:00
15. The Boy's Burial/Pran Sees The Red Cross 2:43
16. Good News 1:44
17. Etude 4:38

Mike Oldfield: Guitars, Synthesizers & Fairlight computer
Preston Heyman: Oriental Percussion (on 'Blood Sucking')
Morris Pert: Percussion (on 'Etude')

Orchestra of the Bavarian state opera & Tölzer Boys Choir
Conducted by Eberhard Schoener

All Tracks by Mike Oldfield, except:
'The Year zero' by David Bedford, 'Etude' by Francisco Tarrega arr.M.Oldfield

Choral & Orchestral Arrangements & album Soundtrack Editor: David Bedford
Soundtrack Engineer: Geoff Young
Produced & Engineered by Mike Oldfield
Recorded in England, Germany & Switzerland

Cover by C-More-Tone-Studios, photos by David Appleby


This is the soundtrack to the film of the same name (produced by David Puttnam and directed by Roland Joffe), the story of a pair of journalists, one American, one Cambodian, in Cambodia during the reign of Pol Pot's regime.

Though Mike found it interesting to work together with people who were creative in different fields from himself, he also found the exercise of writing music for the film frustrating. He worked for six months on the music, before going on tour. On returning, Mike found that the director wasn't happy with what he'd done, prompting Mike to ask for the extra budget for a choir and full orchestra. The producers agreed, so Mike worked for another three months on more music, together with arranger (and old friend) David Bedford, who also provided the piece 'The Year Zero'. A similar story tells of how Mike had just finished the music, when the director decided to re-cut the film, meaning that Mike had to go back and rework the music he had recorded. Mike didn't like the elements of compromise involved in producing the soundtrack, later saying that he was used to producing music simply to please himself rather than to please other people, like film directors (though it could be argued that there have been attempts by him to please his record companies at times).

Étude is based on the piece for solo classical guitar, 'Recuerdos de la Alhambra' (Memories of the Alhambra), by Spanish composer Francisco Tárrega. The piece wasn't originally intended for the film, but came out of a session with Morris Pert. Mike felt, after listening to it, that it had a feel of Cambodian music to it, so he included it in the film soundtrack, where it features beneath the closing credits.

There are a few pieces of music by Mike in the film which didn't make it onto the album, the most famous of which being the part behind the 'darkroom' scene.

© Richard Carter 2002


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, QE2

Eberhard Schoener (conductor)

Orchestra of the Bavarian State Opera (ensemble)

As the name suggests, the orchestra associated with the Bavarian State Opera, who are based in the National Theatre in Munich, Germany.

Tölzer Boys Choir (ensemble)

A boys choir based in Munich.

Preston Heyman (musician)

Session drummer who has played drums with Kate Bush, Roxy Music, Emma Bunton and numerous others (including atomic Rooster, a group who had previously featured drummer Carl Palmer). Preston also played percussion with Brand X, the funk jazz group with Phil Collins on drums.

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, QE2, Five Miles Out

C-More-Tone Studios (cover artwork)

David Appleby (cover artwork)


Drum machines and electronic percussion
Oberheim DMX Digital drum machine.
Also used in Crises, Discovery
Fairlight CMI Series II Mike had two of these - the second was for live work. Also used in Crises, Discovery
Oberheim OB-Xa Sold together with DSX sequencer and 'Tubular Bells' flightcase to "Malcolm" for £540 in Spring 2000 at vemia.co.uk. OB-Xa later resold on ebay, March 2007. Also used in Crises, Discovery
Fairlight CMI Series II Mike had two of these - the second was for live work. Also used in Crises, Discovery



Mike Oldfield (1984)

Video In The Dark (1986)

Interview with Mike Oldfield from Roland PowerOn magazine (1999)

Two Sides Sleeve Notes (2012)


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Mike Oldfield Tubular.net