Hergest Ridge (album)


  • Mike Oldfield - acoustic guitar, electric bass, electric guitar, Farfisa, Gemini and Lowery organs; Chimes, gong, mandolin, Nutcracker, Sleigh Bells, Timpani and Tubular Bells
  • Chilli Charles - marching drum
  • William Murray - basin
  • Lindsay Cooper - oboe
  • June Whiting - Oboe
  • Ted Hobart - Trumpet
  • Sally Oldfield - vocals
  • Clodagh Simmonds - Vocals
  • Terry Oldfield - Woodwind Instruments
  • Unknown Choir and String Orchestra, conducted by David Bedford


  • Spring 1974
  • The Manor, UK

Hergest Ridge is a largely instrumental music album, composed by Mike Oldfield in the spring of 1974, was produced and largely played itself. It went straight to number one on the British charts and was replaced after three weeks of its predecessor, which besides him only the Beatles and Bob Dylan succeeded.


After Oldfield with the groundbreaking success of Tubular Bells was more to his discomfort in the spotlight, the twenty -year-old moved back to the countryside to work on his next work. The result was Hergest Ridge, named after a hill on the border between Herefordshire and Wales within sight of his property.

In order to meet the double-sided medium LP, Hergest Ridge is divided as before already Tubular Bells in two sets. Unlike its predecessor, however, the composition is not based on a variety of topics that are presented in rapid succession, but topics are used sparingly and performed extensively, that is varied.

Characteristic of the sound of the album is over other Oldfield works a particularly idyllic wäldlich - orientation, which is favored by the careful topics variation as well as the predominantly acoustic instrumentation. A point of contrast to the idyll represents the hectic Thunderstorm Part in the second sentence, which are at the same time to hear supposedly over 60 guitar tracks.

When recording Oldfield turned in particular for the realization of repetitive sound textures for innovative recording techniques. So some of these textures are made up of guitar tracks - to get an organ like sustain effect - were played at high volume, and then superimposed with the help of overdubbing technique at reduced volume. More sound textures based on different organ sounds and choral singing.

According to co - producer Tom Newman parts of the album were recorded in the Manor studio in Chipping Norton, which already Tubular Bells was recorded. The original version was mixed at Air Studios in London.

Alternate Versions

1976 Hergest Ridge by Oldfield for the four-part LP Boxed Set made ​​quadraphonic -enabled and re-mixed in the course of which. Some audio tracks with instruments were removed, but others were in the overall level of appreciation. Following his work, he expressed the wish that this version should be used from now on all other publications of the album. This has the consequence that, in addition later on LP and cassette Neupressungen well as all releases on Compact Disc (CD) containing the boxed version. A remastered bootleg version of the original mix is in the internet revolution.

After David Bedford, a confidant Oldfields had already been drawn up from the Canterbury scene an orchestral version to Tubular Bells, he arranged and conducted the Orchestralversion to Hergest Ridge, although they appear more than once, but never officially released, as opposed to The Orchestral Tubular Bells was. However, excerpts from it were used in the documentary The Space Movie.

On June 11, 2010, the original version of 1974 saw a re-release on CD and on LP. At the same time the 2010 remastered version was released in the Deluxe Edition in stereo and Dolby Surround. Also at that time on the following album " Ommadawn " was re-released on this date. While the new version of Ommadawn carries the old cover, Hergest Ridge got a new one, which shows the entire mountain from a bird's perspective.


The land around the hill Hergest Ridge became a popular destination for Oldfields fan base. The house in which he lived at times, The Beacon, is now a guest house. The cover picture shows a Trevor Key -built and effektverfremdetes photo of Hergest Ridge. The depicted on it Irish Wolfhound named bootleg.

Title list