• Mike Oldfield - acoustic guitar, electric bass, electric guitar, Farfisa, Gemini and Lowery organs; Banjo; mandolin; bouzouki; harp; bodhrán; Chimes, gong, mandolin, percussion, piano; ARP Synthesizer, Timpani and Tubular Bells and singing
  • Paddy Moloney - uilleann pipes, Northumbrian Bagpipes
  • Terry Oldfield - Pan Flute
  • Leslie Penning - Recorder
  • Don Blakeson - Trumpet
  • The Hereford City Band - horn section
  • Pierre Moerlen - Timpani
  • William Murray - percussion
  • Sally Oldfield - Chorstimme
  • Clodagh Simmonds - Chorstimme
  • Bridget St John - Chorstimme
  • David Strange - cello
  • Julian Bahula, Lucky Ranku, Ernest Mothle and Eddie Tatane ( ' Jabula ') - percussion, African drums
  • Abigail, Briony, Ivan and Jason Griffiths ( 'The Penrhos Kids ') - vocals on ' On Horseback '


  • January to September 1975
  • The Beacon, UK

Ommadawn is like its predecessors ' Tubular Bells ' and ' Hergest Ridge ', a largely instrumental music album, composed by Mike Oldfield in the summer and fall of 1975, produced and was largely played itself. It reached number four on the British charts in 1975 shortly after its release in late October.


After Oldfield had clearly demonstrated by the pioneering success of ' Tubular Bells ' and the follow-up work ' Hergest Ridge ', that is also instrumental rock music will sell well in the 1970s, he took the end of 1975 the rest of his ideas of that time together and now retired to his own Manor studio back in Chipping Norton to record a third album. As title he chose ' Ommadawn ' what the Irish term ' amadan ' (or ' fool ', ' fool ') is equated.

Unlike Tubular Bells, which boasts a variety of topics, the first part of " Ommadawn " is dominated by a kind of competition between two very different issues that determine the entire musical material. During the melancholy opening theme is characterized by high individuality, the counter-theme has a more anthemic character - logically it is sung in the final sentence of the choir. In a way, this composition is reminiscent of the classical sonata form. In the large-scale final of the first part Oldfield combines the two topics, with a terrific enhancement effect is achieved by additive always adding other instruments, by drums, choirs and the highly emotional game of distorted electric guitars. Oldfield evaluates his album on the fact that he was an outstanding foreign musicians space: Paddy Moloney made ​​in ' Ommadawn ' what he had implemented already in his band, Chieftains perfect: he played with the Uilleann Pipes an Irish Bagpige wind instrument, the mitkennzeichnend for the sound of this album was. However Oldfield leads to ' Ommadawn ' also another audio component that he should use on later albums and over again: African drums. The latter is all the more to evaluate higher than in the first half of the 1970s the so-called world music in the music industry did not play the role by far, it occupied about ten years later. For ' Ommadawn ' to Oldfield invited the musicians of the South African Drum Band ' Jabula ' ( IsiZulu: "Joy" ) in his studio, which had found asylum during the apartheid era in England. Impressively ends the first sentence / the first side of the LP of ' Ommadawn ' with a forty -second fade of ' Jabula '. Towards the end of the first sentence is also the resolution of the album title to learn, because there the choir sings "ta me / to amadan le Cheoil " which means nothing other than "I am the fool of the music."

While the Uilleann Pipes-/Gitarre-Duett Oldfield and Moloney was recorded live in the middle of the second set (although in 1981 the magazine ' Musician Music News ' in an interview revealed only after about 40 attempts and one and a half bottles of whiskey, as Oldfield ), were the beginning of the second side of the LP of ' Ommadawn ' (except for the bonus track, and the above- mentioned duet Oldfield / Moloney ) put together piece by piece and in turn used petitive sound textures and half -speed recording technology, where Oldfield the previous shots in half speed play left and he played to normal as he revealed in the same interview. The end result is so rehearsed his guitar parts are then twice as fast and virtuosic, as if they had been recorded with conventional recording techniques.

As a special feature included ' Ommadawn ' after the end of the second set even a little extra tracks by Mike Oldfield and William Murray, entitled ' On Horseback ' ( yet remains Ommadawn Oldfields shortest studio album ). In December 1975 Oldfield released the single ' In Dulci Jubilo ' with ' On Horseback ' as the B- side; the single reached number 4 on the UK singles chart in January 1976.

Actually Oldfield planned with the album Amarok a kind Ommadawn II - both the title and the cover photo remember. During the recordings, but an independent, entirely different concept developed.

Alternate Versions

1976 ' Ommadawn ' Oldfield for the four-part LP Boxed Set was 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. New tracks were not included.

Excerpts from ' Ommadawn ' with additional synthesizer tracks were used by Mike Oldfield for his music for the NASA documentary The Space Movie.

1981 Oldfield presented an adaptation of Part I during his live concert in Montreux, including a 5-minute drum solo (Live At Montreux 1981).

2010, the album was released in a completely new stereo and surround mix, enriched by a previously unreleased "Lost Mix" from 1975 on CD, vinyl LP Deluxe-CD/DVD and at Oldfields new record label Mercury Records.

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