Heaven's Open

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Heaven's Open
Studio album by Michael Oldfield
Released 18 February 1991 (1991-02-18)
Recorded Late 1990
Genre Rock, pop rock, progressive rock
Length 43:13
Label Virgin
Producer Thom Newman
Mike Oldfield chronology
Heaven's Open
Tubular Bells II
Singles from Heaven's Open
  1. "Heaven's Open"
    Released: January 1991
  2. "Gimme Back"
    Released: 1991
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]

Heaven's Open is the 14th record album performed by Mike Oldfield, released in 1991. It was his last album on Virgin, and also the only album he released under the name Michael Oldfield, instead of Mike Oldfield.


By 1991 and the release of Heaven's Open, Oldfield was happy to leave Virgin Records.[2][3] The final goodbye to Virgin appears at the very end of "Music from the Balcony", where we can hear quiet laughter and Oldfield's voice saying "Fuck off!".

This is the only album where Mike Oldfield performs the lead vocals himself, and was pleased to discover that he was not as bad a singer as he thought he was.[3] Probably because of his bad feelings towards Virgin, his name is spelled out in full - Michael Oldfield - on this album. The producer of the album, Tom Newman's name was also spelt out in a similar manner, as Thom Newman.

After leaving Virgin, Oldfield released the anticipated Tubular Bells II in 1992 with Warner Brothers.

Connections to other Oldfield albums[edit]

The album's cover is a reworked version of a photo originally taken for Tubular Bells, when the working title was Breakfast in Bed; instead of yolk coming out of the egg, blood was pictured.[4] The working title for Heaven's Open was Man in the Rain.[5] The song "Heaven's Open" came largely from an early version of "Man in the Rain".[5] The "Man in the Rain" title was later used by Oldfield for a single from the Tubular Bells III album.

Stylistically this album returns to the format of Oldfield's commercially oriented records of the early-mid 1980s and features a selection of accessible pop/rock songs and a more progressive long-form piece. However unlike previous albums such as Five Miles Out and Crises for example, the track arrangement is changed so that the longer composition closes the album as opposed to opening it, just like he did with Discovery.


"Gimme Back" and the title track "Heaven's Open" were released as singles in 1991. Both were also released under the name Michael Oldfield.


Musical equipment on the album includes Atari, C-Lab and Fairlight products. Also featured are Roland D50 MKS80 and D550s, an Akai S900, S1000 and S1100, an EMU Proteus, a Korg M1 a Yamaha DX5 and the Steinberg 'Topaz'. A Harrison series X mixing console, a Sony 3348 digital tape machine and microphones made by Bruel & Kjaer were used in the creation of the album.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Mike Oldfield.

Side one[edit]

  1. "Make Make" – 4:18
  2. "No Dream" – 6:02
  3. "Mr. Shame" – 4:22
  4. "Gimme Back" – 4:12
  5. "Heaven's Open" – 4:31

Side two[edit]

  1. "Music from the Balcony" – 19:44



  1. ^ Heaven's Open at AllMusic
  2. ^ "Mike Oldfield has regained his balance back". MAN "El Hombre. December 1992. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  3. ^ a b "Not Totally Tubular". Dave Thompson - Goldmine. 1997-07-18. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  4. ^ "Tubular Bells - Notes". The Official Mike Oldfield Information Service. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 
  5. ^ a b "Mike Oldfield Secrets". Amadian. Retrieved 2008-05-08. 

External links[edit]