Discovery (Mike Oldfield album)

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A blue mottled image of Oldfield's face and a portion of a guitar neck. The words Mike Oldfield Discovery are to the top right of the image.
Studio album by Mike Oldfield
Released 25 June 1984 (1984-06-25)
Recorded "In the Swiss Alps at 2000 metres within sight of Lake Geneva on sunny days"
Genre Rock
Progressive rock
Length 41:21
Label Virgin
Producer Mike Oldfield
Simon Phillips
Mike Oldfield chronology
The Killing Fields
Singles from Discovery
  1. "To France"
    Released: 16 June 1984
  2. "Tricks of the Light"
    Released: 1 September 1984
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[1]

Discovery is the ninth album by Mike Oldfield, released in 1984. Discovery will be re-released in a deluxe edition format in 2016, as per all previous albums which were originally released on the Virgin label.

It was recorded at Oldfield's then-home in Villars-sur-Ollon in the Swiss Alps where he was living for tax reasons. Oldfield also wrote The Killing Fields, the soundtrack to the 1984 film of the same name there.

Album information[edit]

The album contains a number of pop songs, which Oldfield had been encouraged by Virgin Records to write, following the success of "Moonlight Shadow" from his previous album, Crises.

The first track of the album, "To France", features Maggie Reilly on vocals. The second track, "Poison Arrows", seamlessly continues from the ending of "To France" and features Barry Palmer on vocals. According to Oldfield "The Lake" was inspired by his time in time in Switzerland and around Lake Geneva.[2]

During 1984 Oldfield and his band embarked on a Europe wide tour in promotion of the album.

Recording and instruments[edit]

Around the time of Discovery Oldfield had been seen using a Gibson SG Junior and a Les Paul Junior (including a modified 24 fret fretboard), along with a pair of Fender Stratocasters (red and sunburst). Oldfield also used guitar synthesizers on the album, utilising Roland's GR-300 and G-808 controller. The Roland G-88 bass synth controller is heavily used for bass guitar sounds on the album. It is likely that a mandolin made by Scottish-based luthier Mike Vanden is used in "To France". Among the acoustic guitars on the album, an Ovation Adamas was used. Oldfield's main compositional tool for the album was the Fairlight CMI. In addition to using its sequencing abilities he also used it as a sampler, for example with Maggie Reilly's voice on "The Lake".

Barry Palmer and Maggie Reilly did not meet until the album was finished even though they share vocal duties on "Tricks of the Light"; they recorded their vocals separately.

Sleeve photos[edit]

The inner sleeve of the original vinyl LP featured candid photographs taken during the recording sessions. One of the photos, titled "Simon's notes", shows a handwritten list of tracks recorded during the sessions, some of which - such as "T'Sword" - may either have been released under different names or remain unreleased to this day.


The album peaked at #3 on Norway's album chart, spending 13 weeks on it. It also peaked at #15 in the UK Albums Chart.

Chart (1984) Position
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[3] 3
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[4] 2
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[5] 1
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[6] 47
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[7] 3
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[8] 3
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[9] 1
UK Albums (OCC)[10] 15

Track listing[edit]

All tracks by Mike Oldfield

Original LP[edit]

Side one

  1. "To France" – 4:37
  2. "Poison Arrows" – 3:57
  3. "Crystal Gazing" – 3:02
  4. "Tricks of the Light" – 3:52
  5. "Discovery" – 4:35

Side two

  1. "Talk About Your Life" – 4:24
  2. "Saved by a Bell" – 4:39
  3. "The Lake" – 12:10

2016 Deluxe Edition[edit]


Cover versions[edit]

The German electronic project Meteor Seven released the track "Signs of Life" featuring a vocal sample from the track "Talk About Your Life". The German techno hard dance band Scooter released a cover of the album track "Talk About Your Life" on their album Music for a Big Night Out.


  1. ^ Discovery review at AllMusic
  2. ^ Mike Oldfield (2 August 2012), Two Sides Sleeve Notes, Mercury Records, retrieved 3 January 2015 
  3. ^ "Mike Oldfield – Discovery" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  4. ^ "Mike Oldfield – Discovery" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  5. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  6. ^ "Mike Oldfield – Discovery". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  7. ^ "Mike Oldfield – Discovery". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  8. ^ "Mike Oldfield – Discovery". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  9. ^ "Mike Oldfield – Discovery". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  10. ^ "1984-07-07 Top 40 UK Albums Archive". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  11. ^
  12. ^
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External links[edit]