Islands (Mike Oldfield album)

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Mike Oldfield - Islands.jpg
Studio album by Mike Oldfield
Released 7 September 1987 (1987-09-07)
Recorded circa 1987
Genre Progressive rock, pop, rock
Length 48:11
Label Virgin
Producer Michael Cretu
Geoffrey Downes
Tom Newman
Mike Oldfield
Simon Phillips
Alan Shacklock
Mike Oldfield chronology
The Killing Fields
Earth Moving
Alternative cover
Original United States cover
Singles from Islands
  1. "Islands"
    Released: 7 September 1987
  2. "The Time Has Come"
    Released: 9 November 1987
  3. "Flying Start"
    Released: 1 February 1988
  4. "Magic Touch"
    Released: 22 February 1988
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[1]

Islands is the 11th album by Mike Oldfield, released in 1987 by Virgin. Guest singers on the album are Bonnie Tyler, Kevin Ayers, Anita Hegerland and Jim Price. A different track list and cover was used for the American edition.

Music videos, producers and singers[edit]

Islands was also released as a full-length VHS video album. For each track a video was made and released, often mixing state of the art (for the time) computer-generated images with real life images. This was released as part of The Wind Chimes.

The album boasts the largest number of co-producers out of all of Oldfield's work; production was handled by Michael Cretu (later of Enigma fame), Geoffrey Downes, Tom Newman, Simon Phillips, Alan Shacklock and Oldfield himself. Singers on the album are Bonnie Tyler, Kevin Ayers, Anita Hegerland and Jim Price.

Four singles were released from the album, three of which were released in 1987, "Islands" (as Mike & Bonnie), "The Time Has Come" and "Flying Start", and finally "Magic Touch" in 1988.

Album artwork[edit]

The UK front cover artwork was of a tropical island, and hidden in the surrounding sea is a large number of hand shapes. The hand images are based on a still frame from the longform video released at the same time as the album; a couple of scenes in the video, which was mainly filmed in Bali, feature a group of natives performing a ritualistic dance which involves hand-waving movements. The American cover is completely different; it displays two cube shapes. The photography on the back of the US version was by Jerry Uelsmann.


The album peaked at number 9 on Norway's album chart and at number 29 in the UK Album Chart.

The major single in Europe was the title track, "Islands", which was sung by Bonnie Tyler. In the United States, "Magic Touch" was a top 10 hit on the Billboard Album Rock charts in early 1988.

Chart Position
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[2] 10
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[3] 71
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[4] 9
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[5] 9
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[6] 12
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[7] 4
UK Albums (OCC)[8] 29

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by Mike Oldfield.

1987 UK release[edit]

Side one[edit]

  1. "The Wind Chimes (Part One and Part Two)" – 21:49

Side two[edit]

  1. "Islands" – 4:19
  2. "Flying Start" – 3:36
  3. "North Point" – 3:33
  4. "Magic Touch" (New Jim Price Vocal) – 4:14
  5. "The Time Has Come" – 3:51
  6. "When the Night's on Fire" – 6:41

Original 1988 US release[edit]

Side one[edit]

  1. "The Wind Chimes (Part one)" – 2:33
  2. "The Wind Chimes (Part two)" – 19:14

Side two[edit]

  1. "Magic Touch" (Original Max Bacon vocal) – 4:14
  2. "The Time Has Come" – 3:51
  3. "North Point" – 3:31
  4. "Flying Start" – 3:36
  5. "Islands" – 4:19



  1. ^ Islands review at AllMusic. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  2. ^ "Mike Oldfield – Islands" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  3. ^ "Mike Oldfield – Islands" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  4. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Mike Oldfield – Islands". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  6. ^ "Mike Oldfield – Islands". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  7. ^ "Mike Oldfield – Islands". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  8. ^ October 1987 "10 October 1987 Top 40 UK Albums Archive". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 8 April 2013.

External links[edit]