Mike Oldfield’s new album ‘Man On The Rocks’ is at No.7 in this week’s midweek chart. When Mike released his first album, Tubular Bells in 1973, of all the other acts with albums in the Top 10 this week, only Pharrell, who was just over a month old, had been born!

“I’m so happy with this album,” Mike says. “To be in the same Top 10 as three 21st Century phenomena like Beyoncé, Arctic Monkeys and Pharrell Williams is a pleasure and shows that great music is ageless.”

‘Man On the Rocks’ is Mike Oldfield’s first album of new material since 2008. Featuring 11 brand new tracks, it is a deeply personal song-based album that reflects many of Mike’s different influences. Recorded in the Bahamas, Mike’s 25th studio album has been produced by Mike with legendary British producer Stephen Lipson (Jeff Beck, Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox). Man On The Rocks features players such as legendary bassist Leland Sklar (Phil Collins, Crosby, Stills & Nash, James Taylor) and drummer John Robinson (Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton, Daft Punk). Although Oldfield has worked with some of the world’s most famous vocalists in the past, here he has found an incredible young talent to interpret his words, Luke Spiller from The Struts.

Its working title, ‘Rock’ emphasises the album’s directness, heard especially on the guitar-driven ‘Irene’, inspired by the category 3 hurricane that hit the Bahamas in 2011. However, it is – as you would expect from the man who gave the world ‘Tubular Bells’ and so much more besides – an album of great variance and contrast; from the commercial punch of opening track, ‘Sailing’, to the beautiful folk-influenced ‘Dreaming In The Wind’ to the emotional gravitas of its closer, a cover of William McDowell’s gospel song, ‘I Give Myself Away’.

Last seen performing at the personal request of Danny Boyle to a global audience of 900 million at the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony, Man On The Rocks underlines Mike Oldfield’s status as one of the most singular talents to ever emerge from the UK. The recent 2013 BBC 4 Documentary ‘Tubular Bells: The Mike Oldfield Story’ – the story of Mike and iconic album – further enforces that fact.

“It has been a pleasure making Man On The Rocks with such a dedicated team of performers,” says Oldfield. “For a long period, I felt that I wasn’t going to record any new music again. But, after the elation of the Olympics and the explorations of my catalogue, I felt the time was right to return with this, one of my favourite albums to date.”

Man On The Rocks is out this week on CD, double vinyl and digital editions. There is a limited coloured vinyl edition available through www.mikeoldfieldofficial.com; There will also be super deluxe edition of this landmark album – details will be announced in November.