Mike Oldfield: 'I'd never heard of Arctic Monkeys before the Olympics'

'Tubular Bells' composer admits he was also ignorant of Dizzee Rascal

Photo: Andy Hughes Next Previous

Photo Gallery: Arctic Monkeys
Photo: Andy Hughes

'Tubular Bells' composer Mike Oldfield has admitted he had never heard of Arctic Monkeys or Dizzee Rascal before he performed with them at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in London last week (July 27).

Speaking to NME, the musician, who performed 1973's 'Tubular Bells' alongside a fantasy scene involving famous characters from cinema, confessed that he "doesn't know anything that's currently happening in the music scene".

"I'd never heard of Arctic Monkeys or Dizzee… Obviously I've heard of Paul McCartney, and Emeli Sande was great although I'd never heard of her either," he said.

Speaking about his performance at the ceremony, which also featured Paul McCartney and Two Door Cinema Club's Alex Trimble, he said: "My part was quite peaceful but by the time Arctic Monkeys came on it was pretty loud. The whole thing in its entirety was a triumph though, it was a great success worldwide and you can't take that away from it."

Mike Oldfield's greatest hits collection, 'Two Sides: The Very Best Of Mike Oldfield', has seen a 757 per cent increase in sales since his Olympic performance.

The compilation of all the music featured in the Opening Ceremony went on sale digitally shortly after the show came to an end in the early hours of Saturday, with more than 10,000 copies being sold immediately afterwards. After being on sale for 24 hours the album reached Number Five on the Official Charts Company’s list of top-selling compilation albums of 2012.

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