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Only the Exorcist can compete with Michael Oldfield's 'Moonlight Shadow'



Yes, there were scary movies in the '80s, but for many of us '80s kids there was no more frightening movie than The Exorcist. One of the reasons why The Exorcist was so terrifying was the theme music by Mike Oldfield. In the '80s, Oldfield was prolific in his output with his most popular song being another haunting song called Moonlight Shadow.

Tubular Bells is more commonly known as the theme to The Exorcist. As creepy as it was, the single (edited down from its 49-minute (!) album version) was a Top 10 hit in 1974. It was Oldfield's only charting song in the U.S. Oldfield had a worldwide hit in 1983 with Moonlight Shadow that hit No. 1 in at least a dozen countries in Europe and was the top single of 1983 in Austria.

While Englishman Mike Oldfield is the key musician, he's barely in the video. The singing star of Moonlight Shadow is Maggie Reilly from Scotland. Moonlight Shadow was inspired by the death of Harry Houdini and the attempts of his wife to communicate with him after his death. In the song, a man is shot six times in the middle of the night and his widower feels she sees him in the shadows, evoking a traditional ghost story.

Another star of the Moonlight Shadow is the location. Filmed at the historic 17th century Hatfield House, the castle and grounds have been used as the setting for many movies including serving as Wayne Manor in the 1989 version of Batman as well as countless other films such as V for Vendetta and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

In total, Oldfield had eight Top 40 hits in his native country and has a new album, Return To Ommatown, completed and is awaiting a release date.

[Last modified: Wednesday, November 2, 2016 8:48am]


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