I've been going through Mike Oldfield's 80's album (eventually I'll aiming to finish listening to his complete discography)
What a great pop song. I didn't think Mike Oldfield had it in him to write compact pop song (considering I dislike Man On The Rocks which was Mike Oldfield pure pop song album) and could only write epic instrumental prog-rock suite. Great melodies and Maggie has a pretty ethereal voice.
I'm tempted to say this song also has Mike Oldfield greatest guitar moment (which is saying a lot considering he is a great guitarist).
Starts off with a clean/jangly guitar appegios that could have been an intricate guitar part that Johnny Marr would have created for The Smiths. Then that appegios turned into some bending solo with a clean guitar and then the distortion pedal hits in. The vocals then return and the guitar soloes in between the vocal phrase that adds extra intensity towards that line. Great usage of guitar for dramatic build up there. Then the fadeout with the jangly guitar is cool as well
Other highlights of the song
- the echo of "Moonlight shadow (shadow)" like the echo effect of (shadow) is the shadow of the vocal line.
- Ba-da-bam (2x 16th note and 1 eight note) rhythm from the acoustic guitar - during the "I stay, I pray" section was a nice effect.
- Hell I even admit that the drums (gasp) with the tom-tom during the "I stay, I pray" was kind of cool
Yeah all of the moments are "simple" but it's well arranged simple and immaculate pop writing.