” Moonlight Shadow ” is by Mike Oldfield ( Michael Gordon “Mike” Oldfield ), the British multi-instrumentalist.
The song was written and performed by Mike Oldfield with vocals by Maggie Reilly, the Scottish singer.
The track was produced by Mike Oldfield and Simon Phillips, the English drummer and one-time member of the group Toto. ” Moonlight Shadow ” was released by record label Virgin Records and taken from the album, Crisis in 1983.
Mike worked on an earlier version of the song called ” Midnight Passion ” with vocals on this release were by Hazel O’Connor, the British singer.
There has been speculation over the years as to the meaning of the lyrics to ” Moonlight Shadow “. Some have suggested that the lyrics refer to the murder of John Lennon by Mark David Chapman on December 8th, 1980 outside Lennon’s apartment in the US city of New York.
Although this suggestion has been around for a long time, there are no similarities between the song and the murder of John Lennon. He was, in fact, shot four times before 11 pm, whereas the lyrics of the song include shooting at 4 am and mentions being shot six times.
When asked in 1995 whether ” Moonlight Shadow ” was about the shooting of John Lennon, Mike responded by saying he had not intentionally written it that way but did concede that due to the fact he arrived in New York just after it happened, it may have sunk into his subconscious.
The song was written after a film called Houdini, the 1953 film starring Tony Curtis and his then-wife Janet Leigh.
The film was about contacting Houdini after his death using spiritualism. Mike loved the movie, so that was where the inspiration for the song. Although Mike did admit that the shooting of John Lennon may have played a part, he didn’t realise it was the case.
The song proved to be a commercial success for Mike with Number One placements in many countries throughout Europe. In Italy and Switzerland, it was Number One for four weeks and spent six weeks at the top of the chart in Norway.
In Germany, the song reached number two and spent four weeks there, in France and New Zealand it reached number three. Australia was a successful release of the song reaching number six.
In the United Kingdom, ” Moonlight Shadow “entered the UK Singles Chart and climbed to reach number four. The song was to be his highest placed release since the 1976 ” Portsmouth “, which reached number three.
The song spent five weeks in the Top Ten and a total of nineteen weeks on the UK chart.
BillBoard Highest Chart Position: N/A
UK Highest Chart Position: 4
Other Countries Highest Chart Positions: Australia (Kent Music Report) 6, Austria (Austria Top 40) 1, Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders) 1, Belgium (VRT Top 30 Flanders) 1, Europe (Eurochart Hot 100) 1, France (IFOP) 3, Germany (Official German Charts) 2, Ireland (IRMA) 1, Italy (FIMI) 1, Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 2, Netherlands (Single Top 100) 1, New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ) 3, Norway (VG-lista) 1, Poland (LP3) 1, South Africa (Springbok Radio) 7, Spain (AFYVE) 1, Sweden (Sverigetopplistan) 1, Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade) 1
Official Website: Mikeoldfieldofficial.com
FaceBook Page: Facebook.com/MikeOldfieldOfficial
Wikipedia Page: Wikipedia.org/MikeOldfield
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