Five Miles Out (song)

"Five Miles Out" is a single by musician Mike Oldfield, released in 1982 by Virgin Records. It is from the album Five Miles Out and predominantly features vocals by Maggie Reilly, but includes vocals by Oldfield himself.[1]

"Five Miles Out"
Mike oldfield five miles out single cover.jpg
Single by Mike Oldfield
from the album Five Miles Out
B-side"Live Punkadiddle"
Released18 February 1982 (1982-02-18)
RecordedBuckinghamshire, 1981–1982
GenreProgressive rock, electronic rock
Songwriter(s)Mike Oldfield
Producer(s)Mike Oldfield
Tom Newman
Mike Oldfield singles chronology
"The Singles"
"Five Miles Out"
"Family Man"

The B-side, a live version of "Punkadiddle", was recorded during Oldfield's European tour 1980.

Song analysisEdit

The song (and the music video) has an unusually complex structure for its length, and is mainly inspired by a near tragic airplane flight Oldfield was a passenger on, in which an inexperienced pilot flew a small craft directly into a violent storm. Having acquired a pilot licence afterwards, Oldfield here, among other things, makes an extensive use of air travel vocabulary to portray exchanges between a pilot in distress being caught in a storm, and a traffic controller. This is sung through a vocoder, representing radio communication, while Reilly's vocals are bare and lyrical, offering comfort and support. The song also quotes motifs from Tubular Bells, Taurus II (from the same album), and possibly others.

Music video for the song is more or less a literal, though simplified, representation of its lyrics. The video features Oldfield in several shots, though Maggie Reilly does not appear. It is available on the Elements – The Best of Mike Oldfield video.

Notably, Mike has said it was one of the first videos of his own he has noticed on TV, and that it might've helped spark his interest in experimenting with radio-friendly music, as he would with great success all through the 1980s.

Track listingEdit

  1. "Five Miles Out" – 4:18
  2. "Live Punkadiddle" – 5:35

The picture sleeve states that "Live Punkadiddle" was "recorded live at Essen in 1981 by the Mike Oldfield Group". This version was later released on CD2 of the Deluxe Edition of QE2, which featured tracks selected from Oldfield's European Adventure Tour.



Australia (Kent Music Report)[3] 61
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[4] 44
UK Singles (OCC)[5] 43
West Germany (Official German Charts)[6] 42


  1. ^ "Singles". Amadian. Retrieved 2009-03-01.
  2. ^ "Interview with Mike Oldfield". Stereo Review. July 1982. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Top 100 Singles 1982". Hung Medien. Retrieved 13 December 2018.
  4. ^ " – Mike Oldfield – Five Miles Out". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  5. ^ "Mike Oldfield: Artist Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2013-04-08.
  6. ^ " – Mike Oldfield – Five Miles Out". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 2019-02-18.