QE2 (album)

QE2 is the sixth studio album by Mike Oldfield, released in 1980 on Virgin Records. The album was named after the ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2.

Mike oldfield qe2 album cover.jpg
Studio album by
Released31 October 1980 (1980-10-31)
RecordedDenham, 1980
GenreProgressive rock
Mercury (2012 reissue)
ProducerDavid Hentschel,
Mike Oldfield
Mike Oldfield chronology
Five Miles Out
Singles from QE2
  1. "Arrival"
    Released: 12 September 1980
  2. "Sheba/Wonderful Land"
    Released: 28 November 1980
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[1]

The album contained both original Oldfield compositions as well as two cover version of pieces recorded by other bands ("Arrival" by ABBA and "Wonderful Land" by The Shadows).

Though only reaching number twelve on the German album charts, the album became the best-selling album of 1981 in Germany.[2]

Album analysisEdit

The longest tracks on the album are "Taurus I" and the title track, "QE2", lasting 10 minutes and 7 minutes respectively. Some years later The Shadows responded to Oldfield's cover of "Wonderful Land", by releasing a cover of Oldfield's "Moonlight Shadow". The cover songs were released as singles.

The album was the first Oldfield album to feature Maggie Reilly as a collaborator. Some tracks on the album feature vocals sung through vocoder. "Conflict" has an excerpt from J. S. Bach’s "Badinerie" (the last part of Bach's Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B Minor). The lyrics for "Celt" were written by Tim Cross.

"Molly" was made for his daughter, Molly Oldfield, who would later play keyboards on The Songs of Distant Earth and play a part in the Songs for Survival project.

The European Adventure Tour 1981, which ran from March to August of that year, was in promotion of the album.

Album title and artworkEdit

The album and its title track were named after the then 11-year-old Cunard Line ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2. The album cover design appears to be a close-up of the side of the ship, complete with Plimsoll Line in the lower left corner. The first pressing even had a porthole cut out in the sleeve. The inside of the original foldout LP sleeve featured a schematic of one of the Queen Elizabeth 2's decks as well as a stylised picture of her engine; these have not been reprinted in later reissues, except for the 2012 reissue by Mercury Records on CD and LP, which reinstates all the elements of the original artwork with the exception of the cut-out porthole.

Track listingEdit

Side oneEdit

  1. "Taurus I" (Mike Oldfield) – 10:16
  2. "Sheba" (Oldfield) – 3:33
  3. "Conflict" (Oldfield) – 2:53
  4. "Arrival" (Benny Andersson, Björn Ulvaeus) – 2:48

Side twoEdit

  1. "Wonderful Land" (Jerry Lordan) – 3:38
  2. "Mirage" (Oldfield) – 4:41
  3. "QE2" (Oldfield, David Hentschel) – 7:38
  4. "Celt" (Oldfield, Tim Cross) – 3:06
  5. "Molly" (Oldfield) – 1:15

On the original vinyl label of the album, the title piece, "QE2" is listed as two tracks, "QE2" by Oldfield/Hentschel and "QE2 Finale" by Oldfield, but gives their running time as a single piece.


The album was re-released by Mercury Records on 30 July 2012. This came as part of a deal in which Oldfield's Virgin albums were transferred to the label. It was released on the same day as Platinum and a year after the last Universal reissue of Incantations.

The first disc is the original recording remastered with bonus material, and the second disc (available in the deluxe edition) is a live concert recorded at the time of the album's original release. The concert was recorded in April 1981 in Essen during Oldfield's European Adventure Tour.



Region Certification Certified units/sales
Germany (BVMI)[10] Gold 250,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[11] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[12] Gold 100,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.



  1. ^ QE2 review at AllMusic
  2. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts 1981". offiziellecharts.de (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  3. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Mike Oldfield – QE2" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  4. ^ "Ultratop.be – Mike Oldfield – QE2" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  6. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Mike Oldfield – QE2". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  7. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Mike Oldfield – QE2". Hung Medien. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  8. ^ November 1980/7502/ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 8 April 2013.
  9. ^ "Top 100 Album-Jahrescharts 1981". offiziellecharts.de. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  10. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Mike Oldfield; 'Q E 2')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 12 May 2019.
  11. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  12. ^ "British album certifications – Mike Oldfield – QE2". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 12 May 2019.Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type QE2 in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External linksEdit