Sally Oldfield – Strange Day In Berlin (1983)

FrontCover1Here Sally has eschewed her folktastic past for a more electronic very mid 80s approach. Mystical lyrics are still the order of the day but they speak more of alienation and lost innocence. It’s an odd comparison but I remember hearing a McGarrigle sisters album that sounded similar, a jarring reminder how even folk artists can be swept off their feet by technology.

Dispensing with the initial sick feeling, adding in a decade and a half or so of healing, and acknowledging the irreversible nature of changes set in motion on “Celebration” and confirmed by “Playing in the Flame”, I have to admit that this is a pretty credible transformation. Particularly the visceral “Path with a Heart” and the so spacey “Million Light Years…” show that Oldfield could still muster a convincing composition and arrangement. It’s true that “Meet me in Verona”, the title track, and “She Talks Like a Lady” are nadirs of sorts, bland atonal exercises in bad girl persona that never worked for Sally, but both “Never New Love Could Get so Strong” and “There’s a Miracle Going On” are partially redemptive, the former’s electric piano and other synths complementing her deliberate vocal phrasings. It should appeal to Kate Bush fans or those who wish Ms Bush was a little less weird and a little more wholesome. (by kenethlevine)


Gerry Butler (keyboards)
Mel Collins (saxophone)
Ian Davies guitar)
Peter van Hooke (drums)
Graham Jarvis (drums)
Pierre Moerlen (percussion)
Alan Murphy (guitar)
Sally Oldfield (vocals, keyboards)
Frank Ricotti (percussion)
Nicky Glenny-Smith (piano)
Russell Stone (background vocals)
Paul Westwood (bass)
Hans Zimmer (synthesizer)


o1. A Million Light Years Away From Home 4.29
02. Path With A Heart 5.40
03. Strange Day In Berlin 6.54
04. Meet Me In Verona 4.46
05. There’s A Miracle Going On 6.11
06. She Talks Like A Lady 4.11
07. Never Knew Love Could Get So Strong 4.12

All songs written by Sally Oldfield