Following the success of Tubular Bells, Mike Oldfield found himself uncomfortable with the public attention so he retreated to the England-Wales border to work on his follow-up. He wrote Hergest Ridge at his new home, The Beacon, but recorded it at Richard Branson's The Manor, like Tubular Bells. Hergest Ridge was named for the hill near Kington, Herefordshire, close to where Oldfield was living.
The cover photograph features scenery from Hergest Ridge and an Irish Wolfhound named Bootleg who lived at The Manor. Mike Oldfield recalled to Uncut that the pooch, "spent most of the time we were recording Tubular Bells under the mixing desk."
"Bittersweet Symphony" by The Verve samples an obscure orchestral arrangement of the 1965 Rolling Stones song "The Last Time." The Verve had to sign away most of the royalties before they could release the song.
David Bowie's "Space Oddity" tells the story of an astronaut who cuts off communication and floats into space. The BBC used it extensively in their coverage of the 1969 moon landing - an odd choice considering the lyrics.