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Tubular Bells (Deluxe Version)

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Album Review

Mike Oldfield's groundbreaking album Tubular Bells is arguably the finest conglomeration of off-centered instruments concerted together to form a single, unique piece. A variety of instruments are combined to create an excitable multitude of rhythms, tones, pitches, and harmonies that all fuse neatly into each other, resulting in an astounding plethora of music. Oldfield plays all the instruments himself, including such oddities as the Farfisa organ, the Lowrey organ, and the flageolet. The familiar, eerie opening, made famous by its use in The Exorcist, starts the album off slowly, as each instrument acoustically wriggles its way into the current noise that is heard, until there is a grand unison of eccentric sounds that wildly excites the ears. Throughout the album, the tempos range from soft to intense to utterly surprising, making for some excellent musical culminations. Mandolins and Spanish guitars are joined by grinding organs and keyboards, while oddball bells and cranking noises resound in the distance. In the middle of the album, guest Vivian Stanshall announces each instrument seconds before it is heard, ending with the ominous-sounding tubular bells, a truly powerful and dominating instrument. The most interesting and overwhelming aspect of this album is the fact that so many sounds are conjured up, yet none go unnoticed, allowing the listener a gradual submergence into each unique portion of the music. Tubular Bells is a divine excursion into the realm of new age music. [This album was released as a four-disc special edition in 2009.]

Customer Reviews

Words and superlatives fail me!

This is one of the greatest ever recordings by an extraordinary king of music.
Tubular Bells was the first album released by Mike Oldfield which included a wealth of instruments being played like the Farfisa, distortion guitars and the main attraction, Tubular bells. This album is going to be a tricky one to beat into the Pearly Gates.

Matt Jukes

Tubular Bells is, in my opinion, one of the most seminal pieces of music ever recorded. Written, played (yes, he plays ALL the instruments) and recorded (using a state of the art - at the time - multi-track recorder he made himself by modifying an extremely expensive reel-to-reel system) by Mike Oldfield in his early 20's, the finale of side 1 is simply breathtaking as it builds through steady repetition using an incredible repertoire of instruments to a wonderful climax with the famous tubular bells. It is also, incidentally, the album that launched Richard Branson's Virgin Records empire.

Perhaps because, as a child of the early 70's, this is one of the first pieces of music I ever properly listened to, it's stayed with me all my life and moves me as much today as it ever did. The follow-up albums (Tubular Bells II and III) are good, but nothing surpases the original recording in my opinion. Thank you Mr Oldfield!

A con - update

This album is the Deluxe version but is missing the iconic tracks. In fact 9 tracks seem to be absent..........And after 3 days still waiting a promised 24hr response from Apple


Born: 15 May 1953 in Reading, England

Genre: New Age

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Composer Mike Oldfield rose to fame on the success of Tubular Bells, an eerie, album-length conceptual piece employed to stunning effect in the film The Exorcist. Born May 15, 1953, in Reading, England, Oldfield began his professional career at the age of 14, forming the Sallyangie folk duo with his sister Sally; a year later, the siblings issued their debut LP, Children of the Sun. By the age of 16, he was playing bass with Soft Machine founder Kevin Ayers' group the Whole World alongside experimental...
Full bio
Tubular Bells (Deluxe Version), Mike Oldfield
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Customer Ratings