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Tubular Bells (Digital Deluxe Edition)

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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

Too much material

If only it were possible to buy the original Tubular Bells. I have no interest in the alternate demo versions of the original cuts. Tubular Bells is not such a great masterpiece that what amount to outtakes are worth listening to. Some of the cuts following the new stereo remix are of some interest, but given the price, I would much prefer paying $9.99 for the two tracks that really make up Tubular Bells.

Bring back original album

Paying $25 for tracks I don't need is a waste. I'm off to the discount racks to get it.

Actually, it's 3 albums

iTunes, PLEASE FIX: The first track on the second disk is erroneously titled "Tubular Bells, Pt. 2". The correct name of the track should be "Tubular Bells, Pt. 1".

I know, the price of this iTunes album looks scary at first sight, but the package actually contains 3 albums: one is the original stereo release, one with the new stereo-surround mix and a bonus CD with pre-release, demo material from 1971. The sound quality is as good as it gets for a 40 years old recording (for the original version). All in all, good deal, a definite buy for fans.


Born: May 15, 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 (Digital Deluxe Edition), Mike Oldfield
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Customer Ratings