Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells
180 Gram Heavyweight Vinyl Remaster + Digital Download
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Tubular Bells is the debut studio album by English musician and composer Mike Oldfield, originally released in May 1973 via Virgin Records.
Beginning his professional career at the age of 14, forming The Sallyangie, composer Mike Oldfield released his debut LP Children of the Sun at the age of 15, and by the age of 16, he was playing bass with Soft Machine founder Kevin Ayers' group The Whole World alongside experimental classical arranger David Bedford and avant-garde jazz saxophonist Lol Coxhill; quickly becoming the band's lead guitarist, and featuring on the 1971 LP Shooting at the Moon.
However Oldfield's rise to fame came with the success of Tubular Bells: An atmospheric, intricate composition that fused rock and folk motifs with the structures of minimalist composition, the 49-minute instrumental piece (performed on close to 30 different instruments, virtually all of them played by Oldfield himself) spent months in the number one spot on the U.K. charts, and eventually sold over 16 million copies worldwide. In addition to its employment as the theme for The Exorcist, as the debut release for Virgin Records (the album was created using studio time gifted by Richard Branson), Tubular Bells almost single-handedly established Virgin as one of the most important labels in the record industry, and created a market for new age music, winning the Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition in 1974.
Apart from being ground breaking Tubular Bells is arguably the finest conglomeration of off-centred 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.
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.
Check out the track: “Tubular Bells (Part I)”.
This "Back to Black" series LP reissue with remastered audio, reproduced original artwork and digital download is pressed in Europe on 180 gram heavyweight vinyl via Mercury Records.
Tubular Bells - Part One
Tubular Bells - Part Two
|Record Label||Mercury Records|
|Label / Model #||Universal|
|Country||EU - Europe|
|Release Date (Year)||05 June 2009|
|Original Release Date (Year)||25 May 1973|
|Format||Limited Edition LP Record, 180 Gram Heavyweight Vinyl, Printed Inner Sleeve, Digital Download Code, "Back to Black" Series, 2009 Remaster|
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