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Mike Oldfield|Tubular Bells (50th Anniversary)

Tubular Bells (50th Anniversary)

Mike Oldfield

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Between minimalist music and progressive rock, Tubular Bells is probably one of the most enigmatic records of the early 1970s – and at the same time one of the biggest hits of this decade. The story begins in 1971 when Mike Oldfield, then only 18 years old, decided to compose a rock symphony without words or drums. Armed with his mock-up, he approached many major labels. However, they were reluctant to publish such an atypical work as they considered it would be difficult to broadcast on the radio. In the end, it was Virgin who had the resolution to believe in Tubular Bells, which Mike Oldfield recorded at the famous Manor studio near Oxford. The record – the first released by Virgin under catalogue number V2001 – was released in May 1973.  Composed in two parts, Tubular Bells surprises with its unique hue, which fluctuates between eccentricity and elegance. The instruments used range from the electric guitar, mandolin, piano, organ, glockenspiel to the famous tubular chimes which inspired the album’s title.


But isn't the disturbing aura that emanates from this music partly due to our knowledge of the rest of the story? Because at the end of 1973, the boss of the Atlantic Records label, Ahmet Ertegün, introduced this record to William Friedkin, a director looking for music for his new film, The Exorcist. Immediately seduced, Friedkin used the introductory refrain of Tubular Bells for this horror film which would eventually gain cult status. It then became a source of global recognition for the young Mike Oldfield, a composer who was still unknown two years earlier. To celebrate 50 years since the release of the album, Universal enlisted sound engineer David Kosten to create an immersive mix from the original tracks. For this, it used Dolby Atmos technology. Finally, for a dignified anniversary celebration, this album contains a multitude of bonus tracks (remixes, live versions, demos). It’s certainly enough to make it stick in your head for a long time! ©Nicolas Magenham/Qobuz  

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Tubular Bells (50th Anniversary)

Mike Oldfield

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1
Tubular Bells (Pt. I)
00:25:29

Sally Oldfield, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Mike Oldfield, Producer, Flute, Glockenspiel, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Organ, Percussion, Piano, Timpani, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Simon Heyworth, Producer - Miles Showell, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Viv Stanshall, Speaker, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Newman, Producer - Mundy Ellis, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Nasal Choir, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Jon Field, Flute, AssociatedPerformer - Lindsay Cooper, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2009 Mike Oldfield, under exclusive license to Mercury Records Limited

2
Tubular Bells (Pt. II)
00:23:21

Sally Oldfield, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Mike Oldfield, Producer, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Organ, Piano, Timpani, Vocals, Conductor/Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Simon Heyworth, Producer - Miles Showell, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tom Newman, Producer - Steve Broughton, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Mundy Ellis, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Manor Choir, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2009 Oldfield Music Limited, under exclusive license to Mercury Records Limited

3
Tubular Bells 4 Intro (Demo / 2017)
00:08:32

Mike Oldfield, Producer, Glockenspiel, Electric Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Timpani, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Miles Showell, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2023 Mike Oldfield

4
Tubular Bells / In Dulci Jubilo (London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony)
00:11:23

Mike Oldfield, Arranger, Programming, Work Arranger, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Johann Sebastian Bach, ComposerLyricist - Andy Findon, Recorder, AssociatedPerformer - Robin Smith, Music Director & Conductor, AssociatedPerformer - Mike Oldfield Jazz Band, Horn, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2012 The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Limited. Distributed under licence to Mercury Records Limited

5
Tubular Bells (Mike Oldfield & YORK Remix)
00:09:49

Mike Oldfield, Producer, Guitar, Remixer, Programming, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel, ComposerLyricist - Torsten Stenzel, Producer, Remixer, Programming, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Tom Porcell, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2013 Mike Oldfield under exclusive licence to Mercury Records Limited

6
Mike Oldfield's Single (Theme From Tubular Bells)
00:04:37

Mike Oldfield, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2009 Mike Oldfield

7
Tubular Bells (Pt. I / David Kosten Stereo Mix)
00:25:28

David Kosten, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Sally Oldfield, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Mike Oldfield, Producer, Flute, Glockenspiel, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Organ, Percussion, Piano, Timpani, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Simon Heyworth, Producer - Miles Showell, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Viv Stanshall, Speaker, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Newman, Producer - Mundy Ellis, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Nasal Choir, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Jon Field, Flute, AssociatedPerformer - Lindsay Cooper, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2023 Mike Oldfield

8
Tubular Bells (Pt. II / David Kosten Stereo Mix)
00:23:17

David Kosten, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Sally Oldfield, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Mike Oldfield, Producer, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Organ, Piano, Timpani, Vocals, Conductor/Piano, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Simon Heyworth, Producer - Miles Showell, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tom Newman, Producer - Steve Broughton, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Mundy Ellis, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer - Manor Choir, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2023 Oldfield Music Limited

9
Tubular Bells 4 Intro (Edit)
00:03:58

Mike Oldfield, Producer, Glockenspiel, Electric Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Timpani, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Miles Showell, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2023 Mike Oldfield

10
Tubular Bells (Intro / David Kosten Stereo Mix)
00:04:04

Mike Oldfield, Producer, Glockenspiel, Electric Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Timpani, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Miles Showell, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2023 Mike Oldfield

Album review

Between minimalist music and progressive rock, Tubular Bells is probably one of the most enigmatic records of the early 1970s – and at the same time one of the biggest hits of this decade. The story begins in 1971 when Mike Oldfield, then only 18 years old, decided to compose a rock symphony without words or drums. Armed with his mock-up, he approached many major labels. However, they were reluctant to publish such an atypical work as they considered it would be difficult to broadcast on the radio. In the end, it was Virgin who had the resolution to believe in Tubular Bells, which Mike Oldfield recorded at the famous Manor studio near Oxford. The record – the first released by Virgin under catalogue number V2001 – was released in May 1973.  Composed in two parts, Tubular Bells surprises with its unique hue, which fluctuates between eccentricity and elegance. The instruments used range from the electric guitar, mandolin, piano, organ, glockenspiel to the famous tubular chimes which inspired the album’s title.


But isn't the disturbing aura that emanates from this music partly due to our knowledge of the rest of the story? Because at the end of 1973, the boss of the Atlantic Records label, Ahmet Ertegün, introduced this record to William Friedkin, a director looking for music for his new film, The Exorcist. Immediately seduced, Friedkin used the introductory refrain of Tubular Bells for this horror film which would eventually gain cult status. It then became a source of global recognition for the young Mike Oldfield, a composer who was still unknown two years earlier. To celebrate 50 years since the release of the album, Universal enlisted sound engineer David Kosten to create an immersive mix from the original tracks. For this, it used Dolby Atmos technology. Finally, for a dignified anniversary celebration, this album contains a multitude of bonus tracks (remixes, live versions, demos). It’s certainly enough to make it stick in your head for a long time! ©Nicolas Magenham/Qobuz  

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