Tubular Bells is the groundbreaking debut album by Mike Oldfield originally released in 1973. The album features dozens of obscure instruments played by Oldfield who was only 19 at the time. Now available on gray 180-gram vinyl.
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.
"The idea for Tubular Bells came while I was with Kevin Ayers' group. We used to travel up and down the M1 in a Ford Transit. We just happened to be at the same venue as this huge jazz orchestra; it was called Centipede and it was organized by Keith Tippett. That was the first time I had ever seen or heard a long piece of music. It was about 25 or 30 minutes long with all sorts of different styles and musicians African musicians, jazz musicians, even a rock vocalist. I thought this was a stunning idea and having listened to and loved classical music for most of my life, but being a rock musician, I just got the idea of making my own electric version of it. I'm loath to call it a symphony, but in effect that's what I tried to make it." - Mike Oldfield
• Limited Edition
• Gray Vinyl
• 180g Vinyl
• Made in Czech Republic
1. Tubular Bells (Part One)
1. Tubular Bells (Part Two)