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Tubular Bells

178 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 29, 1992
$6.50 $0.01

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells UK CD album

The opening bars of this classic album by Mike Oldfield were heard by audiences that packed theaters to witness one of the scariest films of all time--The Exorcist. And it wasn't long before this debut release, not only from Oldfield but also from Richard Branson's new record label, Virgin, found itself in the upper echelons of pop charts around the world. Primarily an instrumental album, with performances on almost every instrument credited to Oldfield, it takes the listener into widely varying musical territories, ending as Viv Stanshall formally announces each instrument as it joins the mix. --Paul Clark

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Part One - Mike Oldfield
  2. Part Two - Mike Oldfield

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 29, 1992)
  • Original Release Date: 1973
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Virgin Records Us
  • ASIN: B000000WG4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (178 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,678 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Eric V. Moye on April 5, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Back in college, one of the guys in the dorm used to play this VERY LOUD, so that it echoed all through the Quad. Somehow, I rather enjoyed it more in the solitude and exclusivity of a pair of headphones, the sounds just traversing throughout through my head.
This was a thick piece of music. It throbbed, in a rather sensual way. It rose into peaks and dove into valleys. Mike Oldfield took a bunch of instruments, (some electronically created, some all the way live), and melded them together. The last third of the title cut starts with a bass guitar, and starts an inexorable, growing orchestra. He introduces and adds one instrument at a time to create a huge wave of sound.
I love it.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 28, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I first heard the 4-minute (Highly edited) cut of the beginning of "Tubular Bells Part 1" on the "Pure Moods" compilation. I later saw "The Exorcist" and found that the movie used the song as well. When I got the CD I didn't realize that the whole thing (parts 1 and 2) was almost 50 minutes long. And I LOVED it!!! This is one of the most eclectic musical masterpieces of all time. Covering the range from rock to classical to funk to ambient and back like a frantic marathon runner, this is a true original piece of music. Mike Oldfield has melded the genres of rock and classical unlike any other. Only the progressive greats like Yes, King Crimson, Emerson Lake & Palmer, and Pink Floyd have succeeded at such eccentricity and even then, this truly a different and original musical masterpiece! A classic!!!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Eoin on July 27, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I'll get the bad stuff over with first. It all occurs in Part 2 as Part 1 is flawless. Part 2 does fine up to the point of the Scottish march which has the unsurprising ability to put people like myself to sleep. It's just so boring and dry. Then comes the infamous "Caveman" section. It's not bad but the grunting could have been left out and we would have been left with a fairly decent piece of rock music. The rest up until approx. 2mins before the end is simply some of the most beautiful and inspiring music you'll ever hear. It could have left it at that and had a wonderful finish to a remarkable piece of music. But no, Mike Oldfield decided to ruin it by playing Sailor's Hornpipe, a piece of music so out of place with Tubular Bells it may as well have come from Mars. It's a terrible ending which is why i always stop it before it comes on. So there are two really bad bits and one not so bad bit. The good bits are everything else. Part 1 is probably the greatest single piece of rock music ever composed. I know not many will agree with me, fair enough. Nobody I know (apart from my father) can sit through this 25min masterpiece. If I'm to single out the standout piece in Part 1 it's when the basses kick at approx. 17mins 20secs. Play it through a decent hi-fi and I swear you'll never hear bass like it. That continues until 19mins 47secs when we hear the MC, Viv Stanshall annonce Grand Piano. And so on until the music reaches the title instrument of the piece. Apparently, Mike Oldfield got the idea for the title of Tubular Bells when he heard the title being announced dramatically by Viv. It's a suitable climax to a brilliant piece of music. I usually put it on when I want to listen to something without having to concentrate on lyrics or when I just want to chill out.Read more ›
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Karol Trojanowski on September 7, 2004
Format: Audio CD
The fact is, I'm not really rating the record, but the music itself. The record is, to say, crude. Okay, agree or not, it REALLY sounds crude at times. Read the bio of Mike Oldfield and you will understand that Mike, at the time of recording TB, had unprofessional studio equipment, and was still lacking experience as a professional. But the music that he had made up is really a timeless masterpiece. The 1973 record, even remastered, TODAY doesn't really allow you to appreciate it. Take the Exposed Tubular Bells for instance. (live) It really blows me away. The Orchestral Tubular Bells are really enjoyable, and the recent remake (re-recording) the Tubular Bells 2003 is what I've been looking for. It's like Beethoven's symphony played by a more qualified orchestra. It makes the difference. Although, I enjoy listening to the original record because of the feeling it gives you. A huge part of history of classical rock music, that had frenzied half of the world at that time and made a quiet boy a star.

If you are a stereo geek, or are very paranoid about quality, don't buy this record. Buy Tubular Bells 2003.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By James Blake on January 14, 2000
Format: Audio CD
As a kid, I remember watching the movie "The Exorcist" and falling in love with it's theme music. Years later (like 1997) I was browsing a CD store's racks and came across "Orchestral Tubular Bells". I ran home to play it and fell in love with it. Finally, browsing through's music section, I search for Tubular Bells and came across what I now realize is the TRUE theme music from the movie. Mike Oldfield, in my opinion, borders on genious. He provides so many different moods within these 2 cuts it's absolutely amazing. Considering I was accustomed to an orchestra (Philadelphia Philharmonic) performing these pieces, Oldfield's original is fantastic. Orchestral has a deeper sounds, but obviously with more instruments. It's a must buy if you like Oldfield, the movie or classical music.
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Topic From this Discussion
The Best Album Closers
How about When The Levee Breaks from Led Zeppelin 4?
Oct 16, 2012 by D. Chrischilles |  See all 2 posts
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