46 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on April 5, 2000
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.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 1999
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!!!
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2005
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. I was surprised by all the negative reviews but I know this is not for everyone. Can't say much about the album technically except the bass towards the end of part 1 tends to get distorted and fuzzy if played through a hi-fi with heavy bass. It's not half as bad as the bass in Tubular Bells 2003 which sounds like it was played by a robot. Avoid the 2003 version if you like the original as it is. Highly recommended
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2004
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.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2000
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 Amazon.com'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.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2010
I remember this from my college days, and loved it then. Most of the others I loved back then have not stood the test of time nearly so well as this one has. The sound of the bells is so crisp, and yet the overall effect is so mellow.
I play it often.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2012
Much has been written about Tubular Bells and there have been so many variations and best of's with that bell logo on the sleeve that for the uninitiated it can be confusing to know which one to buy. Allow me to help you out.
This release of Tubular Bells is the classic original recording released in 1973. It has been remastered using current technology, that means it now sounds more awesome than ever. When Oldfield made this record he was pushing the limits of what could be achieved in a studio at that time and there was hiss and bass rumble, to the modern ear it might also sound brittle and toppy. That's all been fixed now and the music sounds warm and inviting, I fell in love with record from my youth all over again.
Honestly just buy it! There really is nothing else quite like it. Tubular Bells is perhaps one of the most addictive records out there.
And to sign off...I've gotten into the habit of telling Oldfield fans about a young whipper-snapper by the name of Andrew Taylor who has released an album called Mohribold (google it). If you like Oldfield you'll love Mohribold! There are some Oldfield-esque moments but he's got his own style too. Maybe he's one to watch out for since Oldfield has called for an instrumetnal rock renaissence after his Olympics opening ceremony appearance.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2004
I first heard this music, late one night in my room, when I was 17 years old, the same age as Mike Oldfield when he wrote this. This was in the days of 'Album rock', and when I first heard that haunting melody, and then the war and play of the Dark , almost demonic sound, and the Light bursting forth triumphant; in my mind a horse and a knight and a lady come suddenly into a clearing and see the castle glistening in the clear morning sunlight...the weirdness, ...like this was a musical message from another place, another era, another world...where did this glorious music come from that held so perfectly the dark and the light? I immediately knew, at that tender age, that there was a lot more to 'reality' that I andeveryone had thought...and young Mike O., had somehow channelled this music through the pain of his adolescence.... Ommadawn was even better, taking music to a building exotic spiritual climax...Tubular Bells II,...hopeful, happy, optimistic, with still a little daemonic energy thrown in...TB III, the most incredible orgiastic climax ever, building to that enormous metallic/resonating strike of the Bell, like the biggest bell on earth, on the top of the mountain...the soundtracks to my life...wherever Mike gets his stuff (I don't believe his personality writes his music, but rather, some greater part of reality comes through him, and his person is a fantastic instrument---guitar-player...)
What! wonderful music! There's none other out there like Mike Oldfield...
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2006
I first heard this in the Mid-70s and have loved it from then until now. It has been 15 years since I heard it, and the CD was beautiful. It was great.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2010
Arguably the seminal release of the progressive era, Oldfield weaves a hypnotic web of guitar and keyboard lines that gradually builds into a pinnacle of real grandeur. Each track filled an entire album side (back in the days of vinyl) but contains enough melodic changes to keep the music fascinating throughout. There are no real lead vocals (not in the traditional sense) and very little rock energy, but the beauty and drama of Oldfield's composition and playing is enough to keep the listener captivated. The first side is definitely the stronger of the two, opening with the familiar, eerily quiet theme from "The Exorcist", moving through a series of variations on that theme until it's mutated into a driving, Bolero-like showpiece for keys, distorted guitars, and other less-common instruments, including the promised Tubular Bells (chimes, to U.S. listeners). To my ears, the second side sounds like an entirely different composition. It opens with lilting guitar lines that take us into a slow, beautifully melancholy organ solo in waltz time, then on to a Scottish-sounding theme where the guitars take the role of bagpipes, followed by a more upbeat section featuring the "Piltdown Man" - surely one of the most unconventional vocals ever recorded. After another quieter interval the piece concludes with a couple of rousing choruses of the "Sailor's Hornpipe" played at accelerating tempo. A playful conclusion to a bona fide masterpiece.