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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great. Just like I remembered it.
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...
Published on April 5, 2000 by Eric V. Moye

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Three stars for side one. Zero for side two.
I challenge anyone to sit alone in your house, turn off the lights, and listen to the opening five minutes of Tubular Bells. If you survive that, then, uh, you're pretty brave. I've heard this was used as background music for an exhibit at the Boston Museum of Science. I can't imagine listening to this while pondering some rotating balls or something. I'd be looking...
Published on June 26, 2000 by Robert


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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great. Just like I remembered it., April 5, 2000
By 
Eric V. Moye (New York, by way of Dallas) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tubular Bells (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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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pop-classical masterpiece..., October 28, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Tubular Bells (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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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous, July 27, 2005
This review is from: Tubular Bells (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. 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
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Old Favorite, January 24, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Tubular Bells (Audio CD)
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.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars musically, masterpiece. technically, the record is bad, September 7, 2004
This review is from: Tubular Bells (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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells", January 14, 2000
This review is from: Tubular Bells (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 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.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true classic that's never sounded better, August 7, 2012
This review is from: Tubular Bells (Audio CD)
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This has nothing to do with the movie, as intended, anyway., April 19, 2008
By 
This review is from: Tubular Bells (Audio CD)
Mike Oldfield probably owes his career to film director Billy Friedkin, who doesn't even like "Tubular Bells" very much, and who has never even met Oldfield, for that matter. While the 1973 smash film "The Exorcist" was in its final stages of production, suitable music wasn't yet selected, as nothing seemed to fit the mood of the piece. It was either too much bombast, or too cliche'd, never quite right. The then unknown record company called Virgin Records had some music in their vault, so Friedkin was listening to some of their unknown material, looking for something the public hadn't heard before, and something with an eerie, almost child's music box sound. He found "Tubular Bells" to be very boring and pointless, to paraphrase, but the opening motif was exactly what he wanted. Whether by association in hindsight, or just the way people think, the piano intro, with the other arrangements (bass, and keyboard and percussion accents) carries this other-worldly feel, something sinister and forboding, a tension that very few other pieces have ever achieved successfully. And the rest is history. This is Mike Oldfield's first official release, and the first of several incarnations of this piece. It seems he was always trying to find the right way to communicate this idea.

Remarkable is the fact that he played all the instruments himself, save for some of the voices, a flute arrangement, and the drums. Yes, it is self-indulgent, but that is often the best performance art. Knowing if one puts his or her all into something, and has the talent to do it, it WILL be good. The listener is transported from the ominous opening theme to a lighter dimension, a postcard-like image to a hillside occupied with a small town on a late Autumn dusk or dawn. I am imposing my own mind's eye on you here, but this is what I experience with it. This is very subjective, everyone will have their own experience, so pushing my personal images off on others could taint someone else's view. I will try to keep this to a minimum. Various themes play out, some sounding more finished than others, but the segue is as much an instrument as the actual instruments themselves.

The first act, if you will, climaxes with a repetitive rhythm from an electric bass or muted electric six-string guitar, laying down an established groove, if you will, adding a new instrument each time. The instruments are introduced one at a time by Vivian Stanshall of the Bonzo Dog Band ("I'm The Urban Spaceman"), until the creshendo is reached with "...Plus; Tubular Bells!..." The bottom the falls out, and a moment of silence ensues.

In the old days, this would be where you would go get a drink and flip the record over.

Act Two, I believe, contains an opening sequence which is every bit as ominous as the piano theme Friedkin used in his movie. The first reworking of it has this passage titled "Weightless," and that is fitting there, but in this original 1973 record, it is simply frightening. Instead of playing standard guitar notes, a technique called "fretboard harmonics" is used to lay down the groundwork as nylon and steel string guitars play the melody over top, accentuated with female (or male falsetto) vocals chanting some ethereal melody you would hear in a fever-induced dream. Once again, my own lexicon trumps the readers' perception, unless they have a powerful one of their own, but dark, gritty, monochrome black-and-white imagery of bare trees and something simply being not right pervades. This gives way to a more peaceful, gentle mood, actually sounding a little sad, with an innocence to it, completely belying what preceded it.

...relax for a few moments...

Once again, this soundscape is painted with bold strokes, as distorted guitars sounding like bagpipes swirl over tympani, playing some foreboding melody in a loop, while some mis-shapen ogre is pursuing you. A plodding rock rhythm is the background for an interesting vocal by Oldfield himself, the "Piltdown Man," as the credits say. Primal rage is building, and the terrifying howl that ensues actually put a cold chill down my back the first time I heard it. This segment is one of the most aggressive pieces in most record collections from the era, a genuinely scary performance.

Screams, howls, violence, and rage, give way to quiet darkness; points of light in the distance, a la early Pink Floyd, trailing off into oblivion, but a little postscript is appended to the very end, a little sea shanty, if you will, a reminder to not take it TOO seriously, it's just a piece of music.

And, what a good piece of music it is.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Soundtrack of My Life, September 19, 2004
This review is from: Tubular Bells (Audio CD)
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...
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Tubular Bells, March 12, 2006
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Tubular Bells (Audio CD)
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.
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Tubular Bells
Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield (Audio CD - 2009)
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