Digitally remastered U.K. edition features revised liner notes.
The 19-year old Mike Oldfield played virtually everything on the mostly instrumental TUBULAR BELLS. Employing fugue-like classical patterns and wildly eclectic instrumentation, which included the flageolet, the mandolin, and the Farfisa organ, Oldfield created an intricately shifting web of musical phrases that overlapped and interlocked to generate a seemingly endless variety of textures. Oldfield achieved this effect, in large part, by overdubbing hundreds of times during the recording process (Rolling Stone magazine quoted the number of overdubs at 2300).
The resulting album was a revelation, a densely layered, richly textured tapestry of sound that put "minimalist" musical ideas in a pop music context, and also presaged New Age instrumentals. The first album to be released on the Virgin label, TUBULAR BELLS was highly successful, in part because the ominous, tingling intro to the album was used in the film THE EXORCIST. A single version, sometimes called "Theme From The Exorcist," became a Top 10 hit, and the album hit #1 on the British album charts. Years later, the album still holds up, unveiling hidden, layered delights with each listen.
What the critics say...
Q (9/00, p.126) - 5 stars out of 5 - "...The most incident-packed of his '70s releases: you're never more than 2 minutes away from a crescendo or a beautiful interlude..."
- Part One
- Part Two