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Mike Oldfield: 1993 - Tubular Bells CD Track Listing

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Mike Oldfield 1993 - Tubular Bells (1973)
Originally Released 1973\nOriginal CD Edition Released 1983\nReissued CD Edition Released June 29, 1992\nHybrid M-Channel SACD Edition Remastered in HDCD Released February 2001\n\nAMG EXPERT REVIEW: 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. -- Mike DeGagne\n\nAmazon.com Editorial Review\nThe 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 \n\nHalf.com Album Credits\nSally Oldfield, Contributing Artist\nThe Pilt-Down Man, Contributing Artist\nVivian Stanshall, Contributing Artist\nMike Oldfield, Producer\n\nAlbum Notes\nPersonnel includes: Mike Oldfield (various instruments); Vivian Stanshall (vocals); Sally Oldfield, The Pilt-Down Man.\n\nThe 19-year old Oldfield played virtually everything on the mostly instrumental TUBULAR BELLS, which required hundreds of over-dubs in the recording process (2300 in total, according to Rolling Stone magazine). The effect he created, a densely layered, richly textured sound, put "minimalist" musical ideas in a pop music context, and was highly successful. TUBULAR BELLS was the first album to be released on the Virgin label. Excerpts from TUBULAR BELLS were used in the film "The Exorcist." A single version, sometimes called "Theme From The Exorcist" became a top-10 hit, and the album hit number-1 on the British album charts.\n\nAmazon.com Customer Review\nTubular Mott, March 16, 2001 \nReviewer: Kim Fletcher from Pattaya, Chonburi Thailand \nAfter touring with Kevin Ayers and other assorted Liggers, Mike Oldfield decided to branch out on his own, becoming the first artist to single handedly give the concept of one man band a good name. After an album recorded under the name "Sallangie" in 1968 with his sister, his next album tends to reflect a more pastoral texture, with the seminal Tubular Bells (73) helping to launch Richard Branson and Virgin Records onto the International scene. "But what of the music I hear you Yelp. Well, there's fast bits, & slow bits, orgasmic bits & passive bits, heavy stuff & loose stuff, twiddly music, gobbledegook, fiddly jigs, lots of swishing, no out of tune singing, in fact no singing, but they talk too much, there's a Jabberwock, a highland fling, and it's great to do exorcisms too. Mike Oldfield composed it, arranged it, produced it, and played all the instruments including, the grand piano, farfisa organ, bass guitar, taped motor drive amplifier organ chord, (bet I could paw one of them) speed guitar, African Bong, Assorted Percussion, (what's he do buy them by the quarter pound) the Flageolet (that's what it says here) a Glocken spiel, two silly slightly distorted guitars, guitars sounding like bagpipes (why not just get some bagpipes?) Concert Tympani, uncle Tom Cobblie and all, plus of course Tubular Bells. Does it all make sense now?? Actually it's devastating, so just add it to your collection & try & work out what's going on where. Mott the Dog. \n\nAmazon.com Customer Review\n"Masterpiece" Is Not A Strong Enough Word, February 26, 2001 \nReviewer: VoodooLord7 from Oklahoma, USA \nI find it hard to put in words my feelings for this album. It is truly a musical masterpiece in the first degree - comparing favorably to most anything in the rock genre, and even classical symphonies. The fact that this album single-handedly launched the Virgin Record label into the stratosphere, became the theme for a hit movie, appeared on Pure Moods and other compilations, and more or less spawned a new musical genre are testaments enough to it's greatness. However, if you are still unconvinved, simply listen to it. Mike Oldfield is an incredible musician, he plays more instruments on this album than most people know exist. The slow-building opening theme (familar to many as the background music in The Exorcist) gets the album off to a slow and suspenseful start. The rest of Part 1 is absolute mastery, culminating in the recurring melody played on an increasing barrage of instruments, until Oldfield's tubular bells bring the piece to it's conclusion. Part 2, though good, is, in my opinion, not as good as Part 1. It starts off well enough, surely, with some extremely nice guitar work from Mike. However, towards the latter part of the album, the odd-sounding vocals and less impressive musical passages bring the piece down a bit. However, this does not affect the quality of the album as a whole. I totally recommend this album to anybody who likes brilliantly structured and played music of any kind, regardless of your personal tastes and favorite genres. Tubular Bells remains a classic for all times. \n\nAmazon.com Customer Review\nI liked it once, long ago...., September 19, 2003 \nReviewer: byankee from Shrewsbury, MA United States \nI was really into this album when it came out. I was in High School and I used to listen to it alone in my room with the black lights on and a candle or two burning. Way cool....\n\nTime passes and I stumble upon a copy of it in a used CD rack. 'Hey I remember this!" $5.00 and I'm on my way to relive some of my lost youth. \n\nI rip open the package and jam the thing in my car's CD player. I can't wait. Ahhh there's the familar theme from that scary movie. Cool. Stuff slowly beings to happen...more instruments start to come in...Yeah, just like I rememeber... 5 minutes in and I'm starting to wonder, "hey where's the good stuff?" Ten minuets pass and I can hardly keep from giggling. The melodies are simplistic and nieve, the sound textures are silly and the music is - dare I say it? - boring! Yes there are some nice tunes that start off filled with promise, but then they either get repeated over and over again into oblivion or they get swamped with cliche ridden sounds (When's the last time anyone used a fuzz effect on a guitar? There's a reason why, ya know. It sounds stupid!) \n\nI really lost it when the caveman chorus started up. Talk about stupid! I used to think it was a nice and silly way to break up the piece - sort of an aural intermission - but now I can't help but think that Mike O. was serious about this section - well as serious as he was in the preceeding sections of the work anyway - and that he actually thought that this part was, well, meaningful or arty or ...something other than just plain old stupid.\n\nAt last, the formerly comical but not really pretentious and inane part with the english guy introducing the instuments. YAWN! Who the heck cares? \n\nAnd finally, the thing that sums it all up perfectly: the sailor's hornpipe at the the end speedong away into silliness. Couldn't think of a good ending, could ya, Mike? \n\nI did try to listen to the CD one more time a few days later to see if I had missed something. Nope. I ended up giving it to my (older) brother - also a former fan of the piece - and I don't think he's gotten all the way through it. \n\nBottom line: Pretension posing as art, silliness posing as creative cleverness. \n\nI gave it 2 stars instead of 1 because it might be worth listen to if you're stoned. Or if you have nothing else to do. \n\nAmazon.com Customer Review\nWhy?, September 15, 2003 \nReviewer: Nathan from Nevada \nThis is the biggest tease in the history of music! The first half is sublime, creative, musical and wonderful. The many different instruments intertwining with one another are absolutely gorgeous. The last half continues the same way, and just when I started to think that this was the single most creative piece of music I had ever had the pleasure of listening to...."Goh dagh whaassggghh goh dagh whahhhnohhh!!!!" some moron decides to start grunting and growling in jibberish. Other reviewers have called these "caveman vocals." I'd say it's more akin to hearing a klingon attempt to pass a brick from his bowels. I'm a fan of all things avant-garde in music, but this grunting is overly aggressive and simply out of place when set against the rest of the piece. It'd be the same as a pianist playing Chopin and starting a foul-mouthed freestyle rap in the middle. Maybe in another genre of music it would fit, but here it serves no purpose other than weird-for-the-sake-of-weird. What follows this 3-minute ordeal, if you can stand to listen further, is a soft and solemn interlude that is played beautifully on mainly organ and guitar and could almost redeem the piece. However, the last two minutes further serve to ruin it. A jig-like rendition of a sailor song whose title escapes me, but everyone has heard it. Mr. Oldfield couldn't find a fitting end to his opus, so he figured "I'll end it with POPEYE!" Great idea Mike.\n\nI hate writing negative reviews and I don't enjoy critics, but I felt I needed to warn those who have been hearing about how good Tubular Bells is and have decided to buy it after listing to the first 5 minutes. If you end up loving it, grunting Klingons and all, I'm very happy for you. \n\nI gave it two stars instead of one because of the wonderful first half and the second half's few shining moments. \n\nAmazon.com Customer Review\nEnjoyable suite, March 25, 2001 \nReviewer: jmark2001 from New York \nWhat do you do with a dozen themes that you do not know how to develop? Mike Oldfield decided to string them together into a long (25 minutes) suite of themes, fragments, progressions, and variations. It is an easy way out and could have led to dismal results except for the fact that Oldfield varies the instrumentation a good deal and the opening theme is interesting enough to draw the listener in. It doesn't go anywhere but just changes enough to remain interesting. The different fragments could have been spliced together in almost any order without making much of a difference as the piece never really develops - it just presents a music fragment, repeats it, and then moves to the next one without any unity among them. But it is enjoyable and worth repeated listening. The ending is a bass sequence with more and more instruments piled on gradually after being introduced by an announcer. This is enjoyable until it all builds up with nowhere to go and with nothing left to do but die out. Flawed, but fun to listen to late at night on headphones. \n\nAmazon.com Customer Review\nThe album that launched the market for Reich, Part and Tangs, February 22, 2001 \nReviewer: Gavin J Wilson from Basingstoke, Hants United Kingdom \nThere are some ground-breaking albums that you feel you ought to own but you end up struggling to enjoy. There are no such problems with this CD.\n\nThis was the multi-million-selling album that established the Virgn label. Without this, there might have been no Branson empire. I doubt whether Tangerine Dream's PHAEDRA would have reached the audiences it did without the Virgin label. Certainly this LP opened the door to a new market which others such as Steve Reich's wonderful MUSIC FOR 18 MUSICIANS were able to cater to. Even composers such as Arvo Part subsequently benefited from the demand for 'new-age' material -- although I recognise that both Oldfield and Part dislike that term.\n\nIt all started with a little piece consisting of one bar of 7 beats and another of 8 beats, which Oldfield said turned out by accident to be a very nice listenable thing, which owed something to the complexity of Eastern music, the repetitiveness of Terry Riley and the technique of Bach. These looping clusters of notes built to a grand climax narrated by the late Vivian Stanshall (ex-Bonzos). You could whistle to it, or even have sex to it (a popular pastime in the mid-70s).\n\nOldfield has recorded three near-perfect masterpieces, all in succession: this, HERGEST RIDGE and OMMADAWN. People argue about which is the best, but frankly you will enjoy them all. Each has moments of fantastic beauty. There is something elemental to the trilogy: if this represents Water, then the second is Air, and the third Earth. In the 90s, Oldfield, I feel, wasted his time trying to recreate his achievement by recording BELLS II and III. He should instead have looked in a very different direction, completing the quartet with the fourth element, Fire. But I shouldn't think out loud like this.\n\nWhat you get here is a 100% classic. It's worth paying a couple of dollars extra for this remastered version, which comes with many previously unseen photographs and some anecdotes from Oldfield, Newman and Heyworth. \n\nAmazon.com Customer Review\nProgressive Rock Meets Igor Stravinsky, September 19, 2000 \nReviewer: Looper from Ft. Calhoun, NE \nWhen I first listened to this album, I immediatley knew it would be one of my favorites. I've had it for only a month now, but I've played it nearly four times a week - that's rare for me. One time I brought it to a party and some friends of mine played it around 8 times nonstop, we liked it that much. 1st Movement: the piece starts out with a slightly nervous piano theme then builds and builds using the instruments of Oldfield's "Rock Orchestra". The mood gets more and more tense, finally breaking and flowing into the 2nd Movement. Distorted Guitar and Taped Motor Drive Amplifier Organ Chord. Upward and Onward the music swells, thundering and crashing into a tense solo guitar that can't support itself under the weight of what's gone before. 3rd Movement: A long, dreamy solo for Guitar that swings back and forth like a pendulum. But again, this collapses into "The Sound Of A Train Running To The End Of Its Tracks". 4th Movement: This begins with some distant bells that bring in the longest bass solo I've ever heard - something like five minutes straight. Just when you're about to fall asleep, the instruments are introduced, one by one, to climax with one of the greatest rock endings of all time. Wow. Magnificent. \n\nAmazon.com Customer Review\nThe groundbreaker..., May 19, 2000 \nReviewer: DAC Crowell from Rankin, IL United States \nBefore this, Mike Oldfield was a young session guitarist who'd played with Kevin Ayers, among others. But in between that, he was screwing around with this 'demo project'. Well, that 'demo project' kept growing and growing and getting more complex as Oldfield managed to scrounge more session time to tinker with it, and eventually, a certain hippie record dealer with a wild hair to start a label heard it and decided to kick off said label with Oldfield's 'demo'. To make a long story short, the hippie was someone by the name of Richard Branson, the label got named 'Virgin', and that demo turned into this album, perhaps one of the greatest-selling...and greatest, period...instrumental rock works of all time. Music's not been quite the same since. "Tubular Bells" forced a lot of people who'd dismissed rock as having no 'serious' capabilities to reassess their opinions, as Oldfield had crafted a well-composed, beautiful, often-dramatic, and lyrical work using both the instruments and technology of rock. People pigeonhole this in 'progressive', but it really goes so much beyond that, as Oldfield here grafts on many classical and folk elements to come up with something that goes far beyond the tagline of 'prog-rock'. In a very real sense, this is almost a precursor to the late-70s rise of minimalism, especially the latter part of Part I, with its reliance on a gradually-building structure based on simple repeating forms. And, of course, the fun addition of Viv Stanshall as 'Master of Ceremonies'. Oldfield even gets into a little ethno-fakery fun, too, vocalizing as the 'Piltdown Man' in Part II. A totally enjoyable work, and an important milestone in both rock and the classical music of the late 20th Century, too. YEAR: 1973
This misc cd contains 2 tracks and runs 48min 57sec.
Freedb: 100b7702
Buy: from Amazon.com

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  1. Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells - Part One (25:33)
  2. Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells - Part Two (23:21)


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