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Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells 2003 CD (album) cover

TUBULAR BELLS 2003

Mike Oldfield

 

Crossover Prog

3.74 | 149 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Shakespeare
2 stars From the very start, Mike has never been satisfied with Tubular Bells. From the first knock off, the orchestral version, he was trying to fix what he thought was absolutely messy, broken, and sloppy. True, most will agree with me when I say that the original Oldfield album was a very hurried out the door and sloppy affair. However, that was always part of the intrigue of the album - the organic honesty. Now, he has reproduced it with Tubular Bells 2003. He has done other knock-off albums before, but all were renditions of it. This is a straight re-recording of the original. All playing is precise, all editing on cue.

In some regards, this remake is better than the original. All the varied sounds are still here, though perhaps a bit more electronic-sounding and geometric. To hear the fantastic album with perfect delivery, and top-notch sound quality is very fulfilling. However, I (and most others) would still prefer to listen to the original. Something of the magic, the atmosphere, the aura, the unrepeatable nostalgic beauty of Tubular Bells is lost in this nearly-robotic recreation.

Cutting up the album into several smaller songs was a strange artistic choice of Mike's, and I personally would have preferred it all to remain as a two part song. But, that doesn't at all affect the music. The compositions are, as I said, completely the same as the original. A wise choice, if you ask me, because the disastrous Tubular Bells II was plagued by the expectancy of the original melodies, and when something similar was pronounced, we had that frustrating feeling of almost...but not quite. Here, everything is the same, down the detail, and if you're looking for an enhanced version of the original, then this is the best. But if you're not looking for that, then this is not only superfluous, but comes short of the original, which makes it generally useless.

Shakespeare | 2/5 |

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