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Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

4.12 | 1212 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Painfully underrated milestone of progressive rock

It really amazes me that such an important album to progressive rock in general like Tubular Bells have so many negative reviews. This album was not only Mike Oldfield's biggest commercial hit, but also the album that made Virgin Records possible, since it sold so many copies, specially in England, and an undeniable cultural reference for the decade, specially because Tubular Bells part 1 was in The Exorcist soundtrack against Oldfield's wishes, but that is another story.

A possible reason for this album being so ill-fated and have so many mixed opinions amongst reviewers is that it has some kind of complex simlicity that cannot be easily percieved by all. Let me explain that: unlike other great prog bands, like ELP, Yes and Genesis, who delivered beautiful and yet incredibly hard-to-be-played music, Mike Oldfield was able to make great music that was actually simple. He just used simple melodic lines and played with them using some variations and many different instruments , at least in part 1. However, since he added many different variations of a simple melodic line, the music, in the end, became complex as a whole.

In part 2 Mike is a bit more experimental than in part 1, becuase he mix a bigger amount of different music genres and instruments together. Despite that, the song is not hard or difficult to listen nor it is very complex, pretty much like part 1.

Another reason why Tubular Bells has so many mixed opinions about it is the lack of the rock factor in the album. Indeed, it is hard to understand why this album, and many other Mike Oldfield albums, are listed as belonging to the rock genre if they don't have that rock feeling. Anyway, instead of doing rock music, mister Oldfield decided to create a pleasant landscape of sounds (could this be a sonicscape?) with rock instruments, like electric (and distorted) guitars, electric bass guitars, synthesizers, etc.

Yet another reason for the low grade is that this albums is Oldfield's most well-known album and, because of it, it is obvious that a larger amount of people that don't like his work will listen Tubular Bells and consequently will give it a low grade.

Grade and Final Thoughts

Why an amazing album that is a milestone of progressive rock has such a low grade i will probably never know, but one thing is clear to me: Tubular Bells is a masterpiece. This is one album that you can enjoy at any time you play it, showing how brilliant Mike Oldfiled was in his early days. One of the easiest 5 stars ratings I ever gave.

CCVP | 5/5 |


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