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Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells 2003 CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

3.77 | 230 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars First assumption: this could easily have been for me one of the finest albums ever, had I not been hearing the original for decades. As far as re-recordings go, this is among the best. Oldfield managed to do something different using the same composition just by updating the means and the production to the digital era.

So what's new in 2003? Well, first off, both parts have been subdivided in several smaller pieces - no point, really, seeing that they can't actually hold on their own. The general feeling is that the mellower parts are more crystal, while the heavier parts are heavier and trashier. And the finale is now voiced by John Clease - a fine choice and a fine work, but I'm afraid the original is just too imprinted on our minds to fully appreciate this new feature.

Tubular Bells 2003 has however brought a new light to Part 2. The crescendo leading to Cavemen is much more dramatic and flowing. Cavemen itself has been turned into "Caveman and Cavewoman", seeing that are now two voices (I must confess I rather preferred the original by miles). The Sailor's Hornpipe ends the album pretty much in the same manner as the original recording.

All in all, a nice effort that had to wait 30 years to break from the shackles of Virgin to see the light. We, outside, great it with kindness, although our fondness will always remain with its ruder, sharper-edged, older brother.

Kotro | 4/5 |


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