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Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

4.10 | 1146 ratings

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Symphonic Team
4 stars One of the albums you must buy before you die - but does it live up to the hype?

Tubular Bells remains one of the best debuts for an artist in music history - a man had a dream and pursued it vigorously and Oldfield's almost obssessive attention to detail on this album is staggering.

It begins with the trademark theme that was later used as atmosphere for the chilling Exorcist movie. Then the guitars kick in and the awesome bass lines, all played by the great man himself. The track gets into weird territory about 16 minutes in and transports the listener to another realm. The sound is incredible and even though it is bombastic, it is so endearing and intelligently crafted it hits the listener right between the eyes.

It seems to mesmirize with every listen with hypnotic effect encapsulating all that is great about prog rock - the wierd off kilter time signatures, the lengthy sections of overture, the use of a variety of instruments, and the melody that haunts with every listen.

One of my favourite sections is when Oldfield introduces each new instrument - it has the potential to be mocked of course, and indeed has been, however it is quite compelling to listen to each instrument chiming in including Mandolin, glockenspiel, up to the Tubular Bells sound itself. So familiar has this theme become it brings with it instant recognition par excellence. I would give if 5 stars except track 2 is not quite as endearing as the rest of this effort. The hornpipe section is OK but strangely annoying, with its foreign worldy sound, I prefer the space rock futuristic style personally.

Oldfield triumphs on this album and it has been sequelled numerous times, but this is the quintessential CD for instrumental music. Beautiful, haunting, compelling and played with musical virtuosity.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |


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