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Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

4.11 | 1155 ratings

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3 stars Tubular Bells is the first in a strong batch of albums by multi-instrumentalist Mike Oldfield. It contains two continuously flowing musical pieces with a floksy-acoustic feel and an entirely original sound and approach.

Oldfield's musical roots can be traced back to the Canterbury scene, where he co-operated with Kevin Ayers's solo project the Whole World. Oldfield's debut somehow continues the typical warm and smooth sound and the lightly jazzy atmosphere. Especially the extended guitar noodling at the start and in the second half of part 2 have that soft texture and also remind me of Camel's later instrumental album The Snow Goose. The piece has a humorous or at least intentionally humurous bit in the middle and at the end that breaks the mood for me. This first part is more consistent then the second but suffers from the shrill electric guitar sound. The intro has reached world fame as it was used in the well-known horror picture The Exorcist and the ending crescendo is another well known classic.

Because of its status and historical importance, 3 stars is a bit disrespectful, but there are too much ill-fitting experiments with both sound and song development to be a 4 star album. If you would not own any Oldfield album yet, I certainly wouldn't recommend Tubular Bells as a starting point. Better take one of the ensuing albums instead.

Bonnek | 3/5 |


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