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Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells CD (album) cover

TUBULAR BELLS

Mike Oldfield

 

Crossover Prog

4.10 | 1146 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars It seems like the public at large is always looking for something new and different, a new hero to adore. And that's certainly true when we're talking about music. Think of all the bands and songs that you couldn't get enough of when you were in your teens. Yet as time passes by we are often embarrassed that we were so into these songs and bands. This is especially true when it comes to pop music as the flavour of the month slowly turns sour as the years go by. It's almost as if the planets were aligned when 19 year old Mike Oldfield released this album on Virgin Records in 1973. This was Virgin Records first release and it would make both Mike and the label famous and very successful. Listening to this album for the first time recently made me scratch my head as to why it became a number one hit and at the same time stay on the charts for years. It's not that I don't like it or think it's not that good. Quite the contrary actually, I just marvel that music fans fell in love with this progressive album that isn't the least bit commercial sounding. It has stood the test of time very well in my opinion. I like it a lot. Many Oldfield fans will disagree with me but all you really need from Mike is this album,"Ommadawn" and "Hergest Ridge". The rest that follow aren't nearly as good in my opinion. The three I mention all contain two side long suites.

The first time I ever heard this album mentioned was back in 1977 or 1978. Our Geography class was going down to Toronto for a "field trip" and at some point in the afternoon we all had 2 to 3 hours to do whatever we wanted. Most students went to check out a movie while my friend and I hit the record shops. I bought "A Farewell To Kings" and LED ZEPPELIN's "IV" on vinyl. As we went back to board the bus the teacher asked what I bought so I showed him. He really didn't react much at all except for barely a polite smile and gave them back. The girl behind me had bought Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" and the teacher went on and on about how amazing it was. I remember thinking at the time "I have no idea who Mike Oldfield is but there's no way he's better than RUSH or ZEPPELIN". And yes I still feel tha way. I always remembered this album because of that incident though and it feels really good to finally spend some time with it.

It does feel more stitched together than the two that follow but it doesn't bother me at all because it's all so well done. In fact this is a pleasure to sit down and listen to. Easily 4 stars.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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