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Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

4.11 | 1170 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars Are the tubular bells the kings among instruments?

Tubular Bells was Mike Oldfield's first release on his own and he was very young at the time. To (probably) everyone's surprise, this somewhat immature work became a giant commercial success. Nobody quite knows why this struck a chord with the public, but it did. The idea, or concept, behind Tubular Bells seems to have been to fit every musical instrument and almost every style of music known to man intro a single piece of music. The result is, not surprisingly, more than a bit disjointed. There are some very good and memorable passages, but also quite a few false starts and silly ideas. I fail to see any overall structure of the piece; rather, it goes from one theme to the other without really connecting them together in some intelligible way. I think it is fair to say that Mike's success was a bit premature and, even if this was his commercial peak, he had yet to reach his musical peak.

The worst parts are the silly spoken introductions of the instruments and the "growling" vocals. These parts are really ridiculous! Yet, with all these flaws, Tubular Bells is still a classic and it remains a reasonably enjoyable listen from time to time. I hesitate to assimilate this with progressive Rock though.

Mike did better later on.

SouthSideoftheSky | 3/5 |


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