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Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells III CD (album) cover


Mike Oldfield


Crossover Prog

3.35 | 268 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Not a Piltdown man in sight

Forget the brand name on this outing, "Tubular Bells III" is different in many ways to the original "Tubular Bells" and to "Tubular Bells 2".

For a start, there's a song, "Man in the rain", on it, delightfully sung by Cara of Polar Star. Her voice is very similar to Maggie Reilly, so the track bears comparison with other Oldfield songs such as to "To France" and "Moonlight shadow".

While there's a continuity to the album as would be expected from Mike Oldfield, the tracks are to a much greater extent individual pieces of music in their own right. The themes are strong, with the climactic "Far above the clouds" providing a superb ending (if you ignore the rather irritating child reciting prose before the bells crash in!).

The influences of Mike's then current home in Ibiza also come through strongly, with heavier beats and dance rhythms drifting in and out.

It took me a while to fully appreciate this album. In many ways the marketing ploy of using the "Tubular Bells" name works against it. Using such a strong brand name encourages misleading expectations, and invites unnecessary and inappropriate comparisons. The album is nonetheless one of Oldfield's best recordings.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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