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|1. In Dulci Jubilo|
|2. Ommadawn (Excerpt)|
|4. William Tell Overture|
|5. Incantations Part Four (Excerpt)|
|6. Guilty (Long Version)|
|7. Blue Peter|
|8. Five Miles Out|
|9. Taurus II (Excerpt)|
|10. Wonderful Land|
|11. Family Man|
|12. Shadow on the Wall|
|13. Moonlight Shadow|
|14. Foreign Affair|
The irony of the anniversary being marked by another label is immense. Richard Branson's empire was founded on Tubular Bells' success and while the hippy ideals that marked the label's origins may well have faded into the mists it seems sad that subsequent bad blood (free copies given away with the Mail On Sunday without Oldfield's permission) has soured two inextricably linked strands of musical history .
As for the original two-part opus itself. In these digital days the feat of writing and recording an entire multi-instrumental piece by oneself seems insignificant. But once you consider that the demos that secured Oldfield his contract were recorded on a two-track Bang & Olufsen reel to reel machine with bits of cardboard used to block the recording heads, and that even the manor where the first piece was recorded wasn't complete at the time the task becomes more impressive. As a piece its place in history, other than as the accompaniment to William Friedkin's Excorcist, is assured by its role as precursor to what came to be known as 'new age' music: equal parts Terry Riley (the introduction's juggling of time signatures in both 7 and 8), vari-speeded prog rock and folk (he'd been a teenage folkie with his sister Sally). True, by the suite's second half the ideas are a little thin on the ground (the 'Piltdown Man' section was sheer drunken extemporising) yet as a whole it still satisfies; its moods as rolling as the English countryside. And this very Englishness is, of course topped off by head Bonzo Viv Stanshall's turn as MC at the close of side one.
Accompanying the masterwork in this 35th anniversary edition is the 'collection' half of the offering, drawn from a selection of hits and highlights from the subsequent 30-odd years. These range from twee (Christmas hit, In Dulce Jubilo, the theme from Blue Peter, Portsmouth: what was it with hornpipes?) to the persuasively poppy (Family Man, Moonlight Shadow; with its famous tautological line about ''Four AM in the morning''). And of course more instrumental magic, the peak of which comes from his third album, Ommadawn; a piece which in some ways trumped his debut for a complete statement of pastoral bliss.
Oldfield's place in rock history is assured despite a mid-life crisis of sorts that saw him dally with Ibizan dance. That he came along at a time where youthful talent was still given room to breath, by entrepreneurs who had yet to lose the last glimmers of 60s idealism, is something we should all be grateful for. --Chris Jones
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This is a truly unique and wonderful album set. I love Tubular Bells, all the highs and lows in the music, all the different instruments - fantastic. Read morePublished 4 months ago by TinTiger
Having lost the use of my LP I was delighted to be able to download this version. Easy to listen to music that sounds just like a group of friends having funPublished 13 months ago by Anchri
I really Liked this album great tracks excellent recording of Mike Oldfield's " GUILTY " LONG TRACK THE LONGER THE BETTER One of his best music compilation' s he had done... Read morePublished 14 months ago by jeffrey jones
Love it had the cd back in the 70'so it greT to listen to all the classics again after all the yearsPublished 15 months ago by pusser