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The Collection

Mike Oldfield Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
Price: £8.05 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 Jun 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Universal/Mercury
  • ASIN: B0026S1XDW
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 72,986 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. In Dulci Jubilo
2. Ommadawn (Excerpt)
3. Portsmouth
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

Product Description

Product Description

Mike Oldfield is an artist like no other. Over the last 37 years he has produced timeless, unique and inspirational music that has enthralled listeners the world over. Fans old and new can celebrate the great man’s work with a special release of his classic, multiplatinum selling album Tubular Bells. It is 35 years since the opening passage was used in the film The Exorcist, making the album a global phenomenon. The Mike Oldfield Collection contains the new edition of Tubular Bells alongside a personally selected compilation of his hits and well-known album tracks between 1974 and 1983, including such classics as "Moonlight Shadow" and "In Dulci Jubilo".

BBC Review

In 1972 the reclusive ex-bass player from Kevin Ayers' band The Whole World, after several rejections, had his demo of a single, instrumental piece of music, entirely self played, finally enthused over by a recording engineer by the name of Tom Newman. Newman happened to be helping to build a new studio called simply The Manor in Oxfordshire for his boss, a certain Richard Branson. Thus it was that what was originally titled Opus One was released as the first album on the Virgin Records label under the title of Tubular Bells. Five years in the charts (one of these at number one) later, and history had been made. And now, 35 years later, with the rights finally reverting to Oldfield, The Collection sees the work get what must be a definitive remastering.

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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
131 of 133 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Remaster away, just don't change the damn music. 11 Aug 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Needless to say that 'Tubular Bells' is a classic LP. I first heard it when my dad played it to me when I was 6 and my huge attachment to it has never worn off. Even so, his CD copy was issued decades ago and the sound quality was fairly muddy, so when I bought my own copy, I naturally went for this 2009 remastered version. Unfortunately, Mike Oldfield is a notorious perfectionist/meddlist/just-plain-weirdist and he is never satisfied with his results meaning that, not only did he re-record the whole album in 2003 (with John Cleese introducing the instruments at the end of part one), but when the time came to remaster the original version for this release, he was somehow possessed to change some of the music completely. That superb tribal drumming build-up that comes between the bagpipe guitars and the bizarre/funny caveman section? It's gone!! Completely disappeared! The plucked melodies at the very end of part one used to rise and fall in intensity which gave them far more emotional weight and used to catch me every time; now they've been ironed out so they're all the same damn volume. I don't care if Oldfield thought that they were somehow "imperfect", it was their irregularity that made them sound human and gave them their warmth. There are various other aspects of the album that have been changed. It almost sounds like an inferior re-recording. This is NOT the 'Tubular Bells' I remember and love. I'd feel extremely ripped off if it wasn't for the fact that I only paid £3 for it, so instead I am merely sorely disappointed. However, it should be noted that the "Single version" of the bagpipe guitars section (re-recorded with oboes and the like) and its bizarre b-side of 'The Sailor's Hornpipe' are real joys, so I might just say that this otherwise iconoclastic release is worth it for that. Even so, if you want to actually hear 'Tubular Bells' (the REAL 'Tubular Bells'), it's worth buying the previous issue (labelled on Amazon as "Tubular Bells Vol.1: Remastered") instead.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly Remastered 30 July 2012
By will58
Format:MP3 Download|Verified Purchase
When I was young I had this album on vinyl; unfortunately the stereo system I had at that time wasn't good enough the reproduce the sound as it was meant to be heard. This is a superb remastering of a classic album and makes it come alive. Everything is crystal clear, and I can hear instruments such as flutes and pedal basses that I didn't know were on the album.
I don't normally go for remixed albums as sometimes they can be spoiled; this is the exception to that rule and it's as if I'm hearing it for the first time. It is a superb listening experience, from the opening notes of Tubular Bells Part One, to the Sailors Hornpipe finale, and is highly recommended. Buy it, you won't be disappointed!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PURPLE HAZE 21 April 2012
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Blimey i can only imagine what listening to Tubular Bells was like at the time,i wasn't born till 79.Images of laying on an extremely comfortable bean bag,headphones on,vinyl seductively turning as a mass of pungent smoke emitts from a jazz cigarette abounds.Alternatively i imagine a circle of cool students with flairs and long hair,vinyl and the same unmistakable aroma.
Tubular Bells is an ALBUM.A journey into {coughs....trail of smoke}the cosmos of the interior space of your mind.Man.Far out.
How strange to look back as listening to an album as a quaint pursuit,but this is what your mums and dads did.
Nowadays as we know with everything being reduced to a switch of a button,ipods,ipads,iphones,itunes the album as a form is drowning along with the physical act of reading books,introspection,empathy,possesions being Ikead....culture smells like warm bag of garbage....
So with relish i turned my bedroom lights off,put the headphones and put my Tubular Bells cd on.And it ruled.
From the inimitable opening bars to acoustic detours its brilliant stuff.This Mike Oldfield chap certainly must've inhabited a vivid artistic netherworld whilst recording.
Tubular Bells reminded me of the relaxing nature of music,i had to chuckle as i heard pan pipes.You see i thought i would never listen to something with pan pipes....but you get older,chubbier.Life changes.
As an album correct me if i am wrong this surely invented "ambient" music or chill out,i view it in many ways as a formative dance record.
The album ebbs and flows,you know i don't know if Oldfield is considered cool but in my books he is.
When my daughter grows older i will sit her down..and play Tubular Bells.Then give a lecture on the importance of The Album.I am sure she will enjoy it.
In the meantime i shall recoil from the horrors of the modern world.......
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good 16 Jun 2009
Format:Audio CD
The old tubular bells from 1973 has been digitally remastered and remixed by Mike Oldfield.

I was dubious about this project, as the TB "brand" has, been arguably stretched beyond breaking point over the years.

But the new version is really rather beautiful. Much more of the playing can now be heard, and the brilliance of the composition is even more evident than it was in 1973.

It's worth the money. A very pleasant surprise.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Mr Paul Savory VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD
Ok, a little late at pointing this out, but if you are considering buying this CD because you have seen Mike's appearance at London 2012 Opening then be warned... 1) Mike's 11 minute track is available on the "Isle of Wonders" cd, 2) the 2012 performance was more like a brief montage of TB2 and TB3 with a bit of jazzy dance thrown in.

Now let's move on to THE MOST PLAYED LP/CD IN MY COLLECTION (says it all really)...

Recorded in 1973, this LP is legendary. Mike hates the idea that this LP (tell how old i am - 45) being described as New-Age, (for New-Age check out his brother, Terry's work). TB is folk / rock / ambient / prog. And as such, it could not be pigeon-holed into a catergory upon its release. This remaster is as good as it gets for me. It is 1 disc that made up the "Deluxe" box set. The whole 2009 cd is glorious. All the modern technology used to restore sound loss from the original master tapes, enhancing audio levels just enough to allow low volume instruments to be heard properly.

Running time of the CD is 56m04s. The two extras are "Mike Oldfield's Single" 3.53mins, a slightly remixed version of the original. Just in case you were wondering this is NOT just TB's intro. It is a piece in itself. And the final track is the "Drunk" version of the Sailor's Hornpipe 2.48mins originally issued on "Boxed".
A 16 page booklet come with it containing pictures, but more importantly the story of TB.

A personal note: I discovered this LP when I was 12. It has always been the most played pieces of music I own, (not my favourite LP, that's Floyd's Wish You Were Here). I have lots of different versions of TB (live versions / remixes / quad / 5.1 etc etc on & on... get the drift...
...
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