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The Collection

33 customer reviews

Price: £12.02 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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The Collection + Tubular Bells III + Tubular Bells, 2
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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 Jun. 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Universal/Mercury
  • ASIN: B0026S1XDW
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,086 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

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 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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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A.N Other on 15 Jun. 2009
Format: Audio CD
The original TB album is given a stunning re-mix by it's creator, offering a crisp new recording with subtle audio embellishments which allow the listener to hear parts of the music that were never properly captured before! And as if that wasn't enough, a collection of his most well known tunes are collated on disc 2 - the powerful Ommadawn (seen here in short form) and commercially-embraced hits like Moonlight Shadow (one of the biggest selling singles in it's year of release.)

Mike Oldfield truly is an artist like no other, and it's great to see him hitting the album charts once again. This is the perfect gift for father's day!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Music Lover on 5 July 2009
Format: Audio CD
Fans of Mike Oldfield might well ask themselves if another version of Tubular Bells is warranted or indeed welcome, especially after having been presented with 'Tubular Bells 2003', which offered (or so it was claimed) the 'Tubular Bells' that Oldfield had always envisioned and hoped for, correcting mistakes in the original 1973 version. And this isn't the first time that the 1973 recording has been remixed. 1976 saw the release of 'Mike Oldfield Boxed', originally featuring Quad remixes of 'Tubular Bells', 'Hergest Ridge', 'Ommadawn' and other assorted material, which would later be remixed back in to stereo.

So fans now have another remixed version of 'Tubular Bells' to add to the remixed and remastered editions (remember the HDCD issues!)they already own. Is there justification for this, or is this a sign of creative exhaustion on the part of Oldfield, issued to cynically trade on the loyalty of his fanbase?

Certainly purchasers should be aware that this doesn't offer a radically alternative version of the music, the approach appears to have concentrated on stripping back elements of the old mix to highlight and reveal workings within the music previously obscured. A quick comparison against an earlier remastered 'Tubular Bells' (1973) and remixed 'Tubular Bells' (1976)reveals that the presence of the bass within the mix has been lessened, creating greater air and space.

There are standout moments - a thinning out of the musical texture to reveal a melodic line (6.57) and percussive structures (8.00) and a piano and vocal section (13.48) is presented anew - building upon the approach in TB76. The end section of side one opens with fresh clarity, particularly heard seen in the spoken introduction to each new instrument.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. Wyatt on 10 Sept. 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am a jazz enthusiast in my mid- 70s and I've just "discovered" Mike Oldfield through buying this CD package at a bargain price on Amazon.
Of course, I was familiar with the hit singles and was aware of the original "Tubular Bells" but had never actually heard it.
I'm now a Mike Oldfield enthusiast and have obtained some of his other full length albums as I consider him to be an extraordinary talent as a multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer of some wonderful music.
Some reviewers have called this stuff "good background" music but I have to disagree. It demands your attention in its many forms of melodious neo-classical, rock, folk, heavy metal etc.
The only slight criticism I would make about Oldfield's albums are that some of them sound very similar. You have to hear "Music Of The Spheres", "The Voyager" or "Guitars" for something a bit different while still bearing the stamp of his superb talent.
For those who have yet to discover this man's immense talent and ability to enthral the discerning listener, this set is a perfect introduction. You get the original "tubular Bells" complete on one disc and the hit singles with excerpts from his most highly rated albums on the other. Like me, new listeners will no doubt go on to acquiring more albums.
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By ds VINE VOICE on 19 Jun. 2009
Format: Audio CD
It seems that Tubular Bells has given Mike Oldfield some very contrasting emotions. For a long time he seemed not to be able to cope with the scale of the reaction to his first solo work and spent a long time running away from it. In latter years, however, it seems that he has accepted it much more, even to the point (some might say) of milking it. So, at first sight this 'best of' collection, which includes a new mix of TB might seem to be an exercise in squeezing yet more out of the CD buyer in the street.

Don't be misled though, this is well worth the money. Why? Because it sounds beautiful. More than ever, the mix is spacious and airy, giving instruments in both parts a chance to really stand out and shine. The acoustic passages in particular sound fabulous. and some of the slightly anomalous artefacts in the original mixes have been smoothed a little: the cymbal at 6.10 in Part 1 no longer swamps everything and the bells themselves at Part 1's end now sound rather more restarined and easier on the ear (especially through headphones).

The little gem of the disc, however, is Oldfield's original plan for the end of part 2, previously to be found as an extra of the Boxed collection. Here, a 'refreshed' Viv Stanshall regales us with a narration during his peregrinations around The Manor, with Oldfield in tow playing the Sailor's Hornpipe. VS's inability to say the words 'anthropology' and 'apology', when apologising for not being able to say 'anthropology', are hilarious.

However, the reason I give this collection only four stars is the second disc, The Collection itself. It's a bit of a disappointment.
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