I've been a casual fan of Tubular Bells for a long time, but it was kind of a guilty pleasure; originally picked up Best of Tubular Bells because I was a fan of The Exorcist. Back then I thought it felt kind of goofy, odd and hippie-ish, and that sentiment lives on to some degree; when you check out the television version of Part One on the DVD included here, it feels like an extended jam session. Groovy, man. However, with this extensive remastering, you truly get a feel of respect for the piece; how varied and extensive it is, segueing between glockenspiel, organ, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bass, piano, and many more instruments without collapsing or losing a sense of place. The sheer number of instruments (and live - musicians,) working in tandem is respectable. And this mix, particularly the surround version (which I had the pleasure of listening through tonight) really brings out the piece in earnest. The surround is not "flashy", there is hardly any "moving" around channels whatsoever (save a bit of the orchestra in the rears, which is appropriately awe-inspiring). Part One opens with that piano and eerie glockenspiel, and it sits right around you in a straight but effective way. When the bass kicks in, the acoustics take center stage and bass jumps at you from behind (or vice versa). The mix breathes new air into the proceedings and gives small details their place to shine - near the end you can even hear the mistakes on the double speed guitar. It explodes and is reborn, and the acoustic guitars are surprisingly low-key; the piano, glockenspiel and those amazing choirs really take center stage, but the real kicker is the electric guitar and sharpness in the bass; not a low menacing rumble as before, but more in your face - massive without losing place in the aural orb so to speak. If Part One is more rock meditation (a grand symphony of the counterculture?), Part Two feels a lot more cohesive, like a single narrative passing through the eons. It stars out somberly (and the surrounds don't pull much weight at first, give it a moment), sounding like sunday morning in the church of rock and roll with all those organs and flutes. Then it slowly gives way to something more aggressive and feral; the Caveman section, once so silly (the growled vocals overpowering the whole thing) is now a really enormous roar of rock which rips its way into your living room and finally crescendos with guitars shredding, wolves howling and cavemen growling. That's followed by a landing as the acoustics take you back to earth, to lastly give you the real acoustic kicker; the Sailor's Hornpipe is both sharp, funny and beautiful all at the same time. It gains momentum and the guitar strings send you off on your way. But that's not all; you also get Mike Oldfield's Single, the theme that's only hinted at in Part Two, here in full majestic glory. I think this four minute-track is worth the price of admission alone, in surround sound it's certainly one of the most beautiful musical experiences I have ever had. Majestic. If you have any friends doubting the effectiveness of music in surround, sit them down in the middle of your speakers, crank it up (without going overboard mind you) and play this piece from start to finish. I am so glad I invested in this edition, because even if you can't find the time to "just" sit in your couch and listen to a whole hour-medley of sublime, you've got the two CDs with both the remastered and the original mix; I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by just how different they sound, totalling three very different but equally worthy versions of one album in the same package. Now if Mike would just do a *complete* DTS version of Tubular Bells 2003, he could have even more of my moolah, and I could have more glorious meditation time in a world of notes and haze. Who needs drugs or religion for an out-of-body experience?