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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the definitive one!
So, so much has aleady been written about Tubular Bells so I'll keep it brief!

The most important thing about this release is that it is not a re-hash or a reworking, this is the original Tubular Bells but slightly remixed and SPLENDIDLY remastered. Gone is the hiss and obvious strain of the master tapes, in its place is the album we all know and love in rich,...
Published on 18 July 2011 by Edward Leedskalnin

versus
123 of 125 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Remaster away, just don't change the damn music.
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...
Published on 11 Aug 2011 by BlueCalx


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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clear as a bell, 19 Jun 2009
By 
ds (Whitby, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Collection (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. Even allowing for having to fit everything on one disc there are some odd omissions: nothing from Platinum, nor from Hergest Ridge. In fact, earlier 'best of' collections probably do a better job of rounding up that part of his career, not to mention really good later work like Islands or Amarok that's beyond the scope of this disc. It's not awful by any means, just a bit of a let down after the TB mix.

Tubular Bells is the work for which, above all, Mike Oldfield will be longest remembered. It's probably for this reason that he is spending so much effort making sure that the definitive versions (both this stereo mix and the 5.1 surround mixes that are also available) are the best they can possibly be. This package is still very much worth the cash, if only for the chance to hear Tubular Bells in an entirely new light.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No More Bells!, 5 July 2009
This review is from: The Collection (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. But the new mix isn't entirely successful, particularly in the end section of Side 1. The dramatic and climactic entry of the bells previously emerged out of a controlled rhythmic chaos, but here the bells sound sharply defined and almost apart from the underlying mix, altogether too clean. Part 2 offers an opportunity for Oldfield to clarify elements within the mix which was always less structurally and musically challenging than Part 1. The revelation begins with the start of the 'Caveman' section (11.45), which has never sounded finer. The leading edge and impact of the drums is viscerally felt and interplay of the guitar is magnificent.

As an addition to the recording this particular edition also features a re-worked version of an earlier single release ( entitled 'Mike Oldfield's Single) and a version of the 'Sailor's Hornpipe' which previously featured in the 1976 boxed edition. The accompanying disc features highlights from the earlier part of Oldfield's career, but it is not clear if this material has been remastered.

So. Do you buy? If you already own a remastered version of TB73 then purchase isn't essential as this remix does not improve substantially on what you already own. The recording is undeniably bright, clean and loud sounding, but in comparison to earlier editions it lacks tonal depth and perspective. It very much presents an 'all or nothing' approach to the sound, which you may either love or loathe.

More generally however, a cynic might wonder if this is the last time that 'Tubular Bells' will emerge in a 'remixed' form (there is the 50th anniversary to consider), and whether the patience of fans will stretch to accept another such offering. Oldfield has stated that he has never written a better riff than the opening to 'Tubular Bells', and perhaps he can now move on in at least two ways. With Oldfield now in control of his back catalogue fans might hope that other recordings will be given the same level of care and attention in respect of mastering, packaging and thematically linked bonus material as there are some which are no less deserving of his attention(Ommadawn, Incantations and particularly Hergest Ridge immediately spring to mind). There is far more to Oldfield than 'Tubular Bells' - he might well be the only person not to realise this. Furthermore, whilst his back catalogue could be revisted as outlined above perhaps Oldfield will finally move on from 'Tubular Bells' and concentrate on writing and recording new music. The fans, for all their patience and support, deserve no less.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The original and still the best, 12 Jun 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Tubular Bells (Audio CD)
This album unveiled a breath-taking aural journey to an unsuspecting public, over two 25 minute long tracks. At the centre of it all is Oldfield, playing almost every instrument, toying with time-signiatures, diverse and unlikely combinations of sounds, textures and moods. Imaginative and inspired.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let's go on a journey, 23 Mar 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Tubular Bells (Audio CD)
I've heard good things about this release for years. I've read about how it was a breakthrough for Virgin Records, but for some reason I put off buying it for ages. What a mistake.

It wasn't what I was expecting at all. Without giving too much away, there is so much more to this than the notorious tune which is used for the intro to the film The Exorcist. Tubular bells is made up of two tracks, each taking you on a journey. I love second track, it moves through scenes long since lost to time. I don't only hear the music, I can see the pictures in my mind. I bet a lot of the styles hark back to traditional English and Nordic folk music. Tubular Bells lives up to its reputation as being an outstanding piece of music.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A trip back in time, 30 Dec 2013
By 
Bookie (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This still sounds fresh and crisp some 40 years since I first bought Oldfield on vinyl. He was sensational then, conceptually, artistically and musically. With digital sound and great headphones, I've heard nuances and background instruments on almost every track that were never so clear. It's a belting taster and I've played it over and over since downloading. A true and timeless classic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top purchase, 24 Nov 2013
By 
C. Baker (Cambridgeshire UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Tubular Bells (Audio CD)
Exactly as I remember my old LP version. original and sounds just as fresh, took me back to my youth.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Those Tubular Bells Again!, 15 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Tubular Bells [2009 Remaster] (Audio CD)
I have been a fan of Tubular Bells since it was first released in the '70's and periodically listen to Tubular Bells, Tubular Bells II and Tubular Bells III. Unfortunately, I only had a copy of Tubular Bells on tape.
I saw a fascinating programme giving the background story to Mike Oldfield and the making of the original Tubular Bells. This spurred me into getting a CD of the Album. Unable to find the original on CD I read reviews for the subsequent CD mixes and thought this one would fit the bill. It meets my expectations with only one or two very subtle changes.
It is now back near the top of my play list.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tubular Bells, 5 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Tubular Bells [VINYL] (Vinyl)
A classic album. We recently purchased a record player. We always wanted this clssic on vinyl. Very good but a little pricey!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Changed from original, 19 Sep 2012
By 
Geraint Davies "sad old git" (marches) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tubular Bells [2009 Remaster] (Audio CD)
This should be considered a new piece of music it's changed by hyper perfectionist
Oldfield to the extent that it is no longer ''original '' but a reworked and in may parts
Unrecognisable " version " definitely not nearly as good as 2000 remastered issue
Which remains totally original.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, sublime, divine, 16 July 2009
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This review is from: Tubular Bells (Audio CD)
I have been meaning to buy Tubular Bells for years and wish I'd done so sooner. It is an extraordinary piece of work - inspiring, uplifting, at times amusing and incredibly moving.
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Tubular Bells [2009 Remaster]
Tubular Bells [2009 Remaster] by Mike Oldfield (Audio CD - 2009)
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