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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deluxe after all...
Upon seeing this at first I was furious. How many more times was I going to be tricked into buying this damn album?!? BUT, this time they changed it up and not only included everything (CD/DVD-A on 2 discs, 1 dvd), BUT they unearthed the HOLY GRAIL of Mike Oldfield...that is the BBC performance of Tubular Bells Pt.1 LIVE on a soundstage!

I had seen 5 minutes...
Published on 21 Sep 2009 by Jason Smith

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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars New does not necessarily mean better
I have no 5.1 system, so I limit my observations solely to the remastered stereo version on this boxed set.

I write having again listened to a side by side comparison of my copy of the 1973 orginal against the remastered 2009 and I do not feel I will bother listening to the 2009 version ever again. For me the sound is simply so "tidied up" that it sounds dull...
Published on 11 Oct 2009 by Churchmouse


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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deluxe after all..., 21 Sep 2009
By 
Jason Smith - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tubular Bells (Audio CD)
Upon seeing this at first I was furious. How many more times was I going to be tricked into buying this damn album?!? BUT, this time they changed it up and not only included everything (CD/DVD-A on 2 discs, 1 dvd), BUT they unearthed the HOLY GRAIL of Mike Oldfield...that is the BBC performance of Tubular Bells Pt.1 LIVE on a soundstage!

I had seen 5 minutes of a real bad bootleg VHS tape of this and was excited by it...imagine my surprise when seeing the found re-master of it! Seeing and hearing Steve Hillage, Fred Frith, Mick Taylor(!), Mike Ratledge, Karl Jenkins and Jimmy Hastings (those are the guys I can pick out) play this piece is very special.

Plus, Mike has had a go at re-mixing the whole album as well...brings certain parts to light while ignoring some of the charm of the original mix...cool, not too shabby. Nothing too extreme, just level and effect choices are different.

Say what you will about Mike, his interviews surrounding this release don't paint him in any sort of "rock lore" limelight, but this was an inspired piece recorded and released at a time that can never be duplicated.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plus Tubular Bells, 3 Aug 2009
By 
R. Jones (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tubular Bells (Audio CD)
I guess very few people will buy this who don't already have an earlier CD copy. For those few who don't, there is a copy of the original 1973 stereo album (Disc 2) as well as the 2009 stereo mixes of the album plus the Single/Sailors hornpipe (Disc 1). Disc 3 (labelled Disc 4 for some bizarre reason!) contains the 5.1 version plus the original TOTP live performance on DVD. I would have paid the price of the set for this last disc alone. There is also a detailed and informative booklet tucked away inside the opening cover.

It is without doubt excellent value for money. I can't think why anyone would wish to spend nearly 60 quid for the `ultimate' edition when this is available for less than 12 (unless a couple of plectrums and a vinyl copy of the original floats your boat).

One of my abiding memories of my teenage years is hearing this music for the first time in 1973 and I have loved it ever since. A highlight of my university years happened in 1977 when Mike Oldfield granted Paul Egan and a motley bunch of us students in Trinity College Dublin permission to put on a live concert of Tubular Bells. As far as I remember this was the first time a live performance had been staged other than the TOTP version in 1973. Being part of this performance cemented my love for this album.

Listening to the 5.1 surround sound version gave the odd sensation of being back in the middle of the orchestra (as we pretentiously called ourselves at the time). Familiar themes sounded `new' and crisp and everything seems fresh and bright. The opening 10 minutes is the most impressive and the bass line (subdued in some recordings in the past) really packs a punch. I was slightly disappointed in the last section of this track - what used to be the end of side one in the vinyl years - as the vocals ("Plus Tubular Bells") seemed to be a bit lost in the mix and the overall sound seemed a bit muddy compared to the stereo mix. But this could be my equipment and might sound more impressive on a higher quality set up.

But these are minor quibbles: This is an excellent buy, very reasonable for what it contains, and a must for any serious fan of this classic album.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Iconic !, 31 Oct 2008
By 
Arthur Dooley (N Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tubular Bells (Audio CD)
Yet another version of 1970 classic album Tubular Bells. Did a young Mike Oldfield ever imagine how seminal his album would become ?
Although the cynics amongst us will inevitably denigrate the recording of yet another version.Those who find those opening bars uplifting and spine tingling will enjoy the latest incarnation arranged by Marcel Bergman who also performs with Elizabeth Bergman and Jeroen and Sandra Van Veen.
Performed on piano and synth, TB 2008 is very much in the traditional vein. No outlandish departures from the original and overall sounding rather nice !
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33 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bells Ring Again....and with such wonderful clarity, 8 Jun 2009
By 
L. Hutchinson (Newcastle Upon Tyne, Britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tubular Bells (Audio CD)
Despite my young age (I'm 22) I have been a huge admirer of Mike Oldfield for many years and was introduced to his music, perhaps unsurprisingly, via "Tubular Bells". Many things have been said about this piece of music, about its brilliance, etc. And I concur with this. "Tubular Bells" is not only one of Mike Oldfield's best compositions but it remains to be one of music's best compositions ever.

With this re-release it may be said that this is simply the flogging of a dead horse and I do agree with this sentiment to some degree. However, the fact that that "Tubular Bells" has never sounded as good as this, that the re-mastering has really benefited the composition without changing the tone and feel and that Mike Oldfield has taken a great deal of care over this re-release I think justifies this products existence.

Furthermore, no one is forcing you to purchase this, although I can understand that it can be rather annoying when you have something and then a better version is put out. However, I feel that such sentiments are down to you and I and when reviewing this should be ignored (to some extent). The fact is, and what should be focused on, is that this is a fantastic release and it has helped me to discover the wonder of this music all over again.

Not only do we have "Tubular Bells" sounding excellent but we also have for the first time on CD, "Mike Oldfield's Single" and the full "Sailor's Hornpipe" with Viv Stanshall giving us a wonderful (albeit, drunken) tour of The Manor (the place this album was originally recorded).

I honestly think, that with how good the entire album sounds, this re-release is fully justified and if you decided to purchase it you will not be disappointed (certainly if you are buying this album for the first time and even if you have already got it).
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the wait, 8 Jun 2009
By 
T. Phillips (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tubular Bells (Audio CD)
Others, elsewhere, have recently paid 60+ for scarcely any more than has been brought out in this set, for a fifth of the price. They mostly seem unimpressed. However, for sensible money, this 3 disc set (ignore Amazon saying it is 2) is a bit of fun, and good value.

It's clearly a cut down assemblage of the expensive four disc package, 'cos the 5.1 surround sound DVD is actually labelled "Disc 4". Disc 2 contains stock copies of the original 1973 album. You probably won't have bought this set for these. It's the 2009 "remix", and the 5.1 surround sound tracks on the DVD that you'll have been after.

I chased up a copy of a surround sound version of the original album allegedly issued a few years ago, eventually baulking at the price (90 or more from some dealers). I'm therefore pleased that something has become available at a far more accessible price.

And I like it. As remixes go, it's fairly subtle - instruments brought further up in the mix at key points, and things like that. On my system (not expensive by any means), it is generally crisp, with masses of small detail even the most avid fan won't really have heard before. Oldfield has exercised a very light remixer's touch, and while one could quibble endlessly about whether this instrument or that one should have had more, or less, prominence at any given point, it's down to the artist at the end of the day.

Speaker separation, all important to the surround sound fan, is very good. The very deep organ notes come at you through your feet, too!

The Viv Stanshall Sailor's Hornpipe is an indulgent piece of fun, and it's good to have a decent copy of the 1973 BBC2 "live broadcast", but for me, these are embellishments to now having a decent 5.1 version of one of the best albums ever.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely (but with a warning), 26 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Tubular Bells (Audio CD)
Verdict: A good package.
Both CDs sound fine it being hard to quantify the difference between the original 1973 and remixed or re-mastered 2009 version - maybe the 1973 mix has been cleaned up.
The surround 5.1 is generally good, done by Oldfield who ought to know how it should be. The DVD has only 5.1 sound on it. WARNING: 'Part 1' has a very high level sub woofer channel (the 0.1 channel) which could damage your hearing unless you adjust your equipment (ie. reduce the level or turn it off) - the bass frequency vibration is disturbingly way over anything else I have, DVD or SACD, at my normal setting. It fills your ears. Ridiculous. 'Part 2' and the other tracks are fine.
Perhaps inevitably with such a popular album the surround is in the lowest common denominator format: DVD and Dolby 5.1, but DTS could have been better. It reveals less complexity to this multilayered recording than I expected and perhaps is not quite the 'whole sonic experience' the format can deliver - but it reveals crisp clarity and separation, you can hear everything and it's fine ('part 1' comment aside). What Steven Wilson might have done with the tapes in whatever state they were in will nevertheless hover in my mind. The screen-saver style visuals are initially impressive but get irritating when you notice the joins and repetition; and they are the same for all tracks, just cutting off at the end according to the track timing.
The five star extra is the 1973 BBC 'live' version which is simply splendid (stereo only, but with video of the performance); there are no credits and no personnel list. You have to play spot the musician.
So why did I buy this (yet again)? Some background will explain.
This was originally released on 15 May 1973 and I had my copy soon enough to see the only live performance at the QE Hall on 25 June 1973. Not that there was an inkling it would be the only time it was publicly performed. I still have the concert handout listing performers and reproducing an article by John Peel: "a record that does quite genuinely cover new and uncharted territory". It is hard to appreciate now what an impact this made on first release, it was radically different. Oldfield has said that the performance included off tuning (not that anyone noticed as it was just such an great event with so many 'underground scene' musicians), but it went down very well and I vividly recall how Viv Stanshall dramatically miscued the instrument introductions. Many of those musicians turn up on the BBC performance (Viv Stanshall is safely on tape).
I still have the vinyl and was blissfully unaware of all the other versions having only got a second hand early CD of parts 1 & 2 some 25 years later. Hence this 3 disc package offered me genuine extras (a) the short extra tracks from what now seems to be the 'standard' CD edition, and (b) the real reasons for purchase: the 5.1 surround version and the BBC performance unknown to me until I saw it on BBC4 in October 2013 (when it had credits but still no personnel list).
Accordingly I was wedded to the original version rather than re recordings etc, but even if you've never heard Tubular Bells before this is the version to get. The BBC performance tells you more than any review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Plus....the definitive version!, 7 Aug 2012
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This review is from: Tubular Bells (Audio CD)
So much has already been written about Tubular Bells so I'll keep this simple.

This release is not a reworking in the style of Tubular Bells II or III, it's simply a reamstering of the original 1973 classic with a few subtle and worthwhile mix alterations. The remastering process is in fact so sucessful I think this is now the definitive version. I am struggling to think of a more effective remastering. All the hiss and bass rumble is gone and we are left with a warm, luxurious sound that is absolutely beautiful.

On this record you will find little flourishes left off the original release all together and the overall effect, for me anyway, was that I fell in love with Tubular Bells all over again!

So what of the extras that make this a deluxe release. Well you also receive the original 1973 mix just in case, for some bizarre reason, you dislike the new master and mix. The single version (Mike Oldfield's single) and the Sailor's Hornpipe featuring Viv Stanshall are stunning and humorous but do come with the standard release. Disc 3 contains a 5.1 surround sound version for those with 5 ears presumably! The real treat is a live 1975(?) BBC DVD performance featuring such luminary guitarists of the time as Steve Hillage, Mick Taylor and Fred Frith with Karl Jenkins on keys.

All these new remasters has rejuvinated my love for Oldfield's music and has led me to the discovery of an album called Mohribold by an emerging musician called Andrew Taylor (plug that into your search engine!). He is an artist who must have listened to Oldfield's early albums in great detail, though he clearly has a flare all of his own too. Both Oldfield and Taylor are talented multi-intrumentalists, if you love Tubular Bells you'll love Mohribold.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars New does not necessarily mean better, 11 Oct 2009
By 
Churchmouse (Birmingham United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tubular Bells (Audio CD)
I have no 5.1 system, so I limit my observations solely to the remastered stereo version on this boxed set.

I write having again listened to a side by side comparison of my copy of the 1973 orginal against the remastered 2009 and I do not feel I will bother listening to the 2009 version ever again. For me the sound is simply so "tidied up" that it sounds dull - I mean the frequency extremes just don't seem to be there, nor do the more dynamic sections get at all dynamic.

The remastering also has changed the emphasis on the instruments, with the bass far more prominent in many places and, at times, an apparent attempt to simply the sound has meant some instruments disappearing. Since I love the orginal, I admit that it is difficult for me to accept these revisions as in any way an improvement.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious, 20 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Tubular Bells (Audio CD)
Being unable to find my original CD I ordered this not expecting to be blown away again by its amazing sound. Unique and haunting I have rediscovered an old classic - how could I have survived so long without it?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice Collectible, 22 Nov 2013
By 
Mark J. Moerman "musical fanatic" (Vancouver, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Tubular Bells [7" VINYL] (Vinyl)
A very nice item for the Mike Oldfield collector, with better than average sound quality for a picturedisc. Be aware, though, that despite the A-side carrying the artwork from the 1973 British Tubular Bells 45, it is not that non-LP recording, but rather the first few minutes of the album which then fades out. Nevertheless, this is a worthwhile purchase for interested parties.
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Tubular Bells
Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield (Audio CD - 2009)
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