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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly Remastered
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...
Published 24 months ago by will58

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120 of 122 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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120 of 122 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Remaster away, just don't change the damn music., 11 Aug 2011
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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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superbly Remastered, 30 July 2012
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This review is from: Tubular Bells (MP3 Download)
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the definitive one!, 18 July 2011
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, harmonious warmness.

It's a shame that Oldfield has seemingly retired from making long instrumental classics like this but fear not I recently found an album called Mohribold by an emerging artist called Andrew Taylor, so in 'like this try this' style, google it and listen to the new Oldfield on the block!
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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly good, 16 Jun 2009
This review is from: The Collection (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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars PURPLE HAZE, 21 April 2012
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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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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bells Are Back, 15 Jun 2009
This review is from: The Collection (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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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
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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