Customer Review

149 of 152 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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This review is from: Tubular Bells [2009 Remaster] (Audio CD)
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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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 Mar 2012 20:17:18 GMT
The deluxe version has the original version, but I agree with you 100% the original should have been issued as the standard single disc version

Posted on 29 Jul 2012 20:24:14 BDT
I agree that Mike Oldfield has an annoying habit of seeking perfection, which may be exactly the thing to do to attract new listeners but usually spoils the experinece for those who have listened to his work for years.

I digitised my vinyl copies of his first four albums and can listen to the music as an MP3 format without risking my 1970's copies. Bliss...

Posted on 12 Sep 2012 22:06:04 BDT
Gavin Moore says:
"That superb tribal drumming build-up that comes between the bagpipe guitars and the bizarre/funny caveman section"... Aaaagh, I love that part!! :)

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Jan 2013 05:56:59 GMT
M. Jones says:
if that bits missing, im not buying !

Posted on 23 Aug 2013 15:52:10 BDT
I would have preferred it if the entire 'Piltdown Man' section in part 2 had been removed!! always did and still does ruin part 2 for me!

Posted on 9 Jan 2014 20:36:17 GMT
Syd says:
Reviewer, please drop this to one star. I am horrified by this...

Posted on 29 Nov 2014 07:45:54 GMT
I must admit, the persistent fiddling does grate with me too, I think he just about gets away with on this release, only just though. You're right, it's the imperfections that give Tubular Bells a certain dynamic and in that a beauty. I would never even have referred to them as imperfections had he not 'corrected' them. Anyway, the best money I spent on music recently was on Andrew Taylor's Mohribold which is in that Oldfield 1970's vein.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Dec 2014 17:45:25 GMT
dissdrew says:
oh! No! i just wanted to invest a few pounds to save another burning of the midnight oil taking the scratches out converting to mp...you sages out there are making me think again........
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