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Tubular Bells II

Tubular Bells II

31 Aug 1998
4.7 out of 5 stars 95 customer reviews

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Tubular Bells II
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
To the casual listener all these Tubular Bells releases must be a little confusing. Well let me clarify, Tubular Bells II is something of a sequel to the 1973 original, it's structure mirrors that of the original but is the sound of a genius in the art of variation on a theme.

Is it as good? Well that can only be a matter of taste but here's my dollars worth. Tubular Bells II is perhaps, melodically speaking, Oldfield's biggest triumph and considering this is a composer in the same ball park as Bach or Vivaldi that's really saying something. When this music grabs you you can't let go, it's totally addictive. The way in which melodies across the whole album relate to one another is masterful and hypnotic. As with all of Oldfield's best albums you will find new layers of instruments with almost every listen, even after twenty years!

My only issue with this album is it's production, at times I find the sound a little cheesy and synthetic, that's not to say it isn't jam packed with hand-played instruments because you name it and it's on here; banjos, mandolins, an array of guitars and all the rest. I can 't help feeling that Trevor Horn's influence placed the album firmly in the early 90's where as much of Oldfield's best stuff is timeless. However, it is possible to filter out the production values becuase the melodies are so strong and anyway, you may love the sound of those synths.

I recommend seeking out The Bell single CD2, as it's B-sides feature the original MC Vivian Stanshall and also Billy Connolly both of which are much better than the dry and frankly dull Alan Rickman!

My other recommendation for those who love the multi-layering, guitar wielding Oldfield of old is to listen to an album called Mohribold by Andrew Taylor (google it). Taylor has clearly soaked up all of Oldfield's classics and given us a contemporary instrumental classic. I found it on a site called bandcamp and have enthused about it to all who will listen.
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Format: Audio CD
If you enjoyed TUBULAR BELLS, which in the 70's was best appreciated through stereophonic headphones and a fog of something slightly illegal (or so I am told!), then you will find this album positively orgasmic. But maybe that is just a sign of old age, or the need to get out more! In an attempt to rekindle the flames of a misspent youth, I finally got round to exchanging my ancient vinyl collection for those newfangled Circular Disc things!, adding albums that I had missed out on during the wilderness years of family life. Now that the wee'ans have all but flown the nest, it was time to plunge myself back into the sounds of the heady days of the seventies. In this album Mike has brought TUBULAR BELLS bang up to date. With the added advantage of modern musical techniques and sound production, and presumably more money to spend, he has managed this with out losing any of the original breathtaking effect. In some eyes it may be sacrilege to say, but this album is an improvement on the original, if that is possible? The haunting melody of SENTINEL soon has the hairs on the back of the neck sticking up, and kick-starts the flickering memories of bygone days, into life. There are some nice little touches, and a few quirky parodies of TB1 thrown in for good measure. My favourite track has to be THE BELL, with its hypnotic rhythm, it has instruments from the original version, with some contemporary additions (vocal cords, digital sound processor!), and the dulcet tones of a well known British Thespian as Master of ceremonies, simply credited as 'A strolling player' plus, TUBULAR BELLS! TATTOO with the swirl of something Celtic is altogether different, and ALTERED STATE has to be heard to be believed, MAYA GOLD in parts is reminiscent of Jeff Wayne's WAR OF THE WORLDS! As for MOONSHINE, well, I will leave you make up your own mind! If you have not heard this album, then do so, soon.
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By A Customer on 4 Dec. 2001
Format: Audio CD
This is easily one of Oldfield's best albums and arguably his finest hour.I would rate this album ahead of my other two favourites 'Songs of Distant Earth' and 'Amorak' and definitely a huge step forward from TB1.Musically it's just pure magic with variation from relaxing tempo to just out and out rock.Definitely a vital addition to any Oldfield fan's music collection.The video of the live concert is also pure magic.Well done Mike!!!
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By A Customer on 4 Aug. 2003
Format: Audio CD
I have had this album for at least 3 years now. And i havn't ever thought, "hmm, this is starting to grow old" or "i have heard this way too much". every time i hear it, i want to hear more. Its like a drug or something, except without the addiction. This album never grows tiring. mike oldfield has created a true masterpiece.
Mike has been criticised before for making his music boring. Taking one section too far, or something. Never once does this happen here. eveyrthing about it is perfect. Ok, i'm gonna stop wrting this review because i want to listen to this album again.
Buy it. or else.
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Format: Audio CD
In my opinion, this album is underrated beyond belief. Everyone hypes about Tubular Bells being some sort of Godsend... But what about the sequel, Tubular Bells 2? It might not have the same "Let's see what we can come up with!" feel to Tubular Bells, but by no means is it a slouch.

Whereas Tubular Bells all merged seemlessly together, it had no real goal where it was going to go. Oldfield is one of the few musicians that can pull off from going from one mood swing to another, and this was reflected in his music. His sequel though feels more polished and has a goal where it wants to go, a certain... More accurate feel to it.

The first thing you notice is how much retread there is on his album. Same thing Jarre did with his sequel to Oxygene in 1997, he broke it down, remodelled it, reformed it to become... His sequel. He has sufficent re-tread to remind you that you are listening to Tubular Bells, but not enough to actually feel like a parody of it.

Breaking down the segments was a better feature. There might have been certain segments I wanted to listen to, but Oldfield, like it or not, had the entire piece... As one piece, where if you wanted to listen to a certain piece you had to frustratingly hold the fast forward on your CD player. Not really ideal.

The next thing you realise from Tubular Bells is gone away the long hair and slightly scary 'tashe he had during the recording sessions of Tubular Bells, in is a much cooler short hair. He did away with the delicacy of his his prequel, and introduced a harsher, more abrash sound to his sequel.

Although Tubular Bells Vol. 2 doesn't seem to get remastered much (I think there are less versions of this than Vol. 1, but I could be wrong) and in a way...
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