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Unlike most of the other reviews (it seems), I'm a fan of electronic music first and Mike Oldfield music second, rather than the other way round. Don't get me wrong, I'm also a regular listener to "Tubular Bells" and "Five Miles Out", but if I say that one of my favourite albums is "Tubular Bells 3", I'm sure there are plenty of Oldfield fans that will disown me- especially those who have grown sceptical of Mike Oldfield's frequent decision to cobble together almost anything, and stick the word "Tubular" on it to make a quick buck.

This release, a collection of re-versions of old Oldfield tracks, falls well between two stools. Firstly there will be a bunch of Oldfield fans who don't like the trance sounds or the repetitive bass notes. Secondly there will be a lot of fans of trance music who will find this whole thing incredibly dated. It's largely a collaboration with 'York' (I'm still unclear as to whether York is a duo, or a single person, but there you go).

York's hit that I'd previously heard of, "On The Beach" and "The Fields Of Love", were both in the late 1990s. Sure enough, this album sounds like it could've been produced a decade ago. It's definitely not "up-to-date" from that record, but then, neither was "Tubular Bells 3" when it was released, but it's still great in its own way.

That being said, though, the end result is actually very listenable- as long as you don't expect to either (a) go raving with it, or (b) stroke your chin at the impressive musicality of it. If you can put those concerns aside, it's a strong album. It's got a very polished sound, and it's nicely structured, with a mixture of radio-edit-format versions (such as "To France" or the slightly twisty take on "Moonlight Shadow") along with slightly more extended 'club' versions which explore the progressions in a bit more depth, such as "Ommadawn". (Although your chances of ever hearing any of these tracks actually played in a club are pretty much assuredly zero.)

Some tracks sound like Mike Oldfield has had a good hand in steering the track into something that's musically in keeping with the original, and they qualify as interesting re-works. Some others, such as "Guilty", sound more like Oldfield has just handed the master tapes over to York, who's sampled a couple of prominent bits and laid them on top of something which, beyond being in the same key, bears relatively little resemblance to the original.

New track "Never Too Far" is pleasant enough, if a little bit forgettable.

If you're not a fan of "the remix" in principle- I am, but many are not- then some of it won't be to your taste. But if, like me, you find yourself revisiting old albums by Chicane or the "Cream Ibiza" series from the late 1990s every once in a while, or if you happen to think that "Tubular Bells 3" was rather underrated, then you should think about giving this a go.
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on 3 April 2017
Super different approach to Mike Oldfield tracks - well worth a listen.
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on 29 March 2017
Neat.
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on 26 April 2017
Excellent music
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on 14 February 2013
I approached this album with trepidation (I made sure I heard it before buying). I remember buying CDs in the 1980s with "bonus remixes" most of which were robotic tedium. This, however, offered the promise of being better as the original artist had been a key player in the project and the original multitrack tapes were used. As a follower of Mike Oldfield's music since Tubular Bells in 1972 I've always enjoyed the melody of his work and I'm pleased to say that isn't lost in this project which is, inevitably, much more about rhythm. Rather than mere remixes, we have here fundamental reinterpretations including some newly recorded parts. Having played it several times I'm enjoying it a lot, finding a similar feel to some of the 1970's work of Tangerine Dream - not just sampled repetition but often symphonic and certainly evocative. Clearly a lot of thought has gone in and it definitely isn't just a dance album. I'd recommend Oldfield enthusiasts to try to hear it before buying - some will loathe it, but I suspect more will enjoy it a lot.
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on 30 January 2014
It was a very good cd as I have never experienced before Mike Oldfield teaming up with somebody from Ibiza?, where he used to or still has a place there. It was nice to hear Tubular Bells remixed amongst other tracks. I have never had a very good service on line but the c d was delivered well even before the time that was recommended for delivery. Well done to Amazon and their supplier. Would recommend the buying of cd's snytime, Thank you again.
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on 16 February 2013
So Tubular Beats, what's it all about? With so many Tubular Bells albums out there a little clarifacation may be required.

The tracks on this album are remixes of a range of old classics far broader in choice than the Tubular cannon. They are not the remasters or re-recordings we have become accustomed to expect from Oldfield and his peers. Mike has never been one for convention though and these re-mixes whilst being great club-dance-trance versions of old classics, feature new riffs and noodling from the guitar maestro.

So what about the results? I think it is fair to say that Oldfield fans of old may find it difficult to warm to these tracks but I wouldn't be so hasty, just don't go in expecting a return to multi-layered hand-crafted mastery and you won't be disappointed. Much has been said about Oldfield's forray into club and electro territory and I for one have been known to heavily slate it in my reviews. This album though is vastly different to all that, this time round he gets it right. I always thought Oldfield was at his best when working with someone else, I'm thinking about Tom Newman on the early masterpieces, David Bedford on Incantations, Pierre Moerlern and Morris Pert on Five Miles Out, etc. Here he has Torsten Stenzel, otherwise known as York, to show him the way. Maybe Light and Shade and Tres Lunas wouldn't have been so awful with this chap on board!? Importantly though, this isn't an album that pretends to be trance and misses the mark, this is the real deal with all the right sounds and production, this is the first truly modern Oldfield album in a generation.

I do though have reservations about the To France and Moonlight Shadow remixes They're just too cheesy for me, I can see them working really well on the radio though. I also find the new track; Never Too Far rather boring. It's far too familiar territory for Oldfield, very well produced but melodically could have been written any time in the last 20 years. York & Mike's Electrofunkmix of Guilty and Northstar though sound better than the originals to me so overall I'm happy.

I'm not sure that Tubular Beats works as an album though. I've prefered to listen to one or two tracks at a time, maybe I'm getting too old for this sort of thing! I certainly couldn't dance all the way through, those days are well behind me. Not sure about the sleeve and title either, it's not a Tubular Bells album and I would liked to have seen some interesting new artwork to add to the Oldfield mythology.

If you've come to Oldfield because you liked his Olympic appearance this album will not disappoint, buy it. If what you yearn for is a return to the Oldfield of Ommadawn and Hergest Ridge you'd be better off downloading Mohribold by Andrew Taylor. It's the only thing that's come close since Amarok. Google it, I downloaded it from a site called bandcamp. I've got a lot of mileage out of Mohribold and have raved on about it to every Oldfield and prog fan I can.
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on 28 July 2014
It’s Mike Oldfield Jim but not as we know him.
That’s what I’d say if I was Dr Spock I’ve looked at this many times and decided not to buy it after only hearing the odd track but eventually I found somewhere to hear the whole album only then was I convinced that it was worth buying .
This is not a remastered tubular bells far from it it’s basically an electronic dance remix of some of the old classic tracks from earlier albums that’s the best way I can describe it.
I’m not a fan of electronic music as a whole hence the long time deciding to buy this one but it is a surprisingly good album as you listen to it the remixed tracks you hear are instantly recognisable but nowhere near the original putting a now twist on the old classics which are good to listen to.
I personally like it but I still strongly recommend you listen to the whole album before you decide some Oldfield Fans may say it’s a remix to far.
You will find it on you tube just type in Mike Oldfield Tubular Beats
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on 29 May 2014
As is my wont with Mike Oldfield albums I didnt get to listen to it prior to asking for it as a present. So it was with an open mind that I listened to it, and have listened to it a few more times before coming up with this review. I have definite ambivilent feelings towards it.
As a standalone album I like it. I love the bassy rhythms and beats, great for putting on the headphones when out walking the dogs and on the music system to move around to in the house.
I am not sure what I really expected from this, Mike Olfield tracks remixed. I really enjoyed Light and Shade, but those were all new tracks.
I expected there to be more recognisable Mike Oldfield instrumental parts in the mix. A couple of times had to look at the rack listing to see what I was meant to be listening to!
There were two tracks I really looked forward to, Moonlight Shadow and Never Too Far. The vocals on Moonlight Shadow are good, but the part that always brings the track to life for me are the guitar solos, and these just dont exist anymore. The track was pleasant but didnt move me.
When i saw that Tarja was singing on Never Too Far I got quite excited. I first heard her singing with Nightwish, and later on a solo album, WinterStorm. Again I was disappointed as the soaring vocals I associate with Tarja never materialised. I have listened to this album in bed, and Never Too Far managed to send me to sleep. It never really gets going to me.
So love, some hate it..... Iam going down the middle. Enjoyable but not what I expected.
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on 5 October 2016
Like someone else on here I'm a lover of electronic music first but also always loved a lot of Mike Oldfield's stuff over the years - he's up there with.
Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze ean-Michel Jarre and Vanelis in the pantheon of the pioneers to me

A lot of this is very good and the the inclusion of Guilty (his disco hit from 1979) and the part of Ommadawn that sounded like mid 90s tribal house 20 years before it existed show just what a pioneer he's always been.

A slight disappointment is 'Far Above The Clouds' which with its musicality, production, melody, hooks etc could have been a trance monster - I kept expecting it to build and resolve itself into a complete hands in the air trance monster but instead it doesn't quite take off how I thought it would. He'd done the difficult bit with the build and the melody but it just doesn't let itself go into the euphoric stomper it could have.

But overall a decent album and one that shows he didn't waste all those nights ravin' in Ibiza.
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