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Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells CD (album) cover

TUBULAR BELLS

Mike Oldfield

 

Crossover Prog

4.09 | 1015 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Tubular Bells is the debut full-length studio album by UK progressive rock artist Mike Oldfield. The album was an instant succes and propelled Mike Oldfield to superstardom. The album spend more than five years on the British charts and even peaked at number one for a while before being pushed away from that place by Mike Oldfield´s second album Hergest Ridge (1974). A quite rare and spectacular honour. The album has today sold an estimated 15 - 17 million copies. It´s also worth mentioning that Tubular Bells was the first ever release on the Virgin label ( a bit more adventurous back then it seems).

There are two side-long tracks on the album called Tubular Bells part 1 and 2. The music is slow building and a bit repetitive to my ears. Ambient but not in the respect that nothing happens because there are plenty of layers in the music. Piano, guitars, bass and synths play seperate complimenting melodies most of the time. But maybe it´s the ( almost) total lack of drums that gives the music it´s ambient feel. About 10 minutes into part 2 there´s drums though and something that actually sounds like rock music. Mike Oldfield is clearly a skilled composer and musician ( he plays almost everything on the album) and some of the sections in the songs are very cleverly build. To my ears ( and I know others feel differently about it) the songs seem too fragmented though and I miss the feeling that this is two cohesive songs that are composed to be songs. To me this sounds like a lot of small melodic sections put together. It´s more of an experiment than a musical composition which is only emphasised by Vivian Stanshall´s recitation of which instruments are being added to the mix at the end of part 1. I feel like I´m being educated more than entertained.

The production is enjoyable but the sound on the distorted guitar sounds horrible to my ears.

As an experiment Tubular Bells more than succeeds but as a cohesive musical composition I´m not so sure my criterias for what makes good music is met in full. A 3 star rating is fair IMO but I fully understand those who love this album to death. It is a unique piece of art. Just not really to my taste.

UMUR | 3/5 |

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