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Tubular Bells Singles from Tubular Bells 1. "Mike Oldfield’s Single" Released: 28 June 1974 2009 reissue alternate artwork
Studio album by Mike Oldfield Released Recorded Genre Length Label Producer 25 May 1973 (1973-05-25) 8 June 2009 (Reissue) The Manor, Autumn 1972 – Spring 1973 Progressive rock 48:57 Virgin Mercury (2009 reissue) Tom Newman, Simon Heyworth, Mike Oldfield A darker bell on a white background, as opposed to the seascape.
Professional reviews • Allmusic link • Ground and Sky (mixed, positive) link Mike Oldfield chronology Tubular Bells (1973) Hergest Ridge (1974)
Tubular Bells is the debut record album of English musician Mike Oldfield, released in 1973. The late Vivian Stanshall provided the voice of the "Master of Ceremonies" who reads off the list of instruments at the end of the first movement. The piece was later orchestrated by David Bedford for The Orchestral Tubular Bells version and it had two sequels in the 1990s, Tubular Bells II and III. Finally, the album was fully re-recorded at its 30th anniversary in 2003 as Tubular Bells 2003. It is to be re-released by Mercury Records on 8 June 2009, with bonus material.
Tubular Bells chronology Tubular Bells (1973) The Orchestral Tubular Bells (1975)
Oldfield approached (and was rejected by) many other established record labels. Some of the rejections were because they believed the piece to be unmarketable. Oldfield then played his demos to some of the Engineers at The Manor; they along with their boss,
Tubular Bells (2000s) chronology Tubular Bells 2003 (2009) Tubular Bells (reissue) (2009)
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Richard Branson decided to give Oldfield a chance.. Virgin Records released Oldfield’s debut album Tubular Bells as its first album; hence the catalogue number V2001 (although V2002 and V2003 were released on the same date). Interestingly, the significance of this album to the Virgin empire is not lost on Richard Branson, who named one of his first Virgin America aircraft, an Airbus A319-112, N527VA Tubular Belle, presumably as a tongue-in-cheek reference to this. Prior to this Virgin Atlantic had named a Boeing 747-4Q8 , G-VHOT Tubular Belle, in 1994.
conducted by Music Week, whom Oldfield wrote an open letter to discussing the situation, 89.9% of people supported Oldfield’s view that EMI and The Mail on Sunday should have at least asked him about the cover-mount promotion.
Mike Oldfield played most of the instruments on the album (see below), recording them one at a time and layering the recordings to create the finished work. Many of his subsequent albums feature this technique. Though fairly common in the music industry now, at the time of the production of Tubular Bells not many musicians made use of it, preferring multi-musician "session" recordings.
In 2008 when Oldfield’s original 35 year deal with Virgin Records ended, the rights to the piece were returned to him, and will be transferred to Mercury Records; according to a report in the Music Week magazine in 2005. Mercury issued a press release on 15 April 2009, where Oldfield’s Virgin albums will be transferred to the label, and re-released, starting 8 June 2009. Tubular Bells will be released on various formats, which include an original vinyl, a new remix, a 2CD edition and DVD. There will also be bell ringing events on 6 June 2009 at 6pm (a reference to 666, the Number of the Beast).
The coda at the end of Part Two, the "Sailor’s Hornpipe", was originally created as a much longer production, with Vivian Stanshall providing comic narration as an obviously-inebriated tour guide showing the listener around the Manor House where the album was recorded. It was cut from the final version for being too strange to be put on an unknown artist’s first album, though it can be heard "in all its magnificent foolishness" (from the liner notes) on the Boxed set, which features completely remixed versions of Tubular Bells, Hergest Ridge, Ommadawn and several shorter tracks. It can also be heard on the SACD (multi-channel track only).
The Mail on Sunday free edition
On 22 April 2007 a British newspaper, The Mail on Sunday, gave away 2.25 million free copies of the full original Tubular Bells to its readers; this came in a card packet displaying the original artwork. EMI (owners of the Virgin Records label) earned between £200000 and £500000 from the promotion. Many critics have noted that the giveaway will have negatively affected future sales of the album. The Mail on Sunday claimed that their promotion increased sales of the album by 30%; however industry sources noted that this was not a significant rise for the title at the time. This type of ’free’ music give-away has outraged many people, including music retailers. This covermount deal came prior to the album’s transfer from Virgin/EMI back to Oldfield. Oldfield attacked EMI in the press for agreeing this deal with The Mail on Sunday, as Oldfield was not consulted about the giveaway at all. Oldfield also stated that he feels that it devalues the work. In a poll
Other Oldfield works
Tubular Bells is the album most identified with Oldfield, and the reverse may be true as well, as he has frequently returned to it in later works. The opening passage of the title track on the album Crises and the piece "Harbinger" on the album Music of the Spheres are clearly derived from the opening of Tubular Bells. The opening is also quoted directly in the song "Five Miles Out" from the album of the same name, and the song also features his "trademark" instrument, "Piltdown Man" (referring to his singing like a caveman, first heard on Tubular Bells).
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album’s production. This version is notable for replacing the late Vivian Stanshall’s narration with a newly recorded narration by John Cleese. There is also a new mix of the original album on the 2009 Mercury reissue. Other versions include a quadrophonic version in 1975 ("For people with four ears", as the sleeve said; the quad mix was later used for the multi-channel part of the SACD release), an orchestral version in the same year (the Orchestral Tubular Bells with David Bedford), and different live recordings; a complete one can be found on the double live album Exposed from 1979.
Charts and awards
Tubular Bells stayed in the British charts for over five years, reaching the number 1 spot after more than a year and taking there for one week the place of his second album, Hergest Ridge, thereby becoming one of only three artists in the UK to knock himself off the first spot. It sold more than two million copies in the UK alone and according to some reports 15 to 17 million copies worldwide. The album went gold in the USA and Mike Oldfield received a Grammy Award for the best Instrumental Composition in 1975.
In popular culture
The opening theme, which was eventually chosen for the 1973 film The Exorcist, gained the record considerable publicity and is how many people have probably first heard the work. Along with a number of other Oldfield pieces it was used in the 1979 NASA movie, The Space Movie. The opening theme has been sampled by many other artists such as Janet Jackson on her song "The Velvet Rope". The opening theme has also gained cultural significance as a ’haunting theme’; partly due to the association with The Exorcist. In television it was also used in several episodes of the Dutch children’s series Bassie en Adriaan, an episode ("Ghosts") of the BBC series My Family and an episode ("Poltergeist III - Dipesto Nothing") of Moonlighting. It was also used in a television advertisement for the Volkswagen Golf Diesel in 2002. It has also been used in other films such as 1974’s Black Christmas, 1985’s Weird Science, 2001’s Scary Movie 2, 2002’s The Master of Disguise and 2004’s Saved!. The intro theme is frequently used during news segments around the time of Halloween. One such example is that during the 31 October 2008 edition of the WEAR ABC 3 show, In The Morning News the theme was used in the spirit of Halloween.
Tubular Bells picture disc The cover design was by Trevor Key, who would go on to create the covers of many Oldfield albums, and was inspired by Magritte’s "Castle in the Pyrenees". The concept for the triangular bell on the album cover art originally came from the idea of a bell which had been destroyed. Oldfield had come up with this when he had dented the set of Tubular bells used to record the album when playing them. The "bent bell" image on the cover is also associated with Oldfield, even being used for the logo of his personal music company, Oldfield Music, Ltd. The image was also the main focus for the cover art of the successive Tubular Bells albums. Tubular Bells has also been issued as a vinyl picture disc, showing the bent bell on a skyscape. The 2009 reissue will include both the original artwork and new artwork featuring a darker version of the bell, on a white background.
Tubular Bells series
Tubular Bells can be seen as the first of a "series" of albums continuing with Tubular Bells II (1992), Tubular Bells III (1998) and The Millennium Bell (1999). Finally in 2003 Oldfield released Tubular Bells 2003, a re-recording of the original Tubular Bells with updated digital technology and several "corrections" to what he saw as flaws in the first
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worldwide bell ringing event; Bells will be rung in Milan (on MTV), Berlin (Siegessaule), Brussells (Atomium), Paris (the George Pompidou centre), Sydney (Opera House), Japan/Narita (at a Japanese Temple) and London. Footage will be shown on Oldfield’s website.
All songs written and composed by Mike Oldfield.
1. "Tubular Bells, Part 1" – 25:36
1. "Tubular Bells, Part 2" – 23:20
Tubular Bells / The Mike Oldfield Collection 1974–1983 Tubular Bells Deluxe Edition (2CD & 1DVD)
CD one 1. "Tubular Bells Part One" (New stereo mix by Mike Oldfield, Bahamas, March 2009) 2. "Tubular Bells Part Two" (New stereo mix by Mike Oldfield, Bahamas, March 2009) 3. "Mike Oldfield’s Single" 4. "Sailor’s Hornpipe" (Vivian Stanshall version) CD two 1. "Tubular Bells Part One" (Original stereo mix May 1973) 2. "Tubular Bells Part Two" (Original stereo mix May 1973) DVD Audio 1. "Tubular Bells Part One" (5.1 surround mix by Mike Oldfield, Bahamas, March 2009) 2. "Tubular Bells Part Two" (5.1 surround mix by Mike Oldfield, Bahamas, March 2009) 3. "Mike Oldfield’s Single" (5.1 surround mix by Mike Oldfield, Bahamas, March 2009) Visual 1. "BBC TV 2nd House - 3 December 1973"
In 2008 when Oldfield’s original 35 year deal with Virgin Records ended, the rights to the piece were returned to him, and were transferred to Mercury Records. Mercury issued a press release on 15 April 2009, where Oldfield’s Virgin albums will be transferred to the label, and re-released, starting 8 June 2009. Tubular Bells will be released in four physical variations, and 2 digital variations. In April 2009 a new official website, TubularBells2009.com, was unveiled. The new releases contain a new 2009 stereo mix of the album, which Oldfield created at his home in the Bahamas in March 2009. The "Deluxe Edition" contains a 5.1 mix, and the "Ultimate Edition" box set contains a 60 page hardback book, a poster, plectrums and other pieces such as rough mixes and demo versions of the album. There is also to be a vinyl version released as part of the Back to Black series. The 2 CD version containing the album, and a disc of Oldfield’s tracks from 1974 to 1983 is to be advertised on television.
The online store was opened to those who registered in advance on 15 May, and was publicly opened on 18 May. All editions of the album, an art canvas, and t-shirts displaying the Tubular Bells logo are available. There was also a special version of the "Ultimate Edition", which was a limited edition of 500 signed and numbered copies, that was available from Oldfield’s website www.MikeOldfield.com (also known as TubularBells2009.com). The signed edition sold out in under 24 hours.
Tubular Bells - The Ultimate Edition
Complete with 60-page hardback book forwarded by Mike Oldfield, plectrums, poster, copy of manor studios recording brochure, concert ticket, postcard and recording information. 500 signed copies were available from Oldfield’s online store. The signed copies sold out in under 24 hours. CD one 1. "Tubular Bells Part One" (New stereo mix by Mike Oldfield, Bahamas, March 2009)
Bell ringing events
On 6 June at 6pm (a reference to 666, the Number of the Beast) there will be a
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2. "Tubular Bells Part Two" (New stereo mix by Mike Oldfield, Bahamas, March 2009) 3. "Mike Oldfield’s Single" 4. "Sailor’s Hornpipe" (Vivian Stanshall version) CD two 1. "Tubular Bells Part One" (Original stereo mix May 1973) 2. "Tubular Bells Part Two" (Original stereo mix May 1973) DVD Audio 1. "Tubular Bells Part One" (5.1 surround mix by Mike Oldfield, Bahamas, March 2009) 2. "Tubular Bells Part Two" (5.1 surround mix by Mike Oldfield, Bahamas, March 2009) 3. "Mike Oldfield’s Single" (5.1 surround mix by Mike Oldfield, Bahamas, March 2009) Visual 1. "BBC TV 2nd House - 3 December 1973" Vinyl 1. "Tubular Bells Part One" (Original stereo mix May 1973) 2. "Tubular Bells Part Two" (Original stereo mix May 1973) Bonus CD 1. "Tubular Bells" (1971 demos) 2. "Tubular Bells" (scrapped first mix Spring 1973)
7. "Tubular Bells" (1971 demos) 8. "Tubular Bells" (scrapped first mix Spring 1973)
Progression of part one
Part one opens with a soft minor key piano line in 15/8 eventually played verbatim by organ and glockenspiel. This riff is made up of two bars; the first bar is in 7/8, the second bar is in 8/8. These are later joined by a different line in bass guitar. An occasional punchy organ chord, first heard at about 1:02 in, accents this piece, harmonised by variations of the anchor line and a later incorporated 3/4 chord sequence, both in piano. At around 3:38, a gentle flute line appears, which segues into a section of 4/4-7/8-7/8-4/ 4, and at 3:40 an electric guitar line, the latter entirely in 4/4. After the electric guitar line ends, a softer, fast guitar line ("speed guitar," as listed in the liner notes) takes over, only to be interrupted by an acoustic guitar line overlaying the original piano phrase in major key. A gentle glockenspiel/piano piece takes over, but is later replaced with a fast piano section, occasionally accented with organ chords. The mood of the first 6 minutes is soon replaced by edgy electric guitar and, afterward, a sinister organ chord, with various changes in pitch and duration. But, once again, a more refined, carefree section ensues, dominated by acoustic guitar and piano, eventually returning to the soft riff first heard just past four minutes into the piece. A 3/4 variation of the original theme comes next, followed by eerie bass and organ playing, segueing into a bluesy shuffle on electric guitar. Once again, when it looks like the piece will be serene (when the nasal choir intervenes), another edgy guitar line ensues, with Oldfield incorporating both 4/4 and 7/8. After that, a more folky acoustic line plays (with background tambourine), but is suddenly cut off by the tolling of bells. A weary acoustic guitar line follows, breaking into the eight-and-a-half minute "Finale" section, commencing with a double bass line in 5/4, polyrhythmically played with a 4/4 acoustic line. After the bass and guitar unite into the 4/4 line, the acoustic guitar tacets and is eventually replaced by soft pipe organ notes
Tubular Bells Vinyl Edition
This will be part of the Back to Black series. Download will be available from Back to Black website. 1. "Tubular Bells Part One" (Original stereo mix May 1973) 2. "Tubular Bells Part Two" (Original stereo mix May 1973)
Tubular Bells Digital Edition
1. "Tubular Bells Part One" (New stereo mix by Mike Oldfield, Bahamas, March 2009) 2. "Tubular Bells Part Two" (New stereo mix by Mike Oldfield, Bahamas, March 2009) 3. "Mike Oldfield’s Single" 4. "Sailor’s Hornpipe" (Vivian Stanshall version) 5. "Tubular Bells Part One" (Original stereo mix May 1973) 6. "Tubular Bells Part Two" (Original stereo mix May 1973)
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Year 1974 Chart Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart UK Albums Chart (usually lasting four or eight full beats) while the bass line plays. After the 10-bar bass phrase is repeated several times, Stanshall introduces many of the instruments appearing in part one up to then, beginning with the keyboards, followed by glockenspiel and all guitars before the tubular bells are announced, the ensemble becoming more dynamic and full as more instruments are said. Finally, after the tubular bells enter, a wordless feminine chorus starts to sing. Farther down, the Finale ensemble fades out to an acoustic guitar solo, which takes up the remainder of part one.
Progression of part two
Part two begins where part one left off; a soft, simple piece, this time, beginning with bass guitar and working up with other guitars and keyboards. The opening time signature is 6/8, but a later line plays a similar melody in 3/4 on various instruments, beginning with guitar. The opening section builds for five minutes before the second section starts, another 3/4 section at half tempo on acoustic guitar, with accompaniment on organ, mandolin and female chorus. At around 8:48, the piece becomes edgy and surreal again, as the "bagpipe guitars" enter the piece (electric guitars with added effects to give it the bagpipe-esque sound), playing a 12/8 piece of sorts. About 11 minutes in, the intensity of the section builds as the guitar pitches increase and a heavy piano "roll" plays, climaxed by a sudden ascending glissando on the piano. What comes next is one of the more unusual parts of the entire album. Tympani rolls and drum kit commence this part, highlighted by unintelligible "lyrical" utterances, growls, and screams by Oldfield (who, according to rumours, was then intoxicated), in rebellion to how Richard Branson wanted him to include at least one part with lyrics to release as a single (at the time, Oldfield was not interested in adding lyrics to his music). This is listed in the liner notes as the "Piltdown Man". Oldfield’s yelling is countered by various phrases on piano, guitars, and the
"Moribund chorus," with this piece abruptly ending on one loud shout exactly 16:29 in. As expected, another quiet section ensues, a 12/8 piece mostly dominated by guitars and organ. This section gives an excellent insight into the psychedelic, spacey side of Oldfield (a similar sound to that of Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour), which would also be present in his third album, Ommadawn. After about five minutes, an optimistic organ line plays, segueing into a climactic arrangement of "Sailor’s Hornpipe". "Sailor’s Hornpipe" begins with just one guitar playing at a moderately slow tempo, but quickly mutates into a gradually accented piece with multiple instruments (including an unlisted violin), ending with two loud, accented notes. In live performances, Oldfield would reach incredible tempos and "Sailor’s Hornpipe" alone became a staple of his concerts.
There are three known variations of the vinyl edition of Tubular Bells. 1. The standard stereo black vinyl version catalogue number V2001 (white label with twins image) 2. A quadrophonic version, black vinyl catalogue number QV2001. The first 40,000 copies of this are not true quadrophonic but doctored versions of the stereo issue, thereafter the subsequent copies are true quadrophonic. Unfortunately there is no indication on the record label that this substitution was made. 3. The Picture Disc, catalogue number VP2001. This is a stereo remix of the quadrophonic version. The only difference being in the sound of the "Reed and Pipe Organ" during the ceremony of instruments. This version appears in the Boxed compilation.
Chart positions Personnel
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quad editions modified the top-right statements to read: "In Glorious Quadraphonic Sound; Can also be played on stereo and mono equipment at a pinch". Some British editions also had a sticker on the front declaring the quad edition to be "for people with four ears". A small essay about the restoration and remastering of the album, included with the 25th Anniversary limited edition CD, concludes with: "...but (it) still can’t be played on old tin boxes". Similarly, the re-recorded album Tubular Bells 2003 reprints the original warning with the word "still" (in italics) added. A similar humorous "health warning" appeared many years later on Oldfield’s Amarok album, which cautioned: This record could be hazardous to the health of cloth-eared nincompoops. If you suffer from from this condition, consult your Doctor immediately.
Acoustic guitar, bass guitar, electric guitar, Farfisa, Hammond, and Lowrey organs; flageolet, fuzz guitars, glockenspiel, "honky tonk" piano (piano with detuned strings), mandolin, piano, "Piltdown Man", percussion, Spanish guitar, "double speed guitar", "taped motor drive amplifier organ chord", timpani, violin, vocals and tubular bells.
• • • • • • • • Steve Broughton — percussion Lindsay L. Cooper — string basses Mundy Ellis — vocals Jon Field — flutes Sally Oldfield — vocals Vivian Stanshall — Master of Ceremonies Nasal Choir Manor Choir (Simon Heyworth, Tom Newman, Mike Oldfield)
Stereo record joke
The album cover contains no fewer than three humorous statements about the record being in stereo, an unnecessary declaration as stereo-only releases were the industry standard by 1973. Under the label’s logo on the back, there is a grand statement, "In Glorious Stereophonic Sound", followed by the cryptic line: "Can also be played on mono-equipment at a pinch". But the most famous statement appears at the lower left of the back cover, a spoof on the largely unnecessary and contradictory warnings about compatibility between stereo records and mono equipment (or vice versa) as found on older albums: This stereo record cannot be played on old tin boxes no matter what they are fitted with. If you are in possession of such equipment please hand it into the nearest police station. The use of record vs. equipment warnings reappeared on album covers when quadraphonic albums were marketed in the early to mid 1970s, and when Tubular Bells was later issued in quad, the American pressing removed the "tin boxes" statement, possibly out of concerns about confusing consumers who might wonder if this is a genuine generic warning that the record company puts on all its quad editions. British and Australian quad pressings retained the statement, and most
The recording sessions
• Part one was recorded in just one week at The Manor Studio, owned by the founder of Virgin Records, Richard Branson. Oldfield used this studio immediately after John Cale’s sessions and just before the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band began recording. • Oldfield’s working title for Tubular Bells was Opus One; Richard Branson thought to call it Breakfast in Bed. One of the possible album covers for Breakfast in Bed included a boiled egg with blood pouring out of it. This cover was edited and used as the artwork for Oldfield’s final album with Virgin, Heaven’s Open. • Mike Oldfield had been performing "The Sailor’s Hornpipe" for years before including it on Tubular Bells, when he was the bass player with Kevin Ayers and The Whole World. • The only electric guitar to be used on the album was a 1966 blonde Fender Telecaster (serial no. 180728) which used to belong to Marc Bolan. Oldfield had added an extra Bill Lawrence pickup and has since sold the guitar and donated the money to the SANE charity. • According to Oldfield the "Piltdown Man" shouting sequence came about when he had practically finished recording the instruments for the section, but felt that it
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needed something else. The whiskeyfueled idea to create the "Piltdown Man" effect was to shout and scream into a microphone while running the tape at a lower speed. The album was recorded on an Ampex 2" 16 track tape recorder, which was The Manor’s main recording equipment at the time. To create the double speed guitar, the tape was simply run at half speed during recording. Oldfield also used a custom effects unit, named the Glorfindel box, to create the ’fuzz’ or ’bagpipe’ distortion on some guitar pieces on the album. The Glorfindel box was given to David Bedford at a party, who then subsequently gave it to Oldfield. Tom Newman criticised the wooden cased unit in a 2001 interview with Q magazine noting that it rarely gave the same result twice. The set of tubular bells that were used on the album had been left by an instrument hire company after John Cale’s sessions at the Manor, at the request of Oldfield. According to Phil Newell the Bass guitar used on the album was one of his Fender Telecaster Basses. Vivian Stanshall, who was staying at the Manor at the time, was asked to introduce the instruments for the finale of part one. It was the way in which Stanshall had said plus... tubular bells which gave Oldfield the idea to call the album Tubular Bells. The "lyrics" announcing the instruments are: "Grand piano; reed and pipe organ; glockenspiel; bass guitar; double speed guitar; two slightly distorted guitars; mandolin! Spanish guitar, and introducing acoustic guitar, plus... tubular bells".
They placed microphones in the rooms of the Manor, hit record and set off on an unplanned tour of the house. The section was deemed "too bizarre" to include on the initial release of Tubular Bells, and was left off. The Boxed set reinstates the section at the end of side two of Tubular Bells. This rendition of "Sailor’s Hornpipe" will be included in the 2009 Mercury reissue of Tubular Bells. The "lyrics" to Stanshall’s improvised tour of the Manor follows: "The hallway. From outside, an ordinary house. A great house, true - four hundred and eighty three rooms, each one with its own marble wash basin and douche, bidet as it may. But inside, and the positions are reversed. A human failing, some say a disease, but a disease that Sir Francis Dashwood knew, and knew it well. Upstairs, inside and a revelation. It’s a discotheque. No, no, uh.. there are paintings, real, and look here - a rare seventeenth century masterpiece, and if I can scrape a little of it off, beneath I can find hidden a fourteenth century underpiece. Made entirely of tiny pieces of eggshells, this lurid work has caused controversy in the world of embroidery and anthropologicky. No, I’ll say it again, anthropolology. Umm.. no quite possibly make an anthropol, no, uh, I mean an apolog..ph.. It has enthralled distinguished professors, and in layman’s language is "blinking well baffling". But to be more obtusely, "buggered if I know." Yes, "buggered if I know." And that’s all we’ve gleaned so far from experts in fourteenth century painting, renaissance, greengrocers, and recently revived members of the public. Buggered if I know. Vivian Stanshall, about three o’clock in the morning, Oxfordshire, 1973, Goodnight" In addition, a version of Tubular Bells was originally released on the Spanish Boxed compilation such that Part Two ended with
When recorded in 1973, the ending rendition of "Sailor’s Hornpipe" was originally preceded by a slightly bizarre rendition of the piece. Loud marching footsteps trot around the sound channels as the "Sailor’s Hornpipe" is played on acoustic instruments, whilst announcer Vivian Stanshall gives a drunken, improvised tour of the Manor. According to the liner notes for the Boxed vinyl set, this session occurred at four in the morning after Oldfield, engineer Tom Newman and Stanshall had been drinking heavily.
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the "Ambient Guitars" movement without the Sailor’s Hornpipe finale.
other sources consider it a "union between music and videogames". This, combined with the low quality of the final sound output compared to the original album, despite the C64 arguably having one of the best sound chips of its era, decreed the attempt’s failure. It’s also one of the earliest attempts by part of a musician to release an interactive/multimedia software based on his works, before the CD-ROM era and before the first video games and multimedia discs licensed by a music artist appeared.
"Mike Oldfield’s Single" was the first 7-inch single released by Mike Oldfield, in June 1974. In the UK it featured a re-recorded extract from part two of Tubular Bells as the Aside, while "Froggy Went A-Courting" was the B-side. The single was produced in response to an American single containing an excerpt from Tubular Bells which Oldfield did not authorise.
In 2004 Oldfield launched a virtual reality project called Maestro which contains music from the re-recorded Tubular Bells album (Tubular Bells 2003). The original title of the game was The Tube World. This was the second game which was released under the MusicVR banner, the first being Tres Lunas.
Oldfield recorded the demo pieces of Tubular Bells in his flat in Tottenham, London in 1971. Oldfield recorded the demos on a Bang & Olufsen Beocord 1/4" tape machine which he had borrowed from Kevin Ayers. Oldfield was able to overdub his playing by blocking off the erase head of the tape machine. The demos titled, "Tubular Bells Long", "Caveman Lead-In", "Caveman", "Peace Demo A" and "Peace Demo B" appeared on the DVD-Audio version of the rerecording of Tubular Bells, Tubular Bells 2003. Further pieces from Oldfield’s 1971 demos are to appear on the 2009 Mercury reissue of Tubular Bells; also included on this release will be a scrapped mix of the album from Spring 1973.
Various sections of Tubular Bells have been covered by many artists, with the most used part being the introduction piano piece. • Lol Coxhill recorded a very short track of "doubled and echoed flexatones" (a flexatone is a hand percussion instrument consisting of two balls striking a piece of metal, which makes a "spooky" sound effect), titled "Tubercular Balls" on his 1974 Caroline Records half-album, ...Oh Really? (the other side being The Story So Far... by Stephen Miller, a.k.a. Steve Miller, ex Caravan; the album is often referred to by a combination of its two titles: The Story So Far ... Oh Really?). Although the track has no sonic relation to Tubular Bells, the fact Coxhill and Oldfield were previously co-members of Kevin Ayers and the Whole World, and that the album was released on a subsidiary label of Virgin, has often led to claims that Coxhill’s track is a version or parody of Oldfield’s composition. If the title was chosen as a prank intended to imply a nonexistent musical relationship to Tubular Bells, it appears to be successful. • The Champs Boys Orchestra released a short rendition of Tubular Bells in 1976. • Thrash metal band Possessed played the intro in the first song of the record Seven
With the aid of the software house CRL and distributor Nu Wave, Mike Oldfield released an interactive Commodore 64 version of the album in 1986, which utilised the computer’s SID sound chip to play back a simplified rearrangement of the album, accompanied by some simple 2D visual effects. The "interactivity" offered by the album/ program was limited to controlling the speed and quantity of the visual effects, tuning the sound’s volume and filtering, and skipping to any part of the album. The software was not very successful, partly due to its unusual nature. It can be considered the first, if not only, example of commercial, albeit relatively simple, interactive computer demo or "musicdisk", while
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Churches (in 1985), which is titled "The Exorcist". Paul Hardcastle based his 1985 single "19" around the piano theme of Tubular Bells. Another thrash metal band called Death Angel played the main theme in the title track of the album The Ultra-Violence in 1987. Book of Love opened their 1988 album Lullaby with a cover version, stretched to 4/4 time by adding stretching a note to make it danceable. Ed Starink made an abridged cover for an album Synthesizer Greatest (the first album in a multi-volume series) that was released in 1989. Tubular Bells appears only on the CD-version as a "bonus track". Other tracks on the album are cover versions of famous synthesizer songs but the original Tubular Bells features no synthesizer. American artist Tori Amos has frequently been using the opening Tubular Bells theme in her live shows.It began during the 1996 Dew Drop Inn Tour where she would let "Father Lucifer" segue into Tubular Bells on the piano while singing words from Bronski Beat’s "Smalltown Boy" as well as playing it on the harpsichord during songs "Love Song" (a Cure cover) and "Bells for Her" (from the album Under the Pink), usually while mixing in lyrics from a third song such as Björk’s "Hyperballad" or "Blue Skies". It appeared again in 2005 as part of "Yes, Anastasia" and on the current 2007 tour promoting her album American Doll Posse it is being performed with full band as an intro to "Devils and Gods". Forma Tadre use the intro guitars from the second part of Tubular Bells in their song "Automate" on the 1998 album of the same name. Their version is done with synth and only repeats the first two bars. Therapy? jokingly covered the opening theme live in 1998 as part of a medley, which opened with "Tubular Bells", segued into Judas Priest’s "Breaking the Law", and ended with their own "Nowhere". Duo Sonare, a German classical guitar duo, has made a complete rerecording of Tubular Bells for two guitars in 2000. Rapper Tech N9ne also used a similar version of the intro in the song "Be
Warned" in 2002, only he moved it to 4/4 time, rather than the 7/8 to 8/8 signatures. The piano intro is a slight modification of the original. Also, the bassline, although quite different-sounding itself, is a slight copy of the original bassline, only with a few notes added. • Finnish one-man a cappella rock band Paska recorded an abridged cover version for his 2005 album Women Are From Venus, Men From Anus. Paska has also performed the song at his live performances. This number can be considered both a parody of the original work and mockery of progressive rock and new age music in general. In a concert held on the 1 October 2007 in club Tavastia in Helsinki), before performing his version of the song, Ari Peltonen gave a speech about his hatred towards the song and progressive rock in general. • Crown Records - iTunes download - A cover of Tubular Bells by the Crown Star Records studio musicians, not affiliated with Mike Oldfield. • Marcel Bergmann made two arrangements of Tubular Bells "Part One", in 2005 (for two pianos and two synthesizers as well as four pianos); A CD with both versions was released by Brilliant Classics in 2008. • California Guitar Trio covers most of the first side of the original album on their album Echoes released in late March 2008. Furthermore, many dance acts and other artists have used the intro to Tubular Bells as the basis for their songs. A long list can be found at Rainer Muenz’ discography.
 ^ "Archiv Sendung vom 02.04.2008, kulturplatz, Mike Oldfield video interview" (html/video). SF 1. 2008-04-02. http://www.sf.tv/sf1/ kulturplatz/index.php?docid=20080402. Retrieved on 2008-04-08.  "N527VA". Airliners. http://www.airliners.net/search/ photo.search?regsearch=N527VA&distinct_entry=tr Retrieved on 2009-04-03.  "G-VHOT". V-Flyer. http://www.vflyer.com/ aircraft.asp?search=yes&flight=GVHOT. Retrieved on 2009-04-02.
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Preceded by Hergest Ridge by Mike Oldfield UK number one album 5 October 1974 – 11 October 1974
Succeeded by Rollin’ by Bay City Rollers Succeeded by The Sting (soundtrack) by Various artists
Preceded by Australian Kent Music Report Band on the Run by Paul number-one album McCartney & Wings 20 May – 16 June 1974
games-that-feature-musicians.htm.  "Bizarre Live 2000 Russia". TankTrix.ru. Retrieved on 2008-04-05. http://www.musiclib.tanktrix.ru/t/  "GamEnd". Vaz Comics. bizv.htm. Retrieved on 2009-02-07. http://www.vazcomics.org/mamend/  "Paska - Women Are From Venus, Men gamend/endless5.htm. Retrieved on From Anu" (in Finnish). Noise. 2008-04-05. http://www.noise.fi/levyarvostelut/  "Tubular Bells game". Gamerbase64. index.php?id=3841. Retrieved on http://www.gamebase64.com/ 2009-02-07. game.php?id=9745&d=18&h=0.  "Interview with Marcel Bergmann, Retrieved on 2008-12-29. author of the four piano version of  "Talk time: Mike Oldfield". The Guardian. Tubular Bells". mundomikeoldfield.com. 2003-07-31. 2008-01-04. http://technology.guardian.co.uk/online/ http://www.mundomikeoldfield.com/ story/0,3605,1008870,00.html. Retrieved marcelenglish.htm. Retrieved on on 2008-04-05. 2008-08-25.  ^ "Cover versions". Rainer Meunz.  "Echoes". Acoustic Guitar Central. http://www.argiers.com/rainer/ http://www.acousticguitar.com/article/ cover.html. Retrieved on 2009-02-07. default.aspx?articleid=24174. Retrieved  "Seven Churches publisher=Metal on 2009-02-07. Storm". 2005-06-28. http://www.metalstorm.ee/bands/ album.php?album_id=3481&band_id=114&bandname=Possessed. • Tubular Bells - Mike Oldfield (Music score Retrieved on 2009-02-07. for piano or guitar, analysis by David  "Death Angel". Voices from the Dark Bedford, text by Karl Dallas, photos by Side. David Bailey and others). New York, http://www.voicesfromthedarkside.de/ London, Sydney: Wise Publications. ISBN interviews/deathangel.htm. Retrieved on 0860012492. 2009-02-07.  "Whispers to wails, Amos dazzles". St. Petersburg Times. 2002-11-08. http://www.sptimes.com/2002/11/08/ • TubularBells2009.com Artsandentertainment/ • Tubular Bells store at Band Stores Whispers_to_wails__Am.shtml. Retrieved • Mike Oldfield Discography - Tubular Bells on 2009-02-07. at Tubular.net