“… plus Tubular Bells!” (Mike Oldfield’s harmony of complexities)

On Oct. 5, 1974, Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells hit #1 (for the first time) on the UK album chart … it had been released 15 months earlier.

It was the first album released by Virgin Records (catalog number V2001 “In Glorious Stereophonic Sound”) and went on to sell over 10 million copies worldwide. I haven’t heard Tubular Bells in years and it brought back many memories of several friends’ houses, cars and parties. Most people know the opening piano line from the film The Exorcist.

Mike Oldfield played most of the instruments, recording them one at a time on a 16-track tape recorder, and layering each recording to create the finished work. At the time of the production of “Tubular Bells” few musicians made use of this technique.

Among the instruments Oldfield plays are the grand piano, glockenspiel, Farfisa organ, Fender Telecaster bass guitar, several guitars (including Spanish, acoustic, double-speed, and fuzz), mandolin, assorted percussion, flageolet, Lowrey organ, “plus tubular bells.”

Here’s a clip of “side one” (25:36 in length):  http://youtu.be/1LFCG7kOsxE


About poppaculture

I am a seasoned consumer of modern (and not so modern) culture.
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