Wow, what a nice surprise by Tubular World with their tribute to Tubular Bells, that unique and legendary album from 1973 by Mike Oldfield. If you are not familiar with this album I presume “you have lived under a rock”! It also turned out to be a 'goldmine' for Richard Branson from Virgin Records, a reward for him because he was the only one who dared to give the 20 year old Mike Oldfield his eclectic, mainly instrumental music a chance. This new tribute version is performed by over 35 musicians, including Rick Fenn, Phil Spalding, Alasdair Malloy, Steve Hillage, Jay Stapley, Les Penning and Jon Field who played with Mike Oldfield. The music which is based on the original 1973 version is released as a double CD (accompanying the documentary), CD-1 is The Artist Mix and CD-2 The Tom Newman Mix. “It was a huge but incredibly worthwhile effort to mobilise and coordinate so many musicians to re-record the iconic album and it complements the visuals in the documentary.” said Paul Harris. And Robert Reed who musically directed the album said “Some of the music on the original album is untouchable, but this album recreates the atmosphere and vibe with some interesting little twists.”
Well, a good friend of mine considers Tubular Bells as one of his favourite albums, he told me that he is very pleased with this Tubular Bells tribute 2-CD. I agree, because after a few listening sessions I conclude that this 2-CD sounds inspired and very well recorded. And indeed, it recreates the atmosphere of the original album. Multi-instrumentalist Robert Reed (electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass, keyboards, grand piano, organ, vibraphone) has done a great job, even the voices in the Finale sound pretty similar, supported by Steve Hillage (double speed guitar) and Rick Fenn (acoustic guitars). In comparison with CD-1 the CD-2 has a bit more adventurous approach from Tom Newman with the mix, a nice bonus in my opinion.
There will be some special editions including a numbered limited edition of the double DVD, double CD in a special stickered and numbered metal box including Tom Newman's mix notes and 6 archive photo cards. The first 100 copies are signed by Tom Newman.
So lot's of interesting items if you are up to this extensive tribute to Mike Oldfield his magnum opus Tubular Bells.
**** Erik Neuteboom (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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