Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells Full Album ((LINK))
Tubular Bells was recorded on an Ampex 2-inch 16-track tape recorder with the Dolby noise-reduction system, which was the Manor's main recording equipment at the time. Oldfield had Virgin hire instruments including guitars, keyboards and percussion instruments. Oldfield has recounted differing stories over the years regarding the inclusion of the tubular bells; in 2001 he suggested that they were among the instruments he asked Branson to hire, but in 2013, he said that he saw them among the instruments being removed from the studios after John Cale had finished recording there, and asked for them to be left behind.
Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells Full Album
Oldfield recorded side one, known as "Opus One" at the time, during his one allotted week at the Manor in November 1972. He was particularly interested in starting the piece with a repeating riff, and devised the opening piano sequence after experimenting with an idea for several minutes on Bedford's Farfisa organ. He wanted a slight variation on its 16/8 time signature by dropping the sixteenth beat, and chose the key of A minor as it was easy to play. Oldfield recorded the opening riff on a Steinway grand piano, but struggled to perform in time. Heyworth solved the problem by placing a microphone next to a metronome in another room and feeding it into Oldfield's headphones. The short honky-tonk piano section was included as a tribute to Oldfield's grandmother, who had played the instrument in pubs before World War II. The staff and workers at the Manor made up the "nasal choir" that accompanies it. Oldfield had difficulty in producing a sound from the tubular bells, as he wanted a loud note from them but both the standard leather-covered and bare metal hammers did not produce the volume that he wanted. In the end, Newman obtained a heavier claw hammer and Oldfield used it to produce the desired sound intensity but cracked the bells in the process.
The track closes with a segment featuring Vivian Stanshall, formerly of the comedic rock group Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, introducing each instrument being played one by one. The idea originated when the band were due to use the Manor after Oldfield, and had arrived while he was still recording. Oldfield had liked the way Stanshall introduced the instruments one at a time on the Bonzos' song "The Intro and the Outro" on Gorilla (1967), and told Newman that he would like Stanshall to do the same. Newman agreed, but had to persuade the shy Oldfield to ask Stanshall if he would carry out the request. Stanshall readily agreed to the idea and is credited on the liner notes as "Master of Ceremonies", but Newman recalled that the job proved to be more difficult than anticipated, as Stanshall forgot the names of the instruments and introduced them at the wrong points. Oldfield wrote a list of the instruments in order, indicating where Stanshall should introduce them. The way in which Stanshall said "plus... tubular bells" inspired Oldfield to use it as the album's title.
Steward accompanied Key to a beach on the Sussex coast to photograph the cover's backdrop. Key brought with him bones shown burning on the beach on the back cover, but the day was bitterly cold and it took some time to set light to them. The perfectionist Key also spent several hours photographing the seascape until he had a shot of the waves that he was happy with. The triangular "bent bell" on the front was inspired by the damage Oldfield had caused to the tubular bells while playing them on the record. Key designed and constructed one, which he then photographed in his studio and superimposed on the beach backdrop. Oldfield was captivated by the finished artwork, and insisted that his name and the album title be in small letters and coloured pale orange, so as not to distract from the overall image. According to Steward, Key was paid 100 for his work, but he went on to design several other sleeves for Virgin and Factory Records artists, including Technique (1989) by New Order and "Genetic Engineering" (1983) by Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.
"I never thought that the word 'tubular bells' was going to play such an important part in our lives ... Virgin going into space most likely wouldn't have existed if we hadn't hired that particular instrument."
American artist Tori Amos has frequently used the opening Tubular Bells theme in her live shows. It began during the 1996 Dew Drop Inn Tour where she 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 2007 tour promoting her album American Doll Posse where it was performed with full band as an intro to "Devils and Gods". On the 2011 tour, promoting her album Night of Hunters it is being performed as the intro to and backing melody for "God."
Tubular Bells for Two is a music-theatre production created by two Australian multi-instrumentalists, Aidan Roberts and Daniel Holdsworth, in 2009. The two musicians perform over twenty instruments to recreate the original album 'as faithfully as physically possible'. The show won a Sydney Fringe Award for Best Musical Moment in the 2010 Festival, and has been performed at festivals around Australia and the Pacific. The show made its European debut at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2012, where it won two awards.
By mid-1996, Oldfield had put his Buckinghamshire home for sale and relocated to the Spanish island of Ibiza, setting up a recording studio at Casa Atlantis, a cliffside home in Es Cubells which he designed on a virtual reality simulator on his computer and had it built from scratch. With Ibiza being a major club destination, he became inspired by the electronic and dance music that local DJs were playing and decided to make a dance version of the familiar opening to "Tubular Bells (Part One)", which he used with a Nord Lead synthesiser and used the "caveman" beat from "Tubular Bells (Part Two)". Oldfield liked the results, which persuaded him to make a third Tubular Bells album, following Tubular Bells (1973) and Tubular Bells II (1992). Despite not having a recording contract at the time, Oldfield secured a new deal with Warner Music UK by informing the label that he wished to start work on a third Tubular Bells album.
The album artwork is Oldfield's trademark bent tubular bell shape in silver, based upon the original 1973 Tubular Bells album cover, set upon a grey background. The artwork itself does not contain any text and typically a sticker with Oldfield's name and the album title are placed on the outer packaging.
Still in his teens, Oldfield was disillusioned with the rigours of touring and the limitations of live performance. His vision was to produce an album taking full advantage of the sound production opportunities offered by the recording studio.
In truth, Oldfield did play most of the instruments on the album (with the exception of the drums heard on side two) but this amounted to around ten instruments, including electric and acoustic guitars, grand piano and pipe organ, glockenspiel, timpani, tin whistle and, of course, the famed tubular bells.
A series of metal tubes of varying length, when tubular bells are struck they resemble the sound of church bells. Commonly used in classical music, in the world of rock tubular bells were a relatively unknown quantity.
The finale of Part 1 consists of a melody played over and over each time by a different instrument, which is introduced by "Master of Ceremonies" Viv Stanshall. After a grand piano, glockenspiel, Reed organ, bass guitar, and electric guitar, the piece climaxes with the tubular bells. After the firing climax, a serene acoustic guitar piece ends side 1.
To milk the success of Tubular Bells even more, an orchestral version of the album was released in 1974, it was remixed in quadraphonic for a re-release in 1976 and the full album was featured on the 1978 live-registration Exposed. Despite these attempts, no Oldfield release came even close to the success of his 1973 debut, until 1983, when his album Crisis was released. This album was a letdown for most of his hardened fans, yet the singles Moonlight Shadow and Shadow On The Wall were worldwide successes. Until this date, Crisis still remains the second-most successful Oldfield album.
Throughout the album, the tempos range from soft to intense to utterly surprising, making for some excellent musical culminations. Mandolins and Spanish guitars are joined by grinding organs and keyboards, while oddball bells and cranking noises resound in the distance. In the middle of the album, guest Vivian Stanshall announces each instrument seconds before it is heard, ending with the ominous sounding tubular bells, a truly powerful and dominating instrument. The most interesting and overwhelming aspect of this album is the fact that so many sounds are conjured up yet none go unnoticed, allowing the listener a gradual submergence into each unique portion of the music. Tubular Bells is a divine excursion into the realm of new age music.
It was usual around the time of Tubular Bells' release for rock records to be pressed on records made from recycled vinyl (partly the melted down sweepings from the floor of the record plant). The use of this recycled vinyl resulted in lower quality records - Mike (and presumably Tom Newman and Simon Heyworth as well) was not at all happy with the test pressings made on recycled vinyl, mainly because the sound of the Tubular bells themselves didn't sound right. Branson eventually persuaded the cutting plant to press Tubular Bells on the unrecycled vinyl usually reserved for classical records. The album was recorded onto an Ampex 2" 16 track recorder, with rumors that the number of overdubs ran into the thousands (although this has virtually been completely discounted). 041b061a72