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Tubular Bells, revisited.

Discussion in 'music' started by Martyn Miles, May 30, 2021.

  1. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK I had amnesia once or twice...

    Then you've missed out on Hergest Ridge, Ommdawn and Incantations...
  2. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I have briefly tried copies that passed through over the years, plus Hergest Ridge, but they left little if any impression. FWIW I feel just the same way about JM Jarre; Oxygene is a significant album, the rest are of no interest to me.
  3. matt j

    matt j pfm Member

    I'm guessing this is like DSOTM, more versions than minutes in a year. I've no idea which version I have, it sounds pretty good though. Nothing else of his has ever grabbed me though.
  4. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    It is interesting as it has I suspect appeared on every Virgin Records label design. I don’t think it was ever out of print in the vinyl era. Virgin changed their label design very often. The only design I can’t ever recall seeing a copy on is the blue to white fill with jagged red logo (think Sex Pistols, Motors, Magazine Real Life). Other than that I’m pretty sure I’ve seen them all in the £1 bins over the years!

    The criticism he (justifiably IMO) receives is he kept going back and remixing it, re-recording it, making countless ‘follow up’ versions etc. The original is the best and it has stayed in print through to the present day to the best of my knowledge, e.g. I’d expect the current CD to be a remaster of the same master tape that was used for my black/white ‘two virgins’ label original. I have no idea which specific CDs are the most sought after masterings, but for vinyl it is the 1st press, though it is very, very hard to find a quiet one. Mine is the original label design and laminated sleeve, and I think A2/B2 matrix, so not the very first, but certainly early. It sounds like Tubular Bells.
  5. matt j

    matt j pfm Member

    You've intrigued me enough to go and look at Discogs to see which version I have:

    According to the matrix run out I have this one
  6. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    That’s the second ‘coloured two-virgins’ design, so pretty early. Mine appears to be this one, though in a plain-white inner rather than the black poly-lined Virgin branded one for some reason.

    PS Edit: being pedantic I’m not convinced the black inner is right on discogs. I think those came a lot later with the green Virgin label! I’d put money on the plain white one being right.
  7. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    I have an LP of ‘Orchestrated Tubular Bells’ somewhere.
    I’ll dig it out, give it a listen and report back.
    Perhaps someone might be interested...

    Was there ever an orchestrated ‘Hergest Ridge’?
  8. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK I had amnesia once or twice...

    I have seen a copy on acetate, suggesting it was pencilled for an official release but it never made it except as a couple of excerpts used in the Tony Palmer's "Space Movie". Perhaps because Mike wasn't on it.


    The soundtrack to "Space Movie" also contains early versions of tracks that became "Incantations". Mike recorded the music for this film (Tony Palmer was a long-time friend and supporter of Mike - check out the last episode of Tony's early 70s documentary on Rock) but re-recorded / remixed them and made the double LP out of it.
  9. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs “telling it like it isn’t...”

    I had ‘Incantations’ before I heard the album Tubular Bells, so I came backwards to ‘Bells.’
    Must find the c.d. - haven’t seen it for a while. On my listen list when I find it.
  10. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    The Orb remix, obviously.

    PS IIRC they used close to nothing of the original, just a second or two, and Oldfield hated it.
    The Bish likes this.
  11. chartz

    chartz If it’s broke fix it!

    I have never replaced my (very old) original pressing. Its sound is what it is, it’s part of the musical soundscape for many of us.
    No need to improve anything, or to find the new, improved cut or whatever.
  12. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK I had amnesia once or twice...

    AFAICT, it went from the "green two virgins" label to the red / green label.

    It's been remixed twice: the SQ Quad version in "Boxed" and the Deluxe edition. For a 50 year old recording, this is not unusual.

    It's been remastered once: HDCD version. Other artists have had it done a lot more times to their recordings.

    Twice: 1974 released an Orchestral version and in 2003 to provide WEA with a version of his best seller and a chance to mix in 5.1.

    Three. "TBII" is close in structure to the original but "III" and "Millennium Bell" sound nothing like the 1973 release. IMO, he uses the title to shift units / link back to his more successful past. It's no different to Led Zeppelin making three follow up albums to the debut and all called "Led Zeppelin [x]"... ;)

    The current CD will be Mike's 2009 remaster which is OK but stick with the anything up to the 2000 HDCD and it's closer to the LP. VDP-64 is the way to go but good luck finding one...
  13. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    Just had a look at discogs and the earliest Japanese was VDP-64. I’ve yet to hear a VDP or VDJ (jazz range) that I didn’t like (I have quite a few), so I’d expect it to be very good. Worth a ton (£200 or so) so I’d assume that meant it was. There is also a ‘black triangle’ from two years later (32VD-1010) that doesn’t seem anything like as collectable, so I assume that would be the same mastering as the original UK ‘blue-face’ Virgin. Quite a a few VDP/Js have unique masterings and are highly sought after. Interesting to know both exist for TB. It’s a title I always check when I see it in a rack as the ‘blue face’ is worth a few quid.
    Seeker_UK likes this.
  14. Marchbanks

    Marchbanks Hat and Beard member

    I went to check on my release-day copy (or at least bought the day after John Peel played all of side 1) and discovered it is obviously another record that disappeared in the Great 80s House Move Disaster. It almost seems that each time I look for an early, possibly appreciating release, this happens. Yet my copy of Vienna virtually throws itself into my hands during every search. There’s no justice. Oh well, at least the sleeve photographs always give me a good chuckle.
    Tony L likes this.
  15. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK I had amnesia once or twice...

    Tony L likes this.
  16. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    Which Oldfield album had what looked like a pool of mercury on its cover ?
  17. miktec

    miktec unissued

    I recall many years ago being given a copy of Tubular Bells for Xmas ... but the very next day, I gave it away.

    I do however still have an original copy of Lol Coxhill's marvellous tribute to Oldfield's trite dirge = 'Tubercular Balls'
  18. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK I had amnesia once or twice...



    Also on the label

  19. runforfree69

    runforfree69 pfm Member

    Definitely one for dealer demo rooms.
  20. wacko

    wacko pfm Member

    Fiddling VAT wasn't it ?
    ciderglider likes this.

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