Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells 2003 - 2003


More than one will be unawared of this new Oldfield´s release. After playing a lot with the original “Tubular Bells” concept (studio version, orchestral version, boxed version, live Exposed version, second part, remastered version, third part, and I won´t count Millenium, compilations, bootlegs, etc), now it´s time for the original album revisited, increasing the sound quality of the recording as well as the composition and arrangements of selected fragments. The result is great –with a good touches that don´t vary the basic structure – and the final product is very interesting. But, is this revision justified?. Not at all. In any moment the listener has the feeling of listening a transformation (well, perhaps we should thank Mike for this). As a joke, and focusing on the best sound quality, the booklet says: “This stereo record can still not be played on old tin boxes no matter what they are fitted with. If you are in posesión of such equipment hand it into the nearest police station.”


What does Mike win or lose with this album?. Well, obviously he loses a very important thing: prestige. This seems to be a neverending story. The album could have let been as it was conceived without any modification because all the changes, I insist, don´t justify this new album: more powerful and more greedful than the original album (for example, when he introduces all the instruments in “Finale” it seems like a circus).

The release is completed with a DVD, very short in lenght in my opinion, because the only video-clip - “Introduction” (5:51)- is only a simple sucession of Nature images that fits with the music. You can also find in this DVD the first three tracks - “Introduction” (5:51), “Fast Guitars” (1:04) and “Basses” (0:46)- with sound 5.5.1. performed as a fixed image of a tubular bell appears changing only the backing landscape (iced terrain in the first track, a beach for the second, and a sunset in another beach in the third).


I know I´ve been very severe with this album (I think this must be the way because I always hope that Mike Oldfield gives me quality. This time, the quality is guaranteed but I´m not happy at all with the result. Let´s keep on waiting.

author - date - rating - label

Eduardo Aragón - June 2003 -   - Virgin