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Oldfield returns with Tubular Bells 2003

Story: Jack Foley

JUST when you thought it was safe to escape the clutches of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells, the musician returns with yet another makeover - the 2003 version.

Having released the original album 30 years ago, and then releasing the sequel (Tubular Bells 2), Oldfield will release the 30th anniversary special edition on May 26, in order to take advantage of the latest recording techniques and bring his seminal work to a new listener base.

Say what you will about it, but Tubular Bells is the best-selling instrumental album of all time, having sold over 16 million copies to date.

Oldfield was only 19 when he recorded it during an intense week - but it became a musical piece destined to mark many of the musical styles to come (as well as featuring, to creepy effect, in horror movie, The Exorcist).

Phenomena like techno, new age or chill out would be inconceivable without the existence of Tubular Bells.

Three decades on, Oldfield has recorded his masterwork again, because, in his words, 'I knew that ‘Tubular Bells’ was a record perfectly suited to the breathtaking capabilities of today´s studio technology'.

Tubular Bells 2003 has been completely re-recorded by Mike Oldfield, who plays all the instruments, and produces the album, as he did in the original version.

Sally Oldfield contributes vocals and British actor, John Cleese, acts as a master of ceremonies.

Tubular Bells stands alone in pop music history for its complex, pastoral arrangements, the symphonic way it glides from lilting, upbeat moods to dark, threatening passages.

This new version, Tubular Bells 2003, is almost like a whole new record, enhanced by a magnificent, deep sound.

The 2003 edition includes a DVD featuring three passages of this piece, mixed using Dolby Digital 5.1 system, as well as the videoclip of the first single.

Along with the album, Warner Music will launch, for the first time, a luxury box set, including the whole trilogy The Complete Tubular Bells Collection; Tubular Bells 2003, Tubular Bells II and Tubular Bells III.

Tubular Bells 2003 and The Complete Tubular Bells Collection will be on sale worldwide on May 27.


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