Composer Mike Oldfield rose to fame on the success of Tubular Bells, an eerie, album-length conceptual piece employed to stunning effect in the film The Exorcist. Born May 15, 1953, in Reading, England, Oldfield began his professional career at the age of 14, forming the Sallyangie folk duo with his sister Sally; a year later, the siblings issued their debut LP, Children of the Sun. By the age of 16, he was playing bass with Soft Machine founder Kevin Ayers' group the Whole World alongside experimental classical arranger David Bedford and avant-garde jazz saxophonist Lol Coxhill; within months, Oldfield was tapped to become the band's lead guitarist prior to recording the 1971 LP Shooting at the Moon.
"Tubular Bells II" is the 15th music album by Mike Oldfield, released in 1992.
The album - the first for his new record label, Warner Bros. Records, following an acrimonious departure from Virgin Records after twenty years - was conceived as a sequel to Oldfield's 1973 "Tubular Bells". Another sequel followed in 1998.
This is a classic album of epic character with beautiful instrumentation and wonderful sonical imagery. It's heavily inspired by the Tubular Bells I from the early 70's, but Mike has done more than a cover of himself. He has reworked the tracks and added new influencies, vocal harmonies, new sonical structure to create something which sounds both familiar and completely new.
This is a strong and spiritual ”feeling good” musical journey. It takes the listener on a ride over a multidimensional and very inspiring landscape. This is not background music, nor is it pop or club oriented. It's a composition divided into sections with different tones.
What strikes me the most is the sheer musicality that flows so well throughout this album. Despite the heavy use of synthesizers, electric guitars and electronic sound effects, the album has an organic feel to it.
This is space music that lifts and inspires the soul. This recording feels much happier and broader than TB I.
It's one of Mike's best and inspiring album – because it's so beautiful. It's soothing for the soul.
Mike Oldfield's groundbreaking album Tubular Bells is arguably the finest conglomeration of off-centered instruments concerted together to form a single unique piece. A variety of instruments are combined to create an excitable multitude of rhythms, tones, pitches, and harmonies that all fuse neatly into each other, resulting in an astounding plethora of music. Oldfield plays all the instruments himself, including such oddities as the Farfisa organ, the Lowrey organ, and the flageolet. The familiar eerie opening, made famous by its use in The Exorcist, starts the album off slowly, as each instrument acoustically wriggles its way into the current noise that is heard, until there is a grand unison of eccentric sounds that wildly excites the ears. Throughout the album, the tempos range from soft to intense to utterly surprising, making for some excellent musical culminations…
"Tubular Bells III" is the 18th album by Mike Oldfield, released in 1998. A sequel to Oldfield's 1973 "Tubular Bells" and his 1992 "Tubular Bells II" albums, it was released on the 25th anniversary of the first "Tubular Bells" album.
At the time of creating "Tubular Bells III" Oldfield had been living in Ibiza, and thus certain elements of the album reflect the moods of the island.