Mike Oldfield
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Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells 2003 (released 26.05.03)

In 1973, at the absurdly young age of seventeen, Mike Oldfield wrote and performed the original 'Tubular Bells'. To say that it was greeted with widespread success is an understatement. Oldfield won a Grammy award, secured top spot in the UK album chart, and eventually shifted more than sixteen million copies of his eclectic instrumentalism.
His initial success was increased by William Friedkin's decision to use the album as the score for the biggest movie of 1973, 'The Exorcist'. Even more terrifying than Linda Blair's spinning head was the fact that Oldfield inadvertently unleashed Richard Branson on an unsuspecting public. 'Tubular Bells' was the first release for Branson's fledgling Virgin Records and the album's astonishing sales tally set the entrepreneur on his way to crashing hot air balloons and annoying train passengers.

Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells 2003 (released 26.05.03) @ www.contactmusic.com
To mark the thirtieth anniversary of Oldfield's original release the king of instrumentals has reworked the album, altering the things that he felt were not up to scratch on his teenage recording. From the one-track radio edit I have heard the new version does not seem a great deal different to my (admittedly sketchy) recollection of the original.
Recently 'Uncut' magazine named 'Tubular Bells' one of the top-ten stoner albums. Personally, it is the most persuasive argument to give up drugs I have heard yet.

Gavin Eves