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.