VR 13-105 Tubular Bells
Sound by Tom Newman, Simon Heyworth and Mike Oldfield
Released on May 1973
Find it at GEMM
VR 13-105 cover  

M ore experiments, sighed the troll, and I hardly gets a mention, the wanker...

We walked between that interstitial span, naiad and man, that splits the cobalt blue from tan. I said, ďI wonder where the years have gone.Ē Head bent, she nodded in assent, one ear on Oceanaís song. There was a pixie that we knew who strung his small guitars with strands of dew; he loved the horn pipe and the oceanís call, but mischief most of all. And so it was he did deflower a virgin with a contraption of his own contrivance: bells twisted in a most peculiar fashion forged in a hillock of the highlands. When struck the steel suggested ocean waves, warm fires under toadstools, gentle winds. The instrument became the sounds it played, the sounds took on the shapes of streams and glens. The troll, who knew The Exorcist by heart, was sold on this from the start, but lost interest after the first minute when he didnít find any more deviltry in it. But his partís been told and, declining our ocean stroll, wonít reappear. I hold the naiad near and muse at how the woods and waters can be one, how creatures raised on currents and currants can come together even for one dance and then be done. And thatís the magic of these bells, how natural their humors intertwine: sea chanty, pixie poesy, madrigals, spilled as a splendid wine. Our time has come, the naiad knows, and veers, the ocean spray flecked on her face like tears, except no trace of sadness marks our parting, for we are only starting. And bells will be replayed. Rejoice. Remember me: proud, pixilated.

VR 13-105 back cover
VR 13-105 back cover


  1. TUBULAR BELLS    25:00
  2. TUBULAR BELLS    23:50

    Composed by Mike Oldfield (except "Sailors Hornpipe" traditional)


MIKE OLDFIELD -- grand piano, glokenspiel, Farsifa organ, bass guitar, electric guitars, speed guitar, taped motor drive amplifier organ chord, mandolin-like guitar, fuzz guitars, assorted percussion, acoustic guitar, flageolet, honky tonk, Lowre organ, tubular bells, speed electric guitars, piano, concert tympani, guitars sounding like bagpipes, piltdown man, Hammond organ, Spanish guitar, moribund chorus
Steve Broughton -- drums
Lindsay Cooper -- string basses
Mundy Ellis -- girlie chorus
Jon Field -- flutes
Manor choir (conducted by Mike Oldfield) -- bootleg chorus
Nasal Choir -- nasal chorus
Sally Oldfield -- girlie chorus
Viv Stanshall -- master of ceremonies
Trevor Key -- sleeve design and photography

UK May 1973 Virgin LP/CS V/TCV 2001  
US 1973 Virgin LP VR 13-105  
NET   Virgin LP 87541XOT  
BRA 1977 Virgin LP 1408290  
UK December 1978 Virgin LPPIC VP 2001 picture elpee
UK June 1983 Virgin CD CDV 2001  
US July 11, 1992 Virgin CD 86007  
US February 20, 2000 Caroline CD 50733 super audio disc
UK May 29, 2000 Virgin CD 849388 digital remaster


Since the two are inextricably linked, you might be interested in picking up The Exorcist. Great movie. It's worth reiterating that the tiny sample taken from Tubular Bells for The Exorcist is dispensed with after the first minute and is only one of many facets on this multi-faceted wonderwork.


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