Tubular Bells

Posted on Thursday 8 February 2018

I got bored with podcasts on today’s route, so I fired up Music on my iPhone, browsed the Artists list a bit, and bumped into Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells. The recording on my phone came from a dusty old album I’ve had for decades; I digitized it about 15 years ago, and probably haven’t listened to it for five years or more. Listening to it again brought back some great memories…

If anybody knows the music, it’s most likely because the intro on Side 1 was used on the soundtrack for The Exorcist, but there is much more to the album than that. I was introduced to it back in the ’70’s when one of my older siblings bought the album; I’d lay on the floor in the living room with headphones on, plugged into the old SoundDesign stereo, reading and listening… Over and over again. It wasn’t until years later that I learned of the connection between the album and the movie, but that didn’t make me love the music any more or less; it’s a fantastic piece with or without the acclaim it received through the popularity of the movie.

One of the coolest facts about Tubular Bells is that Mike Oldfield played nearly every instrument that was used in the album. He was 19 years old when it was recorded. Which means he must’ve been 16 or 17 when he wrote the piece. Pretty amazing.

If you haven’t heard Tubular Bells, have a listen; it’s worth your time!

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