Friday, 30 October 2015

What we're listening to. Oldfield's Tubular Bells.

There's a super documentary going about, showing the making of Tubular Bells in 1973. Well worth a watch and you'll see it an the end of this (BBC).

A shy 19 year old, Mike Oldfield, created and played (pretty much) the whole Album (which has no vocals except Viv Stanshall announcing the instruments) around basically, one tune. 

The instruments were layered over an 16 track (!) in a place called 'The Manor' which Richard Branson used as a "hot bed" for musicians. John Cale, The Stranglers recorded there and indeed, Van's 'Wavelength' but it has been closed since and now a country home. 

The Fender Telecaster using by Oldfield, had belonged to Marc Bolan and in fact, the Tubular Bells he used, had been left over from a John Cale recording session. Betcha' didn't know that! 

Of course too, what made the Album infamous, was that it was the first big break by Richard Branson's new Virgin Records (catalogues as V2001) although the documentary makes clear, our Richard wasn't exactly a big music head, just a businessman. 

It was infamous too, that snippets (the piano solo) of the Album were used in The Exorcist Movie.

Oldfield performed it at the UK 2012 Opening ceremony for The Olympics but he was never a big live performer even when the Album came out. Now 62, he still comes across both as a nice bloke and hugely talented. The "Fame thing" got to him and he never really duplicated the success but then, how could you. 

The Album nearly went into obscurity. It was released for a year and becoming forgotten before Sales started to take off and sell it did. Massively. 

Really nice addition to any record collection and great music in an Office, or anywhere. That's not to denigrate it one jot - it is a gem. 

Streamabout people loved it anyway....the opening just sends you off.

And here's the doc. If you've time, you'll enjoy it....