Tubular Bells 2003

I listened to Tubular Bells 2003 properly for the first time on 6 October 2022. I had thought it was more of a remaster until I learned it was a complete new recording.

He [Mike Oldfield] had always been uncomfortable with the original recording because he had only a few weeks to record it and the technology at the time was unable to cope with all of his requirements. As a result, mistakes could not be fixed and some instruments were out of tune on the 1973 release.


In the days of CD I surely would have known it was a new recording. The anticipation and knowledge of a release is one thing sadly gone in the world of on-demand streaming.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to the original Tubular Bells since my teenage years when I was first introduced to Mike Oldfield by my best mate. Many. Listening to this rework I could hear distinct differences. The instruments we more clearly separated and some passages quite altered - either in length or notes.

Not yet sure what I think. The original has laid down a solid path in my nervous system that will take some changing. Didn’t help that I fell asleep half-way through due to the after effects of Sunday’s change to daylight savings time.