Mike Oldfield’s prog-rock epic “Tubular Bells” is one of the most iconic pieces of music ever created.
Recorded when the multi-instrumentalist was just 19, it was released in the spring of 1973 as Virgin Records’ debut album.
To celebrate the record’s 50th anniversary, a live concert took place over three days at London’s Royal Festival Hall in 2021, five decades after Oldfield originally composed the melodies that would make up the work.
The music was accompanied by dance and acrobatic feats by Circa Contemporary Circus to create a beautiful and memorable experience that truly brings this masterpiece to life.
The once-in-a-lifetime performance was captured in 4K and coming November 18 on home video in a two-disc Blu-ray and two-DVD set titled “Tubular Bells 50th Anniversary Tour: Live at the Royal Festival Hall.”
At-home audiences will be able to experience the unique performance while receiving a feature-length documentary on the history and legacy of “Tubular Bells.”
Although initial sales were positive when it was released in May 1973, “Tubular Bells” became a worldwide phenomenon when the first track was used as part of “The Exorcist” soundtrack.
Although only featured in a few scenes, the record has become closely associated with the film, with many referring to it as “the theme of ‘The Exorcist'” and the haunting sounds regularly earning a spot on lists. horror reading.
In the 50 years since its release, the album’s popularity has not waned, racking up over 17.5 million copies sold and 18 million streams.
Tubular Bells” was also a staple of the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Danny Boyle, Oscar-winning director of the opening, said he wanted to make music the cornerstone of a 20-minute sequence from the ceremony.
Additionally, the tracks have regularly appeared in commercials, television shows, and films, and have been incorporated into live performances by singer-pianist Tori Amos.
“It’s amazing to think that it’s been 50 years since I started writing ‘Tubular Bells’ and I’m touched that my music has reached so many people, all over the world, during that time,” Oldfield said in a statement. “I’m sure the ‘Tubular Bells’ 50th Anniversary live concert experience will be spectacular, theatrical, fantastical and thrilling.”
Oldfield also made sure to note that he will be doing a world tour next year, which will mark the true 50th anniversary of the release of the original album.
So far, shows have been booked in the UK until spring and fans are hoping he will bring the ‘Tubular Bells’ to these shores sometime later in 2023.
Vinyl of the week
Keep an eye on this place as each week we’ll be reviewing new or upcoming vinyl from a variety of artists. It can be a reprint of a historical recording, a special edition or a new collection of a legendary act.
This week marks the 40th anniversary of one of metal’s finest moments.
• Iron Maiden, “The Number of the Beast: 40th Anniversary”
There’s no denying Iron Maiden’s impact on the heavy metal genre. From their days leading the new wave of the British heavy metal movement to the fantastic imagery featuring their mascot Eddie and, of course, the musicianship and two-guitar attack of the early days, there is no amazing that
revered, they remain.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the band’s historic third album, “The Number of the Beast”, which was also the first to feature Bruce Dickinson on vocals. Propelled by songs like “Hallowed Be Thy Name”, “Run to the Hills” and the title track, it would become the record that catapulted Maiden to international stardom.
To celebrate the four-decade mark, there’s the release of a commemorative black vinyl triple album.
The new vinyl pack includes “Beast Over Hammersmith”, – officially available for the very first time on vinyl – featuring the live concert of the now legendary Hammersmith Odeon London show from March 1982 of the Beast on the Road World Tour.
Recorded just days before the release of “The Number of the Beast” album, it’s remarkable to think that these then-classic songs were still new, unknown, and heard live by fans for the very first time. , making it a real piece of history in the making.
The package includes exclusive liner notes written by Iron Maiden founder and bassist Steve Harris, plus restored and expanded artwork from the compact disc format of “Beast Over Hammersmith”, previously only available in the boxed edition limited “Eddie’s Archive” originally published.
20 years ago in 2002. There is also an interesting change in the track listing.
“On this vinyl release, we are fortunate to put [the song] ‘Total Eclipse’ in its rightful place on the album for the first time,” Harris said in a statement. “The reason it didn’t make it in the first place was that it was a wild ride. when we were finishing the record and we had to release the single ‘Run to the Hills’ before the tour, and we basically had to pick a B-side and it was between ‘Gangland’ and ‘Total Eclipse’ and we just picked the wrong one , really ! I think ‘Total Eclipse’ is a stronger song and the album would have been stronger if it had been there.
Look for the 40th anniversary triple vinyl edition of “The Number of the Beast” online and at any respectable retailer that sells vinyl.
To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, email [email protected] Also check out his website at thechroniclesofmc.com.