Tubular Bells 2003 on DVD-Audio

Warner Vision International have announced the UK DVD-Audio release of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells 2003 for 26th January 2004. This newly recorded version of Mike Oldfield's best-selling instrumental album of all time, Tubular Bells, offers the following features on DVD-Audio...

  • DVD-Audio Players:
    • Advanced Resolution Multi-Channel Surround Sound (48 khz/24-bit)
    • Advanced Resolution Stereo (48 kHz / 24 - bit)
  • DVD-Video Players:
    • Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
    • DTS 5.1 Surround Sound
    • Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
  • All DVD Players:
    • Video Extracts From Tubular Bells II & III
    • Photo Gallery
    • Discography
    • 5.1 Production Notes - Written By Ben Darlow

From the PR.

To coincide with the 30th Anniversary celebrations of Mike Oldfield's best-selling instrumental album of all time, Tubular Bells, Warner Vision International will release a newly recorded version of the album, Tubular Bells 2003, on the DVD-Audio format on 26 January 2004.

As well as showcasing outstanding Advanced Resolution Multi-Channel Surround Sound, the DVD-Audio album will encompass three distinctive audio soundtracks that play on DVD-Video players - including Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, DTS 5.1 Surround Sound, and Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo.

DVD-A supplementary material (extras) includes video extracts from Tubular Bells II & III DVD-Video releases in Dolby Digital 5.1 and Linear PCM Stereo. Other extras include Photo Gallery, Discography, and 5.1 Production Notes written by audio engineer Ben Darlow.

Tubular Bells has sold over 16 million copies to date. Mike Oldfield was 19 years of age when he originally recorded the album. The album has stood the test of time. Musical styles and trends come and go (techno, new age, chill out, etc), but none of these would be conceivable without the pioneering influential of this unique milestone album.

Three decades later, taking advantage of the latest recording techniques, Mike Oldfield has recorded his masterwork again (hence the title Tubular Bells 2003). "I knew that 'Tubular Bells' was a record perfectly suited to the breathtaking capabilities of today´s studio technology," says Oldfield.

Tubular Bells 2003 has been completely re-recorded by Mike Oldfield, plays all the instruments, and produces the album as he did on the original version. Sally Oldfield contributes vocals, while British actor John Cleese acts as a master of ceremonies.

Tubular Bells stands alone in pop music history for its complex, pastoral arrangements, the symphonic way it glides from lilting, upbeat moods to dark, threatening passages. Tubular Bells 2003 is almost like an entirely new recording experience, enhanced by a magnificent, rich 5.1 Surround sound.

The CD edition of Tubular Bells 2003 will be released worldwide on May 27th 2003.

The CD will include a bonus DVD video disc, featuring three different passages taken from the piece, Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, and a video clip from the first single which is a Radio Edit of Introduction excerpt.

A Special Edition CD, The Complete Tubular Bells Collection, will also be released on May 27th. The Special Edition will include the entire Tubular Bells trilogy including Tubular Bells 2003, Tubular Bells II and Tubular Bells III.

Tubular Bells: A Brief History:

Tubular Bells was originally dubbed Opus 1 and grew out of studio time gifted by Richard Branson, who, at the time was running a mail-order record retail service. After its completion, Mike Oldfield shopped the record around to a number of different record labels, only to meet with rejection. Frustrated, Branson decided to found his own label, and in 1973 Tubular Bells became the inaugural release of Virgin Records.

An atmospheric, intricate composition which fused rock and folk motifs with the structures of minimalist composition, the 49-minute instrumental piece (performed on close to 30 different instruments, virtually all of them played by Mike himself), spent months in the Number One spot on the U.K. charts. It was featured as the main theme for the 1973 horror movie The Exorcist, and eventually sold over 16 million copies worldwide.

In addition to almost single-handedly establishing Virgin as one of the most important labels in the record industry, Tubular Bells also pioneered the New Age music genre, and won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition in 1974.

Mike was not completely happy with the finished Tubular Bells. He felt there was still room for improvement on the things that were perhaps, only audible to Mike himself, which is why he had in the back of his mind for a long time now to re-record the album. Tubular Bells 2003 has benefited from the outstanding advances in recording technology since its original release 30 years ago.

Tubular Bells was originally released as a symphonic suite, with just two tracks, each lasting about 25 minutes. In this new edition Mike has broken up the original two parts into 17 different movements:

1. Introduction
2. Fast Guitars
3. Basses
4. Latin
5. A Minor Tune
6. Blues
7. Thrash
8. Jazz
9. Ghost Bells
10. Russian
11. Finale

12. Harmonies
13. Peace
14. Bagpipe Guitars
15. Caveman
16. Ambient Guitars
17. The Sailor's Hornpipe

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