Skip to content
It was late one evening in 1973, when, with the professional musicians resident at Richard Branson's country estate 'The Manor' finished up for the day, the unknown Mike Oldfield settled in for one night of frantic production on his debut record.
By the time dawn broke, Oldfield had created one of the most groundbreaking pieces in the history of modern music. Experimental and daring, technically advanced and sublimely crafted all at once, the phenomenon that is Tubular Bells was born.
Over its duration, Tubular Bells incorporates over twenty instruments - each of them played by Oldfield himself - to create a sound like nothing before it. Ethereal and haunting being replaced by crashing and driving in the passing of a couple of beats, and with instruments ranging from the amped-up electric, to the soft and soothing acoustic, each one wriggling into the ultimate crescendo at its own pace - the end result proves utterly unique, cacophonous and exciting.
On its creation, Oldfield commented "It was my way of hiding from reality. I was so afraid of life, people and myself, being in the universe. The only thing that made any sense to me was the world I created for myself in my world of music... music became so important to me, that from the age of 8 until I made Tubular Bells, I was constantly writing music, keeping notebooks, composing things and Tubular Bells was a combination of the whole childhood adolescence of music, music, music."