Australian album charts: 1974-1975
BONUS CLIP BELOW: Tubular Bells live performance
Tubular Bells is the debut studio album by English multi-instrumentalist, composer and songwriter Mike Oldfield, released on 25 May 1973 as the first album on Virgin Records. Oldfield, who was 19 years old when it was recorded, played almost all the instruments on the mostly instrumental album.
Tubular Bells had been in my head for ages. I made the original demo in a flat in Tottenham, on an old tape machine lent to me by [Soft Machine’s] Kevin Ayers. I played organ, bass, electric guitar and two little percussion toys. But later, when I was recording some session guitar for Kevin at Abbey Road, there were all these wonderful instruments around: harpsichords, timpanis, tubular bells – so I would experiment on them before every-one else arrived. That’s how I came to play 20 instruments on Tubular Bells.
Tubular Bells entered the Go Set Top 20 album chart in February 1974 and hit no 1 in June. The album remained in the Australian charts until well into 1975.
Meanwhile, an edited single version of Tubular Bells peaked at no. 15 on the Go-Set National Top 40 in June 1974.
The instruments: tubular.net/discography/TubularBells
BONUS VIDEO CLIP
Tubular Bells live performance on BBC TV, 1973:
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