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Hugely successful debut album by artist Mike Oldfield. The album is known for its signature opening track, which was soon used as the recognizable music to the film The Exorcist, and also for its financial success, providing the foundation for what became Richard Branson's Virgin Empire. Previously, Branson had been the owner of a single, though quite successful, record shop.
Although Oldfield was to later become known as a New Age artist, he has stated that Tubular Bells is too dynamic to fall into such a category, though some elements are similar. It has, by contrast, been featured on rock album lists.
Tubular Bells was released in 1973, and its success spawned the recording of The Orchestral Tubular Bells in 1974, but it was not until much later that Oldfield returned to his first album in force, releasing Tubular Bells 2 in 1992, Tubular Bells 3 in 1998 and The Millennium Bell in 2003. Your Mileage May Vary on how these recordings stack up to the original.
Oldfield plays nearly all the instruments featured on the album himself through overdubbing. At the time, overdubbing was not so widespread as it is now, and was a notable feature of the album in 1973.