Mike Oldfield’s Colleagues Celebrate His Debut’s Anniversary

These days mark the 50th anniversary of Mike Oldfield‘s seminal debut album, and there are quite a few events and releases commemorating its release. Some of these may seem like an opportunity to cash in on the timelessness of “Tubular Bells” which carries on influencing artists even five decades down the line, two of the tied-in projects don’t belong to that category. For one simple reason: a few of the people behind two records – both scheduled to be issued on June 16th – have worked with Oldfield in the past, with their names credited on Mike’s platters for all to remember.

The first of those names is one of Robin A. Smith, the conductor on and arranger of “Mont St Michel” from Oldfield’s 1996 album “Voyager” and the man who put out “Tubular Bells – Reimagined” just last year. His forthcoming opus, titled “Mike Oldfield Reimagined For Piano” to outline the player’s creative method, runs through entire Mike’s oeuvre, cherry-picking the moments that most impressively lend themselves to acoustic treatment. In Robin’s words, “We often connect Mike with his music and his guitar playing, but here I wanted to strip it right back to just purely the melody and the music. No computers, no electronics, just going back to basics of playing the piano and letting these beautiful melodies flow through me and hopefully flow through you also.” Smith’s conceptual selection will look like this:

Mike Oldfield
Reimagined For Piano

1. Theme from “Ommadawn”
2. Women Of Ireland (“Voyager”)
3. Exorcist Theme (“Tubular Bells”)
4. The Inner Child (“Tubular Bells 3”)
5. Sentinel (“Tubular Bells 2”)
6. Mont St. Michel (“Voyager”)
7. Moonlight Shadow (“Crises”)
8. She Moves Through The Fair (“Voyager”)
9. First Crescendo (“Tubular Bells”)
10. Broad Sunlit Uplands (“The Millennium Bell”)
11. Return to “Ommadawn”
12. To France (“Discovery”)
13. Summit Day (“Guitars”)
14. Peace (“Tubular Bells 2003”)

And then there are “The Tubular All Stars” that comprise such luminaries as the “Tubular Bells” producer Tom Newman, Barry Palmer who voiced Oldfield’s “Crime Of Passion” back in 1984, and Les Penning who played on Mike’s Yuletide single “In Dulci Jubilo” in 1975, as well as Phil Toms, Steve Smith and Rich Nolan, who perform as part of the “Tubular Bells Live” endeavor, plus musicians who delivered, alongside those mentioned earlier, the “Tubular World” project in 2020. This time they chose rarer cuts and shed a new light on the classics. A respectable prospect.

The Tubular All Stars

1. Musica Universalis – Hubert Razack
2. Ommadawn Pipe Tune – Manu Herrera, Robert Reed
3. Early Stages – Phil Toms, Steve Smith, Rich Nolan
4. Platinum Theme – John Ayton
5. Legend – Manu Herrera, Eduardo D. Sánchez
6. Woodhenge – Ryan Yard
7. Sally (I’m Just A Gorilla) –
      Tom Newman, Richard García, Ruben Alvarez Alvarez,
      Les Penning, Robert Reed

8. Crime Of Passion – Barry Palmer, Robert Reed
9. Pipe Tune – Robert Reed, Les Penning
10. Taurus 1 Medley – Manuel Galan
11. The Path – Xavier Alern, Olaia Brugada
12. In The Pool –
      Silverio Carmona, Juan García, Iván García, Pablo Egío, Manu Herrera, Nacho Soto, Víctor Cano
13. Theme from “Tubular Bells” – Robert Reed, Les Penning
14. The Royal Wedding Anthem – Ruben Alvarez Alvarez, Robert Reed
15. Mike’s Reel – Miguel Engel de la Llave
16. Sally (I’m Just A Gorilla) (BBC mix)
17. Crime Of Passion (orchestral mix)

May 26, 2023

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