You know in my other reviews of albums from the 70's, where on the whole I complained of both datedness and self-indulgent wankery and so forth? Well, this album has both of those ... but ... it is kind of fantastic. I know, I know, calls of "unfair" "inconsistant" "hypocrite" abound. I don't care, whereas I think it's ok to vomit all over most pre-punk proggy rockbland albums from the early 70's, some of them are sacred, and Tubular Bells is one of those. I have to say that the genre tag Symphonic Prog really does make me want to heave though. I try not to look at it or think about it, instead training my brain to see the word "instrumental" instead and leave it at that.
As everyone knows both the story behind this album and the general layout of the music there is nothing I can add that hasn't already been said. Like most teenagers in the 70's, one of the things that made this album even more interesting and attractive was the tie in with the film The Exorcist. This gave it a certain credence that other prog music didn't have, and because both the film and the music were quite mindblowing at the time, people like me became instant fans. My fandom with Mr. Oldfield lasted (with only a certain small amount of wavering) up until Crises, and has never really recovered from that albums' followup, but I still listen to those albums I have of his from time to time and we actually watched The Exorcist a few weeks ago. So they have all stood the dreaded 'test of time'.
Another thing I never got around to was getting any of the TB follow .... I'm more than happy with v.1 and if Mr. Oldfield is able to cash in on its success, then good for him I say.
Rating Tubular Bells? I wouldn't say it's a 5* album (the 'instrument roll-call' is a tad cheesy) ... and personally I prefer some of his others like Incantations and Platinum (what an amazing cover), so I feel a probably slightly mean 4* coming on.