A chance encounter with “Tubular Bells”

Heard this old song on the radio driving home today. It has literally been YEARS since I’ve heard it or even thought about it. The song, “Tubular Bells,” was released in 1973 and went on to be used as the theme song for “The Exorcist,” which added a very spooky over layer to the melody.

The artist was Mike Oldfield, who was only 20 YEARS OLD when the album was released. He played almost ALL the instruments (recorded via overdubbing). No record label would pick up the album (of the same title) because it was all instrumentals, no vocals. Then Richard Branson, who was just getting Virgin Records started, gave Oldfield a chance. The rest, as they say, is history. And apparently this album, in particular this song, played a major role in establishing Virgin Records’ success in the music industry. Who knew? Not me before today! 😀

You can read more in the Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tubular_Bells

And you can listen to the song below. It still gives me chills!

About Katherine Wikoff

I am a college professor at Milwaukee School of Engineering, where I teach literature, film studies, political science, and communication. I also volunteer with a Milwaukee homeless sanctuary, Repairers of the Breach, as chair of the Communications and Fund Development Committee.
This entry was posted in Creativity, History, Media studies, Movies and film, Music, Popular culture and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to A chance encounter with “Tubular Bells”

  1. babsje says:

    Sheer genius on Oldfield’s part and excellent judgement by Branson. I listen to this at least once a month and discover new layers every time. Glad you posted this Katherine!

    Liked by 1 person

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