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  Universal (Japan) -
  Mike Oldfield: Tubular Bells
  "Tubular Bells"

Mike Oldfield
Track listing:
  Single Layer
Recording type:
Recording info:
  Previously released as UIGY-9080

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Related titles: 2

Reviews: 3

Review by analogue November 29, 2011 (19 of 19 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
Although this particular album screams for a multi channel only release........ listeners need to be aware that it was also recorded to exploit the best of stereo as well. This was designed to be heard also on two channels and it kills.
I own the original sacd released about 8 years ago. The original sacd was stereo/multichannel while this new sacd is stereo only.

Its always a thrill to hear the never tiring piano chords that start this famous piece of music.

While the first sacd was very good for its time it has easily been bested by this new shm-sacd release. And I am glad for that as this was a very expensive disc to take a chance on.
Differences between the two discs are very easy to determine. The first quality is that there is absolutely no comression of the new shm sacd. It is very gentle and relaxed compared to the original disc. The earlier disc had exagerated bass and a bloomy low end that was unnatural. and was somewhat louder in comparison.
This new sacd has fantastic dynamic range and is far more musical. All of the subtle and not so subtle nuances of the recording are rendered gorgeously here. This disc is a sonic journey from start to finsh with otherwordly twists and turns.

Another thing I noticed was certain passages that sounded if perhaps another tape source was used. That there were some subltle differences in the mix from the prevoius disc. But perhaps I am mistaken and that there is just a better articluation of the sounds I am hearing in the mix. I heard slight echoes and decays I never noticed before. Nothing seemed vieled or hidden on this disc. The more I listened to this sacd the more I came away impressed. I appreciate all that Oldfield was trying to accomplish with this album. Terrific talent indeed.

This shm sacd features terrifc remastering from either the original master tapes or a truly good tape source. Whatever the source it is heads and tails above the original sacd.
I have mentioned many times before that the best shm sacd's (and this is one of them) do not sound like anything else available except magnetic tape. They are basically a faithful copy of the tape source.

This disc can be gentle and then suddenly the room can fill up with the deep noted synth and bass. The actual bell clangs are frightfully real. So listeners need to turn up the volume very high to get the true affect. There is no compression at all on this disc so find the point where the mellow passages are very coherent and easy on the ears and leave the volume there..
Another quality I noticed was how all the instruments sounded so much more like real instruments. Acoutic guitar was gorgeous. And also the voices stand out much clearer on this sacd than prevously. There are some very subtle issues with the recording but that to be expected since so many different tape tracks were used to create this awesome album.

Most listeners point to loving the first part of this piece but seem to ingore the second long piece. On this disc the latter piece never sounded so good. It is so much gentler and warm this time around. Near the end there is some fabulous organ and guitar work that must be heard to be believed. The entire room fills with fabulous sound. Just beautiful to listen to. I wont ever ignore the second act of this album again.

This is one of those famous recordings that deserves its status as a classic and is still a great listen so many years later. The fact that this new shm sacd has done such a remarkable job with the new pure dsd transfer is the only reason to purchase it.

An excellent mastering and a great disc. One of the best shm sacds's.

Highly recommended.


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Review by Bill Sykes June 26, 2012 (2 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I read analogue's review and, as I already own the hybrid, I was intrigued at the prospect of such a different experience. I first owned Tubular Bells on stereo cassette (you know, the plastic containers for magnetic tape just waiting to scrumple in your player allowing you those irrecoverable moments when you unspool the tape, try to put it back together or even unscrew the case and balance the whole mess around two plastic wheels that defy gravity by lifting whenever a fly breathes on them - Ummm, think I'm digressing, sorry) . . . Genuinely blown away by this.

It has to be said that these discs need playing in, much like a decent set of head/earphones, the more times you use them the warmer the experience. That said, I play these SACD's on my stand alone player, alone with a glass of burgundy - I'm digressing again - they just get better. It's not multichannel, stick with the hybrid for multichanne, it's good and not lacking anything. This SHM SACD though, it's just lovely. Pure stereo and (knowing how each instrument was recorded separately) it is great to have such clarity of each sound and that warmth, I really can not convey the experience proficiently in writing.

Great SHM SACD, if you have followed these recordings (and I have Tubular Bells I, II, III ad infinitum) then this is the perfect way to experience Mike Oldfield's masterpiece first hand.

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Review by Sergey July 9, 2013 (0 of 1 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
If you want to know what the SHM-SACD buy this album of progressive rock. You will immediately understand everything from the first chords.

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