Tubular Bells 50th Anniversary Celebration

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Tubular Bells, the best-selling instrumental album of all-time, with this packed, Live Tour Double Disc Blu-Ray release. Out now (March 26, 2023).

Filmed over 3 nights at the Royal Festival Hall, this contemporary masterpiece incorporates the beauty of the original music with dance and acrobats.

Mike Oldfield’s iconic Tubular Bells took the world by storm in 1973 and continues to sell over 100,000 albums annually, totaling over 17.5 million copies sold worldwide and 18 million streams. The 50th anniversary celebration of his masterpiece continues with this incredible 4K live concert recording with dance and acrobatic feats by the Circa Contemporary Circus at London’s infamous Royal Festival Hall in London, with Samuel West as MC. 

This 50th Anniversary celebration of Tubular Bells, overseen by Mike Oldfield, is available on SDE-exclusive blu-ray, 2LP half-speed mastered vinyl and on CD.

The Tubular Bells SDE-exclusive blu-ray is packed with content and features the following audio streams:

  • Tubular Bells – 2023 David Kosten Dolby Atmos Mix*
  • Tubular Bells – 2009 Mike Oldfield 5.1 Surround Mix
  • Tubular Bells – 1975 Quad Mix
  • Tubular Bells Intro Edit – 2023 David Kosten Dolby Atmos Mix*
  • Tubular Bells – 2023 David Kosten Stereo Mix (48/24)*
  • Tubular Bells – 1973 Original Stereo Mix (96/24)
  • Tubular Bells Intro Edit – 2023 David Kosten Stereo Mix (48/24)*
  • Tubular Bells 4 Intro – Demo (48/24)

The Dolby Atmos Mix has been created by producer David Kosten (who’s worked with the likes of Steven Wilson and Bat For Lashes) and he had the challenge of trying to recreate Oldfield’s original 1973 mix in immersive audio, going back to the original multi-track stems which feature almost none of the processing you hear on the final mixes – the levels, echoes, reverbs, radical tone shifts, panning etc. Kosten also created a new stereo mix and the blu-ray also includes a new edit of the classic Tubular Bells intro which is also in stereo and Atmos. All four versions are only available physically via this SDE-exclusive Blu-ray Audio!

Additionally, Mike Oldfield’s 5.1 Surround Mix from 2009 is also included. That was only ever issued on DVD at the time, so it sees its debut here on Blu-ray as lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1.

The four-channel Quad Mix was mixed by Phil Newell in 1975 and was issued on 2001 on SACD. It has some differences to the original stereo and 5.1 mixes, most notable the Viv Stanshall voiceover on ‘Sailor’s Hornpipe’ at the end It has been unavailable since that time but is the third different spatial audio mix on this Blu-ray.

The original stereo mix on the Blu-ray is as used on the new half-speed mastered vinyl and of course fans will be very interested in the Tubular Bells 4 demo. The story is, Mike Oldfield retired from releasing music in 2018, after giving up touring many years previously. In the months after his last album, Return To Ommadawn in 2017, Oldfield toyed with going the whole way and making a fourth and final instalment of Tubular Bells in time for its 50th anniversary. Work began in earnest, and Mike felt he had finally cracked the secret of being able to successfully return to and rework the opening motif. An eight-minute taster was sent to his A&R team. And then, nothing. Mike decided against continuing. Five years later, this final paragraph of the Tubular Bells story is being released as part of the 50th anniversary celebration. It may well be the last thing ever recorded by Oldfield and this is stereo-only.