Following Mike’s 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 more. 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.
The 50th-anniversary edition of Tubular Bells, available on 2LP and 1CD from 26 May, 2023. In addition to the below intro, a second album that unites several beguiling versions of Oldfield’s masterwork for the first time. The 2LP includes the brand-new Abbey Road half-speed master of the original album alongside “Tubular X”, the 1998 recording for the “X-Files” album receiving its first outing on vinyl.
You may pre-order the 50th-anniversary edition of Tubular Bells on any format from recordstore.co.uk.
Also, here is the highly recommended BBC documentary about Tubular Bells.