It was great going into Tubular Bells knowing very little. Like many of you, I was aware of Mike Oldfield's masterpiece for the beginning of the piece that was used to evoke dread in The Exorcist. If you think you're in for an hour long horror movie soundtrack, though, you are in for a surprise. Tubular Bells changes tones every few minutes and takes you from mountain top jamming, to spoken word, to folksiness to the sailors horn pipe and more.
It's one wild ride that I've had a hard time describing to people for it's sheer variety and uniqueness. I found out after a week of listening to it that the artist was a totally hip and handsome musician, friends with personal favorites John Cale and Kevin Ayers. This composition broke new ground?with what allmusic calls “arguably the finest conglomeration of off-centered instruments concerted together to form a single unique piece”.
Tubular Bells, which prompted Richard Branson to begin his own label, Virgin, after established companies dubbed the music unmarketable. It was a global success and began the whole new age music genre.