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Tubular Bells II

Released: August 31, 1992

Recorded: Los Angeles, Roughwood Croft

Tubular Bells II cover

1. Sentinel 8:06
2. Dark Star 2:16
3. Clear Light 5:47
4. Blue Saloon 2:58
5. Sunjammer 2:32
6. Red Dawn 1:49
7. The Bell 6:55
8. Weightless 5:43
9. The Great Plain 4:46
10. Sunset Door 2:23
11. Tattoo 4:14
12. Altered State 5:12
13. Maya Gold 4:00
14. Moonshine 2:20

Written by: Mike Oldfield

Produced by: Trevor Horn, Mike Oldfield and Tom Newman

Mike Oldfield plays: Electric guitar, Classical guitar, Flamenco guitar, 12 String guitar, Acoustic guitars, Mandolin, Banjo, Double speed guitar, Grand piano, Hammond organ, Synthesizers and programming, Timpani, Glockenspiel, Triangle, Tambourine, Cymbals, Toy percussion, Handclaps, Orchestral Bass Drum... Plus, Tubular Bells.

Engineered by: Steve MacMillan, Tom Newman, Tim Weidner and Mike Oldfield.
Mixed by: Steve MacMillan and Mike Oldfield.
Technical: Richard Barrie.
Additional Programming and Digital Sound Processing: Eric Cadieux.
Additional Keyboards, Noises and Drum Loops: Jamie Muhoberac.
Drums on "Altered Sate": John Robinson.
Vocals: Susannah Melvoin, Edie Lehman and Mike Oldfield.
Vocal Solo: Sally Bradshaw.
Bagpipes: P.D. Scots Pipe Band and Celtic Bevy Band.
Master of Ceremonies: A Strolling Player.
PA to Mike Oldfield: Jeremy Parker
A Trevor Key photograph.

Cover by Bill Smith Studio.


Notes

Mike first had thoughts of recording Tubular Bells II after recording a shortened version of Tubular Bells Part One for BBC Radio 1's Nicky Campbell show in 1989. Virgin had wanted to give the title 'Tubular Bells II' to Amarok, but Mike had refused, and it was only as he came to the end of his contact with Virgin that he began work on the idea of a Tubular Bells sequel.

He set up a studio in a hired house in Los Angeles to begin working on the album. Technical engineer Richard Barrie was well prepared for the move, having ensured that all of Mike's studio equipment was connected with multicore cables for ease of disconnecting and reconnecting: "When we took the studio out to Los Angeles, to Beverley Hills for Tubular Bells II, it took me less than a day, from the container turning up, to actually running the studio, and it was just a case of sitting there - you just kind of sit there, you look in the room and you think ‘well, the desk is going to go there, the monitors are there, the tape deck’s there...’ and then you just kind of clip everything together."

Though, in his autobiography, Changeling, Mike refers to this as a portable studio, it was fully featured, and with much of the same equipment as his studio at Roughwood Croft.

The track Early Stages, released as a B-Side to the Sentinel single, is a demo produced by Mike and Tom Newman before recording in LA began, and gives an insight into the direction it was first envisaged the album might go in, with a darker mood more similar to the original Tubular Bells. The arrival of Trevor Horn as co-producer saw the album veer in a distinctly different direction, with a more slick, highly polished sound.


Personnel

Trevor Horn (producer)


Tom Newman (producer)

Also appears in: Tubular Bells, Hergest Ridge, Platinum, Five Miles Out, Islands, Amarok, Heaven's Open, The Songs of Distant Earth, Voyager


Steve MacMillan (engineer)

Also appears in: The Songs of Distant Earth, Man on the Rocks


Tim Weidner (engineer)


Richard Barrie (technical engineer)

Also appears in: QE2, Five Miles Out, Islands, Earth Moving, Amarok, Heaven's Open, The Songs of Distant Earth, Voyager


Celtic Bevy Band (ensemble)


P.D. Scots Pipe Band (ensemble)

Actually pipers from the Los Angeles police department. Mike wanted to play down the connection with the LA police, after the riots following the trial of Rodney King. Mike said at the time that, although the pipers themselves were musicians and not 'professional sadistic people', he didn't want their appearance on the album to seem like an act of sympathy towards LAPD, who Mike realised were not too popular at the time.


Sally Bradshaw (musician)

English soprano, specialising in opera from before 1800, with a great love of Handel, whose operas she has performed in worldwide. Recently worked with "The art of noise"


Edie Lehman (musician)

Has worked as a vocalist with Aretha Franklin and Belinda Carlisle, amongst others.


Susannah Melvoin (musician)

Singer who has worked with the likes of Eric Clapton, Neil Finn, Roger Waters and Prince. Susannah also writes songs, and co-wrote 'Candy perfume girl' on Madonna's 'Ray of light' album.


Jamie Muhoberac (musician)


Alan Rickman (musician)

Credited as 'A strolling player'


John Robinson (musician)

Session drummer who's played with an absolutely huge number of well known artists. Amongst those are Michael Jackson, George Benson, Elton John, Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood.

Also appears in: Man on the Rocks


Eric Cadieux (synth programmer)

Worked with Trevor Horn in 1991 on Marc Almond's album 'Jacky'. It would seem that Horn drafted in Eric Cadieux to work on Tubular Bells II. Has also worked with Joe Satriani, on his album 'Engines of Creation'. Cadieux is credited for digital sound processing, with the digital sound processor getting a namecheck in 'The Bell'. Of course, a digital sound processor can be anything that processes sound digitally...in addition, most processors don't make sounds of their own. What Mike seems to use is a little synthesiser arpeggio which represents the digital sound processor instead.

Also appears in: The Songs of Distant Earth


Bill Smith (cover artwork)

Also appears in: Voyager, Tubular Bells III, Guitars, Tres Lunas



Instruments

Miscellaneous stringed instruments
Gibson RB-250 Mastertone Banjo Mike appeared with this banjo at the Tubular Bells II premiere concert in Edinburgh. Its appearance is consistent with a post-1960s RB-250, so our current best guess is that it's the same banjo which Mike used on every album from Ommadawn onwards.
Percussion instruments
Tubular Bells The 'toy' set bought for the making of Tubular Bells II.
Electric guitars
1961 Fender Stratocaster, fiesta red Mike once said in an interview (The Raft) that this was his favourite guitar and that he'd never sell it. However, he finally decided to part company with it in December 2007 and sold it through Chandler guitars, fetching £30,000.
Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo
1959 Fender Stratocaster, sunburst This was the first of the Strats that Mike bought. The scratchplate of this guitar was modified, probably in the 1990s, to make space for a Roland GK-2 synth pickup.
Photo
Used for playing guitar synth parts
PRS Signature A particularly high grade, limited edition, version of the Custom 24. In Vintage Yellow.
Photo Photo Photo
Nylon-string guitars
1975 Ramirez 1A Flamenco Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo
Bass guitars
PRS Bass Guitar Seen in the 'Making of TB2' video clips, so presumably used on the album as well.
Wal Custom bass Sold to a German fan via Chandler Guitars in February 2006.
Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo
Guitar effects
Roland GP-8 Guitar effects processor used for Mike's trademark 90s distorted guitar sound. Sold via ebay in December 2007.
Organs
Farfisa Professional Organ Photo
1970 Hammond L.122 Organ
Lowrey Organ
Synthesisers
E-Mu Proteus Digital sample playback sound module.
Ensoniq SD-1
Korg M1 The biggest selling digital keyboard of all time, the Korg M1 was used by many artists after its release in 1988.
New England Digital Synclavier Photo
Mentioned in Keyboards, October 1992.
Roland D-50 Linear Algorhythmic synthesiser keyboard.
Roland D-550 Linear Algorhythmic Synthesis module.
Samplers
Akai S-1100 Mike owned both an 8MB and a 32MB version.
Loudspeakers
Coastal Acoustics Boxer T4
Meyer HD-1 Nearfield monitors. These appear to have been Mike's main nearfield speakers.
Tannoy SRM10B 10" Super Red Monitors. Used as nearfield monitors, as part of Mike's Islands-era video setup. Also used in Mike's Los Angeles studio while recording Tubular Bells II. Kept on a bookshelf at the back of Mike's Los Angeles studio, so probably not used for the bulk of editing and mixing work, but possibly used as a secondary (or tertiary) reference set.
Studio effects and outboard
Urei 1176 Peak Limiter Mike originally borrowed some of these from the Manor Mobile, but later acquired his own. Can be spotted in pictures of Mike's equipment rack in LA.
Urei 1178 dual channel peak limiter
Tape recorders
Sony PCM-3348 48 track digital multitrack tape recorder, recording to Ampex 467 1/2" oxide tape.
Photo
Mixing desks
Harrison Series X Photo
Computers
Atari STacy portable computer Used as part of Mike's late 80s portable sequencing setup, together with the walkman with powered speakers and two Roland MT32 sound modules.
Sequencers
C-Lab Notator Sequencing software for the Atari ST
Computer software
C-Lab Notator Sequencing software for the Atari ST


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Articles

Mike Oldfield on "The Break" (1992)

Mike Oldfield has regained his balance back (1992)

Oh No, It's Tubular Bells II! (1992)

Tubular Bells II Review - Melody Maker (1992)

Mike Oldfield Interview (1992)

Tubular Bells II Interview - Le Top (1992)

Saved by the Bells (1992)

Tubular Bells 2 Review - Keyboards (1993)

Theme from "The Exorcist", The Sequel (1993)

New Sounds Interview With Mike Oldfield (1993)

Two Sides Sleeve Notes (2012)




Lyrics

  • Altered State

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