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The Orchestral Tubular Bells

Release Date: January 16, 1975
Location: Barking Town Hall, guitar recorded in Worcester Cathedral

The Orchestral Tubular Bells cover

1. Part One 26:10
2. Part Two 24:36

Composed by Mike Oldfield. Arranged by David Bedford.
Conducted by David Bedford. Performed by The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with Mike Oldfield in Guitar.

Produced by David Bedford and Mike Oldfield.


David Bedford (arranger, producer, conductor)

Classically trained composer, and fellow member of Kevin Ayers's band 'The Whole World', with whom Mike played bass and guitar (David played mostly keyboards). By the end of 1974, David had arranged both Tubular Bells and Hergest Ridge for orchestra. Both pieces were premiered at the Royal Albert Hall in London, with Steve Hillage, from the group Gong, on guitar. Mike was scheduled to play, but was unable to due to 'illness' (the illness was more mental than physical - Mike couldn't cope with appearing in public). The Orchestral TB was later released as an album, with Mike Oldfield on guitar. A recording of a performance of the Orchestral HR in Scotland (also with Steve Hillage - most performances were him, although Andy Summers of the Police did a few in the North of England), made by the BBC, was bought by Virgin, although it was never released.

Bedford also taught at Queen's College, members whose choir were to appear later on Incantations and Exposed. He recorded many albums of his own, often experimental music, some of which Mike played on.

Also appears in: Hergest Ridge, Incantations, Exposed, QE2, The Killing Fields

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (ensemble)


Electric guitars
1966 Gibson SG Junior This SG was bought with some of the first royalties from Tubular Bells. Mike used it on Hergest Ridge, before it was stolen from The Beacon.
Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo

Also used in Hergest Ridge
Nylon-string guitars
1974 Jose Ramirez 1A Traditional s/n 7987
Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo
[?] Mike bought this at some point during 1974, so the chances are high that if he didn't use the mystery Japanese classical guitar, he used this for his classical guitar part in Part Two.

Also used in Hergest Ridge, Ommadawn, Amarok, Voyager, Tubular Bells 2003, Light + Shade
Tannoy Monitor Gold A pair of 15" Tannoy Monitor Golds were, according to Simon Heyworth, the main speakers in The Manor in the early 1970s. We have no information on what cabinets they were in. Used when mixing the album at The Manor.

Also used in Tubular Bells, Hergest Ridge
Tape recorders
Ampex MM1000 Multitrack tape recorder. A 16 track model was used for Tubular Bells and Hergest Ridge, while a 24 track from the Manor Mobile was used for Ommadawn. [?] The Manor Mobile's 24 track would most likely have been used for recording this album.

Also used in Tubular Bells, Ommadawn
Mixing desks
Walsall Timing Developments 20 channel mixer Solid state analogue mixer, with 20 input channels, 16 mix busses and 4 stereo compressor/limiters. Used when mixing the album at The Manor.

Also used in Tubular Bells, Hergest Ridge
Neve Series 80 A customised Neve Series 80, built for the Manor Mobile, but lent to Mike to use at The Beacon. The exact model it was based on is unknown. [?] Used for the recording at Barking Town Hall.

Also used in Ommadawn



I Can't Stand People Who Plays Things Blandly (1974)

The Orchestral Tubular Bells Review - New Music Express (1975)


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Mike Oldfield Tubular.net
Mike Oldfield Tubular.net