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Question: Which is best?? 'A' side or 'B' side?? :: Total Votes:10
Poll choices Votes Statistics
The 'A' side 5  [50.00%]
The 'B' side 5  [50.00%]
I haven't heard Tubular Bells 2oo3 0  [0.00%]
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Topic: Which is best?? 'A' side or 'B' side??, Choose your favourite side from TB2oo3< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
Delfín Offline




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Posted: Oct. 16 2010, 21:27

Hi guys. Being told by me before, for you all to know, that 'Tubular Bells 2oo3' is in my opinion, for technical and inspirational reasons, superior than the original recording (that meaning that we're speaking about the best piece of music ever recorded in my opinion), I have to say that I even prefer the 'B' side from the 'A' side on it.


The reasons are:


'Harmonics' is way better, softer, calmer, and more "harmonic" than thebeginning of the B side for TB. The Steinway piano is a DREAM and the voices and flute are much cleaner and more evocative than its predecessor's.


'Bagpipe Guitars' is that GORGEOUS 'Voyager' flavoured epic song with the astonishing Spanish guitar part adding dimension and perspective to the whole, and the overall sound is again much cleaner and powerful.


'Ambient Guitars' is a millimetric piece of musical precision with outstanding compressed clean guitars worked in perfection in which Mike described the most difficult part to re-record in 2oo3, as we all can notice.


On the other side,


Although I was completely stunned at the majesticness and beauty of 'Introduction' when I first heard it in a mall in Marbella (Spain), there's an element that spoils a little, slight bit the whole thing... Why on Earth the bass is a sparkly synthesised one, instead of the gorgeous Precision bass of the original?? I'd like to really know that one.


Well throughout the whole 'Part One' there are a few details that for me set the standards a bit lower than in the original. For example: Why mix the taped motor part with a distorted guitar?? For me it steals the weirdness and pureness of the section!! And there is a note in the ascending distorted scale leading to 'Jazz' that changes from the original in the wrong way!!


Well I'm being too critical to my favourite music piece of all time, but has to be said that for me 'Latin' is much better this time, as well as 'Jazz', and the 'Finale's climax reaches to that point with the choir and the new accurately added drums that never arrives in the first edition.


I mean, I think both parts on their owns overtake their predecessors, but 'Part 2' wins in excelence, precision, evocativeness, inspiration, and even spark with perfect rock 'n roll band feel in 'Caveman'. I must say 'Peace' is for me one of the few (probably the only one) which is better in the original. I rather go for the organ, the instrument Mike used originally when he first composed the song being 14, than with the acoustic, country/western melancholic feel. I think the organ brings much more drama and sentiment to it.


Overall, I must say, as well as TB1973 was obviously much more 'Part 1' weighted, in this case we can argue but for me, in the 2oo3 case, 'Part 2' marks the real gravity center of the whole.


Of course, this is subject to a whole lot of opinions, and I apologise for being that critical to some parts, but I really see how Mike sometimes felt tempted to a little trickery even when at the end, he showed us all that from the old years of big fame, the best from him was yet to come.


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Ugo Offline




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Posted: Oct. 17 2010, 17:05

TB 2003 is a copy of TB. I've never really liked TB in itself, not even TB 2003 and not even the 2009 remix made me like it. That said, for me it's Side A, because there's more variety in its themes, because I love the musical build-up in the Finale (although I don't like the melody) and because I don't like the Caveman bit on Side B, especially in its "Mike and Pitch-Shifted-Mike duet version" on TB 2003. :D

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Delfín Offline




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Posted: Oct. 17 2010, 20:53

Is that Mike high-pitched??? Not his sister Sally or another woman???

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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: Oct. 17 2010, 21:38

I choose side B too, but mostly because side A, to be brutally frank, is a train wreck to me: the bass and lack of build up on the intro, the bad heavy metal parody on Basses, the "elevator Muzak" feel of Latin, the cheesy "Hammond organ drumbeats" on Jazz and the synthesized drums (Drums! DRUMS!! ) on Finale are changes that I consider mind-boggling, completely uncalled for and don't add nothing. Side B has some annoying changes too, but there aren't many.

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nightspore Offline




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Posted: Oct. 17 2010, 21:42

Is TB 2003 really that much different from TB, then? I haven't listened to it all the way through, because I assumed it was just a tweaked version of the original.
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Ugo Offline




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Posted: Oct. 18 2010, 07:43

Quote (Delfín @ Oct. 18 2010, 02:53)
Is that Mike high-pitched??? Not his sister Sally or another woman???

No. It was widely rumoured and reported that it was Sally, but it's not. It's a Pro-Tooled, high-pitched version of Mike (just as the Caveman himself is a sligthly low-pitched version of Mike). This is very clear when the two voices sing (scream? :D) together.

@ Sir M.: I've always seen TB 2003 as a "New-Aged" version of TB - a remake of TB for the New Age generation, in the worst possible meaning of the words "New Age". :O And of course this did absolutely nothing to improve my perception of an album I didn't really like from the very beginning.

@ nightspore: it's not really "tweaked"; it's completely re-done, with some dramatic (and, according to the opinions of many people here, extremely unfitting) changes to the original.


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nightspore Offline




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Posted: Oct. 18 2010, 09:26

Thanks, Ugo. I'm listening to it now (A Minor Tune is playing). So far my reaction is that its sound is a move towards the more lilting, polished sound of TB2. As I think TB2 runs rings around the original, and I don't have the fierce loyalty to the original that many do anyway, I prefer it.
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theweightless Offline




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Posted: Oct. 18 2010, 09:34

i like Introduction and Ambient Guitars both so much that can't really choose :cool:

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nightspore Offline




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Posted: Oct. 18 2010, 09:43

OK, I've finished the first half - I'll listen to the second half soon. My overall impression is that TB2003 is better, but using Cleese was a huge mistake, making the whole thing seem funny. What a pity Alan Rickman wasn't available.
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Ugo Offline




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Posted: Oct. 18 2010, 14:29

@ nightspore: well, the introduction of instruments in the Finale is supposed to be funny, isn't it? :) That's why it was originally done by Viv Stanshall, who was a funster. Sure, ex-Python Cleese outside-of-Pythons doesn't hold a candle to Viv, but I don't think his performance spoils the Finale that much. Also, maybe Rickman was a bit too serious, IMHO.

Of course I agree with you about TB2 being greatly superior to TB.


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nightspore Offline




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Posted: Oct. 18 2010, 21:16

Quote (Ugo @ Oct. 18 2010, 14:29)
@ nightspore: well, the introduction of instruments in the Finale is supposed to be funny, isn't it? :) That's why it was originally done by Viv Stanshall, who was a funster. Sure, ex-Python Cleese outside-of-Pythons doesn't hold a candle to Viv, but I don't think his performance spoils the Finale that much. Also, maybe Rickman was a bit too serious, IMHO.

Of course I agree with you about TB2 being greatly superior to TB.

I'm surprised at the idea that the announcement of instruments was supposed to be funny - I'd be interested to learn how many other members agree with this. My view is that the persistent, sinuous bass melody is so sinister (it reminds me of writhing black snakes) that it moves listener expectations in completely the opposite direction. The announcement of instruments seems to me merely avant-garde, a kind of postmodernist move.
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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: Oct. 19 2010, 06:10

Quote (nightspore @ Oct. 18 2010, 21:16)
I'm surprised at the idea that the announcement of instruments was supposed to be funny - I'd be interested to learn how many other members agree with this.

Personally, I don't agree. Just because Stanshall was doing it doesn't mean it was meant to be funny. I think Mike chose him because of the proximity and because he has a great voice. I think it's meant to be solemn, but not in an obvious, ham-fisted way. Stanshall truly adds to the build-up of the piece.

Personally I adore the way the apparently frowning bass line contrasts with the victorious leading theme, and I can't wrap my head around the fact that Mike had to remove JUST THAT from Tubular Bells II, thus producing the insipid The Bell. But that's for another thread, right?


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nightspore Offline




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Posted: Oct. 19 2010, 06:35

Quote (Sir Mustapha @ Oct. 19 2010, 06:10)
I think it's meant to be solemn, but not in an obvious, ham-fisted way.

Yes, that's how I'd describe it. Using Cleese turned the whole thing into a joke without a punchline.
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Delfín Offline




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Posted: Oct. 19 2010, 09:44

I like to think of TB2oo3 being composed after TB2 and TB3, and returning to the original concept with new technologies, inspiration, and strength.


For me 'Tubular Bells 1' has always had a sense of rawness, strength and extreme beauty intermixed together. There are for sure some minor faults in the sequel, but no doubt the composition has strength and shoke a whole generation and the music world forever.


For me 'Tubular Bells 2oo3' is as if the best opus from say, Mozart, had only been recorded ages ago, and then it comes the new interpretation FROM THE SAME ARTIST using his own criteria, and obviously bathed with modern technology, samples, Steinway piano, etc... that makes it sound purer and less raw than the original.


I know lots of people, maybe the purists mainly, prefer the buzz of old analogic sound and the high dynamic ranges of those times, but as a relative young son of these times (I was born in 1973!!!;)) I love the preciseness, brightness and perfection of synthed sounds, as they were immaculately impronted in 'Tubular Bells II', and the new guitar colors Mike added to his palette on the eighties and on 'Amarok', basically.


I can understand why Mike is widely well known only for 'Tubular Bells' by many people around the world, although I think they miss quite a lot of what he has done since, but for me no doubt 'Tubular Bells 2oo3' is a work that had to be done and will endure as a memorable work that took over its original.


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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: Oct. 19 2010, 15:16

I'm also a big fan of synthesized sounds (digital or analog -- remember, there were synths already in the 70's and they sounded far from "perfect"), and that's why I am a fan of Autechre, Squarepusher, Boards of Canada and all those folks that are continuously pushing the envelope of electronic music.

The thing with Tubular Bells 2003 is not the sound or the production, but the attitude. If the original Tubular Bells had its sound revamped, but keeping the same atmosphere, the same arrangements and the same quality of playing, it would still be a masterpiece. But with Tubular Bells 2003, Mike sought to remove many of the things that made the album interesting in the first place and that he viewed as "imperfections". Yes, there are imperfections in the album and even things that CAN be improved, but Mike went axe-crazy and chopped off the simplicity and directness of much of the music. On the other hand, the additions he made were completely unnecessary.

I don't really care much about the "sound" -- it's just the jarring changes. It's sort of like remaking Psycho, but adding over-the-top and gratuitous gore and that stupid, twitchy, MTV-like editing they do on modern horror films like Saw and its 255 sequels. Blergh.


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nightspore Offline




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Posted: Oct. 19 2010, 20:24

Quote (Sir Mustapha @ Oct. 19 2010, 15:16)
I don't really care much about the "sound" -- it's just the jarring changes. It's sort of like remaking Psycho, but adding over-the-top and gratuitous gore and that stupid, twitchy, MTV-like editing they do on modern horror films like Saw and its 255 sequels. Blergh.

I think to pursue the metaphor along the lines you've developed, you'd be talking about Psycho without the gore. If you like gory films you'd be pleased; if you don't, you wouldn't. Presumably the same holds with TB 2003 (with the exception of using Cleese, which I think doesn't work whether you like a hard-edged TB or a more lilting one).
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nightspore Offline




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Posted: Oct. 20 2010, 08:58

I've just listened to the second half. I remember never being fond of the second half of the original TB; I quite like this - although I'm not sure whether a lot of that is because I associate much of the music with images from Maestro.
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CJJC Offline




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Posted: Oct. 21 2010, 08:22

I always assumed that, despite Mike's stated reason for doing it, that it was motivated by the desire to release a Tubular Bells album (and the triple album super set) for the thirtieth anniversary but without troubling Virgin and paying for the rights to use the recording (the rights to produce a cover version are much cheaper, as I'm sure many of you know).

I'm more amused by the fact that the hyper-original recording artist Jean-Michél Jarre chose to do a thirtieth anniversary re-recording of Oxygéne three years later. What a genius that man is.


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Sir Mustapha Offline




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Posted: Oct. 22 2010, 07:29

Quote (CJJC @ Oct. 21 2010, 08:22)
I'm more amused by the fact that the hyper-original recording artist Jean-Michél Jarre chose to do a thirtieth anniversary re-recording of Oxygéne three years later. What a genius that man is.

Well, frankly, if we're going to go that far, then it should be noted that the idea of rerecording entire albums was also done by the Cure in 2002, on the Trilogy live DVD; and that Robert Smith himself got that idea after watching David Bowie live. So who is ever truly original in this world?

(also the purposes were different -- Mike sought out to replace the original album with the "definitive" version, whereas Jarre was remaining faithful to the original and only presenting a new take on it. The results disappointed me either way, though)


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nightspore Offline




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Posted: Oct. 22 2010, 07:36

Todd Rundgren, on his Faithful album, had an even more bizarre approach: to do cover versions of other people's songs that were indistinguishable from the originals.
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