The DVD-Audio version of ‘Tubular Bells 2003’ will be released in October. Back in early June, High Fidelity Review exclusively revealed that a DVD-Audio disc of the classic album was in production and we can now confirm that news with the official press release from Warner Music Spain and Warner Vision International:
To coincide with the 30th Anniversary celebrations of Mike Oldfield’s best-selling instrumental album of all time, ‘Tubular Bells’, Warner Vision International will release a newly recorded version of the album, ‘Tubular Bells 2003’, on the DVD-Audio format on 25th August 2003 [see footnote].
As well as showcasing outstanding Advanced Resolution multi-channel surround sound and stereo, the DVD-Audio album will encompass three distinctive audio soundtracks that play on DVD-Video players – including Dolby Digital 3/2.1 and DTS 3/2.1 surround, together with Dolby Digital 2/0.0 stereo. Preliminary information indicates that the high-resolution tracks will both be 48kHz 24-bit.
DVD-Audio supplementary material (extras) include video extracts from ‘Tubular Bells II’ and ‘Tubular Bells III’ DVD-Video releases in Dolby Digital 3/2.1 and linear PCM stereo. Other extras include a photo gallery, discography and “5.1 Production Notes” written by audio engineer Ben Darlow.
‘Tubular Bells’ has sold over sixteen million copies to-date. Mike Oldfield was nineteen years of age when he originally recorded the album. The album has stood the test of time. Musical styles and trends come and go (techno, new age, chill out, etc), but none of these would be conceivable without the pioneering influence of this unique milestone album.
Three decades later, taking advantage of the latest recording technique, Mike Oldfield has recorded his masterwork again (hence the title ‘Tubular Bells 2003’).
“I knew that ‘Tubular Bells’ was a record perfectly suited to the breathtaking capabilities of today’s studio technology,”
‘Tubular Bells 2003’ has been completely re-recorded by Mike Oldfield, who plays all the instruments and produces the album as he did the original version. Sally Oldfield contributes vocals, while British actor John Cleese acts as master of ceremonies.
‘Tubular Bells’ stands alone in pop music history for its complex, pastoral arrangements, the symphonic way it glides from lifting, upbeat moods to dark, threatening passages. ‘Tubular Bells 2003’ is almost like an entirely new recording experience, enhanced by a magnificent, rich 5.1 surround experience.
The CD edition of ‘Tubular Bells 2003’ was released worldwide on May 27th, 2003. Some versions of the CD include a bonus DVD-Video disc, which features the first three passages of the piece, Dolby Digital and DTS multi-channel tracks, a video clip from the first single which is a radio edit of the ‘Introduction’ sequence. A special edition version was also released on May 27th, it includes the entire ‘Tubular Bells’ trilogy, ‘Tubular Bells 2003’, ‘Tubular Bells II’ and ‘Tubular Bells III’.
Note: Since this press release, the street date of ‘Tubular Bells 2003’ has been put back until October. An exact date has not been specified.