Australian Mike Oldfield Tubular Bells LP

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A quick guide to identifying an original Australian Tubular Bells LP:

Hi, my name is Peter.  Below is another quick guide and this time I'm concentrating on the Australian issue of the album Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield.

Identifying an original first Australian issue of Tubular Bells is quite easy.  I see many people on eBay talking about this album and getting it wrong.  I will now set it straight.  I will also talk about some other issues of this album.

1) It came in a single cover which was fully laminated.  Later issues had no lamination.

2) The record label was the white Roger Dean label just like the UK version.  The coloured Roger Dean label was used soon afterwards but the first issue had the white version.

3) The first and second issues have the same mix.  And side two of both LPs end with the same mix of the "Sailor's Hornpipe."

The original Australian quadraphonic Tubular Bells LP:

There were more than one Australian quadraphonic version of this LP and they were as follows:

First issue:

1) It came in a singular cover which was unlaminated and had two stickers (front and back) signifying it being a quadraphonic issue.

2) The first issue had the coloured Roger Dean label with the word Quadraphonic on the left-side of the spindle hole.

3) Side two of the first quadraphonic issue ends with basically the same mix of the "Sailor's Hornpipe" as the stereo LP except it has the sound of a toy plane flying around the studio at the end.

Second issue:

1) It came in a singular cover which was unlaminated and had two stickers (front and back) signifying it being a quadraphonic issue.

2) The second issue had the red coloured Virgin label with the word Quadraphonic at the bottom of the label above the rim print.

3) Side two of the second quadraphonic issue ends with the original ending as it was intended to be but was censored as it was deemed unsuitable at the time.  It basically has an intoxicated Vivian Stanshall giving an improvised tour of the Manor (where the album was recorded) before the song "Sailor's Hornpipe" kicks in.  This unusual session occured at four in the morning after Mike Oldfield, engineer Tom Newman and Vivian Stanshall had been drinking heavily.  They placed microphones in the rooms of the Manor, hit record and set off on an unplanned tour (complete with dancing feet) of the house.  A bit crazy but kind of fitting.

Note: The Tubular Bells LP in the 1976 vinyl Boxed issue was also a quadraphonic mix (with green Virgin label) as were all the other LPs in the set.  If you're looking for a quadraphonic version of Mike Oldfield's album Hergest Ridge then I would recommend the Boxed issue.  The Boxed issue came with a nice booklet and contained the following LPs: Tubular Bells, Hergest Ridge, Ommadawn and a LP with collaboration material.  Remember, only the vinyl issue of the Boxed set was quadraphonic but the CD Boxed set was normal stereo.

The original Australian Orchestral Tubular Bells LP:

The original Australian Orchestral Tubular Bells has become quite rare but well worth looking for if you'd like a different take on this famous piece of music.  Mike Oldfield only plays guitar on this LP.

1) It came in a singular cover which was fully laminated.

2) The first issue had the coloured Roger Dean label.

 

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