The Mak­ing Of Mike Old­field’s Tubu­lar Bells

Richard New­man

Classic Rock - - The Hard Stuff - Nick Hasted

How a prog clas­sic was got to­gether in the coun­try. “It was as much to do with tak­ing [Mike] down the pub and get­ting him drunk on Guin­ness as it was to mak­ing sug­ges­tions about hav­ing fifty man­dolins,” engi­neer Tom New­man says of get­ting Tubu­lar Bells made.

Richard New­man’s deep in­ter­views with New­man, fel­low engi­neer Si­mon Hey­worth and (less ex­ten­sively) Old­field back in 1992 form a mostly oral his­tory, remembering the hip­pie magic at work in The Manor, Bri­tain’s first, bliss­fully

rus­tic res­i­den­tial stu­dio, where th­ese un­tried young men pushed the pos­si­bil­i­ties of tape.

Al­though Old­field be­lieves he was suf­fer­ing a ner­vous break­down, his col­lab­o­ra­tors’ won­der on first hear­ing the Bells demo is clear in con­ver­sa­tions so bu­col­i­cally wist­ful, it’s as if they’re still in the Manor. The “world of mythol­ogy, magic and deep emo­tions” au­thor New­man found in the al­bum are fur­ther brought out in an oth­er­wise slim book by Hey­worth’s ses­sion snaps and pho­tog­ra­pher Fran May’s evoca­tive land­scape pho­tos.

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