[[caption-width-right:350:"Plus... [[TitleDrop Tubular... Bells!]]" '''''DONNNNNNNGGG!''''']]

Hugely successful debut album by artist Music/MikeOldfield. The album is known for its signature opening track, which was soon used as the recognizable music to the film ''Film/TheExorcist'', and also for its financial success, providing the foundation for what became Richard Branson's Virgin Empire. Previously, Branson had been the owner of a single, though quite successful, record shop.

Although Oldfield was to later become known as a New Age artist, he has stated that ''Tubular Bells'' is too dynamic to fall into such a category, though some elements are similar. It has, by contrast, been featured on rock album lists, and is usually classified as a ProgressiveRock album.

''Tubular Bells'' was released in 1973, and its success spawned the recording of ''The Orchestral Tubular Bells'' in 1974, but it was not until much later that Oldfield returned to his first album in force, releasing ''Tubular Bells II'' in 1992, ''Tubular Bells III'' in 1998, ''The Millennium Bell'' in 1999, ''Tubular Bells 2003'', and ''Tubular Beats'' in 2013. Oldfield has recently announced ''Tubular Bells IV'' to be released at an unknown date.

Oldfield plays nearly all the instruments featured on the first album himself through overdubbing the only exceptions were flute (Jon Field), string bass (Lindsay Cooper) and drums (Simon Broughton). At the time, overdubbing wasn't so widespread as it is now, and was a notable feature of the album in 1973. The sequels continue this practice, although some instruments are played by others. According to [[http://tubular.net/articles/2001_08 engineer Simon Heyworth]], the "Piltdown Man" section resulted from Virgin Records owner Richard Branson pressuring Oldfield to add vocals to at least one section to make it more marketable as a single. Oldfield stormed out of the meeting [[WriterRevolt saying "You want lyrics? I'll give you lyrics!", proceeded to get smashed on half a bottle of whiskey and "screamed his brains out" for ten minutes in the studio]].

!! Tracklist:

[[AC:Side One]]
# "Tubular Bells, Part One" (25:30)

[[AC:Side Two]]
# "Tubular Bells, Part Two" (23:20)

! '''''Tubular Tropes''''':
* BoleroEffect: Every album but ''Tubular Bells III'' has a finale at the end of the first side of vinyl which, like the original Bolero, adds a different instrument each loop until everything is playing beneath the majestic entry of the titular instrument.
** Later works like ''Ommadawn'' and ''Music of the Spheres'' use this as well.
* TheCameo: [[Creator/AlanRickman Snape himself]] pulls Narrator duties in "Tubular Bells 2".
* CreditsGag: ''Tubular Bells'' has a caption reading "This stereo record cannot be played on old tin boxes no matter what they are fitted with. If you are in possession of such equipment please hand it into the nearest police station." This is a parody of labels advising listeners that stereo [=LPs=] may be played on mono equipment given suitable cartridges are used. The gag is preserved on ''Tubular Bells 2003'', where it reads "This stereo record ''still'' cannot be played on old tin boxes no matter what they are fitted with."
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Simon Heyworth commented that the cover of "The Sailor's Hornpipe" was added to the end of Part Two because it otherwise ended on a gloomy note.
* EverythingsLouderWithBagpipes: "Tattoo" off of ''Tubular Bells II''.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: The "Bootleg Chorus" (Mike Oldfield and producers Simon Heyworth and Tom Newman) credited on Part Two is so named because their chant sounds like "Boot! Leg! Boot! Leg!". They are also credited as the "Manor Choir", named after The Manor studio where the album was recorded.
** The "Girlie Chorus" (Mundy Ellis and Sally Oldfield) needs no explanation.
** ''Tubular Bells 2003'' as well.
* FakeLoud: In ''Tubular Bells'', the peak volume is intentionally held down until the titular bells are heard, leaving the impression that their sound is louder. Oldfield also mentioned that he [[http://tubular.net/articles/2001_08 wasn't able to use actual tubular bells]] due to the budget, so he ended up hammering smaller bells (hard enough to ''crack'' them, inspiring the cover) and recording them with excessive microphone gain, resulting in a distorted sound.
* ForDoomTheBellTolls: ''Tubular Bells'' cools down near the end with the sound of a distant tolling bell, setting the piece up for its climax.
* GeorgeLucasAlteredVersion: ''Tubular Bells 2003'' is rerecorded with all the recording, mastering, and editing equipment that didn't exist in 1973. Most bits are more or less the same, but there are some significant differences.
* IdiosyncraticCoverArt: Every sequel and re-release (as well as ''Tubular Beats'') features the iconic bent tubular bell logo on a different background, and sometimes in a different color.
* {{Improv}}: That epic acoustic bit right before "The Sailor's Hornpipe" on the original? Mike wrote the bassline and the basic direction he wanted it to go in, and bam. "Piltdown Man" was a drunken Mike babbling nonsense into a mic.
* {{Instrumentals}}: With the exception of "Man in the Rain" from ''Tubular Bells III''.
* LighterAndSofter: Oldfeld wrote the original ''Tubular Bells'' from a very dark, depressed, alcohol-fueled place. ''Tubular Bells II'' comes from a bright, optimistic place and it shows. Even "Altered State" (the "Piltdown Man" variant) is fairly goofy.
* LongList: The liner notes' list of instruments Oldfield played on the album.
-->'''Part One''': Mike Oldfield plays: Grand Piano, Glockenspiel, Farfisa Organ, Bass Guitar, Electric Guitar, Speed Guitar, Taped motor drive amplifier organ chord, Mandolin-like Guitar, Fuzz Guitars, Assorted Percussion, Acoustic Guitar, Flageolet, Honky Tonk Piano, Lowrey Organ, ''Tubular Bells''
-->'''Part Two''': Mike Oldfield plays: Electric Guitars, Farfisa Organ, Bass Guitar, Acoustic Guitars, Piano, Speed Elec. Guitars, Lowrey Organ, Concert Tympani, Guitars sounding like Bagpipes, Piltdown Man, Hammond Organ, Spanish Guitar, Moribund Chorus, Mandolin[[note]]"The Sailor's Hornpipe" features an uncredited violin; whether Mike played it or not is hard to say[[/note]]
* MetalScream: The "Piltdown Man" section, starting at 11:55 of Part Two.
* PopCulturalOsmosis: Today most people will associate this music with the soundtrack of the film ''Film/TheExorcist''.
** KuleshovEffect: Those people who saw ''The Exorcist'' before listening to the album found it far more intense and scary than it really was -- and the [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment sudden screaming of Oldfield during "Piltdown Man"]] was actually terrifying, ramping up the tension until it was released by the MoodWhiplash of "The Sailor's Hornpipe".
* PublicDomainSoundtrack: The first album ended with "The Sailor's Hornpipe".
* TheShowMustGoWrong: According to Mike himself, he made several mistakes while recording, but had to leave them in. Then again, considering part one was recorded in just a week, he didn't have a choice.
* TitleDrop:
** In ''Tubular Bells'' and ''Tubular Bells II'', the Narrator shouts "and... TUBULAR BELLS!"
** In ''Tubular Bells III'', in "Far Above the Clouds":
-->'''Child:''' And the Man in the Rain picked up his Bag of Secrets, and journeyed up the mountainside far above the clouds, and nothing was ever heard from him again - except for the sound of Tubular Bells.
* UncommonTime:
** From the first:
*** The opening riff switches between 7/8 and 8/8.
*** The "Thrash" section just before the nasal choir switches between 7/4 and 4/4.