Cleopatra Entertainment, with sales and distribution expertise provided by MVD Entertainment Group, has tabbed Nov. 18 as the street for both double-disc Blu-ray and double-disc DVD editions of Tubular Bells 50th Anniversary Tour: Live at the Royal Festival Hall.
In 1973, Mike Oldfield was tinkering around with a “new” sound (the backstory on that is absolutely fascinating). That might have been the beginning and the end of it, but according to legend, filmmaker William Friedkin needed some “replacement” music for his film, The Exorcist, and by chance got to listen to Oldfield’s experiment album and liked what he heard. The rest, they say, is history … “Tubular Bells” (heard briefly at the beginning and again at the end of the film) has sold over 17 million copies since 1973.
Over a three-night period at London’s famed Royal Festival Hall in 2013, the 50th Anniversary celebration was filmed with the original music blended with spectacular dance and acrobatic feats by Circa Contemporary Circus.
The elaborate stage presentation also included “The Gem,” a new work by Grammy Award-nominee and musical director Robin Smith (a long-time collaborator with Oldfield), a presentation of “Summit Day” from Oldfield’s “Guitar Album” and “Moonlight Shadow,” Oldfield’s hit single.
Bonus features include a companion disc with director Julian Rodd’s feature-length documentary, narrated by Bill Nighy, which explores the history, music and legend of “Tubular Bells.” There is also a featurette titled “Turning Back the Clock.”