Producers: Mike Oldfield, Tom Newman, Trevor Horn.
A second "variation" on the album that put both Oldfield and Virgin Records on the map probably didn't seem like such a bad idea--especially with a guy like Trevor Horn enlisted to help produce. That said, TUBULAR BELLS 2 is quite good. It is a derivation, naturally, but one that has been fleshed out, further expounded upon, and given a modern '90s gloss.
Horn's is relegated to the background, but his involvement is vital. He makes Oldfield's permutations flicker with an Art of Noise resonance, and the songs--which really play as one grand suite--have a palpable luster immersed within the absolutely excellent production. All of Oldfield's trademarks are brought to the fore here; the music is pastel, austere, vibrant, twinkling, and eccentric. For this second chapter, Oldfield brings along everything from synths and guitars to glockenspiel and other assorted percussive instruments--including tubular bells. Maybe history can in fact repeat itself.
Q (10/92, p.81) - 3 Stars - Good - "...elegiacally pastoral, yet animated by contrasting currents of sunburst awe and Goonish jocularity--just one pretty tune after another..."
Audio Magazine (1/93, p.152) - "...ten minutes longer than the original but never tedious, the new work has an up-to-the-minute flavor...your cynicism will give way to joy over Oldfield's success at pulling this off with both humor and respect..."