I should begin by saying that I am a huge fan of all Mike Oldfield's instrumental music (though I can happily leave his songs). I got my copy of Tubular Bells 2003 today (it's released in Europe about two weeks before the USA - sorry! ). My question is *why*? It's not that it's bad, because in essence it's the same as the original Tubular Bells. The instruments are more or less identical and the scoring of the instruments is all but identical. There are some minor changes, but nothing all that stunning. Probably the biggest change is that John Cleese does the MC job at the end of Side 1 (and does it v. well, BTW) because of course alas viv Stanshall is no longer with us. The recording sounds clearer in places (the bass when it first comes in is deeper and better defined), but there's nothing utterly different. I know that Mike wanted to do the piece *exactly right* (something not possible given the compromises inflicted by early 70s technology), and I think we must respect this. However, to most folks, I doubt whether they'll hear anything all that remarkably different. Let's put it this way - my wife, who is not a huge Mike Oldfield instrumental music fan (but who loves the songs; I sometimes wonder how we've stayed married) didn't notice anything all that different, and I doubt if anyone who'd only heard the original piece a couple of times before would notice they were listening to the new rather than original version. Of course there's the DVD bonus disc, which contains a short video (not v. interesting - a disco mix of TB to some fairly bland images) and 5.1 remixes of a couple of tracks from TB 2003. These are okay, but given the relatively recent release of the Quad mix of the original TB on SACD, the novelty value isn't there. One thing in its favour - there's a very good-priced boxed set of the TB 2003 plus TB II and III available, for anyone who wants to catch up on their Mike Oldfield collection.