Tubular Bells (1973) stayed in the British charts for 279 weeks. Its ascent to the top was slow, but in reaching the zenith it displaced Mike Oldfield's second album Hergest Ridge. Tubular Bells found perhaps its widest audience as the opening theme music for The Exorcist (1973). The album sold more than 2,630,000 copies in the UK and continues to resurface as the haunting melody of choice in many a television show.
Vivian Stanshall (1943-1995) was a member of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, an experimental group of the 1960s whose style encompassed trad jazz, music hall, psychedelic rock, and avant-garde art.