This is probably one of the greatest horror movie theme songs ever (maybe besides Halloween). Even 40 years (yes, 40 years!!) after the movie’s original theatrical release, this song is still tops.
While many people know the song as, “The theme song for The Exorcist”, the song is actually called Tubular Bells. It was composed by Mike Oldfield and recorded when the man was only 19 years old! It was Oldfield’s debut album released in 1973. Interestingly, it was Virgin Records first album as well. Another not so interesting fact – the song was also used in Weird Science.
Here is a youtube video of Oldfield playing the song at the BBC in the same year, 1973:
And then, a few more moments of poking around online lead me to an interesting loose connection. Try to follow me here: Tubular Bells was Virgin’s first album. It was also the theme song for The Exorcist. The director of The Exorcist, William Friedkin, wrote (in the liner notes for another movie he directed – Sorcerer) that if he “had he heard the music of Tangerine Dream earlier, he would have had them score The Exorcist”. Tangerine Dream was an electronic band from the 70’s. They were also one of Virgin’s fist signings and possibly the first Virgin Records top 10 hit. Loose connection, but interesting none-the-less.
And if you want to listen to some really wild atmospheric stuff from the 70’s, Tangerine Dream is the band to listen to. For example, turn down the lights and take a listen to the 1971 Tangerine Dream track, Alpha Centauri… wild… love it.