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    Tangerine Dream

    I didn't see a thread about Tangerine Dream here, so I thought I'd do one. Classic German electronic outfit, half a century of synthesizer soundwaves. Like Yes, no original members left. Edgar Froese, the sole original member there from the beginning, gave it his blessing apparently sometime before his death, and Tangerine Dream continue on.

    Tangerine Dream was my first exposure to that style or genre of all synth/German electronic music/'krautrock' etc. That was when I was big into Yes and still collecting Yes albums in 1985. Coming across a number of their 70's albums in the 3.99 budget/cut-out rack, I noticed long songs with spacey titles and spacey or abstract album covers. Never heard of them but thought they may be a Yes-like group. I took a chance on Phaedra (1974) and I've been listening to them ever since to this day. That was my first exposure to all-instrumental cosmic music. I knew TD before I knew Kraftwerk, Klaus Schulze, Can or any of those other guys. Does anyone else like this stuff? What are your favorite titles? Here's I guess my top ten. Not a ranking, just ten that stand out for me:

    1) Tangram (1980 )- I rank this as in my top 5 electronic albums of all time alongside The Light Program (Geoff Downes), Phaedra, The Bermuda Triangle (Tomita) and an undecided 5th entry. Wonderful album.

    2) Phaedra (1974) - see above. Defining album of the genre. Very science, very desolate alien landscape or the forbidden zone of Planet Of The Apes.

    3) Underwater Sunlight (1986) - oceanic splendor. Listen to this on the way to/from an aquarium. Jellyfish and manta rays woven into the album's sonic fibers.

    4) Force Majure/Cyclone (1979)/ (1978) - these kinda go together. Cyclone has vocals which not everybody accepted from them. There's also live drumming. Still good and still classic TD.

    5) Ricochet (1975) - first live album. Like a lot of experimental albums of the day it was presented as a part one on side one and a part two on side two.

    6) Private Music Of TD (1991) - a best of the 1988-90 period when they started to go a little 'new age'. Though the 90's were largely one of their least interesting phases, this is the cream of that era's crop. I really do like this collection.

    7) Poland (1984) - killer live album recorded behind the iron curtain. Icy cool sequencers and frozen sonic landscapes. A must.

    8) Rubicon (1975) - sublime 'kosmische musik'. The dreamy beginning of part one is magic.

    9) Exit (1981) - good 80's title I like a bit.

    10) Livemiles (1987) - the last with Christoph Franke in the lineup. A heavily doctored-up live set with great sections.

    Honorable mentions: Logos (1982), Tyger (1987), Alpha Centauri (1971), Stratosfear (1976), they got too many albums!

    Best eras for me are 70's through about 1992. That was their most standout stuff, the albums that put them on the map. They went a little new age/windham hill for a bit, employing guest sax and electric guitar in the 90's. By the end of the 90's and throughout the rest of Froese's life they pumped out albums as a breakneck speed (if Yes could only do that...). Some of these are decent, some are indistinguishable from each other. There was a lot of quantity over quality here and there, but some of the TD-I years were ok: Quinoa, Goblin Club, Oasis, Mars Polaris, Trans Siberia, Mota Atma. Too many!

    Anyone like Tangerine Dream? What are your favorites?

    #2
    Yeah, i like Tangerine Dream, but I'm prety much the cliché listener who likes the eary stuff: Zeit, Atem, Phaedra, Rubicon, Stratosfear, Ricochet, and Force Majeure. I like Electronic Meiditaion too, though it feels like a diffferent band. Having said that, I also like Quantum Gate and Zaum, very recent releaes. There are some good live recordings out there too, and I always reget not going to see them in Liverpool or Coventry Cathedrals back in the day.

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      #3
      The first four albums for me. Electronic Meditation is the prototype for the one-side-freak out, other-side-chillout template other Krautrock acts would follow. To me, Alpha Centauri represents post-Schulze growing pains, leading to Zeit, their masterpiece. Atem was pretty good too. The only other albums I have are Underwater Sunlight (not really a fan; it’s a bit too new-agey for me) and 300 003 by Loom (I just didn’t dig it). But none of that takes away from those four early 1970s Ohm LPs. Definitely worth checking out!

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        #4
        Originally posted by patrickq View Post
        The first four albums for me. Electronic Meditation is the prototype for the one-side-freak out, other-side-chillout template other Krautrock acts would follow. To me, Alpha Centauri represents post-Schulze growing pains, leading to Zeit, their masterpiece. Atem was pretty good too. The only other albums I have are Underwater Sunlight (not really a fan; it’s a bit too new-agey for me) and 300 003 by Loom (I just didn’t dig it). But none of that takes away from those four early 1970s Ohm LPs. Definitely worth checking out!
        ,

        And don't forget about Green Desert, recorded as a follow-up to Atem, but then they got new equipment and recorded Phaedra and put that out instead. They eventually released it in the 80's, but the side-long title track on side one is along the lines of the first four albums. The second half closer to the sound of the classic 1974-77 lineup.

        I haven't heard Loom, that's a more recent side project/spinoff I believe. I do have Neuland, which is Peter Baumann and Paul Haslinger duo which is kinda like the recent TD stuff.

        Live I've only seen them once, and although it was good it was not like the exploratory freakout days - a lot of repertoire rather than the sequencer improvs of the earlier days. I kick myself for not seeing them when they were touring with Andy Summers opening for them, but I wasn't into them as much during that phase.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Soundwaveseeker View Post
          ,And don't forget about Green Desert, recorded as a follow-up to Atem, but then they got new equipment and recorded Phaedra and put that out instead. They eventually released it in the 80's, but the side-long title track on side one is along the lines of the first four albums. The second half closer to the sound of the classic 1974-77 lineup.
          I just sampled a bit of it on YouTube. It’s pretty good! It’d be interesting to find out exactly how Schulze and Tangerine Dream interacted and influenced each other—Green Desert strikes me as somewhat Schulzian. Thanks for the tip!

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            #6
            I like synthesizers.

            I think I had heard of Tangerine Dream, but hadn’t heard any of their music. I know folks who went to their shows, and apparently someone told me they had seen the best show of their life in d.c. where Tangerine Dream had a laser show.

            I was minding my own business in the mall one day where I walked by a store that had an expensive Bang and Olufsen stereo system blasting a pretty impressive synthesized, instrumental song. Of course I had to go in and listen to more. It was very loud which I really liked, and was a bit shocked by the old school attitude of the manager or employee of “Fuck it! I’m playing it loud!” My type of guy!

            Listened to a few songs, and I enjoyed the Bang and Olufsen system, which are overpriced, but impressive. The only person I knew who had one was friend of the family Alec who is married to Cat Stephen’s sister, Anita. I spent a few days at their place coming back from Jordan. He had a lot of Mastered Alan Parsons Project cds which sounded fantastic on his system, but I didn’t blast any of those. I hung out with their nephew. One of his friends bought the newest OMD album, and a group of us climbed on top of a building rooftop, and plugged in a record player.

            Prior to that exposure, someone had brought some Israeli black hash back their home in Jordan, and was playing some Kraftwerk. Yes, the godfathers of programmed synthesized music, but I thought, and still think it is crap. During that time in Jordan was a heavy keyboard time in music. And fortunately for me, much of what I listed to was either the BBC, or a Jordanian dj who had a show in English that featured mainly British music. I feel I got a jump on exposure to electronic or Euro-synth music, compared to most Americans. Still love almost all the 80s and 90s synth music. I even bought myself a workstation, analogue synthesizer.

            so back to the story, I believe I asked the salesman what was playing or he pointed to the c.d. which was lying my the system. It was Tangerine Dream’s Lily On the Beach. I picked up the c.d. later, but did not pick up the stereo system. ;-)

            The only other Tangerine Dream related music I picked up was the soundtrack to Legend. I saw the movie and was immediately shocked/impressed/surprised to hear the amazing Jon Anderson singing near the beginning of the movie. And an equally amazing Brian Ferry and David Gilmore closing out the movie with their song. I saw the credits of Tangerine Dream.


            Last edited by luvyesmusic; 12-17-2022, 06:22 PM.

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              #7
              The Legend soundtrack - I remember seeing that in the theater back then and seeing the credits in the beginning "Music by Tangerine Dream". I thought, 'cool, I like them.' I remember one long typical TD synth chord during some waterfall scene, That's them. But I didn't expect to hear Jon Anderson's voice during the montage scene (it wasn't at the beginning) during the second half. So celestial. Bryan Ferry I wasn't familiar with the time. Not long after I learned he was from Roxy Music (every solo artist was from some older group back then it seemed) and ended up liking them too.

              Tangerine Dream did a lot of soundtracks in the 80's, some quite good, some hashed out quickly. The album before Lily On The Beach, Optical Race (1988), is even better and has the most iciest synths alive. Great stuff.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Soundwaveseeker View Post
                Tangerine Dream did a lot of soundtracks in the 80's, some quite good, some hashed out quickly. The album before Lily On The Beach, Optical Race (1988), is even better and has the most iciest synths alive. Great stuff.
                Good call: Optical Race is good, but the tracks are too short. They end just as they get going...

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                  #9
                  My introduction to Tangerine Dream was via a school drama class in 1974. It was Rubicon. The drama teacher (he also taught English and was brilliant at it; I was very fortunate with my English teachers) let me borrow it to tape. Shortly after Ricochet came out, and then Stratosfear and Encore.
                  I then went backwards into the earlier albums, Atem and Zeit. Alpha Centaurus.
                  Over the last decade I've acquired all of the albums in deluxe remastered CD editions from Alpha Centauri to Encore. I've got the Poland album and a good few of the other 80s albums in a Virgin boxset, and the two Quantum albums with Edgar's final contributions. I've also got Froese's solo albums in a Virgin boxset.
                  The early albums, pre-Phaedra, include a second CD containing a full concert contemporary with each album. Wonderful music-making!
                  Sometimes the lights all shining on me, other times I can barely see.
                  Lately it occurs to me what a long strange trip it’s been.

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                    #10
                    On Cruise to the Edge 2014 after seeing each first show of Yes and Tangerine Dream there was a day when both bands played at the same time same night. I actually chose to miss the second Yes show and see the second Tangerine Dream show. There is no other band I could say that about. Edgar was also on an excursion that we were on to a private beach. He had an entourage of women with him. We then ran into the rest of TD at the airport and they were excited that my wife recorded (nicely) their indoor show and copied it for themselves while we waited on our flight.

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                      #11
                      I have the older TD albums, the pre-1980 stuff. I describe my relationship with it as trying/hoping to get into it at some point, for it to click with me. I really need to make a playlist of it to force myself it submerge in it and get to know it better. In the meantime, I have really gotten into the work of a recent former TD member, Ulrich Schnauss.

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