Tangerine Dream

Tangerine Dream

Profile:
Led by Edgar Froese, Tangerine Dream is perhaps the premier exponent of electronic "rock" music. From their "free-rock" beginnings in the nascent Kraut Rock scene to the eventual triple keyboard standard that signed to Virgin, this German group can take significant credit in introducing synthesizer/sequenced electronic music to most of the western rock world. At the height of their success - during the mid to late 1970s - the Dream's spacey, pulsing music earned them a tenacious cult following. By the late Seventies, however, line-ups, and more importantly, the formula changed, tilting towards more conventional "rock" music. By the early 1980s, TD was primarily releasing lucrative soundtrack work, before settling into New Age content by mid-decade.

Formed in Berlin in 1967, the initial line up (on their first release Electronic Meditation) included Edgar Froese, Conrad Schnitzler (cello) and Klaus Schulze (drums). Their compositions, or rather experimental improvisations, had roots in the psychedelia of London albeit with the Kraut twist. Electronic Meditation is perhaps a misnomer; traditional instrumentation of organ, drums, guitar, cello, flute were hardly electronic and "freak out jamming" is the more appropriate adjective, reflecting the confluence of Twentieth Century avant-garde music. Both Schnitzler and Schulze would depart after this album, with the latter forming Ash Ra Tempel. Second album, Alpha Centauri, saw the addition of long-standing member Christopher Franke replacing Schulze, while Peter Baumann would come aboard for Zeit. Although unissued until the mid-1980s, Green Desert was recorded in 1973. The core of Froese, Franke and Baumann would sign to Virgin Records in 1973, and the subsequent release Phaedra would cement their style for years to come. Understated, droning keyboard and guitar melodies intertwined with ambient washes of reverberating electronic textures, utilizing synthesizers and sequencers, was typical of the TD sound. Compositions were long, melodic, pulsing pieces. Michael Hoenig temporarily replaced Baumann for an Australian tour in 1975. One highlight of the Virgin period was Sorcerer, a soundtrack to the film of the same name. After Baumann's departure in 1978, TD experimented with the formula on Cyclone, which saw the addition of Steve Jolliffe, adding vocals and woodwinds. Force Majeure was the classic of this period. Johannes Schmölling would join for Tangram. This line-up remained stable until the mid-1980s, as the group shifted toward more rhythmic textures. The increased emphasis on sequencers and drum machines in the first half of the 1980s alienated longtime fans, as did subsequent releases which veered heavily into relatively accessible, uplifting melodies. After a brief stint with Jive Records from 1984 to 1988, TD signed to Baumann's Private Music label and then the equally New Agey Miramar, fully embracing digital textures and seeking to distance the group from its moody, psychedelic past. Paul Haslinger replaced Schmölling in 1985, and was in turn replaced by Froese's son Jerome Froese in 1990. Franke left in 1987 over creative differences with Froese. After a mid-1990s move to Edgar Froese's own TDI Music label (later renamed Eastgate), TD's reputation as a New Age band became less appropriate -- father and son experimented with more modern sounds and revisited elements of past glories -- but the group's artist direction remained fairly entrenched in melodic pop-rock territory.
Sites:
Members:
Variations:

Tangerine Dream Discography

Albums

OMM 56004, OMM 56.004 Tangerine Dream Electronic Meditation (Album) Ohr, Ohr OMM 56004, OMM 56.004 Germany 1970 Sell This Version
ST-OMM-56 Tangerine Dream Alpha Centauri (Album, Single) Ohr, Ohr ST-OMM-56 Japan 1971 Sell This Version
OMM 2/56021 Tangerine Dream Zeit (Album) Ohr OMM 2/56021 Germany 1972 Sell This Version
Pld A 5084 Tangerine Dream Atem (Album) Polydor Pld A 5084 Italy 1973 Sell This Version
L 35138, V 2010 Tangerine Dream Phaedra (Album) Virgin L 35138, V 2010 Australia 1974 Sell This Version
88.754-I, 88754 I Tangerine Dream Rubycon (Album) Virgin, Virgin 88.754-I, 88754 I Spain 1975 Sell This Version
RK 031 Tangerine Dream Ricochet (Album) Virgin, Virgin RK 031 Taiwan 1975 Sell This Version
PZ 34427 Tangerine Dream Stratosfear (Album) Virgin PZ 34427 US 1976 Sell This Version
MCA-2277 Tangerine Dream Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack "Sorcerer" (Album) MCA Records MCA-2277 El Salvador 1977 Sell This Version
57 263 QT Tangerine Dream Encore (Album) Virgin, Virgin 57 263 QT Germany 1977 Sell This Version
D 57515 Tangerine Dream Cyclone (Album) Virgin D 57515 Spain 1978 Sell This Version
2473 764 Tangerine Dream Force Majeure (Album) Virgin, Virgin 2473 764 Greece 1979 Sell This Version
VI 2147 Tangerine Dream Tangram (Album) Virgin VI 2147 UK 1980 Sell This Version
203 472 Tangerine Dream Thief (Album) Virgin 203 472 Germany 1981 Sell This Version
VIP-6983 Tangerine Dream Exit (Album) Virgin, Virgin VIP-6983 Japan 1981 Sell This Version
8 55 819 Tangerine Dream Quichotte (Album) AMIGA 8 55 819 German Democratic Republic (GDR) 1981 Sell This Version
205 230, 205 230-270 Tangerine Dream Logos Live (Album) Virgin 205 230, 205 230-270 Europe 1982 Sell This Version
V2226, 2473 833 Tangerine Dream White Eagle (Album) Virgin V2226, 2473 833 Greece 1982 Sell This Version
V 2292 Tangerine Dream Hyperborea (Album) Virgin, Virgin V 2292 New Zealand 1983 Sell This Version
STV 81207 Tangerine Dream Wavelength (Original Soundtrack) (Album) Varèse Sarabande STV 81207 US 1983 Sell This Version
HIP X 22 Tangerine Dream Poland (The Warsaw Concert) (Album) Jive Electro HIP X 22 UK 1984 Sell This Version
MCF 3233 Tangerine Dream Firestarter (Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Album) MCA Records MCF 3233 UK 1984 Sell This Version
HMI MC 29 Tangerine Dream Flashpoint (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Album) EMI America HMI MC 29 Netherlands 1984 Sell This Version
207 212-620 Tangerine Dream Heartbreakers (Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (Album) Virgin 207 212-620 Germany 1985 Sell This Version
28AP 3070 Tangerine Dream Le Parc (Album) Jive Electro 28AP 3070 Japan 1985 Sell This Version

Reviews Show All 19 Reviews

Add Review

TRANSWAVES

TRANSWAVES

March 28, 2016
Well the best band ever. Particulary like them most between 1973-1988 but some good music was created before 1973 and after that as well. Phaedra, richochet, Encorer, sorcerer, Force majeure, exit, white eagle, logos, firestarter, wavelength, flaspoint, poland, le Parc, underwater sunlight, near dark and the park is mine are especially appreciated by me. Johannes Schmölling and Cristopher Franke added something special to the band that Edgar Froese couldn't do by himself.
Supreme-Headz-Ent.

Supreme-Headz-Ent.

December 23, 2015
i own a record on pink wax, with td-1 and td-2 in the runout. no infos on the label, just a picture of three old men on both sides. it also looks like there is only one big session on each side, no split in tracks or such. which TD release is that ?? any help via pm would be appreciated. thnx :)
Vorrn

Vorrn

November 2, 2015
One of my favorite bands which I've followed since John Peel started playing them. I bought everything as it came out and got all the pre Phaedra albums as imports. I've always thought them best live and fondly remember the first time I "saw" them at the Royal Albert Hall and was amazed at how loud they were (I'd never thought to play the albums loudly and still rarely do so) and how they made the music move through the air. I eventually found the Tangerine Tree Project and have all the Trees and Leaves (excepting Leaves Volume 32: Quebec, so if anyone has it on mp3/FLAC can they email me a copy at vorrn707@gmail.com) and recommend these as the best way to hear early TD. My collection continues to grow and I can't wait to hear them post Edgar - RIP - and I suspect that there is a goodly collection of unreleased items awaiting mastering mixing and release. Although their music evolved as the electronic industry evolved, I like it all, but listening to them live is best. Vorrn
bullfinchart

bullfinchart

December 3, 2014
It's seemingly impossible to discuss TD without comparing eras, although this is occasionally a little unfair, especially given that there aren't many straight cut changes between them.

Like many (possibly most), I hold the Virgin albums in highest esteem, particularly Phaedra, Rubycon, Tangram and Hyperborea. Over their ten years signed to Virgin, their stylistic progression was incredible: something which slowed down considerably shortly after they left. The rest of the '80s saw them ironing out the remaining kinks into the heavily streamlined, poppy sound found throughout the Froese/Haslinger lineup. These albums are much maligned by some, and although they are almost embarrassingly dated in their production, there are plenty of strong compositions waiting under the surface of rigid MIDI programming and harsh FM synths.

The band sort of washed ashore at this point, most tellingly by the fact that Edgar is still using the same synth sounds to this day. Plenty of modern TD pieces could be little more than remastered Haslinger-era tracks. Be it the heavy use of live instrumentation in the '90s, or the 'throw enough shit and some of it'll stick' approach to the modern heavy release schedule, there have been different attempts at hiding the staleness over the past twenty-odd years, although most see through them. There exists a modest sized fanbase who excitedly await everything put out under the TD name (a considerable proportion of the 'Eastgate Years' output is Edgar solo material) and seem to enjoy it, but the general consensus tends to be that although great tracks exist, they are few and far between. Personally, I stick to the Booster releases these days, which give a good representation of the various products and are the nearest thing to the 'an album every year or two' format Edgar would have been wise sticking to.
DJWerkz

DJWerkz

January 9, 2014
It's fair to say that TD have covered several different styles so you will always have either ones who like or dislike certain periods or just complete anoraks who must have everything and must know everything! It's simple, find what you like and enjoy it ;)
24db

24db

February 12, 2013
Why do 'synth experts' always know so little about Tangerine Dream? ;)
ttooyyss

ttooyyss

February 5, 2013
edited over 3 years ago
I strongly disagree with the previous poster. While I find nearly all of TD albums great and very enjoyable from between 1974-1983, I'd absolutely leave the "Zeit" out of any listings. Very boring, fantasyless early athmospherics "ambient". I don't understand why did the early TD raises so much attention while there was not much music in those albums (I mean: the pre-1974 era). It's more for the "psycho", flower-power, prog-rock fans. Their "mid-age" from '74-the eighties caused some extraordinary pioneering albums BUT the real-thing comes only after then:

The EXIT is the highlight of the TD. Ask any fans! Incredible, rhythmised, prog electro-pop, very fresh and new. I rate it among the best albums of the genre beside: Kraftwerk-Computer World, Logic System - Logic, Johan Timman - Trip into the body, just to name the bests. Their second best album is:

WHITE EAGLE and every other come afterwards.

By the way, TD. has incredible amount of bootleg live-recordings. I very strongly advise them to be listened! They were the best in live-situations: endless sequencing, very great guitar and synth solos all the entire lenght. Very dramatic, hypnotic soundscapes lead to exstatic solos.

To cut it short: TD is from late 60'-1974 only for prog, psych, ambient, noise and hard-core TD fans.

1974-1979: The classic "mid-age" with analog synths, Moogs and hypnotic sequencings.

1980-ca. 1985: The appearing of the first digital synths and the birth of the automatised electronic music. The birth of their best albums: Exit, and White eagle. Soon they fade away after 1982 and are not able to renew, nor create anything remarkable. Le Parc 2nd. track is their very last great track, and I find one of their best and that's it.

1986- The TD becomes a cheap, cheesy, kitschy, extremely mindless new-age pop-trash. Trash and shit I can name with some of their albums. Pity...

A few technical words about the Tangerine Dream 1970-1985: Now I see, how amatheur they really were. The never made a proper, whistleable melody with the exception of 2-3 cases. Chordchanges? Like at the level of a collage-band. The sound quality of their recordings were almost always trash. The mixing was always horrible. They had absolutely no real rhythmical sense, so the drummachine usage was always extremely bad and badly balanced. As soon as the digital synths and synths with sound-patch memory appeared, they started to giving-up creating their own made sonic-timbres. By the mid '80s they only used factory-preset sounds from the synths and later they minimised the usage of the number of the synths too, so there came the time when they made entire albums on the cheapest and bad sounding Roland synth module(s). But anyway, they almost never made anything really interesting sonic-timbres apart from a few. They had no real mind for that. The Mellotron usage was very typical to them and a listener can easily think that how great achievement was that. No way. The typical Tangerine dream choir/flute/horn/strings/... sounds came from the Mellotron which was the first "preset" instument and the sound couldn't be altered or changed on the instrument and the sounds remained unchanged through the entire history of the Mellotron-era of TD. What they've made on synths were very amatheurish and all approach to the entire producing of music was also but even if so, at the end, the result was sometimes extraordinary. All had a very special mood, an electrifying feeling, an astonishing dreamscape and the birth of the "Berlin-electro, old-school" genre in itself which were never paralelled by anybody other even if there were and even today there are countless efforts for it.

As far as I know, they didn't invented gears but gave comissions for electro-technicians. This is how the legendary PPG was born. I, myself own maybe the very first existing example which is often can be seen by the right hand side of Froese on the concerts 1975-onwards. There are only a few examples exist. The other machine which is in my posession is the later PPG 340/380 large tower with Froese's signature. Only 6 pieces were ever made.
jonathan_armstrong

jonathan_armstrong

February 2, 2004
Not much you can say about these guys - absolutely seminal, although they always seem to get overlooked in every "electronica history/retrospective" sorta thing I've ever read. They did get namechecked in LFO's classic "What Is House?" at one point though: "The pioneers of the hypnotic groove: Brian Eno, Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Depeche Mode and the Yellow Magic Orchestra."

It's been said you're either an early TD person or a late TD person. Personally, I can't imagine most electronic fans being into their post 1980-stuff; some of the early 1980's material consists of some interesting ambient analog synthscapes but by the mid 1980's it's pretty much new age schlock in the realm of Vangelis or Jarre. Of course, there's people who love Jarre and think this is just noodling drug music. Go figure.

The five most essential TD albums are, IMHO: Zeit, Phaedra, Rubycon, Ricochet, and Stratosfear. Alpha Centauri is certainly interesting too, but not for just casual listening... start with the early stuff, which is extremely dark abstract material and not strictly electronic, and move into _Pheadra_ and _Rubycon_, which are more "purist" electronic albums. Ricochet and Stratosfear start to contain some more progressive rock elements.

What makes this music so impressive, and so timeless, is the sheer craftsmanship on the part of the members. When listening to this, I still can't help but think that the majority of today's laptop-produced electronica will wither in self-deserved obscurity the moment it is produced. Hell, Edgar Froese invented half of the synths for the TD project, and then just gave away the technology since he didn't care about making a buck on it.

Lists Add to List

Videos (121) Edit