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Tangerine Dream

Without doubt, the recordings of Tangerine Dream made the greatest impact on the widest variety of instrumental music during the 1980s and '90s, ranging from the most atmospheric new age and space music to the harshest abrasions of electronic dance. Founded in 1967 by Edgar Froese in Berlin, the group progressed through a full three dozen lineups (Froese being the only continuous member with staying power) and four distinct stages of development: the experimentalist minimalism of the late '60s and early '70s; stark sequencer trance during the mid- to late '70s, the group's most influential period; an organic form of instrumental music on their frequent film and studio work during the 1980s; and, finally, a more propulsive dance style, which showed Tangerine Dream with a sound quite similar to their electronic inheritors in the field of dance music.

Froese, born in Tilsit, East Prussia, in 1944, was little influenced by music while growing up. Instead, he looked to the Dadaist and Surrealist art movements for inspiration, as well as literary figures such as Gertrude Stein, Henry Miller, and Walt Whitman. He organized multimedia events at the residence of Salvador Dali in Spain during the mid-'60s and began to entertain the notion of combining his artistic and literary influences with music; Froese played in a musical combo called the Ones, which recorded just one single before dissolving in 1967. The first lineup of Tangerine Dream formed later that year, with Froese on guitar, bassist Kurt Herkenberg, drummer Lanse Hapshash, flutist Volker Hombach, and vocalist Charlie Prince. The quintet aligned itself with contemporary American acid rock (the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane), and played around Berlin at various student events. The lineup lasted only two years, and by 1969 Froese had recruited wind player Conrad Schnitzler and drummer Klaus Schulze. One of the trio's early rehearsals, not originally intended for release, became the first Tangerine Dream LP when Germany's Ohr Records issued Electronic Meditation in June 1970. The LP was a playground for obtuse music-making -- keyboards, several standard instruments, and a variety of household objects were recorded and filtered through several effects processors, creating a sparse, experimentalist atmosphere.

Both Schulze and Schnitzler left for solo careers later in 1970, and Froese replaced them the following year with drummer Christopher Franke and organist Steve Schroeder. When Schroeder left a year later, Tangerine Dream gained its most stable lineup core when organist Peter Baumann joined the fold. The trio of Froese, Franke, and Baumann would continue until Baumann's departure in 1977, and even then, Froese and Franke would compose the spine of the group for an additional decade.

On 1971's Alpha Centauri and the following year's Zeit, the trio's increased use of synthesizers and a growing affinity for space music resulted in albums that pushed the margin for the style. Atem, released in 1973, finally gained Tangerine Dream widespread attention outside Europe; influential British DJ John Peel named it his LP of the year, and the group signed a five-year contract with Richard Branson's Virgin Records. Though less than a year old, Virgin had already become a major player in the recording industry, thanks to the massive success of Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells (widely known for its use in the film The Exorcist).

Tangerine Dream's first album for Virgin, Phaedra, was a milestone not only for the group, but for instrumental music. Branson had allowed the group free rein at Virgin's Manor Studios, where they used Moog synthesizers and sequencers for the first time; the result was a relentless, trance-inducing barrage of rhythm and sound, an electronic update of the late-'60s and early-'70s classical minimalism embodied by Terry Riley. Though mainstream critics were unsurprisingly hostile toward the album (it obviously made no pretense to rock & roll in any form), Phaedra broke into the British Top 20 and earned Tangerine Dream a large global audience.

The follow-ups Rubycon and the live Ricochet were also based on the blueprint with which Phaedra had been built, but the release of Stratosfear in 1976 saw the use of more organic instruments such as untreated piano and guitar; also, the group added vocals for 1978's Cyclone, a move that provoked much criticism from their fans. Both of these innovations didn't change the sound in a marked degree, however; their incorporation into rigid sequencer patterns continued to distance Tangerine Dream from the mainstream of contemporary instrumental music.

Baumann left for a solo career in 1978 (later founding the Private Music label), and was replaced briefly by keyboard player Steve Jolliffe and then Johannes Schmoelling, another important member of Tangerine Dream who would stay until the mid-'80s. In 1980, the Froese/Franke/Schmoelling lineup was unveiled at the Palast der Republik in East Berlin, the first live performance by a Western group behind the Iron Curtain. Tangerine Dream also performed live on TV with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra one year later, and premiered their studio work on 1980's Tangram.

Mike Oldfield had shown the effectiveness of using new instrumental music forms as a bed for film on Tubular Bells, and in 1977 The Exorcist's director, William Friedkin, had tapped Tangerine Dream for soundtrack work on his film Sorcerer. By the time the new lineup stabilized in 1981, Hollywood was knocking on the band's door; Tangerine Dream worked on more than 30 film soundtracks during the 1980s, among them Risky Business, The Keep, Flashpoint, Firestarter, Vision Quest, and Legend. If the idea of stand-alone electronic music hadn't entered the minds of mainstream America before this time, the large success of these soundtracks (especially Risky Business) entrenched the idea and proved enormously influential to soundtrack composers from all fields.

Despite all the jetting between Hollywood and Berlin, the group continued to record proper LPs and tour the world as well. Hyperborea, released in 1983, was their last album for Virgin, and a move to Zomba/Jive Records signaled several serious changes for the band during the late '80s. After the first Zomba release (a live concert recorded in Warsaw), 1985's Le Parc marked the first time Tangerine Dream had flirted with sampling technology. The use of sampled material was an important decision to make for a group that had always investigated the philosophy of sound and music with much care, though Le Parc was a considerable success -- both fans and critics calling it their best LP in a decade. Tyger, released in 1987, featured more vocals than any previous Tangerine Dream LP, and many of the group's fans were quite dispirited in their disfavor.

Schmoelling left in 1988, to be replaced by the classically trained Paul Haslinger and (for a brief time) Ralf Wadephul. Optical Race, released in 1988, was the first Tangerine Dream album to appear on old bandmate Peter Baumann's Private Music label. Several more albums followed for the label, after which Haslinger left to work on composing film scores in Los Angeles. His replacement, and the only other permanent member of Tangerine Dream in the years to follow, was Edgar's son Jerome Froese (whose photo had graced the cover of several TD albums in the past). Another record label change, to Miramar, preceded the release of 1992's Rockoon, which earned Tangerine Dream one of their seven total Grammy nominations. The duo continued to record and release live albums, remix albums, studio albums, and soundtracks at the rate of about two releases per year into the late '90s. Meanwhile, the influence of Tangerine Dream's '70s releases upon a generation of electronica and dance artists became increasingly evident, from the Orb's indebted ambient techno to DJ Shadow's sampling of Stratosfear's "Invisible Limits," heard on "Changeling," from 1996's Endtroducing....

During the early 2000s, new material surfaced at a slightly slower rate. In addition to a handful of studio albums -- including 2005's Jeanne d'Arc, for which Froese was first joined by Thorsten Quaeschning, a musician who would figure into several subsequent TD releases -- and a couple soundtracks (Great Wall of China, Mota Atma), there was "the Dante trilogy" (Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso, released from 2002 through 2006) and the five-part "atomic seasons" (with titles like Springtime in Nagasaki and Winter in Hiroshima, created for a Japanese man who survived the bombings of both cities). During these years, keeping tabs on archival releases, both live and studio, was more challenging than ever; most prominently, there was The Bootmoon Series, comprising audience and soundboard recordings of performances dating back to 1977, as well as reissues of the first four albums and several anthologies. Despite so much focus on the past, epitomized by 40th anniversary concerts that took place in 2007, Tangerine Dream remained equally connected to the present. Sadly, however, the group's long journey under the continued creative guidance of Edgar Froese came to an end when Froese died suddenly of a pulmonary embolism in Vienna in January 2015 at the age of 70. ~ John Bush, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography


Track List: Pergamon


Track List: Tangram


Track List: Ricochet


I love this song
RIP Edgar - a unique light in music..
RIP Edgar, great music was made, great times were accompanied by it.
thank you v i d i n g much of the soundtrack to my life.... Will never forget.
R.I.P. Edgar Froese...
Its been awhile since I've heard this........ s t i l l grabs hold and transports me to a grand mental place ummmmmm : )
The discography has most of their studio albums, however, there is a dearth of their soundtrack music.
I remember going to Tangerine Dreams first concert in the US at Avery Fisher Hall in NYC. The energy and the excitement of TDs rhythmic and atmospheric aural journeys was so cutting edge. Everyone in the audience knew that we were hearing the creation of a new realm of music. Tangerine Dream was to become benchmark for electronic music.
td rules don't forget legend flashpoint and miracle mile soundtracks aaa Pandora rules thank you defilippis
Where does Pandora hire the guys who write these biographies? There was no mention at all of one of TD's finest 80s albums, 1986's UNDERWATER SUNLIGHT. I was fortunate to catch them on this tour in June of that year in Kansas City; it was a spectral evening. ALSO, Johannes Schmoelling did NOT leave the group in 1988; he left in either late 1985 or early 1986, because when I caught the UNDERWATER SUNLIGHT concert, Paul Haslinger had just joined the band AND had recorded on the aforemention e d LP.
I saw the Santa Monica Civic show...
I saw them in San Diego, can't remember the year, but it was later than '80. Andy Summers (sp?) opened for them.

Let's face it. TD pretty much invented the style. They have been doing this LONG before it ever became semi-popular . I want to do the Cruise to the Edge cruise in 2015. Don't know if I can make it.
Saw them around 1980 at the Santa Monica Civic, anybody else see that show???
Try this similar artist: http://www.p a n d o r a . c o m / h u g o - v a z q u e z
Saw them once back in the 90s. I sat in my seat mesmerized for the entire performance.
Rubycon sounds like a soundtrack between Night of the Living Dead and Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things.
Where's Underwater Sunlight? That is my all time favorite album when going up to the high mountains. I was imprinted with it every time my father would play it heading up into the Sierras; as well as Stratosphere : )
The movie Thief was my intro to TD. Went out and bought soundtrack that night. Favorite piece is when Caan goes ballistic at the end.
I remember taking my then girlfriend (now wife) to see TD in Wash DC in the early 90's...she took one look at the stage arrayed with three imposing stacks of sequencers and related gear and looked at me with a wtf, what are you getting me into? I was turned on to Froese and TD around '81, late to the party to be sure, but not too late, but she was clueless...b i g hair bands were her strike zone. Man was she blown away. The soundtrack to Sorcerer (movie was excellent to) is one of my favorites..
Mr. Nitti and any who hold with him should remember T,D(and I love the early stuff dearly), didn't release vinyl until about eight years after Pink Floyd. There is , I think a great difference in the direction of space their music is aimed at . Before T.D. morphed into a synth pop band leaving more cosmological experiments behind ; Pink Floyd has always delved into the inner space of madness ; micro versus macroscopic pan -dimensional i t y . Both valid but different as apples and asteroids.
Hello you people out there, glad you like the station, I so old I cannot remember when I started listening to TD
the best of Fosse was Valentin Wheels Love the guitar work
Thanks all....have tried all your ideas. Nothing yet. :/
they have stratosfear in the discography. . .
Above there are a lot of TD albums missing guys like Stratosfear, Optical Race, Oasis, Underwater Sunlight, of course Stuntman should be there too. Have anyone ever seen the Video Canyon Dreams ?
simply great
First introduced to TD in the early 80s by a flatmate who played it very loud. Has been part of my music collection ever since, and proportion is increasing all the time. Don't care which era it is from - it's all great. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then TD should be very flattered.
Don't forget the soundtrack sorcerer very hood
Hey everyone you should try and get all the early TD tunes they are long play sounds and way Ahead of the Time. In hearing Them, I felt Pink Floyd was corny, good,
but not On the Edge of New Thinking in Sounds.
Anyone know if max sedgley sampled T.D. on his track slowly?
Also, wishing RUBICON were among the selected discography. One of their finest. I never get tired of listening to it.
@Suz - I think you are thinking of Jean-Michel Jarre - 'Equinoxe' - go to this link, and go to 34:05 and see if this is the song you are thinking of...http:// y o u t u . b e / u c N 2 X - j t x Z E
It certainly could be TD, though I'm not coming up with it.

However, and this is way our of left field, that sounds like part of the last long track on the King Crimson album, Lizard. If there were no vocals, then that is wrong, but if there was some vocals followed a long instrumental stretch including the carnival sounds, then that could be it.
Suz - Is it this?: http://www.y o u t u b e . c o m / w a t c h ? v = L H 8 t e 9 W v i - c
Old School hears and knows the Magic, I've been with them at the start ,
Now look what they Done,
The New School! Thanks To Pandora for Keeping them Alive!
I have been searching for a song that I heard 20 yrs ago - I think it's by Tangerine Dreams but not sure. The song reminds me of the carnival type music....tem p o goes up and down like a merry go round. Does any know what I'm talking about?
I wish Rubycon was in the selected discography: a bit of a trance beat, a bit of Ravel, and a whole lot of something original.
Don't read this because it actually works. You will get kissed on the nearest friday by the love of youre life. tommorow will be the best day of your life. however if you do not post this comment to at least 3 songs you will die in 2 days. now youve started reading this so don't stop. this is so scary put this in at least 5 songs in at least 143 minutes when if done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is scary cuz it actually work
Check them out on youtube. Iris Camaa is amazing on the drums.
FRANK VOLPE,f.r.c. (A.M.O.R.C. Org.). Adds to daily DREAM of INSTANT MEDITION.!!! ! ! !
First heard the band on WNEW FM radio listening to Alison Steele the nightbird. She played Phaedra and I was hooked. No one in the US was doing stuff like this and to this day no one has...
TD has been with me since I was a young boy back in the 70s. A very outstanding trip.
A different recording than I'm used to- I prefer the original as it has a lonlier feel to it...
Tangerine Dream is genius.
petern.bryan t
I saw TD at the Albert Hall London in 1975. A high point of their performance was when the musicians walked off the stage leaving their synthesizers to play by themselves! PCelt
met edgar in LA and steve roach in studio on sunset blvd. in 81 aprox. Turned on to some weed
Yes, the TD soundtrack to the wonderful Ridley Scott movie, LEGEND. It was supposed to have been released in the US with a Jerry Goldsmith soundtrack, but happy they used the TD version. The music completely compliments what is taking place on camera. If you haven't seen this film, yet, you should find a copy, it is beautifully scripted, acted and directed.
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