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Tangerine Dream

Without doubt, the recordings of Tangerine Dream have made the greatest impact on the widest variety ofinstrumental music during the 1980s and '90s, ranging from the most atmospheric new age and space musicto the harshest abrasions of electronic dance. Founded in 1967 by Edgar Froese in Berlin, the group hasprogressed 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; starksequencer trance during the mid- to late '70s, the group's most influen ...read more

Without doubt, the recordings of Tangerine Dream have made the greatest impact on the widest variety ofinstrumental music during the 1980s and '90s, ranging from the most atmospheric new age and space musicto the harshest abrasions of electronic dance. Founded in 1967 by Edgar Froese in Berlin, the group hasprogressed 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; starksequencer trance during the mid- to late '70s, the group's most influential period; an organic form ofinstrumental music on their frequent film and studio work during the 1980s; and, finally, a more propulsivedance style, which showed Tangerine Dream with a sound quite similar to their electronic inheritors in the fieldof dance music.

Froese, born in Tilsit, East Prussia in 1944, was little influenced by music while growing up. Instead, he lookedto 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 Spainduring the mid-'60s and began to entertain the notion of combining his artistic and literary influences withmusic; Froese played in a musical combo called the Ones, which recorded just one single before dissolving in1967. The first lineup of Tangerine Dream formed later that year, with Froese on guitar, bassist KurtHerkenberg, drummer Lanse Hapshash, flutist Voker Hombach and Charlie Prince. The quintet aligned itselfwith contemporary American acid rock (the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane), and played around Berlin atvarious student events. The lineup lasted only two years, and by 1969 Froese had recruited wind playerConrad Schnitzler and drummer Klaus Schulze. One of the trio's early rehearsals, not originally intended forrelease, became the first Tangerine Dream LP when Germany's Ohr Records issued Electronic Meditation inJune 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 asparse, experimentalist atmosphere.

Both Schulze and Schnitzler left for solo careers later in 1970, and Froese replaced them the following yearwith drummer Christopher Franke and organist Steve Schroeder. When Schroeder left a year later, TangerineDream 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 Frankewould 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 growingaffinity 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 ithis LP of the year, and the group signed a five-year contract with Richard Branson's Virgin Records. Thoughless than a year old, Virgin had already become a major player in the recording industry, thanks to themassive 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 an milestone not only for the group, but forinstrumental music. Branson had allowed the group free rein at Virgin's Manor Studios, where they used Moogsynthesizers and sequencers for the first time; the result was a relentless, trance-inducing barrage of rhythmand 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 torock & roll in any form), Phaedra broke into the British Top 20 and earned Tangerine Dream a large globalaudience.

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

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

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

Despite all the jetting between Hollywood and Berlin, the group continued to record proper LPs and tour theworld as well. Hyperborea, released in 1983, was their last album for Virgin, and a move to Zomba/Jive Recordssignaled several serious changes for the band during the late '80s. After the first Zomba release (a live concertrecorded in Warsaw), 1985's Le Parc marked the first time Tangerine Dream had flirted with samplingtechnology. The use of sampled material was an important decision to make for a group which had alwaysinvestigated 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 thanany 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) RalfWadephul. Optical Race, released in 1988, was the first Tangerine Dream album to appear on old bandmatePeter Baumann's Private Music Records. Several more albums followed for the label, after which Haslinger leftto work on composing filmscores in Los Angeles. His replacement, and the only other permanent member ofTangerine Dream since, was Edgar's son Jerome Froese (whose photo had graced the cover of several TDalbums in the past). Another record-label change, to Miramar, preceded the release of 1992's Rockoon, whichearned Tangerine Dream one of their seven total Grammy nominations. In the mid-'90s, the music ofTangerine Dream increasingly began to reflect the group's influence on a generation of electronica and danceartists. The duo continued to record and release live albums, remix albums, studio albums, and soundtracksat the rate of about two albums per year into the late '90s. Bringing back founding member Edgar Froese forconcerts during this period, the live Inferno documented their performance of Dante's classic novel by thesame name.

Taken from All Music Guide « hide

Similar Bands: Edgar Froese, Klaus Schulze, Johannes Schmoelling , Christopher Franke , Popol Vuh

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Tyger
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Three O'Clock High OST
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Green Desert
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Legend - OST
1985

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Firestarter OST
1984

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Wavelength OST
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3
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Hyperborea
1983

3.6
26 Votes
White Eagle
1982

2.7
18 Votes
Thief OST
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3.3
11 Votes
Exit
1981

3.5
22 Votes
Tangram
1980

3.6
29 Votes
Force Majeure
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3.9
44 Votes
Cyclone
1978

3.5
32 Votes
Sorcerer OST
1977

3.5
20 Votes
Stratosfear
1976

3.9
84 Votes
Rubycon
1975

4.2
149 Votes
Phaedra
1974

4.2
245 Votes
Atem
1973

3.9
48 Votes
Zeit
1972

4
87 Votes
Alpha Centauri
1971

3.8
53 Votes
Electronic Meditation
1970

3.3
41 Votes
Live Albums
Pergamon
1986

3.9
11 Votes
Poland: The Warsaw Concert
1984

3.8
8 Votes
Logos Live
1982

4
8 Votes
Quichotte
1980

4.3
8 Votes
Encore
1977

3.7
18 Votes
Ricochet
1975

4.2
55 Votes

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