(Edgar Froese, with Klaus Schulze (drums)
lates 60s/early 70s) -
Edgar Froese studied sculpture in Berlin during the 60s, fining himself
living a rather bohemian livestyle. He formed a rock band called
The Ones, later Tangerine Dream, playing at
even giving performances at Salvador
Dali's parties in Cadaques. Frustrated by playing british and american
rock, he got part of a german avantgarde movement, looking for
his own way of musical expression. The recored label Ohr ( = ear),
which turned out to be criminal, putting musicians under LSD without
their knowledge, and recording and publishing such kind of session
parties, surprisingly published a (low quality) session tape as
Electronic Meditation. This was never intended for release.
I'm not sure whether you like it - I start this sampler with the
track Genesis. Electronic Meditation features
Conrad Schnitzler on Cello, and young Berlin drummer Klaus Schulze,
who happened to lift off an incredible solo carier afterwards (until
(Edgar Froese, Peter Baumann, Chris
Franke, early 70s) -
What followed are a lot of experiments. Chris Franke took over
drums on the next album Alpha Centauri as well as some
electronic devices which just came up on the music market and fitted
very well into Tangerine Dream's concept of an avantgarde band (TD
was never intended to be electronic in the first place!). He happened
to stay with the band for the next 17 years, so there is the
nucleus ``Froese/Franke''. Berlin keyboarder Peter Baumann would join
for the third album Zeit ( = time), which, together with
the subsequent Atem ( = breath) marks the most experimental
period of the band's history. I copied one track of each album here.
Sunrise... has got a wonderful organ. I would have loved to
tape the title track Alpha Centauri, but it wouldn't fit on
the tape together with Zeit which I definetly wanted to have
on the tape. I once introduced this track in our music class at school,
from then on most of my school comrads took me for crazy. Wahn
is a bit atypical, but features great drumming!
(Peter Baumann) -
Peter Baumann left to some trip to Tibet. Froese and Franke thought
he'd never come back and recorded Green Desert. Since
Baumann did come back, the release of this album was postponed until
1986 (!). It somehow goes a step back to rock, demonstrating Froese's
really cool guitar and Franke's immense qualities as a drummer. For
the next years, it was Froese's affection to play mostly mellotron - a keyboard
which isn't actually electronic but plays tapes with pre-recorded sounds
(flutes, strings, choirs), whereas Franke specialized very much on
purely electronic sound generation, and sequencers - a device, today
completely digital - capable of storing notes and calling them automatically.
This makes the driving hypnotic and repetitive rythms of the subquent
albums which should become real classics!
(Chris Franke) -
These are the albums Phaedra (you've got this completely on this
strange CD), Rubycon, and Ricochet. These belong to
my absolute favourites. Ricochet Part II made me a fan (I was about 15
years old and didn't wanted to hear any other music anymore). Rubycon
Part II is really scary - listen to it loud and in the dark - if you're
brave! Ricochet summarizes lots of concerts which were completely
improvised! Stratosfear (you've got the title track on CD,
but I like the other three tracks much more) is more structured.
During that time, they've got the offer to do a movie soundtrack for
William Fredkin (The Exorcist). The movie - Sorcerer - is a crappy
remake of the french ``Wages of Fear'', but the music is great. I don't
put it on the tape, however (for reasons of space).
(Edgar Froese) -
An american tour was very successful, thus the album Encore.
Baumann left the band after some personal differences.
This changed TD. Froese and Franke tried something new and hired
Steve Jolliffe, flutist and singer, and recorded Cyclone,
reputed as the worst TD album though I don't agree. The 70s end
for TD with Force Majeure, featuring Klaus Krieger on drums.
A poll among TD fans showed this album as the most popular, which
is strange since it is more rock-oriented and not much in the style
of the previous albums. It is
excellent, and I had to put the complete Force Majeure track on here.
(Schmoelling, Franke, Froese) -
A second major era started with Johannes Schmoelling as a third member.
Johannes Schmoelling is a studied musician and sound engineer and worked as a
stage sound technician. His influence on the TD sound is evident on
the 1980 album Tangram. His debut were two remarkable concerts
in East Berlin - the first ever for a german band there (though not
much in the press since TD ain't `popular' enough). It was released
as Pergamon. The soundtrack Thief established a
good relationship with film producer Michael Mann, who wanted to hire
TD later for the Miami Vice soundtrack (but TD was already busy with
another TV show which became less famous...). At that time, Froese and
David Bowie were interested in a collaboration, but they simply couldn't
get together. Being involved in the
early 80s peace movement, TD recorded Exit and distributed it
for free to many seleced people of all social `classes' in east Europe
and the Soviet Union. The beautiful title track
of White Eagle happened
to become their only german top ten hit as the soundtrack of a popular
german TV show.
(Chris Franke, behind him tons of
analog and digital sequencers) -
The early 80s were extremely productive, with a lot of concerts
(documented on Logos and Poland), ongoing regular
studio albums (Hyperborea and Le Parc), and
a lots of soundtrack work to keep the money coming in for all
the expensive equipement. Meanwhile, TD had not only all kinds of
music technology available, they even developed them, inventing new kinds
of sound synthesis in collaboration with the industry. They are
still inputting industry with ideas for electronic instruments.
Le Parc is - by the way - a dedication to some parcs in
the world they've happened to visit on their world tours.
``Yellowstone Park'' features - besides an artificial one - the
voice of Clare Torry, who sings also on ``The Great Gig in the Sky''
on Pink Floyd's ``Dark Side of the Moon''.
(Haslinger, Franke, Froese) -
Johannes Schmoelling got a bit bored and probably also overload with
the tour-album-tour-album schedule, quitted TD, made some very good
solo albums, and finally returned to his old job as a theater stage
sound technician. Some young Austrian guy, Paul Haslinger, studied
pianist from Vienna (!), should join and debuted on one of the best albums
ever made by TD: Underwater Sunlight. Convince yourself
with Song of the Whale.
Afterwards, Froese dared to use vocals again, but this time it should
be poetry: Tyger features lyrics by William Blake. The
audience hated this album, so did the singer whose bad attitude
jeopardized the project. I, however, love it (London).
A concert on the 1st of August 1987 in Berlin happened to be the last
one for Chris Franke, who, after 17 years, didn't agree anymore with
Edgar Froese. He is now a purely movie soundtrack producer in Los
Angeles, his biggest success the soundtrack of Scott's (and many
others) favourite Science Fiction show 'Babylon 5'. The soundtrack
of the nature video Canyon Dreams to which he contributed,
was released later.
TD became more pop-oriented meanwhile, with Optical Race,
a fantastic album (note the incredible driving triole-groove in
Marakesh!), Lily on the Beach, and Melrose.
I don't have the latter two albums on CD, so no tracks of them here.
Lily on the Beach is pretty horrible anyway (though brilliant
sound), and Melrose features some great tracks, but...
(Linda Spa, Jerome Froese, Edgar Froese) -
Paul Haslinger decided to stay in America, and Edgar Froese's son
Jerome became a member of the band - a father and son duo. He sneaked
in already on Melrose. The next album was Rockoon,
awful album, but with one wonderful track: Graffiti Street.
Together with guitarist Zlatko Perica and austrian ex-model, keyboarder
and, in the first place, saxophonist Linda Spa, they recorded
Turn of the Tides and the live album 220 Volt.
Again only some favourite tracks (especially the cool Froese guitar on
Hamlet). Catwalk on Tyranny of Beauty happened to
be performed live on a fashion show in L.A., and - but not live - in
a very good restaurant in Palermo I've been in together with Duncan
last May. I dropped my cutlery when I recognized this!
(setting up for a concert in 1997) -
The last year has seen the album Goblin's Club. I arranged the
tracks on the 2nd side of the last tape not in chronolocial order, and
also made a somewhat different selection than the 'best of', in order
to give the tape some nice structure in the develpement of climaxes.
I finish the tape with a special piece of a limited mini-CD sold on
their recent tour. The tour features
again guitarist Zlatko Perica, and drummer Emil Hachfeld, a school-comrad
of Jerome. He played some acoustic drums and percussion (not a drum
kit where you sit at, but he was standing having all this stuff around him).
These acoustic drums are partly electronically processed and make an
incredible strange and good sound! There will be the live album
Tournado soon on which you can experience a drum solo of him,
plus a couple of dance-mixes - yes: dance-mixes - of their recent stuff.
Edgar and Jerome did this just for fun and - meanwhile publishing under
their own label - spontaneously released it as The Dream Mixes.
I did not put this on here, but the track Flashflood of the
video soundtrack Oasis may give you some vague idea.
Very good to read are the biography and `Colleagues...' sections on
the Tangerine Dream official homepage at
You can also find soundfiles of each album there (in RealAudio format).
Hope I didn't bore you too much