Plays Tangerine Dream features re-recordings by several present and past members of the band. This issue will start with a more classic approach to 13 songs created within the 40 years timespan of one of the most creative bands around. The songs are re-performed partly by the original composer or by musicians who had been or still are associated with the band. Plays Tangerine Dream can be taken as a synonym for travelling back and forwards within the groups unlimited sound universe.
Electronic Meditation, Tangerine Dream's debut album, features the lineup of Edgar Froese, Conrad Schnitzler, and Klaus Schulze (his only album with Tangerine Dream). The album is not without its flaws, but it's strong in many ways and shows abundant promise. Wildly experimental timbres, passages, and textures dominate this sound world. Bringing a rock & roll effort to a decidedly avant-garde sound, the album manages to be very accessible and hard to dislike. Of those who were working at the same time, Electronic Meditation is most similar to the music of Pink Floyd and Amon Düül.
Pergamon, originally simply released as Quichotte (1980) with two parts "Quichotte" - Part one and two, is the third live album and fourteenth overall by Tangerine Dream. It consists of two long tracks of partly improvised music. Themes from the album Tangram can be heard throughout the album, as the concert took place during the process of preparing material for that studio album. Edgar Froese and Chris Franke had remixed and edited the music in East Berlin as part of the original deal. The original, untouched evening concert (taken from a radio broadcast) has been fan-released as Tangerine Tree Volume 17: East Berlin 1980 and is considerably different from the official album release…
"Soundmill Navigator", a Tangerine Dream Classics Edition, contains a vintage live recording from 1976, where the trio Baumann, Froese and Franke performed a concert at the Philharmonics.The almost 42-minute track finds the musicians in good spirits, as the set features lots of mellotron and antique sound textures, which are later on accompanied by some nice sequencing. Halfway, Edgar’s typical guitar soloing is added as well. Music wise, "Soundmill Navigator" the space ambient contains lost of elements and characteristics from their albums "Ricochet" and "Encore".
In a sense, Tangerine Dream's 2008 album, "Views from a Red Train", is an updated version of Edgar Froese's solo album "Macula Transfer" of 1976 in that many of the tracks were composed by Froese whilst killing time on the road, either in airport departure lounges, motel rooms, or simply visiting tourist spots. Happily, the result this time is an altogether more mature and developed affair, even than the solo album's 2005 rehash. The new album benefits hugely from substantial contributions from regular TD collaborating artists in addition to the composer: Bernhard Beibl provides characteristically flashy and flamboyant guitar work on a handful of tracks, complementing Edgar Froese's own intoxicating melodic riffs to perfection…
"Purgatorio" is the second part of Tangerine Dream's three part interpretation of Dante's "La Divina Commedia". Unlike the other two parts of the trilogy which were recorded live, this double CD set, running to over 130 minutes, is a studio recording. Once again (as with "Inferno"), the piece is primarily in the form of an oratorio, with seven guest female vocalists. These singers are a mixture of altos and sopranos, all with beautiful, classically trained voices.
GREEN SUMMER CLOUDS is a completely new track of about 18 min composed by Edgar and Thorsten as well is REACHING RAVENNA of more than 15 min. NEMESIS is a beautiful track by Edgar alone, so far unreleased and all the others are newly arranged.
The last TD production with Johannes Schmoelling was the soundtrack for Ridley Scott's movie Legend, starring Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Currie and David Bennent. Jerry Goldsmith was the original composer of the music for Legend, but Universal Studios decided they wanted a more modern sounding music and contracted with TD, Jon Anderson (singer of Yes) and Bryan Ferry (formerly with Roxy Music) to supply new music. The TD score was used for the North American version of the film only, thus the TD soundtrack was released 1986 in USA and Canada only. All other world-wide releases used the Goldsmith film score.
From mid October to late November 1982, TD toured in Europe performing 31 gigs at all in Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, the UK, Belgium, West and East Germany. The concert at the Dominion Theatre in London was released only a few weeks after on the record Logos Live. According to Johannes Schmoelling, this is one of his favourite albums. He considers "the live concept and the smooth transition between one idea and the next to be the key of the album's success." In 1995 Virgin re-released the album on CD in the so-called "Definitive Edition" series, featuring the original front cover artwork. For this release, the two compositions Logos, Part One and Logos, Part Two have been mixed together, forming the track Logos of some 45 minutes length.
Live Miles consists of two parts, which were both recorded live. "Livemiles I" was recorded during the American tour of 1986, while "Livemiles II" was captured at a concert to commemorate the 750th anniversary of Berlin. As usual with TD, the audience had no clue of what they were going to experience while attending one of those concerts. During that era it was rather common for TD to improvise much of the music on the spot. So when you listen to a live record of TD you mostly hear new music that isn't available as a studio version. The extended pieces displayed on Live Miles cover many musical moods and textures throughout the playing time of almost half an hour: from slow and haunting, through up-tempo and uplifting; from driving and percussive, to grand and majestic. It's all present on both tracks!