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Tangerine Dream

Green Desert

- Studio, released January 1986 -


CD release USA 1986
Artwork: Mark Weinberg

CD release UK 1986

LP release UK 1989

CD release Europe 1996
Artwork: Edgar Froese
Photo: Monique Froese

CD release Europe 2012
Artwork: Mark Weinberg


1.Green Desert 19:25
2.White Clouds 5:01
3.Astral Voyager 7:03
4.Indian Summer 6:53
Total running time38:22


Recording dateAugust 1973
Recording site(s)Skyline Studio (Berlin)
Recording engineer(s)Pete Beaulieu
Composer(s)Edgar Froese, Chris Franke
Musician(s)Edgar Froese, Chris Franke
Producer(s)Edgar Froese


Back in summer 1973 Peter Baumann had left Berlin to travel in Nepal and India, so TD were reduced to the duo Edgar Froese and Chris Franke. Virgin Records in London were impressed by the burgeoning following of the group and wanted to sign them up. In Peter Baumann's absence, Edgar Froese and Chris Franke entered the Skyline Studios in Berlin to record Green Desert, using such devices as a rhythm controller and phaser along with the usual synthesisers and keyboards. As Chris Franke remembers: "The rhythm controller came from Italy and looked like something from science fiction with its console of 128 buttons which all lit up. It could be programmed, it was analogue and it was polyphonic! The lights blinked, I had hands on control and later I used it as a sequencer to trigger other synthesisers."


From 30 Years Of Dreaming

In the summer of 1973, Peter Baumann took a longer journey to Kathmandu in Nepal and India, among other places. Froese and Franke were not restrained by that fact but took the opportunity to record some pieces at the Skyline Studio in Berlin. The music which was to become Green Desert was also made as a sort of demo to show their future record company what they could do. The music was still based on rock instruments like organ, drums and guitar, but it also introduced the sequencer, which was to become the trademark of Tangerine Dream.

There was enough material for a new album, but since Baumann had not been in on the recordings, they agreed to put them aside for a while. I was not put out until 1986 -- and only after Edgar Froese had recorded new voices in 1984, re-recorded some of the music and re-mixed all of it. In 1986 it was finally included in a box with six LPs called In The Beginning. This box was released to mark the first -- well almost -- 10 years of Tangerine Dream as a band.

Due to the very long time under way, it is therefore not exclusively the original material that can be found on the album Green Desert! [...] With the ears of today it sounds a little bit static and slow. It does not seem to reach the same intensity as the other albums from the seventies, but it has its good parts too; it is a little bit more melodic than the previous albums. Even Edgar Froese's very lyrical and melodic way of playing the guitar gets a lot of free space to evolve during the 19 minutes of the title track. Chris Franke makes vivid use of his drums and seems to improvise all the way through the album. This was, however, the last time he made that extensive use of a real drumkit on a Tangerine Dream record; legend has it that he sold his drums soon after these sessions.

© 1999 by Kent Eskildsen


After Peter Baumann had returned, Green Desert was not completed; instead TD began to work on Phaedra that would become their next release. Eventually in 1984, the music material that was to become Green Desert was "found" by Edgar Froese in the archives and reworked to form a complete album. It was remixed using some sounds from the mid-80's, thus the music is more rhythmic and melodic than TD's works from the early 70's. In 1986 the album was released for the first time in album format and as part of the set In The Beginning. The album releases had a totally different cover artwork in the USA and the UK.


Backtracking with Tangerine Dream

Edgar Froese: "There are literally hundreds of hours of unreleased Tangerine Dream music. We own three studios in Germany, and when we're not touring we work in them ten hours a day making music. We have to do music, we can't stop ourselves. Green Desert should have come out before Phaedra. We'd just acquired our first analogue sequencer and were playing around with it, but we got an offer from Virgin Records to use their Manor Studios in 1973, so we abandoned those tapes and started from zero."

(Interview with Johnny Black, thisBEAT, issue 17, April 1986)




Ten years later, in 1996, the CD was re-released, now featuring a completely new cover artwork by Edgar Froese, based on a photograph by Monique Froese. This cover was used for all re-releases during the next years.


In February 2012 the album was re-released by Esoteric Records on their Reactive label as part of a partial re-issue of the TD back catalogue. The album was completely remastered and comes with a nice 16-page booklet including numerous photos plus an essay written by journalist Malcolm Dome. Unlike most of the albums of this re-release series, Green Desert comes without any bonus track. This version features most of the cover artwork of the previous releases: the cardboard wrapper shows the balloon photo by Monique Froese that was used first in 1996; the booklet shows the cover that initially had been used by Relativity Records for the US vinyl release in 1986, while the cover of the UK 1986 version is printed inside the booklet.


1996: Essential/Castle
2003: Sanctuary/Castle
CD: CMRCD633; standard jewel case with additional cardboard wrapper
2012: Reactive/Esoteric
CD: EREACD 1022; standard jewel case with additional cardboard wrapper; multicoloured disc
1986: Jive
LP: ZL 74110; blue labels
199?: ?
Counterfeit-CD: Z 1084; black/green disc
1986: Jive
1989: Jive
LP: HOP 226; blue labels
1986: Relativity Theory
CD: TRCD 8072
1986: Relativity
Promo-LP: 88561-8072-1; black labels, gsc
LP: 88561-8072-1; black labels, some copies with sticker
CD: 88561-8072-2
1996: Sequel/Castle
CD: 1036-2
2000: Castle
2003: Sanctuary
CD: 06076-81257-2
Green Desert was also released as part of the sets In The Beginning and The Blue Years Studio Albums.

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