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Tangerine Dream

The Virgin Years 1974-1978

- Set/Compilation, released January 2011 -


CD release Europe 2011



Recording date1974 - 1978


Just missing the Christmas business, Virgin started the year 2011 with a new boxed set, featuring five Tangerine Dream albums of the seventies:Given the quite short running times of TD releases of that period, all five albums easily fit on the three CDs of this box set, leaving enough spare room for a number of bonus tracks to be added:


  • The first disc features the complete material from Phaedra and Rubycon, as released on the original albums.
  • Disc two starts with three bonus tracks, the first being the excerpt from Rubycon, Part Two that originally was released on the vinyl-only boxed set '70-'80 (1980), the other two being the two edits from Rubycon, Part One that were released as 7" single Extracts From "Rubycon" (1975) in Australia. The material then continues with the album Ricochet in full length as well as the first two tracks (making side one of original vinyl release) from Stratosfear.
  • The third disk continues with the remaining two album tracks from Stratosfear, followed by two bonus tracks, this time the single edits from the Stratosfear/The Big Sleep In Search Of Hades (1976) vinyl release. Then the complete material from the album Cyclone is featured, followed by an excerpt from that album that again was released on '70-'80. The disc closes with two original radio adverts, one for Phaedra, the other for Rubycon. By the way, the latter had been censored by the Independent Broadcasting Authority (the regulatory body in the United Kingdom for commercial television) as it apparently featured the sound of a car crashing, followed by the voice of an announcer saying "Don't ask a man to dream and drive".


Given the fact that the bonus tracks are merely edited excerpts from the original albums this box set does not feature any 'must have' for the TD fan; on the other hand, none of the edits had been previously released on CD, so at least they make a nice addition to this box set.


The cover of the box features the reworked artwork from Stratosfear, nicely incorporating the covers from the featured albums. The eight page booklet features the double side photography from the Cyclone gatefold cover (showing the 1978 TD line-up of Klaus Krüger, Edgar Froese, Chris Franke and Steve Jolliffe) as well as the original front covers of the five albums and their original credits. The three discs are designed very similar to the labels of the Extracts From "Rubycon" single mentioned above.


Liner notes"This set collects together the five LPs that Tangerine Dream recorded for Virgin Records between 1974 and 1978. Strating with 1974's Phaedra the German electronic music pioneers international breakthrough album (reaching No. 15 in the UK charts), this pivotal release was followed a year later by the equally well received Rubycon. Utilizing the the revolutionary technology, such as electronic organs, Moog synthesizers and Mellotron keyboards, among other instruments, Peter Baumann, Chris Franke, and founder member and Tangerine Dream mainstay Edgar Froese, would often imprivise live, such as the concert recordings from their 1975 European tour that make up their third Virgin LP, Ricochet, issued at the end of that year. Combining acoustic instruments with their traditional battery of electronica, the trio created a more melodic sound for 1976's Stratosfear. This collection finishes with 1978's Cyclone, a major change of direction, marking not only the departure of Peter Baumann, but the addition of vocalist Steve Jolliffe and percussion from Klaus Krüger. These five highly influential albums are augmented by rare single releases and 7" edits, as well as two rarely heard contemporary radio adverts."


A collector, expecting a chronological order of the material, might be puzzled about the fact that both TD's first soundtrack album Sorcerer (1977) and the essential live album Encore (1977) have been left out -- they even are not mentioned at all in the liner notes (see above). Regarding Sorcerer, there might be copyright issues preventing Virgin from re-releasing this album (as it had been released by MCA originally). On the other hand, featuring the double album Encore instead of Cyclone might have gone beyond the scope of a three-disc set, The Virgin Years 1974-1978 might be bound for. So Encore was released a year later as part of the The Virgin Years 1977-1983 box set.


While the European version of this compilation comes in a standard triple jewel box, the Japanese SHM-CD version is issued in cardboard sleeves.


2011: Virgin/EMI
3CD: 50999 9 08637 2 1; triple jewel case; white/black discs; identical to UK release
2011: Toshiba-EMI
3SHM-CD: VJCP-98012; cardboard sleeve, obis
2011: Virgin/EMI
3CD: VTDX 7478; triple jewel case; white/black discs; identical to European release
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