I like Tangerine Dream a lot and it’s fair to say they are probably the first music that wasn’t mainstream pop that I was exposed to in my early teens. I used to babysit for my cousin and her Father (my Uncle) Keith had an interesting record collection that I used to dip into whenever I was there. Tangerine Dream were a mainstay of his collection, along with Kraftwerk and a host of other more “out there” and avant-garde musicians that I otherwise would not have had the opportunity to hear.

TANGERINE DREAM Vol 2 low

As I grew up I bought more of the albums from Tangerine Dream and to this day I have to buy second hand vinyl copies of albums I know I already have in the collection.

Now bootlegs are an interesting proposition. As a teenager, a bit older by this time, I had a mate who was obsessed with Led Zep’ and as well as all the official albums he would go down to Barnsley Market when the second-hand market was on and buy dubious vinyl copies of their gigs at what I thought outrageous prices. So, an official bootleg is a bit of a contradiction in terms and could usually be summed up as “dodgy live recordings that weren’t good enough for proper release”.

And so to this collection from Tangerine Dream. You get four CDs that feature a couple of classic concerts, one in Paris in 78 and he other in East Berlin in 1980. You also get a nice illustrated booklet and an essay on the band. It’s well presented and interesting stuff if you are already into the band.

The Paris recording is from March 78 at the Palais de Congrés and features the short lived line-up of Edgar Froese, Chris Franke, Steve Joliffe and Klaus Kreiger on drums. The first CD it has to be said is a bit ropey sound-wise but that shouldn’t matter overly. However, things pick up significantly over the next three CDs and listeners are treated to a good variety of what goes to make Tangerine Dream so special and so influential.

There is the Cyclone era vocals and electric guitar with the Joliffe line up and then you get the more familiar analogue sequencer led sounds that will be more familiar to Dream fans.

OK, this is not a truly great set of records if this is your first foray into the music of Tangerine Dream, but it is essential if you are already a fan of their music as it gives a great insight into what the band must have sounded like live in this period. You do get the impression that the audience are sat in reverence and that the musicians are on stage, heads down and surrounded by banks of synths and whilst the music is somewhat predetermined there does seem to be a degree of improvisation and playing within the tunes.

One for the fan but well worth seeking out.

Stuart Smith

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