I’ve often thought that the 80s were Tangerine Dream’s best decade. In the 70s they were too experimental, and in the 90s they become too commercial-sounding and bland. It’s worth remembering who the members were during that time. Johannes Schmoelling was in TD from 1979 to 1985, then Paul Haslinger was a member from 1985 to 1990. I would like to take a look at some key moments from Tangerine Dream’s discography during these times.
Johannes Schmoelling Era Tangerine Dream
Choronzon (from the album Exit, 1981)
I don’t think Tangerine Dream had really done anything quite as accessible and catchy as this before.
White Eagle (1982)
There’s something quite hypnotic and dreamy about this one. I love how the drifting pads wash over the melodic sequence, and how it seems to keep changing key.
I just love those dreamy chords! There’s something rather spooky about this one though…
Polish Dance (excerpt from Poland live album, 1984)
I’ve always thought this was the best part of the Poland album. I’ve also thought it is somewhat similar to Choronzon.
Le Parc (1985)
An alternate version of this was used as the theme tune for the TV series Streethawk:
Johannes Schmoelling After Tangerine Dream
A Long Time Ago (2006)
I love that synth lead that comes in about half way through.
Loom – Rejuvination (2013)
There’s a lovely tune in here.
I’m struggling to find much else by Johannes Schmoelling that sounds much like his music while in Tangerine dream, so now i’m wondering whether my theory really holds up.
Paul Haslinger Era Tangerine Dream
Dolphin Dance (1986)
I love those big chords at the beginning and the end. The whole piece is worth it just for those moments alone.
Cat Scan (1988)
Typical 80s style beat and chords, but I love it!
The Midnight Trail (1988)
Again, this sounds so 80s, but it’s great! I love the long build-up, then the 2nd half. It sounds like the theme music to some 80s TV show.
Paul Haslinger After Tangerine Dream
Eternity and a Day (2003)
I know this is not like Tangerine Dream, but it’s beautiful and still shows what a talented composer Paul Haslinger is.
But I can’t find any of his solo music that sounds anything like Tangerine dream, so my theory may actually be complete nonsense. What do you think? Feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section below.
All the best,