"Tangerine Dream… are a band I think deserve at least more credit than they generally get. I mean, it's always Can that everybody cites as an influence, and yet when you listen to the records, you think, 'I suspect you've heard one or two Tangerine Dream records as well down the line'." (Peel discusses four influential artists he will be writing about for an unnamed Sunday newspaper, 23 May 1997 (BFBS))

Tangerine Dream "Atem"

Tangerine Dream "Atem"

Atem, from Peel's 1973 album of the year

Tangerine Dream is a German electronic music group founded in 1967 by Edgar Froese. The band has undergone many personnel changes over the years, with Froese being the only continuous member until his death in January 2015. ... Tangerine Dream's early "Pink Years" albums had a pivotal role in the development of Krautrock. Their "Virgin Years" and later albums became a defining influence in the genre known as New Age music... (read more at Wikipedia)

Links To Peel

Peel named Tangerine Dream's 'Atem' as his album of the year for 1973.

Due to gaps in the available tracklistings archive, it is not known precisely when Peel started playing Tangerine Dream, but in October 1974 he claimed to have given Radio One airtime to the band's 'Electronic Meditation' debut LP (1970) at the time of release, " about three years ago, longer than that actually".[1] In an article on ‘Kosmische Music’ in the Listener on 1973-04-12 (later republished in The Olivetti Chronicles), he commented:

“For my money, Tangerine Dream are the best of the Kosmische Music bands. Whenever any of their extended works are played on the radio there is a heavy mail from listeners. Most of the letter-writers are for it, those that are against it are very against it indeed. A Tangerine Dream track, heard superficially, is little more than a repetitive drone. Closer listening reveals a constantly shifting and evolving pattern – something like Terry Riley’s ‘In C’ [played by Peel 28 May 1969].”

In the mid-80s, he explained more about the attraction of the band to producer John Walters:

“Things like ‘Set Controls For The Heart Of The Sun’ [by Pink Floyd] I still quite like to hear from time to time. And bands like Neu in particular and then a few years later Tangerine Dream seemed to be taking that kind of spirit just perhaps a little further, and stripping it down rather than adding anything to it. I think perhaps the tendency with other people was to add more stuff to it and make the thing more cumbersome and top-heavy and ultimately rather embarrassing. So it was perhaps looking for a distillation rather than an elaboration.”
(Peeling Back The Years 3 (Transcript))

Back in 1973, Peel’s enthusiasm helped to bring the band to the attention to the fledgling Virgin record label:

“Atem, their third album, was hailed by John Peel as his favourite record of 1973. Virgin Records, in those days a mail-order company specialising in import albums from Europe, shifted more than 15,000 Tangerine Dream albums through the post. Richard Branson realised the band were perfect candidates to launch his record label and shape a distinct identity for it. Froese recalls Simon Draper, Virgin's A&R chief and aesthetic helmsman, 'ringing me in Berlin to say this BBC radio guy Peel was playing Atem to death. Two days later I sat with Branson on the stairs of his Notting Hill Gate record store and signed a contract which was in power from 1973 to 1983'.”
(Simon Reynolds: Kings of the cosmos, Observer Music Weekly, 2007-04-22)



Peel introducing Tangerine Dream in October 1974 at the Rainbow Theatre in London

Tangerine Dream’s first two albums on Virgin, Phaedra (1974) and Rubycon (1975), were both successful in the UK album charts [2] and each would also find a place in Peel's end of year lists [3] [4]. In October 1974, Peel introduced the band at the Rainbow Theatre in London and 6 months later introduced them again at the Royal Albert Hall, as later heard on the The Bootleg Box Set, Vol. 1 release. He subsequently recalled attending a concert by them with Richard Branson later in 1975 at York Minster (see 23 February 2000).[1]

With the arrival of punk, however, the band’s popularity in the UK faded and Peel’s interest also moved elsewhere, although he would play them occasionally in the following decades and continued to recognize their enduring musical influence.

Festive Fifty Entries

  • None


1. Recording date: unknown (private tape). First broadcast: 21 February 1974. Repeat: 11 April 1974

  • Mysterious Semblance At The Strand Of Nightmares / Movements Of A Visionary / Sequent C / Phaedra

2. Recording Date: unknown (private tape). First broadcast: 11 July 1974. Repeated: 29 August 1974

  • Overture / Zeus / Baroque

Other Shows Played

The list below is compiled only from the database of this site, Lorcan's Tracklistings Archive and Ken Garner's The Peel Sessions. Please add further information if known.

  • 03 April 1973: Fly and Collision of Comas Sola (LP – Alpha Centauri) Polydor
  • 10 April 1973: Sunrise In The Third System (LP – Alpha Centauri) Polydor
  • 17 April 1973: Fly And Collision Of Comas Sola (LP – Alpha Centauri) Polydor
  • 24 May 1973: Wahn (LP – Atem) Ohr
  • 29 May 1973: Circulation Of Events (LP – Atem) Ohr
  • 05 June 1973: Fauni-Gena (LP - Atem) Polydor
  • 24 July 1973: Sunrise In The Third System (LP - Alpha Centauri) Polydor
1980s and after
Edgar Froese

See Also

External Links


  1. In Partners In Dispute, he recalled taking members of the local Stowmarket youth club to the same gig.
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