Tangerine Dream: Ricochet (1975)

I often wondered how Tangerine Dream would reproduce their amorphous tone poems on stage. Ricochet, their first live album, answers that question by avoiding it altogether, instead presenting two sides of completely new music billed simply as Part One and Part Two. In these live shows, Tangerine Dream operated as chemists in a quasi-religious laboratory of their own devising: rows of candles, acid imagery, and the trio encased in banks of synthesizers and sequencers, touching keys and twisting knobs, wizards of electronic magic. As an audiovisual experience, the early TD concerts were a wonder to behold. However, outside of some applause at the beginning and end of Ricochet, the album ceases to be anything but the next album from Tangerine Dream. Electronic sounds percolate, patterns shift, loops rise and fall, drums and cymbals come crashing in, and listeners strap themselves in for another space journey. In a developmental sense, Ricochet breaks little new ground, instead returning to the ebb and flow of electronica until a new organism should come bubbling out of it as an “Invisible Limits” or “Madrigal Meridian.” Part One is the darker of the two pieces, a deep space trip in the vicinity of Phaedra. Part Two is brighter and features a tighter pattern of sequencers, similar to the music that followed Rubycon and on. Some have championed Ricochet as one their best efforts, but I’ve always heard this as simply a swatch of the broader, classic canvas.

Original LP Version
A1. Ricochet, Part One (17:02)
B1. Ricochet, Part Two (21:13)

Composed by Chris Franke, Edgar Froese and Peter Baumann.

The Players
Peter Baumann, Chris Franke, Edgar Froese. Produced by Tangerine Dream; recording engineered by Chris Blake; mix engineered by Mick Glossop.

The Pictures
Cover photographs by Monique Froese. Layout by Graphiti.

The Plastic
Released on elpee in December 1975 in Germany and the Netherlands (Virgin, 89 679 XOT), the UK and Canada (Virgin, V2044), Australia (Virgin, L35736), France (Virgin, 2933 718), Italy (Virgin, VIL 12044), Japan (Virgin, YX-7090-VR), Mexico (Virgin, LA-067) and Yugoslavia (RTB, LP5596); reached #40 on the UK charts. Re-issued on elpee and cassette in 1984 in the US (Virgin, VI/VIC 2044) and the UK (Virgin, OVED/OVEDC 26). Re-issued on compact disc in the Netherlands (Virgin, 840 064) and in 1987 in the UK and France (Virgin, CDV 2044). Re-issued on elpee and cassette in 1988 in the US (Virgin, 90932-2/4). Re-released on remastered compact disc in 1995 in the UK (Virgin, TAND7) and on July 23, 196 in the US (Virgin, 86063). Re-released on super audio compact disc in 2015 in Japan (Universal, UIGY-9675).

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