[Review] Tangerine Dream: Encore (1977)

A double album that collects four performances from the band’s first U.S. tour and the last appearance with Peter Baumann.

Kronomyth 10.0: Laserium mausoleum.

Tangerine Dream staged their first major U.S. tour in 1977, which was apparently enough for Peter Baumann, who left the group following the tour. Encore is a double-elpee souvenir from the tour featuring four side-length songs each totaling about 18 minutes. And this is where I would tell you that Baumann went out on a high note, only Encore is something of a bore as Tangerine Dream albums go. While the songs are stylistically similar to TD albums from this period, they feel more improvised than usual and in some cases seem to plod along with few changes.

Now, you can tell me that all Tangerine Dream albums from their classic period (1970-1980) are works of art and that I am an un(mono)enlightened clod. I’ll admit that Encore is the last proper album from their classic period that I encountered, so I may feel like I’ve heard all this before because I probably have. If this were, say, the first or second TD album that I owned, I might have a very different opinion.  In other words, if you heed my advice that the last Tangerine Dream album with Peter Baumann is the last Tangerine Dream album with Peter Baumann you need to own, the end result would be nothing more than a shared ennui with Encore.

The opening Cherokee Lane is typical of TD from the time, with brisk pacing and lots of sequencers (which I equate with goodness, so no complaints there). Monolight is very mellow at first (reminiscent of Eno’s ambient worlds) before turning toward electronic pop, the shape of things to come from Baumann. Coldwater Canyon and Desert Dream have some interesting ideas but the same could be said for their film soundtracks.

Despite its size, Stratosfear, Ricochet and even Cyclone have more to offer than Encore. I don’t doubt that there are archival live performances with better results from our mystical knob jockeys of the purple twilight. The original performances themselves were no doubt a sight (who doesn’t like lasers?), but as an audio-only experience Encore is a slight let-down.

Original 2LP version

A1. Cherokee Lane (16:19)
B1. Monolight (19:54)
C1. Coldwater Canyon (18:06)
D1. Desert Dream (17:30)

All material written and played by Chris Franke, Edgar Froese and Peter Baumann.

CD reissue bonus tracks
5. Encore
6. Hobo March

The Players

Peter Baumann (Projekt electronic modular synthesizer, Projekt electronic sequencer, Fender Rhodes piano, ARP soloist synthesizer, Mellotron M.400, EMS vocoder with AKG micro C414, Elka string synthesizer), Chris Franke (Moog modular synthesizer, Projekt electronic sequencer, Computerstudio digital sequencer, Mellotron M.400, ARP soloist synthesizer, Elka string synthesizer, Oberheim sequencer, Oberheim eight voice polyphonic synthesizer, electronic percussion), Edgar Froese (Gibson Les Paul custom guitars, Twin keyboard mellotron Mark V, Steinway grand piano, Oberheim four voice polyphonic synthesizer, ARP omni string synthesizer, ARP digital soloist synthesizer, P.P.G. synthesizer, Moog modular synthesizer, Projekt electronic time control system). Produced & engineered by Tangerine Dream; mixed by Peter Baumann.

The Pictures

Cover photograph by Monique Froese. Layout by Edgar Froese.

The Plastic

Released on 2LP in October 1977* in the UK, Canada and New Zealand (Virgin. VD-2506), the US (Virgin, PZG 35014), France (Virgin, 2401 718/9) and Germany (Virgin, 25 493/4 XT) with gatefold cover. Also released on 2LP in 1978 in Japan (Virgin, VIP-9535/6) with gatefold cover. Reached #55 on the UK charts and #178 on the US charts. (*First appeared in 10/28/77 issue of New Musical Express.)

  1. Re-released on Definitive Edition remastered compact disc in May 1994 in the US (Virgin, 39443-2) and in 1994 in the UK (TAND 1).
  2. Re-packaged as Collector’s Edition with Cyclone and Force Majeure on 3CD in 1992 in France (Virgin, TPAK-26).
  3. Re-released on expanded, remastered compact disc in 2019 in Europe (Virgin, 774 698-0) with 2 bonus tracks.

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