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Tangerine Dream - Valentine Wheels, Live in London CD (album) cover


Tangerine Dream

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4 stars Valentine Wheels, the concert from London's Shepherd's Bush Emipre presents us with a very good selection of music. Tangerine Dream put more balance on their better known older tracks from the eighties, and even the famous theme from Sorcerer, Betrayal from 1977. You can hear the audience react very enthusiastically as the well-know sequences from Poland:The Warsaw Concert, Le Parc, Underwater Sunlight, and, especially, their 95's reworking of the classic Stratosfear kick in. A truly great concert, with memorable music and outstanding performance. However, the polished and very studio-like versions of, say, LeParc or Warsaw in the Sun make me think whether they used some playback or at least samples. (The same you can hear on their Polish concert from Tournado album). The album is concluded with a VERY good live (I do not have any doubts, this is surely live!) performance of yet another classic Beach Theme with its sparkling guitar and lovely romantic feel. TD at their best.
Report this review (#74245)
Posted Thursday, April 6, 2006 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars The wheels of ubiquity turn one more time

Recorded live in London in 1997, "Valentine wheels" has the feel of being just another Tangerine Dream album. There's nothing of particular value or note here, just a collection of live versions of 10 familiar and less familiar works.

The now established father and son duo are certainly captured excellently in terms of the sound quality (the suspicious among us might say a little too well), and the renditions are spirited and often captivating. The tracks tend to segue from one to the next giving the impression of one continuous suite, with familiar pieces such as "Warsaw in the sun" sitting well next to "Stratosfear '95".

While Zlatko Perica is credited with playing guitars on the album, his contribution is somewhat limited, being only really apparent on the closing "Beach theme". Much of the rest of the music is pretty one dimensional from a sound point of view, with the ubiquitous dueting synthesiser rarely varying their tones.

"Valentine wheels" is one of those albums which is in the main enjoyable, but which is notably unexciting. If you've heard half a dozen Tangerine Dream albums, especially those of the soundtrack variety, then there's nothing here you won't have heard before.

One unusual aspect for a Tangs live album is the way the audience reaction to familiar pieces has been captured during the performances. To hear the audience at any time other than between pieces is most unusual.

Report this review (#122040)
Posted Monday, May 14, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars A well rounded Tangerine Dream quasi-retrospective live album which the casual listener should have no difficulty appreciating. If nothing is gleaned from this, then Tangerine Dream's mark of electronic music is just not your cup of tea. The ten selections flow seamlessly into and out of one another giving this 1997 performance at The Shepherd's Bush Empire a marked continuity that will even satisfy those with more esoteric affections for the band moving through many moods while delivering some delicious suprises. Perhaps the biggest treat is an excerpt from their 1977 soundtrack from the movie Sorcerer in the form of the frantic Betrayal which is evident from the audience's enthusiastic reactions which can also be heard when the main theme from 1976's Stratosfear is played and at other arresting points of the concert recognized by aficiados.

The mid-section of the performance, which has been conjugated into the one continuous piece, has a more dramatic, moody tone to it after the prodigious intro featuring a couple of compositions from the '84 Poland album cleverly positioned around a more upbeat section entitled Silver Scale resolving itself into two 'Dream classics, the 1995 rework of Stratosfear with plenty of spaced out guitar and Dolphin Dance from 1986's Underwater Sunlight with an excerpt from 1985's Le Parc ( LA-Streethawk ) before culminating with guitarist Zlatko Perica closing off with more resplendent Floydian guitar pyrotechnics on Beach Theme from the Thief soundtrack in colourful splendour.

The whole essence of Tangerine Dream is captured here in this 60 minute performance with a wealth of pulsating synths, sequencers and programmed percussion in true 'Dream form. One of the more facile and straightforward live albums that doesn't require the listener to be too familiar with previous work. Fans of more developed full-scale Tangerine Dream compositions might also even some redeeming qualities throughout this enjoyable Tangerine Dream live performance as well. A lower priced release with an alternate cover concept adorned with a colourfully decked out Gecko was released in 2005 by Noble Price which makes this superb live recording even more worthwhile.

Report this review (#190691)
Posted Friday, November 28, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars There is nothing wrong with this live set. What's (almost) new here, is that the band proposes already recorded songs during this tour. So far, they performed new material for most of the time.

The audience is quite receptive I should say (bearing in mind the type of music played). It is only a pity that some excellent tracks are too much shortened to my taste ("Poland"). Still, these eight minutes are rather convincing: upbeat for six of them and heavenly melodic during the closing two. A highlight for sure.

The same sort of structure (and characteristics) applies to "Silver Scale" which also can be considered as one of the best parts from this live offering. Now, I won't say that I am enchanted by the "remix" of the excellent original "Stratosfear". This version is quite accelerated to be honest, and I can't explain why the band decided to make it such a rocking song from it.

The old TD fan must of course have grown with the years to appreciate this set, but the move is quite easy. The whole being enjoyable enough to justify the three stars rating. A good album by all means.

Report this review (#240293)
Posted Saturday, September 19, 2009 | Review Permalink

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