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Tangerine Dream

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2 stars Tangerine Dream are now here on progarchives so I thought I'd start with possibly the worst record they recorded in the seventies(as you do!) After the innovative early years TD were looking to expand their sound by adding a singer and a drummer thus adopting a more traditional rock approach.However this turned out to be a short lived experiment.The vocals added little to the music serving only to subvert TD's wonderful synth sounds. while the drumming of Klaus Kreiger was dull and uninspired (although he made a much better contribution to the later Force Majeure album).An album with one or two interesting moments but overall NOT up to the standards of other TD recordings.
Report this review (#32504)
Posted Tuesday, August 17, 2004 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
3 stars 3.75 stars. This album came down with heavy criticism as it got released. What a shock for the purist as Peter Bauman had left and they had to enlist another drummer but also a flutist/vocalist/keyboardist in the person of Steven Joliffe ( an Englishmen at that!!!! ) . Joliffe is a journeyman well-known in English rock circles having done many stints with many bands most notably the progressive blues rock Steamhammer. And what a change , he brings as he EVEN SINGS on one track (Sidewalks if I remember well), but also brings more and more real instruments into the music.

Most TD purist will still loathe this album , but I never did and nowadays I think that it is a welcome and pleasant interlude in the huge bundles of excellent TD of the 70's.

Report this review (#32505)
Posted Wednesday, August 25, 2004 | Review Permalink
3 stars If any of you cared to imagine what Tangerine Dream would have sounded like with vocals then I'm sure Cyclone would have been not too far off the mark to many. Things must have been going stale of the Tangerine Dream as they added a fourth member to freshen things up only this guy as well as adding an arsenal of electronic gizmos, horns and other delights added some throat pipes-that would be his voice then. Enter Steve Jolliffe. Even his name sits uncomfortably beside the others. But just like Poochie's short lived life as part of the new Itchy And Scratchy line up on The Simpsons, something is not quite right. The vocals are distracting and only allow the musicians to lazily loop over their music rather than add colour and texture and constantly move in hypnotic ways in a traditional Tangerine Dream fashion. "Madrigal Meridan" is more typical of the dark ambient of previous work and as usual a big brooding piece with a faster beat than earlier Tangerine Dream. Some subtle guitar playing is thrown in among the synth, compotone and other noises. I'll tell you this though, the vocals aren't half catchy after a few spins! Later Mr. Jolliffe had to return to his own planet and the Dream Team were back to a more cosy three piece again and he was never to return (I Think?).
Report this review (#32506)
Posted Sunday, August 29, 2004 | Review Permalink
2 stars I bought this album in 1981, after some friends asked me "do you know Tangeine Dream?" In those days I was more involved listening to Prog music than in the present, so I wanted to hear something new. So I went to a record shop, and not remembering the name of the albums which my friends suggested me to buy, I liked the cover of this "Cyclone" album, and I read in the back cover that they had a singer and a drummer, so I bought it, thinking that they sounded like YES and other Prog bands. But it wasn`t what I expected. "Madrigal Meridian" is the best piece of music fom this album. But I didn`t like the album, really. So, a few months later I gave this album as a gift to one of my brothers who really liked it (and in 1993 I also gave him as a gift Peter Gabriel`s "Us" album for the same reasons). Edgar Froese is a very good painter and cover designer, but I don`t like his music. This album is for Tangerine Dream`s fans only.
Report this review (#32507)
Posted Tuesday, September 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
Chris S
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Very brave for TD to bring in a vocalist at this time in their career. I am not sure what the motives were but putting all that aside and just listening to the album you will in fact see that Cyclone gets unnecessary negative criticism. Musically it is as strong as Stratosfear especially the stunning instrumental taking up the whole of side 2 ' Madrigal Meridian'.' Bent Cold Sidewalk' definitely the better of the two vocal songs and is actually a 13 minute gem.Strong song structure and even without Peter Baumann Cyclone makes for a very good album. Three and a half stars.
Report this review (#32508)
Posted Monday, September 20, 2004 | Review Permalink
4 stars There are several groups which I was surprised to see in this site, and this is definitely one of them. In fact, when I first started exploring progarchives, I looked for this group (not because I knew it or I liked it, but just because I knew that it was an experimental group and some prog lovers were interested in!...) and surprised that it wasn't included, and when I found out that it finally made its way into, I was surprised again (having listened to some 1983-1989 works such as le parc and legend...) and this time I was surprised because it was included! Thanks to the positive reviews I read about the previous albums, I decided to buy some mp3's (sorry guys, I definitely would like to go for legitimate releases, but it's not only too expensive, but also almost impossible to find here...) and now I can be considered as a fan (despite the fact that I still don't understand what you guys find in Alpha Centauri or zeit)... Now, my principle is simple: if most people hate something, that should really have a treasure... (I'm not talking about poppy groups like Asia, or poppy TD albums like Tyger...) My cue was a simple statement in Tangerine Realm site (I really don't know the site's address, I received the whole site, plus the official TD site inside the MP3's-by the way, the whole TD catalogue is scattedred on 7 CD's, on 160 kbps!... this includes rare soundtracks and some important bootlegs...). Anyway, the webmaster, speaking of similar groups to TD (king crimson and ozric tantacles were included...) said, "after all, cyclone is not a typical TD album, ı might be wrong". And I went straight ahead... and Bingo!!! Froese himself tells that this album was received with hatred among fans (and he admits that they intended to be provacative by the use of vocals!). This one stands out as a lost pink floyd album (also being inserted between animals and the wall albums, and I think better than the latter..). No, I don't think vocals took anthing away from them (though, they might have thought the opposite and quicly giving up the idea until 1983...), after all, you are trying to be "experimental" and put forward "something new"! It's realy not very typical TD album, so I will disagree with the above reviewers' "for td fans only" statement, indeed, this one is a perfect start for getting acquainted with the band (especially if you are a little bit "straightforward" prog-lover like me), by the way, Madrigal meridian (which is one side long) is completely instrumental, whay are you so angry with one- side vocals?? Anyway, my favorite TD piece along with Force Majeure, and highly recommended to lovers of all kinds of prog rock (and in case you are TD fan, you know it already!). Actualy I could have given 5 *'s just to raise its credit, but it would be too generous.. I don't think it's a real classic (like in the court of the crimson king, or relayer), but it definitely needs other 4 * reviews.... It is really underestimated here...
Report this review (#32509)
Posted Sunday, September 26, 2004 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is their most progressive album: lead vocals, genuine drums, flute, keyboards.

Bent cold sidewalk has melodic keyboards, drums and a very German accent lead vocals. RISING RUNNER MISSED BY ENDLESS SENDER is faster than Bent cold sidewalk, but has the same progressive tendency. Madrigal meridian is a long track. There is a repetitive sequenced beat that enters after psychedelic keyboards sounds. The keyboards make a very melodic part. It is incredible to discover so much variety of keyboards sounds here! Sounds sometimes like Iq's tales from the lush attic, sometimes like Genesis' silent sorrow in empty boats. It sounds a bit like Force majeure, but it is more varied and progressive.

Report this review (#32511)
Posted Thursday, February 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Many say that Cyclone shows a new musical direction in Tangerine Dream career probably due to special guests as Steve Joliffe. In fact it's the first time the band decided to add vocals to their music. To experimental space music they turn to electronic rock but with merit. Only the last title can remind the previous recordings, mainly the Ricochet and Stratosphere era with its long instrumental landscapes played on analog synthesizers and punctuated by sequencers. The last minutes of Madrigal Meridian are distinguished by a sumptuous melody for harpsichord and flute. "Bent Cold Sidewalk" announces the color of the album. It introduces vocals in a plaintive tone accompanied by a very catchy instrumental section. The melody is very deep and beautiful. "Rising Runner"... is a more dynamic and rock affair but very original, spacey with strange stressed vocals

I can only recommend this album for those who want to see an other and great side of the band unless you are definitely in cold with vocals.

Report this review (#32512)
Posted Thursday, March 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Cyclone (1978) is heavily undervalued. In the discussion no one mentioned it as their favourite TD, nor was it even in a list to choose from. It is of course an 'unothodox' TD album - the way Drama is an unorthodox Yes album (and a good one, in its own means). One-time member Steven Joliffe plays flutes and other reeds, and sings... and makes odd voices. And is the very reason I'm spellbound by the album. What a charming insanity in "Bent Cold Sidewalk"! In fact the rest of the album isn't that great - so let's say 3,5 stars only. But BCS, especially the flute/clarinet dominated instrumental section, is absolutely amazing. One must listen to it with headphones and in the dark to sink perfectly into its nightmarish and yet very clear and beautiful sonic landscape. "Rising Runner..." is sciencefiction-type of a song, quite naiive really. Instrumental "Madrigal Meridian" is more typical TD of the time but a fine one - well, it could have been limited to less than 20 minutes (the same goes to most TD stuff). But still Cyclone earns a special place in the output, being so unique. The cover art is a perfect match.
Report this review (#32513)
Posted Monday, April 4, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The only reason I purchased this album was the opening track "Bent Cold Sidewalk" which at that time was radio hit in Bandung. I didn't realize that the song was performed by Tangerine Dream until I got it from that radio. Tangerine Dream's music is typically an electronic music with experimental exposures, comprising long sequenced synthesizer rhythm, moog and other electronic keyboard combined with guitars and flutes.

"Bent Cold Sidewalk" is a beautiful composition which has floating-spacey style with a bit distorted vocals by Steve Jolliffe, with most keyboard and synthesizer works are performed in relatively long sustain notes during solo as well as chords progression. The lyrical verses have good melody that creates great music harmonies. The interlude part that starts at approx minute 4:35 is experimental and improvisational in nature. It explores the ambient flute work augmented with long sustain keyboard work at background. This part might make you fly as the rhythm section is repetitive while the flute and synthesizer overlay nicely on top of rhythmic chords. Having experienced with approximately 6 minutes musical exploration the music returns back into its original melody with lyrical verse closing the song.

"Rising Runner Missed By Endless Sender" is a track with faster tempo if it's compared to the opening track. The music is similar with Hawkwind. "Madrigal Meridian" is a very long epic with approx 20 minute duration. The music moves very slowly through a long sustain notes. There are some interesting and melodic segments of this track. However, this song is too monotone for my personal taste as the music contains repetitive rhythm section.

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Report this review (#44105)
Posted Wednesday, August 24, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Edgar Froese doesn't like this album, and that's why you'll not find any tracks from "Cyclone" in any Tangerine Dream compilation !? I think it's a pity to deny "Cyclone" because it's far better than any Tangerine Dream's post "Tyger" stuff.

Come on Edgar, remember :

'Bent cold sidewalk' is one of TD's stronger track, the melody is really great, vocals are good, and the flute-clarinet-cymbal bridge in the middle section is amazing. (5 stars)

'Rising runner missed by endless sender' is a shorter piece in the same vein but with a faster rhythm and a lesser melodic. (3 stars)

'Madrigal meridian' is classic TD's 20 minute piece of reasonable quality, not as good as 'Force Majeure' but at the same level as tracks from "Encore" or "Tangram", it means there are some tedious passages. (3 stars)

Overall rating : 3,5 => 4 stars

Report this review (#72414)
Posted Monday, March 20, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I'm not a TD specialist. I like some of their works, others sound derivetive and without focus to my ears. This said, I think "Cyclone" per se is a very good album. I can understand the reasons behind the harsh criticism of the TD fan to this album (more or less the same I feel to Pink Floyd's 'The Final cut"). So I don't want to be pretentious and write just some perceptions of the casual listener to 'Cyclone".

Right, we can hear the Floyd influence in the vocal track, 'Bent cold sidewalk", specially the spacey floyd pre-DSOTM. But this doesn't turn this track a bad thing; on the contrary, it's very accessible and a good experience, preparing us to the real treat that is "Madrigal meridian", a piece that is more related to the classic TD sound.

I don't think it's fair to consider 'Cyclone" a bad introduction to TD music. Although it doesn't represent the main characteristcs of the group, it's easy listening quality can prepare the person not familiar with progressive electronic a good initial approach to this scene. All in all, I get 3,5 stars to this album, making an exception and giving a round 4 for personal reaons.

Report this review (#108659)
Posted Wednesday, January 24, 2007 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
5 stars 'Cyclone' is a very different album within the Tangerine Dream discography. Lead vocals on a TD album ?? Very unusual. And a solid drummer playing the kit in 'rock' mode !! The fact is, vocals are supplied by an amazing gent by the name of Steve Jolliffe, who also contributes some excellent flutes, lyricons and cor anglais (as well as more keyboards) to the incredible keyboard/synth creations presented here. The extensive instrument list alone suggests that this could be a masterpiece, which, to me, it is.

Starting with 'Bent Cold Sidewalk', a 13 minute extravaganza taking the listener to another dimension - opening with an electronic voice rambling something hardly discernable, but sets the mood instantly, TD take off with an almost conventional verse/chorus/verse section, a great melody (particularly with the Mellotron on the 'brass' setting) and some cerebral lyrics about keys and gates and time etc. The music then hits towards more familiar territory with a synth sequence introducing a wonderous passage where Jolliffe's wind instruments absolutely shine - it gets me every time ! These few minutes are among my favourite of TD. The song then returns to the final verse/chorus section and ends triumphantly. 'Rising Runner....' is a softer, shorter track with lovely synth tones and shimmering clavinet. It has vocals and it's atmosphere is nebulous.

'Madrigal Meridian' keeps up TD's tradition of side-long compositions, but the sounds and ideas on this piece reach further into the future than ever before. Cold, metallic synth generated noises ascending until they reach their peak a few minutes in, merging into another synth sequence, with more melodies and that brass 'tron from earlier on, the drumming rather straight-forward, but driving the passage along at a steady pace, always complimenting the rhythmic basis of this section, whilst the various voicings of the numerous synths/keys play around, and Edgar even pulls out his guitar for a bit of the lime- light !! The final section is heralded by the sounds of a lyricon (an electronic wind instrument) and the mood becomes more ominous, mysterious, brooding (ooh, I'm getting carried away here) and the glistening clavinet riffs bring the show to a close, almost. Quite an experience. It's been a long time since I listened to this record, and it has totally blown me away more so than when I got it many years ago. 5 stars.

Report this review (#113252)
Posted Friday, February 23, 2007 | Review Permalink
4 stars TANGERINE DREAM with a singer?

"Cyclone" is the most underrated TANGERINE DREAM albums from the 70s. After the departure of Peter Baumann in 1977, the band included new musicians and wanted to create something different with new instruments. Drums are present, however, the biggest novelty is undoubtly the inclusion of real vocals. One may like or not the punk-ish voice of Steve Joliffe, but, in fact, the result here is simply one of their most progressive albums. With "Force Majeure", "Cyclone" offers unique astounding symphonic-electro-space-rock sound and music.

The change can be heard from the first single seconds of the record. The overture track, "Bent Cold Sidewalk", has a melody with a soft flavor of PINK FLOYD. Futuristic and trippy, the song is kind of melancholic. Then arrives the sequenced synthetizer, a trademark of the tangerian sound, but this time accompanied with flute and clarinet. Very spacey and mysterious, this passage will take you into an electronic maze! The song finishes delicately with its debut theme. "Rising Runner Missed By Endless Sender" is maybe the strangest moment here from the german band. Catchy and fast, this fun electro song rocks! The only regret is Joliffe's strange sounds covering the music near the end.

Then comes the longest and most progressive piece, the highlight of the album, "Madrigal Meridian". Entirely instrumental this time, it opens with a vaporous atmosphere and bizarre sparkles of sounds. Then the melody lifts off from Earth, supported by hypnotic waves of synthetizers and a pounding rythm. A true trip to space between the stars. The main theme lasts hardly 10 minutes with various spacey improvisations, to suddenly change into a powerful amazing space rock with an middle-oriental touch, in the vein of GONG's "You" and HAWKWIND's "Magnu". The music then calms down and finishes softly. Long, epic and surprising and, including numerous intruments, "Medrigal Meridian" is an unique classic from TANGERINE DREAM.

Less electronic, more symphonic and rock oriented than their former releases, "Cyclone" was a daring album for the band, but nonetheless one of their most original and adventurous albums. There are true great passages in here you won't find anywhere. Another interesting fact; this disc one of the few "classic" TANGERINE DREAM record not to feature a track whose name is the album title.

Recommended to electronic and space rock lovers.

Report this review (#117628)
Posted Sunday, April 8, 2007 | Review Permalink
2 stars The first TD album to feature extensive use of vocals, this album has its supporters and detractors. The band had abandoned an all-synth approach for a more organic but fairly simplistic symphonic rock sound. Obviously, Floydian comparisons would be fairly apt (Wish You Were Here) as well as with German symph contemporaries like Eloy and Novalis. The compositions are pretty drony but do feature some good melodies from a wide ranging palate of synth sounds, as well as some decent electric guitar playing. The best of the three tracks is "Bent Cold Sidewalk", which has very nice, dramatic verse sections that remind me a bit of BJH's "For No One" and contain the best vocals on the record.

I don't have a problem with TD + vocals, but unfortunately Steve Jolliffe, while sounding quite tuneful at times, also seems to have fancied himself a super-expressive singer of the Pete Hammill type, which I'm afraid he was not. His attempts at portentous, grunty vocals are a bit hilarious and nearly ruin some of the pieces. Perhaps TD themselves were not so enamoured of this development either, as they parted company after this release.

A nice try, but I have to subtract a star because of some of the overwrought vocals.

Report this review (#126916)
Posted Wednesday, June 27, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars Vocoder, as it should be, an artist's tool that complements or fusions technique with humanity, and so it is here: a warning start. Machines are doing the job, the humans are capable for more, but the humans are undecipherable. An then....the artism itself, great, majestic space, with a story about life existence. The doors are opening. Step thru. Listen carefully. Ask questions. Answers will be given. Time and space is yours. As a human existence, it's also nonsense. Perhaps. But a charming one. Maybe not so nonsensical when you experience the whole journey. With tapestries, strings after strings after strings, filtered leads are sweeping from your left ear, continuing to oscillate through your brain just to spit the gorgeous melody on your right ear and vice versa... Bent. Cold. Sidewalk. What an experience of all experiences. After a great space section, the sequencer is taking us for a ride, driving us through the landscapes, through the space, showing us the event horizon, and all of a sudden in that singularity we are able to see everything. Like from a different perspective, like a majestic multi-dimensional creature which existence is beyond our most distanced perceptions, it is showing us the eternity, the time, the space from the aleph point, from nowhere and everywhere: we are able to see all the dimensions at the same time, interiors and exteriors, past, present and the future. TANGERINE DREAM are making a huge leap behind human consciousness, behind the infinite mathematical formulas and beyond God: they are explaining The Everything. We are not only able to see and feel everything, we are able to understand the Everythingness. Be thankful, for the art is making you audience/listener, TANGERINE DREAM is making you an omni-presence. Pathetic pieces of every day life are to be looked with a cynic smile: this is the point (the line, the square, the cube, the tesseract) where universe distorted.

Listening to the repetitive, cold, hypnotic sequence, while clarinets and flutes are playing gorgeous, warm melodies. This is the point (.) where everything started, and music continued to develop, regress, mutilate and breathe in both directions: positive, towards our time and what we call future, and positive (because you can't prove the opposite) towards Bach and ritual dances in the cave at the dawn of the human kind. Not to be selfish and stop here; the dance of cells in a electrified liquid, the spinning of particles at the Beginning and Beyond.

This is the core of the circle. The thin layer is a Rising Runner. By some great coincidence of time, it started to exist in between two different decades, by a convention of humans. Both decades with their trends and preferences. This layer is indeed a perfect (the most perfect) line between these two decades, manifested through the prism of the musical instrument called synthesizer.

The last layer of the Cyclone circle is the biosphere, it's the Madrigal Meridian. As it should be, biosphere consists of nature and creatures living among the nature, with all their interactions. Again everything is here, it's offered to be experienced and touched. It's on a different scale, and we are offered to look from a Earth surface, but we can choose. We will never be the same.

Report this review (#151699)
Posted Monday, November 19, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars I remember the day I bought this album, a lovely shiny thing with great cover art. I hurried home and slapped the vinyl on the platter. As the needle crackled into the first groove and the sound of a vocoder emerged, I noticed on the album sleeve that PETER BAUMANN had left, to be replaced by a vocalist/flautist and a drummer. Oh dear.

Twenty minutes later I was in tears. How could my beloved TANGERINE DREAM have employed a punk vocalist? How could they have destroyed their ambient landscapes with such sounds? They might as well have let off a bomb in the Sistine Chapel, such musical vandals they were.

I have to say that my opinion has changed, more than for any other album in my collection. 'Cyclone' was a provocative album of great daring and - now I'm familiar with their pre-Virgin sound - not a massive departure from their avant-garde roots. Indeed, I'm now convinced it's a work of absolute genius.

'Cyclone' represents the very best of an intersection between three TANGERINE DREAMS: the avant-garde TD of the pre-Virgin 'Pink years', the pastoral and pulsing TD of 'Phaedra' through 'Ricochet', and the prog rock TD of 1979-1983. It is chock-full of pregressive sensibilities, packed to the gunwales with drama and energy, and is hands down the best album of 1978. In my view, of course.

'Bent Cold Sidewalk' leaves me stunned. STEVE JOLLIFFE - an acquaintance of FROESE's from the early 70s - rips out avant-garde vocals, singing in a rough voice backed by an overdubbed octave-lower drone, blowing breathily through his flute like IAN ANDERSON on heat, and screaming out nonsensical sounds like some demented dervish. An acquired taste, certainly, but it can be acquired. JOLLIFFE complements the pulsing sequencers and synth leads perfectly. How delicious this sounds to me now, a fount of drama, a true prog rock masterpiece of a track. It's a fairly standard rock song cut and spliced around a typical TD free-form jam, with busy drumwork and all the insane JOLLIFFE extras (the section from 7:30 is an absolute classic!). Of course the fans hated it: they wanted more of the relaxing synths and pulses to smoke to. How I wish the band hadn't listened! They could have led us far beyond that door, I'm convinced of it. The track finishes with the first appearance of the chorus - genius! - and a genuine climax with JOLLIFFE going mental. You'll never hear anything like this anywhere else.

'Rising Runner' is even more provocative, TD's nod to punk rock. JOLLIFFE shapes his accent to sound like a disaffected punk. The track has all the fascination of a crash between a lorry carrying marshmallows and a trainload of sulphuric acid. Look what the madman does to our gentle prog! You'll hate this, but I think that's the point.

To top it all off, 'Madrigal Meridian' is the best long-form piece the TANGS ever did. It is a sinister twist on their normal sound. The opening as eerie a piece as I've ever heard, all industrial and sharp-edged with some truly delicious effects. When the pulse arrives it's a pile-driver, slamming into the track with the energy of a sequence of explosions rising in frequency and intensity. Yet they make music out of this, and after three minutes in come the blips. The pace is furious, more so than anything else they've done, and reminding me more of 'Phaedra'. The track is lathered in special effects as well as a splendid tune, repeated and varied many times. The bubbling synth solo at about 8:20 onwards is breathtaking, and here we see the benefits of adding a proper drummer: the percussion creates a truly dramatic passage. And - oh joy! - halfway through FROESE unlimbers his guitar and rips out a fuzzed free-form solo, backed by a galloping, hundred-mile-an-hour rhythm. The sheer exuberance of this track always gets me, and I can't help thinking this was the way forward for the band. Gradually the track collapses on itself, the rhythms fading away to be replaced (mercifully) with a classic TD denouement, all soaring synths and enormous clavinet chords fading into a dissonant cello eerily reminiscent of their first album, and finally a sweet violin.

Look, I can't offer you a money-back guarantee here. Chances are you'll hate it at first listen. But to my mind this is one of the truly overlooked gems of progressive music. You don't need to eat tonight, right? Take a gamble, fork over that cash and give it a try. If they look at you strangely, tell them Russell made you do it.

Report this review (#168341)
Posted Monday, April 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars I've been through all your reviews regarding Tangerine Dream , it took me a hell lot of time to get into the main subject , WHY , these low ratings to excellent works and nearly Masterpieces of electronic / experimental music in best shape . Still time can just give the right answer , as far as i'm concern for now , Cyclone deserves a 5 stars rating in my opinion , for the whole work . this album , with the 1978 line-up , ( Froese , Franke , Jolliffe , Krieger ) did a perfect job in introducing for the first time , a multi instruments touch , by using Vocal first , then guitars , flutes , clarinets , moogs , synths , electronic percussions for the sake of the work . I n general this is one of the best releases from Tangerine Dream in 40 years , and one of my favourite albums involved in electronic moods . See for yourselves dear proggers by discovering a new dimensions for this genre of music . -- N.B = rating 4.5 means a 5 stars without any regrets .
Report this review (#168407)
Posted Tuesday, April 22, 2008 | Review Permalink
3 stars TD meets BJH!

This is at least the feeling I had when I listened to the vocal parts of ''Bent Cold Sidewalk''. Sound as if Les Holroyd was there. Per se, there is nothing wrong here, except that it is probably the last thing a TD fan could expect from this band. Now, being a fan of both of them (even if their huge production is not always including masterpieces) I am not too much in a fuss.

Don't be too desolated though, what comes next is a pure and great TD part: classic synth, great fluting (that's new as well, but quite well achieved) and these great and melodic keys! The only annoying moments are those computerized vocals at the start and middle part (very short, fortunately). In all, this long track is quite enjoyable: different for sure, but good. I would say, the best available.

Now, to be honest, the strongest point of ''Rising Runner?'' resides in the fact that it is ? short. Apart from that, I wouldn't say that the upbeat sounds from this tune are a memorable TD moment. It is quite weird and poor actually.

The side long ''Madrigal Meridian'' can also be a surprise for TD early fans (or fans of their early days). The electro beat which is available from the start sounds as if we were already in the eighties (I know that they were often ahead of their time, but still?). There are hardly melodies in those twenty minutes of music: repetitive and passionless. Only the last three minutes are moving and belong to what the band had used us to.

In terms of quality albums, TD set the mark very high in the seventies. Even if their very early work was quite abstruse, I could always have a special feel about it. This one can't compete with their sublime period from '74 through '77.

An average album, second-rate TD music as far as I'm concerned. It is of course not recommended to start with this one if you are willing to investigate in their seventies period. It is my least favourite album so far. Five out of ten. I upgrade it to three stars. But don't ask me why.

Report this review (#222320)
Posted Monday, June 22, 2009 | Review Permalink
Prog-Folk Team
4 stars Perhaps sensing that the golden era of progressive rock was slipping away, and having dabbled plenty in nearly crystalline electronica, TANGERINE DREAM grafted Steve Jolliffe with his vocals and a cornucopia of non-synthesized instrumentation like drums, horns, flutes, and more guitars onto their caravan as it floated through the cosmos. At this point in their career, it didn't seem they could go wrong whatever they tried, as long as they tried something different, and "Cyclone" is no exception. Moreover, it is the surprises, in the form of Vinyl Side 1, that succeed better than the more conventional TD sound of "Madrigal Meridian", although both offer many pleasures.

"Bent Cold Sidewalk" is a potent space rocker a la HAWKWIND for its first 4:30 or so, apart from a tunefully dissonant vocoder opening. The next 6 minutes are more conventional TD except for Joliffe's vocal shrieks which, again, complement the instrumentation as perfectly as such a rough-cut style possibly could. The song returns to its original vocal theme for the last couple of minutes to wrap it all up neatly. I may be in the minority, but I'm in love with "Rising Runner Missed by Endless Sender", a mellotron rich and relatively short vocal piece in which Jolliffe again manages to ooze angst with every voice box expenditure, and yet do so with profound and twisted musicality. The longest track is closer to conventional "Dream", starting as an amorphous blob before settling into a familiar if slightly uptempo ode to "Ricochet". The last 5 minutes are the best, with a violin sounding synth recapping a bit of the album's opener before something sounding like a harpsichord methodically constructs a treasure beneath the mellotron, and is joined by sweet flute.

Tangerine Dream's "Cyclone" represents an anomaly of sorts in the group's discography, and the happy aftermath of a perfect storm both within the industry and in their own career.

Report this review (#245060)
Posted Saturday, October 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars This was the album of the 70's that divided fans of Tangerine Dream. A change in the line-up of the band, with Peter Baumann being replaced by Steve Jolliffe certainly changed the tone for this album. What he brought to the band was vocals!! I hear the Tangerine Dream purists shreak with horror. How could this brilliant electronic band bring in vocals! I personally love it, my favourite TD album ever.

The album starts with Bent Cold Sidewalk. Vocals, synthezisers, clarinet and flute are all in there. Starting with Jolliffe's vocals and some underlying synth I find it very accomplished. Then comes in the clarinet/flute section, ending with more vocals.

Next comes Rising Runner... a shorter track also with vocals that are maybe not as good as Bent Cold Sidewalk but the synth is still as good as ever.

The final track is Madrigal Meridian. This is entirely instrumental and one of the best tracks they have ever made. The beat is faster than many of the earlier TD albums. There are many subtle changes in sound that means it does not become repetitive (a problem many tracks that are 20 minutes long suffer from).

Overall an excellent album. You should give it a try. Even if you are not keen on the vocals, the music itself is up to the same brilliant standard that TD had set themselves with their previous albums.

Report this review (#271172)
Posted Thursday, March 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Featuring ex-Steamhammer multi-instrumentalist Steve Joliffe, CYCLONE saw Tangerine Dream produce their most Progressive-rock orientated album yet. Fusing the ambient-synth-electronica of RUBYCON and PHAEDRA with eerie vocals, rocky guitars-and-bass and a touch of the Pink Floyd, CYCLONE has often been derided by both critics and fans as one of the group's lesser pieces, a fact imbued by the album being released slap-bang in the middle of the late 1970's punk onslaught that was storming the UK at the time. However, despite it's flaws, CYCLONE is in fact a genuinely interesting attempt by Edgar Froese to enter the prog-rock arena, eschewing as it does the repeitive, keyboard-driven, trance-enducing rhythms of their mid-seventies peak in favour of a more straightforward, conventional rock-style. Tangerine Dream have always been pioneers of electronic Krautrock, but within CYCLONE the blueprint is torn up then re-drawn to sound not unlike Yes' proto-futuristic 'Relayer' album, which was made just two-years before CYCLONE and features the same kind of electro-rock fusion. In true Tangerine Dream fashion CYCLONE is made up of just three tracks - two of which break the ten-minute mark - except this time around the tracks sound much more like rock songs, featuring choruses, verses and, of course, lyrics. Whilst the album's epic closing track 'Madrigal Medridan' proves to be the weakest, the first two tracks - the excellent 'Bent Cold Sidewalk' and the oddly-titled 'Rising Runner Missed By Endless Sender' - show that Edgar Froese'sTangerine Dream-does-Progressive Rock experiment was well worth the effort. The songs crackle with energy and menace, flowing cleverly from anthemic keyboard workouts to bass-driven rock riffing without ever succumbing to ersatz hard-rock mindlessness or cliche. Post-1978 there is very little evidence of Tangerine Dream repeating the CYCONE trick; the album's initial reception was poor, punk was ripping the old-prog guard to shreds and the early 1980's would offer up a plethora of opportunities, ranging from collaborations with other artists to producing film soundtracks and other projects. The carefully-constructed and epic keyboard-driven sound pioneered by Edgar Froese would remain the bands bread-and-butter output, right upto the present day, with only 1983's eastern-tinged neo-psychedelic offering HYPERBOREA straying from the formula. However, despite it's mixed reputation, CYCLONE is a fascinating attempt to meld the worlds of krautrock and prog that stands up as an important piece of work from the Tangerine Dream canon. Mysterious, ethereal and strangely-anthemic, CYCONE is very definitely one of the group's most underrated pieces. It's one-off status gives it a mystique it fflly deserves and the most disappointing aspect is that Edgar Froese's kraut/prog mixture was never repeated. STEFAN TURNER, LONDON, 2010
Report this review (#272253)
Posted Monday, March 15, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The irascible synthmonster Berliners took this 'sideway look', introducing a one shot blend of vocals and real drums, never really before or after in any consistent manner. They probably chose the title "Cyclone" as a suggestive term for their brash boldness, going in a singular direction that ultimately was a fine decision. The stunning artwork is my TD favorite, right up there with Phaedra and Rubycon. With the semi-legendary Klaus Krüger on his patented polyester drums as well as the unusual Steve Jolliffe on vocals and reeds, this opus remains a shining example of creative expansion within the relatively basalt-rigid walls of sequenced rhythms, synthesized sweeps and glistening leads that TD is famous for. Three tracks, two whoppers and a mini-interlude that stand the test of time in more ways than one. "Bent Cold Sidewalk" is the stunning 13 minute opener, a thundering composition that highlights the Jolliffe vocals, giving the piece an almost Arthur Brown's Kingdom Come aura (circa "Journey" album) that is awesome and intriguing. The real drums are nevertheless played in a robotic fashion, the flutes and clarinets emitting distorted wails and the hint of edgy paranoia highly enticing. After the brief 5 minute punky interlude, the sparkling "Madrigal Meridian" shuttles forward like a stubborn spatial monolith, rumbling proudly ahead, infusing all the heralded TD ingredients into the bowl. With remarkable and unusual short-sightedness, TD purists ripped this release to shreds, not accepting the quirky changes even though only the side ?long "Madrigal Meridian" had no vocals , forcing Froese to relent and recording the splendid follow up "Force Majeure" with Krüger but sans Jolliffe. I love the challenge here and while not up there with TD's best (the above mentioned, as well as Stratosfear, Ricochet and the subtle Pergamon), Cyclone remains a solid listen. 4 tornados
Report this review (#274345)
Posted Friday, March 26, 2010 | Review Permalink
Prog Metal Team
3 stars Cyclone is a unique album in the early Tangerine Dream discography which has made it surprisingly unfavorable among the fans. The unexpected departure of Peter Baumann from the classic trio lineup shook the band up and so a complete change of direction was decided upon. The newly recruited Klaus Krieger and especially Steve Jolliffe were highly unexpected additions to the band since the fans were definitely not prepared a vocalist joining the ranks of Tangerine Dream at this point of their career.

Steve Jolliffe's vocal contribution on two of these three compositions and an expanded use of acoustic instruments, among which flutes, piccolo, bass clarinet, grand piano, tenor, soprano horns and drums, made the music sound a lot more like progressive rock. Of course let's not forget that this was 1978, meaning that progressive rock was already going out of style which definitely makes this release an even bolder statement from the band. Unfortunately the attempt to combine electronic music with progressive rock arrangements on Cyclone wasn't a successful such even from an artistic point of view, not to mention the commercial such.

The opening track titled Bent Cold Sidewalk isn't really trying to merge the two styles but instead begins and ends with pure symphonic prog while the middle section of this 13 minute composition is just an atmospheric electronic piece that Tangerine Dream are known for. The much shorter Rising Runner Missed By Endless Sender is where the band actually tries to combine the two genres with very unsuccessful results. This composition feels like a mess where different styles clash with each other without creating anything worth a while for the listener from either side. It's a bit unfortunate that Madrigal Meridian was the point where Tangerine Dream dropped the new direction, that they introduced on side one, and instead gave us another one of their electronic epics. This time the results aren't as masterful and the composition does in fact overstay its welcome by at least 5 minutes.

Overall Cyclone isn't as bad as its reputation might suggest and I personally actually prefer it to such classics as Phaedra (just don't quote me on that)! Still, it doesn't really reach the status of excellent release for fans of progressive music.

**** star songs: Bent Cold Sidewalk (13:09) Madrigal Meridian (20:29)

*** star songs: Rising Runner Missed By Endless Sender (5:02)

Report this review (#288685)
Posted Wednesday, June 30, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars I bought this record at a used LP store and heard this group once before in the movie Legend's soundtrack.

It is a far removed and a very damp sounding first song-- with good distance but lacks true meaning. They sing as if they have not learned from their mistakes? and this brings emotions into the music. The soundscapes can move you in direction-- as the songs continue lacking focus and discontinue into emotional imbalance.

The parts where I would have liked them to expand they decided to cut off . The actual sound of the lp is essential recording and programming and this has some credit to it. Bent cold sidewalk is essential but cut short and the transition is done very well yet the flared ending leaves a positive resolve--mainland progressive music.

The tangerine is according to native to China. There is not any common sense to their title and looking through the members not one listed has a Chinese lineaged last name-- It becomes more than obvious the problem in this group.

Report this review (#305518)
Posted Monday, October 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Cyclone is a TD album that caught quite a bit of flak when it was released. Vocals you say, not for TD. But yes after Peter Baumann left, Edgar Froese and Chris Franke bring in a drummer and a multi-instrumentists/vocalist to augment their sound. Bent Cold Sidewalk is a very good 13 minute piece of prog with vocals and an excellent instrumental break. My fav piece on the album comes with Dueling keys and flutes! The shorter Rising Runner never did much for me. Many regard the vocal-less Madrigal Meridian as the return to form and the major piece on Cyclone. The intro is worth the price of admission but the last 15 minutes do not have enough ideas for me. It kind of gets too repetitive in spots. A little editing and this would be a great track.

Overall, Cyclone is a welcome addition to my collection. It is much better than the TD purist, "I hate vocals" crowd who really need to give this another chance.

A strong 3 stars.

Report this review (#305524)
Posted Monday, October 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A controversial album for TD. Many fans didn't like this when it came out. Peter Baumann had left and the now duo of Froese and Franke had added a singer(Steve Jolliffe) and a drummer (Klaus Krieger). Jolliffe also plays wind instruments and keyboards. This is actually one of the few TD albums that comes close to symphonic prog.

"Bent Cold Sidewalk" is one of the best TD songs, IMO. It starts with some of the finest use of vocoder ever. I think one of the main reasons they hired a singer was so they could use a vocoder! This song is the closest TD came to sounding like stereotypical '70s prog. The middle section is based around a sequencer part with Jolliffe playing flute and/or piccolo. Later there is some weird but great gibberish vocals. My favourite part of the whole song is at the end where you hear "bent cold the gate". Superb. While some of the stuff TD did around this time could be described as New Age, "Rising Runner Missed By Endless Sender" sounds instead like New Wave. The only other song with vocals and the weakest one on the album.

The instrumental "Madrigal Meridian" starts off spacey. There is a fairly steady drumbeat until about 15 1/2 minutes when the drums fade out. At around 10 1/2 minutes there is a nice sequencer part with a guitar solo. Jolliffe plays some nice wind instruments on this song (piccolo? Cor anglais?). Near the end we get string-synths and some clavinet. The piece ends with some very violin-like synth playing. Around this time TD were really starting to use all the latest state-of-the-art synthesizers. They encounter the same problem that some fusion keyboardists and guitarists making 'fuzak' at the time did: using the latest technology does not equal interesting and timeless music. It took about another ten years before many figured this out.

One of their worst '70s albums but still nowhere near as bad as some of the post-1984 stuff. Oddly, this would make a good introduction to TD; especially fans of symphonic prog. They would keep the drummer for the next album but not use singing again until the late '80s. Overall a good album. 3 stars.

Report this review (#308390)
Posted Friday, November 5, 2010 | Review Permalink
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars What's wrong here? I have probably the advantage to have discovered this album many years after its release, so I didn't have the bad reactions that the fans seem to have given it. Vocals are unusual for TD and the very melodic first 5 minutes of "Bent Cold Sideway" are far from what one can expect from a Tangerine Dream's album of the 70s, but can anybody say that they are bad? And what about the following five minutes with the usual electronic base but with the addition of fantastic flute, bass flute and clarinet? The whispered voice adds a touch of psychedelia...This is a great song, no doubts.

I can imagine the fans thinkig to a band "going commercial", felling betrayed by a band that's no longer experimental (even if the rule of the 5 minutes is still applied), but I don't see anything wrong in this song.

"Rising Runner Missed By Endless Sender" sounds like an anticipation of the 80s. It could be Kraftwerk or a British new-wave band, two things still to come at the time of the release. Even if going commercial, this band was still in advance with the times. Five minutes (again five) of dark electronic in a pure 80's style.

The side B contains "Madrigal Meridian". A side-long track that starts back from the spacey ambients of the beginnings even if there are more changes respect to things like Birth of Liquid Pleiades. The electronic bass base takes only three minutes to start, instead of five. Sign that something is effectively changing. The guitar which enters at minute 5:30 is quite floydian even if just for a while. This track belongs to the period of Phaedra and Ricochet and even if the fans may have thought that this album was commercial I don't think this can be defined an easy- listening. There's a remarkable keyboard at minute 10 quickly replaced by the guitar for one of the hardest moment of this band in terms of rock. I think TD weren't so rock since from Electronic Meditation.

Well, I like this album and because I don't care about its being commercial more than 30 years ago, I rate it with the 4 stars that I think it deserves.

Report this review (#423228)
Posted Saturday, March 26, 2011 | Review Permalink
3 stars Cyclone is the first Tangerine Dream album to feature vocals, and it really isn't as bad as the criticism surrounding this album has made it out to be. I'm usually the type to fuss and whine about vocals in my progressive electronic, but I think it actually fits much nicer here than it does on later albums for one simple reason - though the vocals on this album are really bad sounding (like ill Peter Hammill), the music still maintains a strong '70s Tangerine Dream feel. That might sound like a stupid reason, but a lot of the music on later vocal Tangerine Dream releases have much more of a modern new-age feel that gives the music a cheesiness quality that is hard to ignore.

This album is very much in the vein of early Tangerine Dream, no doubt about it. Cyclone, like earlier releases, progress through variations in the lush soundscapes that characterize Tangerine Dream's trademark sound. The first track, "Bent Cold Sidewalk", has vocals only at the beginning and end, and really doesn't affect the quality at all because most of the electronic sound imagery happens during the middle of the track. The vocal parts seem like a disjointed pop song, sectioned off with a Tangerine Dream sandwiched in the middle, which also features a lot of flute and clarinet. "Rising Runner Missed By Endless Sender" is the only track on this album that isn't welcome at all - a short electric pop track with obnoxious vocals. "Madrigal Meridian" is classic Tangerine Dream with beautiful electronic manipulation and the absence of vocals. The sound of this track is almost like it were a missing track from Stratosfear. Fast paced and full of lush choral soundscape, this is the ultimate best way to end this lightly experimental album.

Definitely not Tangerine Dream's best output, but not terrible either.

Report this review (#438563)
Posted Sunday, April 24, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars Steve Jolliffe joins Tangerine Dream for this wild departure from the band's previous work, in that on the first side Jolliffe is called on to provide vocals - not just choral ooohs and aahs, but actual singing, in actual songs. Whilst the second side of the album is an extended instrumental composition broadly along the lines that Tangerine Dream listeners came to expect from the band by this point, it still sets itself apart from most of the group's other albums from around the same era by the inclusion of a much greater number of traditional instruments alongside the group's trademark synthesisers.

However, musically speaking the pieces on this album don't seem to be an attempt to recapture the intense psychedelic Saucerful of Secrets-inspired magic of the band's earlier days, but a stab at approaching more accessible symphonic prog and art rock with the band's synthesisers often standing in for more traditional rock group instrumentation and the various other instruments assembled adding a unique texture. It's an interesting experiment on the part of the group, and whilst the experiment wasn't sustained, it feels like it was worth trying. Jolliffe's vocals aren't exactly good, but they do add this sort of ritualistic sense to the music, a stentorian air which at points puts me in mind of the best of Eloy. I'm glad they tried this, but I'm also glad they abandoned this direction once they realised that there wasn't necessarily much mileage in it; one album of this is enough.

Report this review (#557447)
Posted Wednesday, October 26, 2011 | Review Permalink
Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars Cyclone is an album that might appeal more to psychedelic-minded music lovers. The electronic elements are there, but only in measured doses. At other times, the content is closer to straightforward space rock. Vocally, it is unimpressive but not as repellent as some have made it out to be.

"Bent Cold Sidewalk" In a ponderous minor key, Tangerine Dream explores a realm occupied by the likes of Eloy and the Alan Parsons Project. A third of the way through, after a space-rock series of verses and a synthesizer theme, the electronic trio fade back into their more familiar territory, with a repetitive electronic rhythm recoiling behind the wail of lead tones, this time with the faint, occasional huff of woodwinds.

"Rising Runner Missed by Endless Sender" In a more intense pace, the group maintains their space rock approach, but morphs into something more conventional.

"Madrigal Meridian" The third and final track sends the listener back out into the depths of the galaxy before transforming into the music of an interstellar regal procession. The third stage is upbeat synth-rock that amounts to little more than a jam, really. The fourth phase is more symphonic and contains a sweet violin tone. With unclear transitions, this extended piece is more suited as background music.

Report this review (#856198)
Posted Sunday, November 11, 2012 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Cyclone' - Tangerine Dream (7/10)

"Cyclone" is, in some respects, a continuation of the increasingly streamlined sound of "Stratosfear". Although Tangerine Dream were holding strong to their electronic roots, there was a conscious effort to incorporate heavier elements of rock and pop music. In many respects, "Cyclone" does not innovate this approach much, veering somewhat towards a more conventional 'prog rock' sound. However, "Cyclone" included one fresh element to the stew of Tangerine Dream that has since made it one of the most controversial and polarized albums o the band's career; that would be vocals. Although it's up for debate whether the use of a clean singing voice in what is essentially a popular music style is particularly revolutionary, it broke a long streak of instrumental compositions for the German outfit. Although Tangerine Dream may have been best left as an instrumental electronic group, the vocal contributions of Steve Jolliffe fit Tangerine Dream's spacey approach well. In all other senses, "Cyclone" remains on track with their gradual shift from ambient electronica to a more accessible form.

I'll first say that "Cyclone" does not deserve the flak or controversy it's received. Although Jolliffe's vocals are something of an acquired taste, Tangerine Dream's spacey sound was in need of some innovating, nine albums into their career. With that being said, Edgar Froese and the rest of Tangerine Dream certainly had aspirations to surprise their audience. With the vocals of Jolliffe, Tangerine Dream takes another step towards Pink Floyd territory, lessening the gap between them and a truly rock-oriented formula. In fact, although the second side of the album would rein the music back towards Tangerine's staple style, "Bent Cold Sidewalk" actually has more in common with a Floyd or Van der Graaf Generator tune than anything from Tangerine Dream's earlier years. Although the synthesizers still comprise most of the band's sound, they're used in a more focused manner than what might be typically expected of the band. Apart from the vocals, there are horns and even what sounds like a flute incorporated into the mix. Although it's a far cry from the band's regular formula on paper, the signature sound of the synthesizer makes for a staunch sort of 'station identification'. Changes aside, this is still very much a Tangerine Dream ordeal.

Steve Jolliffe's vocals are no doubt the hot topic and divisive factor of "Cyclone", in spite of the fact that vocals are only ever used on the album's first side. His performance is typically multi-layered, with one recording track showcasing his impressive higher register, 'tuneful' range, and the other presenting a darker, deeper theatrical snarl. Especially with these two together, Jolliffe sounds quite a bit like Floyd frontman Roger Waters, particularly when he is at his most maniacal. Especially on "Bent Cold Sidewalk", Steve's contributions are solid enough, although it's easy to see why some may have a problem with his voice. Especially with regards to his lower pitched delivery, I could have seen Jolliffe being better suited for some of the band's more experimental, leftfield material rather than this comparatively accessible sound.

With "Madrigal Meridian", Tangerine Dream finally give the more puritanical fans what they want; that is, a twenty minute, sprawling electronic composition. Although it doesn't compare to "Rubycon" or anything on "Zeit" or "Phaedra", "Madrigal Meridian" is a playful exploration of sounds the band had largely tread upon before. However, instead of the subtly disturbing atmosphere of spacey loneliness that Tangerine Dream had been prone to evoke before, there is something about the second side of "Cyclone" that speaks of a more upbeat, playful and optimistic nature. Perhaps it was a conscious attempt to mirror the 'vocal side' in terms of its accessibility. In any case, Tangerine Dream reaffirm here the notion of their mastery of sound and texture. The synthesizers are rich and atmospheric, and their perpetually minimalistic approach is evocative. Sadly, "Madrigal Meridian" is robbed of excellence for the fact that the composition never seems to build like Tangerine Dream's best works would. Although I'm sure to receive the chagrin of many a TD fan for saying this, the first half of "Cyclone" is where the greatness of the album lies. In the scheme of Tangerine Dream's greatest 1970's work, "Cyclone" is arguably fated to be overshadowed forever by the bigger, better works. However, the seemingly moderate experiment of incorporating vocals yielded some fairly successful results. In short, it's a strong twist on a tried-and-tested formula, although most days, I would prefer to listen to "Rubycon".

Report this review (#864035)
Posted Tuesday, November 20, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars CYCLONE is known among prog/electronic circles as that ''controversial'' album TD released during their Virgin years, and the biggest reason for that is that there are vocals for the first time, here coming from ex-Steamhammer member Steve Jolliffe. I don't know what Froese and Franke wanted to accomplish with CYCLONE other than take a menial stab at a prog/electronic hybrid. Judging by the mixed reaction CYCLONE has received, one could say the experiment was a bust, and Jolliffe would be booted off the assignment before FORCE MAJEURE.

But does that make CYCLONE a bad album? I say absolutely not. Plenty of the Tangerine Dream we'd come to know and love is still here.

In fact, I'd say only about a third of the album is trying out Jolliffe as a lead vocalist (to be fair, Jolliffe's vocals are quite forgettable), yet it is so different from what Tangerine Dream had been that the vocals seemed to have been ballooned in overall importance. A good majority of the album is Tangerine Dream providing groovy electronic music to get lost in. ''Madrigal Meridian'' is one of the best things Tangerine Dream has ever done, period. It's good enough to rival ''Rubycon''. ''Bent Cold Sidewalk'' has that same thrill through its middle sequence, but the bookends attempt to achieve epic symphonic prog, and actually can convince. The word jumbled short track does sound like a title created from a few lines of the song. The vocals can be lacking, but not distracting from a song that sounds like FM (the band) could muster.

CYCLONE is a beauty, and it's probably the most underrated album by a major band on these archives. Don't let the vocals get in the way of pure electronic enjoyment.

Report this review (#924336)
Posted Tuesday, March 5, 2013 | Review Permalink
5 stars This album was a risky business for Tangerine Dream. Exploration of a progressive rock territory plus their typical Berlin School avant grade experiments mixed together that was enough for many hard core fans of electronic music. But the band really tried to be different. Their previous Virgin Years albums were excellent but when Baumann left the band the guys decided tu use a different formula, as an experiment probably or they wanted some attention from prog fans too. I don't know. So they recorded Cyclone, album that is beyond anything ever done in both generes. I mean seriously, even vocals that appear for the first time on TD record are different than anything you've ever heard. Some parts are sung in an unknown language like it was a spell or something. First track is an avant grade progressive rock, second one mixes prog rock and electronic music, the last one is an uptempo Berlin School extravaganza that lasts over 20 minutes. What an amazing record Cyclone is. And it wasn't their last word. I think all of their Virgin Years albums are excellent. But this one is the most original of them.
Report this review (#1575306)
Posted Sunday, June 5, 2016 | Review Permalink
4 stars There are two different types of Tangerine Dream fans. Those who despise this album and those who believe it is a masterpiece. I happen to fall very close to the latter of these two. This album is very underrated, but I do see where those who hate it are coming from. Certain tracks fall short, holding down the rest of the album from critical acclaim. Lets get to it, shall we?

The album begins with "Cold Bent Sidewalk", a 13 minute epic that introduced vocals into Tangerine Dream's sound. This track was actually my introduction into the band, so I might be biased here, but I think it's genius. Many people criticize the vocals for being uninspired and bland. I honestly don't understand where this is coming from. I always thought the track had riveting, inspired, beautiful vocals that blend with the song perfectly. The vocals on this track and the next are one of the main reasons this album divides TD fans so much. Although the vocals are endlessly criticized, there is no denying how epic and beautiful the instrumental part of this track is. Synthesizer and moog arpeggios intertwine with some almost Jethro Tull-like flute. Its simple, its genius, and most importantly, its Tangerine Dream.

The next track is "Rising Runner Missed by Endless Sender". This is the track that for me, holds this album back from 5 stars. The vocals are grating and repetitive, and so is the music. The keyboard arpeggios are back, but this time all they do is repeat, with a change in pitch every minute or so. Thank God this track is short, or I might have had to give this album a lower rating.

The final track is "Madrigal Meridian", a 20 minute epic closer. No more vocals. Happy? This track is your classic Tangerine Dream epic. Epic tracks like these, at least for me, are generally hard to dissect, so I wont even try. Let me just say that if you are a fan of the older TD sound found on Rubycon and most of Phaedra, you will love this track. Had it been on a more respected TD album, this track would get the much needed respect and love it deserves.

Report this review (#1677112)
Posted Saturday, January 7, 2017 | Review Permalink
2 stars A bit cliche, regressive.

TD's worst album of the 1970s, this is the album where TD decided to adopt more traditional 4/4 song structures, with fairly regular-sounding guitar solos and drum beats, partly relinquishing their more ethereal and wispy side. On this album, they sound remarkably like Hawkwind at times, that is, more a normal psychedelic band with synths than the otherworldly original sonic landscapes they invented with their earlier albums. Not only that, but some of this music is really not sufficiently musical. They seem to want to become a more 'normal' rock band here, but they just can't do it as well as the very many other great rock bands that are already doing this kind of music. Indeed, I can only find about 10 minutes of good quality music here. There are about 4 minutes of good music in the 13-minute opening track ('Bent Cold Sidewalk'), and about 6 minutes of good music in the 20-minute long piece on side 2 ('Madrigal Meridian'). The rest of the music, including the middle track ('Rising Runner...') is too cliched, an inferior Hawkwind. With only roughly 10 minutes of good music on this album, I can't rate it very highly, but those 10 minutes are fine. I give this 4.3 out of 10 on my 10-point scale, which translates to 2 PA stars.

Report this review (#1704123)
Posted Tuesday, March 21, 2017 | Review Permalink
4 stars Cyclone became a controversial album in Tangerine Dream discography because of the vocals, which were not really a great addition, but more because of the style employed by Steve Jollife than anything else. Apart from that, it is a lot in line with Tangerine has already presented in Stratosfear, which is an album that, while still retains most of the elements found in Phaedra and Rubycon, is more accessible and less electronic.

One of the remarkable changes in Cyclone has to do with the evolution of synthesizers by late 70s, making it sound more modern than their previous works and losing a bit of the atmosphere achieved in the previous albums. The brass and string leads in Bent Cold Sidewalk and Rising Runner don't give the cold electronic atmosphere than analog synths and sequencers gave to TD sound. The addition of real drums, percussion, horns and wind instruments only make the changes more dramatic, but it is very much in line with the evolution of TD sound in the later stages of the 70s decade.

Apart from a few moments that don't work that well, the music in the album is very solid, especially the sidelong Madrigal Meridian that mixes some of the traditional Tangerine Dream goodness (sequences, analog synth solos, long guitar solos) with some beautiful passages mixing synths and wind instruments towards the end of the track. Bent Cold Sidewalk is also a very good song, mixing a bit of traditional prog very much in vein with Pink Floyd slow and melodic passages with sequencer and synth electronic passages.

Despite the controversy, an album worthy looking for, especially for electronic prog fans. And a good introduction to Tangerine Dream for symphonic, ecletic and crossover prog fans that might be scared by the experimentalism of earlier Tangerine Dream albums.

Report this review (#2241198)
Posted Wednesday, July 31, 2019 | Review Permalink

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