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SORCERER

Tangerine Dream

Progressive Electronic


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greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album is the soundtrack of the film Sorcerer. It sounds a bit like Ricochet, but there are other moods, like the first song "Main title", who is made for horror movies. It is not really a scary soundtrack; it rather expresses desolation: it is not a party album. I think Rubycon would have been more suited for horror movie soundtrack than this record.

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Send comments to greenback (BETA) | Report this review (#32615)
Posted Thursday, February 17, 2005 | Review Permalink
pedgcurtis@ao
4 stars My sister and I bought this soundtrack album before we even had the opportunity to see SORCERER (which did not have a long run at the theaters since the title and the Director (William Friedkin - THE EXORCIST) led people to mistakenly expect it was a horror movie) because the snippet of "Betrayal," used in the trailer, was so compelling. All the Tangerine Dream recordings I've bought since then, have been purchased because I liked this soundtrack so much.

For the record, this is not the soundtrack for a horror movie; SORCERER is a remake of a French adventure movie, WAGES OF FEAR...not intended to sound scary, but tense and bleak, and I think it succeeds. Mind, you, it's not particularly pleasant! On the other hand, I love the "Betrayal" track, and only wish it had been played in its entirety, in the movie itself.

It is to be wished that the producers had insisted on a less-misleading title for the movie; not only would Friedkin's career have been more illustrious (it was his first "bomb" after several hits, which is a shame because it's quite watchable) but Tangerine Dream would have widened their audience in America substantially.

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Send comments to (BETA) | Report this review (#32616)
Posted Sunday, April 10, 2005 | Review Permalink
philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Content Development & Krautrock Team
3 stars Without any doubt the best soundtrack released by Tangerine Dream. With a relatively similar material used in the precedent records, Rubycon, Stratosfear (concerning the keyboards and electronics: a lot of sequencers, electronic arpegiattos to support rythmically the melodies, mellotron and analog synthesizers), the members wrote a very dark and gloomy score. The main title is terrifying and throws the listener in a creepy adventure. This track is a great opening to what is coming next. Less experimental than the precedent title but as vibrant, the following tracks added one to an other create a long and epic journey throw the unknown. Globally less imperishable than others T.D. works, this record remains a good musical moment to discover (if you are in touch with the Virgin T.D era)

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Send comments to philippe (BETA) | Report this review (#32617)
Posted Monday, April 18, 2005 | Review Permalink
Proghead
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars TANGERINE DREAM's first foray in to film scoring. This was the soundtrack to William Friedkin's Sorcerer, which was a remake of an old movie called Wages of Fear. Apparently Friedkin was a big fan of prog rock and electronic music and had he knew of TANGERINE DREAM back in 1973, he would have used them for his best-known film, The Exorcist, but instead he used MIKE OLDFIELD, whose "Tubular Bells" gave him wide exposure, no doubt helped by the beginning part of the album used for the film.

I had seen Sorcerer, and I thought it was a particularly boring film, the only thing really sticking out was the heavy monsoons pouring in the Central American jungle as these trucks haul explosives over dangerous territory.

Given this was a soundtrack, the band went for much shorter compositions, in the 2-3 minute range, for the most part, but it proved TANGERINE DREAM was still able to float within the time constraints. No side-length epics here. "Main Title" is a truly bizarre experimental piece that harkens back to the old stuff they did when they were with Ohr, only this time on synthesizers rather than glissando guitars and VCS-3 synth effects. Most of the rest relies on sequencers with lots of synthesizers and Mellotron. Some of them sound like unfinished pieces, but worked in context to the film. After watching the film, I discovered only about half of the album's 12 songs were used in the film. I understand the band was less than pleased how their music was used in the film, but then the band never saw the film when they did the soundtrack.

I wouldn't call this their best '70s effort, but at least it's still a lot better than the crap they've been giving us in the last 20 or so years.

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Send comments to Proghead (BETA) | Report this review (#35540)
Posted Tuesday, June 07, 2005 | Review Permalink
Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Not really essential TD effort - it served a purpose for the film soundtrack, but in the form of an album does not catch attention. Although, I must say because this is from my fav TD period, second half of 1970s, there are few excellent themes like "Main Title", "Vengeance", "Abyss", "Grind" and "Betrayal"! Recommended only to strict electronic music fans or TD collectors. 2,5 stars actually!

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Send comments to Seyo (BETA) | Report this review (#51557)
Posted Thursday, October 13, 2005 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars For my next trick, I shall make all interest in the film vanish

The film "The sorcerer" was released in 1977 as a sort of follow up to "The exorcist". It is based on a French film called "Le Salaire de la Peur" ("The Wages of Fear"), the title being changed as much as anything in an effort to align the film more obviously with "The exorcist". While there was a huge amount of public interest in the film up to the point of its release, that interest waned rapidly after the premiere, and the film was a commercial disaster.

Director William Franklin says in his sleeve notes for this album that, had he heard Tangerine Dream sooner, he would have asked them to score "The exorcist". As it is, the score they wrote for "Sorcerer" was composed without the band having seen a second of the movie it was commissioned for. Franklin seems to have been impressed with what was delivered though, saying that it "captures and enhances every nuance of each moment (of the film)". The reality is though that for their first venture into soundtrack recording, Tangerine Dream simply did what they already did well.

The music here may be nominally broken down into bite sized pieces (tracks), but the album has all the trademarks of a Virgin era Tangs recording. At times, the music become so familiar that I am convinced some of it has actually appeared on TD studio albums. There is perhaps rather more in the way of atmospheric, scene setting type sounds, and less of the more heavily rhythmic synthesiser runs, but the difference is very much in the equilibrium of the album, the overall feel is the same.

Those who enjoy the music of Tangerine Dream from around this time should not avoid this album simply because it was written for a film. From the band's point of view, it seems that the intended use was incidental, and they just set about recording in the same way as usual.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#133171)
Posted Wednesday, August 15, 2007 | Review Permalink
russellk
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Uninspired, flaccid and lame, this knock-together soundtrack made the TANGS a fair wad of cash.

The Main Title is a 'pink years' avant-garde wall of dark, droning sound, and actually works quite nicely. Sadly, few of the remaining tracks do, sounding like out-takes from previous efforts. 'Search', for example, introduces a nice pulse with no context, then fades it out after a couple of minutes of noodling. Listening to this album is like viewing the artworks in a gallery through a series of portholes: a frustrating exercise in what-might-have-been and wonder-what-that-is.

Sadly, this set TANGERINE DREAM on their soundtrack career. Reviewers suggest that this is the best of them: I can't comment, as I've avoided them assiduously ever since. I want to purchase music designed for me to listen to, not as an accompaniment to visual images I can't see when listening to the album.

I don't count this as an 'official' TD album, instead choosing to pretend it doesn't exist.

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Send comments to russellk (BETA) | Report this review (#168278)
Posted Monday, April 21, 2008 | Review Permalink
4 stars I admit to being a little biased with this album. I heard it when it first came out a long time ago and enjoyed it then. I didn't delve into the rest of TD's catalogue until much later. They do have albums which are definitely better. Phaedra would be the obvious choice. But , in my opinion, there is a lot to be said for this album as well. The different tracks do a good job of adding atmosphere as designed for the movie soundtrack. I absoluetly love the track 'Betrayal' which will shake your world at one point (literally) if you have good speakers. Two thumbs up!

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Send comments to digdug (BETA) | Report this review (#218393)
Posted Tuesday, May 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars As ''Ricochet'' was the first TD live album, ''Sorcerer'' was their first soundtrack. And they will release an awful bunch of them in their amazing long career. I have not seen this version of the movie, but it was a remake of a great French movie from the late fifties (Le Salaire De La Peur'') which is a fave of mine and well worth a viewing if you are ever interested.

There are some true TD moments here (''Search'', ''Betrayal'') but the ones who were waiting for some scary stuff won't be satisfied: there is nothing too scary to expect from this album since the story is not at all linked with terror or devil stories. It was just a great thriller, for sure.

I would say that this is a ''cheap'' TD effort. Some sort of second tier. Let's not forget that the band released several major albums from '74 through '76 and that this entry can't be compared to these great works.

There is nothing weak in here, but the grandeur of their major and previous recordings can't be felt. Still, ''Vengeance'', ''Grind'' and 'Abyss'' above all do have lots of qualities.

But the global feel is that this is somewhat a lesser TD album. Still good but with some unfinished taste. Three stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#221837)
Posted Friday, June 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
3 stars Without doubt this is Tangerine Dream's best soundtrack. Still it's only recommended to die-hard fans as it is rather dull and has aged badly compared to the full-bodied Tangerine Dream albums of that era. So in a way it is not only the first TD soundtrack but also a template for those that would follow, not offering anything new and sounding as if it is compiled from leftovers of the main albums. The album starts impressive enough though; Main Title is downright scary and sounds like a digestible synthesis of the eerie soundscapes from Zeit. The rest of the album is a lacklustre collection of second rate Tangerine Dream. The few decent tunes feature on the Encore live album in extended and better form.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#236721)
Posted Thursday, September 03, 2009 | Review Permalink
Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The first foray of Soundtrack material from Tangerine Dream. It is a great start too and to this reviewer has always suspiciously sounded like Stratosfear ( Take 2), especially listening to " Creation" and ' Search" or " Vengeance" smacks of " The Big Sleep in Search of Hades" or "...Okefenokee". So very much a dark broody album with some excellent guitar work from Froese and the atypical Baumann/Franke influences. " Abyss" is particularly spine chilling but the the last two tracks are exceptionally good " Impressions of Sorceror" and " Betrayal", has Froese and his crew saving their best for last. This could have been a great album release regardless of the " Soundtrack" tag. Four stars.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#290237)
Posted Tuesday, July 13, 2010 | Review Permalink
octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
3 stars I don't know anything of the movie, but it was just question of time before the cinema went aware of TD as a possible source of soundtracks.

Sorcerer is just the first of a number of movie soundtracks commissioned to Tangerine Dream. This one happened between Stratosfear and Cyclone, so the periond in which their music was turing to a little more (but just a little) commercial, or at least less experimental than in the pink period.

This is not true for "Main Title" that's totally spacey and full of electronic noise, but since the second track "Search" we can hear the difference. Four bass sequenced notes provide the rhythm and the main chord for the keyboards, then the bass note remain just two and a guitar riff starts. In general in TD albums there are side long tracks with changes occurring each 5 minutes, more or less. What makes "Search" appear more commercial is the fact that the same number of changes happen in just 3 minutes. On a different album "The Call" wouldn't have had a title of its own, but those two minutes of music are one of the most melodic things released by TD up to this album.

Things become darker with "Creation", at least because it's based on minor chords, but from a rhythmic point of view is not too different from the previous one. Here they sound very close to Vangelis.

"Vengeance" is even darker. Not knowing anything of the movie or of the images that the music was made to comment, giving it an interpretation is not easy. However it has the feeling of "music for films".

"The Journey" is a two minutes track with a good evocative melody over the usual electronic rhythm.

Then comes "Grind". It seems taken from Rubycon or Stratosfear. Only it's short. "Rain Forest" is more spacey, it maybe comments a moment of thrill in the movie.

"Abyss" is where TD have more time available to develop their music in their usual way: repetitive rhythm with few variation which transform the track into something different, but very slowly. Of course also here less than 8 minutes are not enough to have a birth of liquid plejades, so the various sections have a shorter duration. The spacey part in the middle is very good, indeed.

Less than two very melodic minutes with "The Mountain Road", that I think appropriate for the end titles, followed by "Impressions of Sorcerer" which features a good electric guitar.

The album is closed by what I suppose is the main theme of the movie. It's a very nice piece, quite dark.

To be honest, at this point of their career TD are not yet ready for short things. This is a good album but as many soundtracks non-essential. Three full stars.

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Send comments to octopus-4 (BETA) | Report this review (#415824)
Posted Monday, March 14, 2011 | Review Permalink
stefro
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A remake of the classic French thriller 'The Wages Of Fear', William Friedkin's $20m remake - titled 'Sorceror' - would prove to be the first flop of the Hollywood director's then stellar career. Having previously excited and shocked audiences in equal measure with the gritty cop thriller 'The French Connection' and the seminal supernatural horror of 'The Exorcist', both enormous commercial and critical successes, Friedkin pretty much had carte blanche to do as he pleased. Like many of the 'New Hollywood' set of film-makers(the likes of Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Steve Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Robert Altman etc) Friedkin was a huge fan of the French new wave and cinema verite. Made in 1953, Henri-George Clouzot's 'The Wages Of Fear' was classic suspenser, a brilliantly executed thriller about four desperate fugitives trapped in a steamy South American hell-hole who are offered crazy money to transport a cargo of highly-explosive nitro-glycerine through three-hundred miles of dangerous rain forest terrain. The film would feature all the hallmarks of 1950's French cinema, with a grainy, documentary-style feel, artful photography and plenty of tense discussions on the existensial state of man's primal fears. It was ripe for a Hollywood re-dressing, and Friedkin seemed the perfect choice to take on the difficult task of doing so. Sadly, however, the film proved a financial disaster, and for several reasons. Firstly, the studio made the oh-so enormous mistake of releasing 'Sorceror' on the very same weekend as a certain sci-fi blockbuster called 'Star Wars'. Secondly, the film featured no real stars bar 'Jaws' actor Roy Scheider, not quite an A-lister, who was otherwise backed by a cast of talented but relatively unknown(In North America at least) Europeans. Thirdly, Friedkin completely overestimated his audience, pulling out every cinema verite trick in the book and loading 'Sorceror' with complex political themes, deliberately washed-out colours and a dark and foreboding atmosphere. Finally, 'Sorceror' was just far too long for mainstream audiences to take, the film pulled for extensive(and expensive) re-cutting after just a week and then re-released to little effect, the whole time completely overshadowed by Lucas' super-popular space western. But here's the punch-line. 'Sorceror', despite it's negative reputation, is actually a superb film. Sadly, however, it would spell the end for Friedkin as a major director and he would never again reach the heights scaled by his early-seventies output. With all the fuss regarding the film's financial failing, the soundtrack by Tangerine Dream seems to have been completely overlooked. Friedkin, of course, had a penchant for choosing music by experimental rock acts for his movies as opposed to classical scores(had had used Mike Oldfield's 'Tubular Bells' for 'The Exorcist' to great effect) and his choice of the teutonic trio for the 'Sorceror' soundtrack now seems positively inspired. Like the film, the soundtrack is a dark, ominous, brooding beast, full of sparse electronic rhythms. It's also one of those great movie soundtracks that can be listened to as a stand-alone album, always a good sign, and one of the better Tangerine Dream offerings from one of their strongest periods, perfectly complimenting Friedkin's moody visuals and the film's overall foreboding tone. Viewed now, both film and soundtrack stand up incredibly well, showcasing the inate talents of both group and director and proving a stark reminder of just how high the creative bar was during the 1970s, a decade when Hollywood produced proper, grown-up films and music was so much more than just confection for kids. A strange and alluring album, 'Sorceror', much like the movie it accompanies, deserves to be wholly re-evaluated, and those that do so will find a challenging and mysterious album full of fascinating moments. This may be Tangerine Dream at their least accesible, yet it also finds them mining the spirit of their early masterworks - albums such as 'Zeit' - to very impressive effect.

STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2012

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Send comments to stefro (BETA) | Report this review (#718010)
Posted Sunday, April 08, 2012 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars 'Sorcerer' - Tangerine Dream (6/10)

Progressive rock seems to have a connection with horror films. Goblin wrote the haunting soundtrack for Dario Argento's Suspiria, and William Friedkin's The Exorcist was scored by none other than Mike Oldfield. Friedkin's interactions with progressive rock would not end with his horror masterpiece however; with his next film Sorcerer, he would enlist the musical conjurings of Tangerine Dream. Although I am a fan o Friedkin's work, I have never seen the film for which Tangerine Dream made their first-ever Hollywood soundtrack. For what I've read, it seems as though Sorcerer was met with less-than-thunderous applause, thanks in large part due to the esoteric nature of the film, and the fact that it was released a month after a certain director named George Lucas cemented his name in history with Star Wars. Although this soundtrack fits snugly within the golden years of Tangerine Dream's strongest material, there is a scattered structure and emotional distance that would go to define much of the band's soundtrack work. With that being said, "Sorcerer" still retains many of the qualities that made these years so great for Tangerine Dream, although anyone expecting something along the lines of "Phaedra", "Rubycon", or even "Stratosfear" will find themselves sorely disappointed.

Regarding the palette of sounds used, "Sorcerer" is similar to the previous album, "Stratosfear". Although much of the sound relies on meditative synth arrangements and eerie soundscapes, there is a moderate use of the electric lead guitar. The greatest strength of Tangerine Dream remains their ability to fuse and develop textures of sound, and "Sorcerer" capitalizes on this. The opening piece, "Main Title" is a solid indicator of the direction TD take with their style here. Although there remains a sense of composition and deliberate pacing, the music is left largely incidental and ambient, rarely changing pace or fostering a surprise for the attentive listener. In the context of a film, this spacey atmosphere could paint an eerie backdrop for a suspenseful scene. For the experience of listening on its own merit, "Sorcerer" comes off feeling like Tangerine Dream-lite, bringing the sounds, but not the inspiration and willingness to innovate.

Although it's perhaps a necessary shortcoming of the soundtrack format, Tangerine Dream's compositions are cut up into bite-sized chunks. Eschewing the sprawling side- length epics for shorter pieces, the compositions on "Sorcerer" feel more like unfulfilled ideas. Particularly considering the sort of artistic success Tangerine Dream were so capable of at this time, it is disappointing that they did not do more with the opportunity. With that in mind, it's certainly enjoyable as far as ambient music goes, and considering the quality of some of these (albeit unfulfilled) ideas, it would be unfair to dismiss this as purely apocryphal. It's good, but not great, although compared to some of the soundtracks Tangerine Dream would do in the decade to come, this is nothing short of a masterpiece...

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Send comments to Conor Fynes (BETA) | Report this review (#862067)
Posted Monday, November 19, 2012 | Review Permalink

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