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Tangerine Dream 220 Volt Live album cover
2.95 | 51 ratings | 4 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Live, released in 1993

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Oriental Haze (6:52)
2. Two Bunch Palms (5:48)
3. 220 Volt (9:02)
4. Homeless (9:51)
5. Sundance Kid (8:04)
6. Backstreet Hero (8:49)
7. The Blue Bridge (4:47)
8. Hamlet (8:30)
9. Dreamtime (3:48)
10. Purple Haze (3:32)
11. Treasure Of Innocence (3:37)

Total Time: 72:40

Info: recorded during the 1992 North American tour
All music and sounds composed by Edgar and Jerome Froese,except Purple Haze composed by Jimi Hendrix.

Line-up / Musicians

- Edgar Froese / keyboards, guitar, producer
- Jerome Froese / keyboards, guitar
- Zlatko Perica / guitar
- Linda Spa / saxophone, keyboards

Releases information

CD Miramar MPCD 2804 (USA)

Thanks to Ricochet for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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$16.62 (used)
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TANGERINE DREAM 220 Volt Live ratings distribution

(51 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(25%)
Good, but non-essential (43%)
Collectors/fans only (16%)
Poor. Only for completionists (4%)

TANGERINE DREAM 220 Volt Live reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Neu!mann
3 stars Tangerine Dream never enjoyed the same respect in the 1990s as the band responsible for such elemental masterpieces like "Rubycon" and "Ricochet", but that was twenty years earlier. Let's face it: by the time Edgar Froese re-tooled the group to include his son Jerome (whose infant face had adorned so many of his dad's early record sleeves), the music was hardly what anyone would call cutting edge.

But I freely admit to having developed a soft spot for this disc: a quasi-live recording from their 1992 North American tour, and perhaps the quintessential snapshot, for better or worse, of the new TD nearing the start of the next millennium.

It was, as then soon-to-be-ousted President George H.W. Bush might have said, a "kinder, gentler" Tangerine Dream: no longer pioneers of counter-culture electronic meditation, now closer in style to the more audience-friendly aesthetics of JEAN- MICHEL JARRE and VANGELIS. Coincidentally (or not?), the opening fanfare here has more than a slight echo of the Oscar® winning "Chariots of Fire" theme.

Happily, the trademark synth-and-sequencer rhythm and bounce of classic Tangerine Dream is alive and reasonably healthy, dolled up in a bright new digital wardrobe but still irresistible whenever it canters over the horizon. Sure, it's a more earthbound, antiseptic facsimile of the original TD sound, thanks in part to the macho, arena-rock riffing of guitarist Zlatko Perica. And Linda Spa handles her saxophone with an open-hearted grace and dexterity that occasionally tips the music uncomfortably close to a blissful New Age narcolepsy unheard of in the band's proto-ambient infancy (and almost guaranteed to make any old-school fan shudder in his anorak).

But the softer interludes fit snugly alongside the more kinetic dance floor grooves, forming a near-mesmerizing, homogenous flow of uninterrupted music, all of it showing a melodic flair the old TD couldn't hope (or in truth never wanted) to match (the first four tracks work almost like a single 34+ minute non-stop medley). As always with Tangerine Dream the original concert tapes were enhanced in the studio afterward, to a point where it's damn near impossible to distinguish between the live performance and the previously unreleased studio track ("Treasure of Innocence"), tacked on here to fill an already generous CD to its limit.

Of course all the music here is new: again, a habit with live TD. The one exception is the unexpected encore, a cover of (believe it or not) the old Jimi Hendrix chestnut "Purple Haze". It's an entertaining novelty to be sure, but in retrospect also a somewhat mechanical plod compared to the empyrean heights achieved elsewhere on the disc.

Never mind. The song at least earned the band their third Grammy® Award nomination (an honor any self-respecting musician should regard as an insult to the creative spirit). And for listeners still clinging to that early '70s counter-culture lifeboat it offers a final measure of the distance Edgar Froese had traveled from his Krautrock roots.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars "220 Volt Live" is quite a different live album than usual. It is much more upbeat, features lots of electric guitar solo (and not of the mildest ones), some sax is being played as well (but this is not the first time though).

In one word, if you expect their marvellous and stellar music, you might be disappointed. But if you give it a few spins (but I admit that I had to give a lot of them before posting this review), you might be rewarded by your patience.

There are still some nice and atmospheric moments, don't be afraid, but these are quite discreet and short. Each track follows the previous one without interruption (up to "Homeless") which can give the sensation to be faced with a long and unique piece of music.

This is the problem with this work: the sensation of repetitiveness has never been so obvious. And it lasts for about seventy five minutes. This album is still interesting to understand the band's evolution in the nineties, but a traditional fan of the early hour (as I am) might find it difficult to approach.

Melodic guitar and frenetic drumming during the title song are quite a mix, shall I say. Different, but interesting at the same time. The closing part is more conventional and holds very pleasant keyboards.

During the second long number ("Homeless"), the guitar parts sounds more familiar as a "Santana" effort than on a TD one. Again, very nice, but so different to what can be expected.

The first classic TD track is reached with "Sundance Kid". Another beautiful and sculptural piece of dreamy music (at least during its initial phase). The beat afterwards get even more classic and can be compared to their works from the seventies. My favourite on this album for sure.

This seriously guitar oriented live album provides some good moments of emotion ("Hamlet") and a huge surprise: "Purple Haze" from the best guitar player ever (Jimi of course). This is an all instrumental version which does its job but no more. The audience's reaction is amazing. I wouldn't have imagined that TD fans should know Jimi's repertoire (but I am also one example). But maybe that these crowd cheering were added?

In all, this long album is quite decent but it's hard for me to choose between two or three stars. Five out of ten really.

Review by Modrigue
2 stars First TANGERINE DREAM live release by of the nineties, and also the first one without Christopher Franke. This record shows the new style adopted by the band in their mid-90's period: less electronic sequences, more rock-oriented, with a bit of saxophone. During this performance, the guitar parts are played by Edgar and Jerome Froese, but also by Zlatko Perica. For the first time for an official TD live release, there are no 20 minutes long suites, tracks have various names and their durations vary between 3 and 10 minutes. However, it still features material unreleased in studio.

Let's make things clear: if you want a cosmic, hypnotic trip, then this record is not what you're looking for. Despite its title, "220 Volt Live" is rather flat, uninspired new-age background music. The compositions' sound and style are quite similar, it's hard to differentiate one from another. Nonetheless, there are a few interesting moments.

"Sundance Kid" is the best tune here, as it is built over a TD typical synth sequence. For the honorable mentions, the title track has enjoyable passages and "Hamlet" features nice guitar solos. The surprise comes near the end with "Purple Haze". This cover is nice and punchy, but seems a bit out of place. At least, it wakes you up.

Definitely not for 70's TANGERINE DREAM purists, "220 Volt Live" is a clear significant change from their previous live records. Too long and too homogeneous, it has its moments and interesting ideas, but too rare in my opinion.

Latest members reviews

3 stars The skill of creating music that's dynamic, yet boring at the same time. I am the first one to admit that had I actually seen the performance, I would have been left with a much better impression compared with the (overdubbed) CD release. On the CD the dynamics come across only as boring, repe ... (read more)

Report this review (#900684) | Posted by BORA | Monday, January 28, 2013 | Review Permanlink

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