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Tangerine Dream

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Tangerine Dream Green Desert album cover
3.43 | 157 ratings | 20 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1986

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Green Desert (19:31)
2. White Clouds (5:03)
3. Astral Voyager (7:05)
4. Indian Summer (6:50)

Total Time: 38:29

Line-up / Musicians

- Edgar Froese / Solina Strings, Mini Moog, Mellotron, guitar, phaser Fx, producer
- Christoph Franke / VCS3 Synthi, PRX II drum machine, percussion

Releases information

Originally recorded in August 1973, and remixed with additional recordings in 1984 by Edgar Froese.

LP Relativity ‎- 88561-8072-1 (1986, US)

CD Relativity Theory ‎- TRCD 8072 (1986, US)
CD Sequel Records ‎- SEQUEL 1036-2 (1996, US) Remastered by Thomas Heimann-Trosien with new cover art

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy TANGERINE DREAM Green Desert Music

TANGERINE DREAM Green Desert ratings distribution

(157 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (27%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

TANGERINE DREAM Green Desert reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Proghead
2 stars I've got a sneaking suspicion I feel a bit ripped-off by this album. Supposed to be this lost 1973 album recorded between "Atem" and "Phaedra" during the time Rolf Ulrich Kaiser decided to rename his Ohr Records as Kosmische Musik, with the TANGERINE DREAM guys not wanting to participate in his "cosmic circus" (no doubt helped by the COSMIC JOKERS project in which the albums were released against the wish of some, including Klaus Schulze). I'm sorry, but "Green Desert" has too many '80s digital add-ons. Doesn't sound much like a transitional album between their Ohr and Virgin albums, but more like "Le Parc" but with a more gloomy atmosphere than what mid '80s TD usually done, and extended cuts.

Too many inconsistencies here, for example the heavy use of Solina string synths that I know TD never had in 1973 (I think the Solina was brand-new in '73, but they didn't get theirs until around 1975). Where are the VCS-3 synths? The Mellotron sounds digitally processed. Cheesy sounding drum machine that the band never used at that time. I just don't find much to connect this album to what they did in '73 and '74. In fact, if you really wonder how TD might have sounded between "Atem" and "Phaedra", go get Edgar Froese's first solo album, "Aqua" (actually released after "Phaedra", but sounds like it was recorded earlier, with that combination Ohr and Virgin sound).

For "Green Desert", the music isn't bad, I just think if they were to claim it was that lost 1973 recording, they should not have given it the digital treatment, and left it the way it was, if the sound quality permitted it, that is.

My rating: 2 1/2 stars

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Proghead's doubts are actually very justified as there are too many doodlings having been readjusted for the release of these tapes. But unlike Him , I enjoy the music on it very much as I have no doubt that this music has origins of the mid-70's (maybe not 73 though) but somewhere around Stratosfear , Cyclone , Ricochet , Force Majeure era. No matter how shady the origins of those tapes , this is certainly the best album released ( in 86) by TD since the start of the 80's ( although I have not heard everything , nor do I wish to) and I consider it a very worthy album.
Review by Syzygy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This was the great lost Tangerine Dream album, the missing link between Atem and Phaedra that languished in the vaults fom 1973 to 1986, when it was finally unleashed on to a waiting world. Except...Edgar Froese could not resist tinkering with the original tapes, so there are quite a lot of overdubs featuring equipment that wasn't around when it was first recorded. Whether the 80s gloss was strictly necessary is a matter for debate, but there is no doubt that this is an excellent TD album whatever its provenance.

There are two unique aspects to this album; it's the only one which Froese and Franke recorded as a duo (Force Majeure is also a Froese/Franke work, but features additional musicians) and it's also the last to feature Chris Franke playing drums. The real treat for TD fans here is the title track, which is built round a lengthy duet with Froese on guitar and Franke on drums. Franke may not have been in quite the same league as Jaki Liebezeit or Christian Vander, but he could really play and on this piece he builds up to the kind of feverish rhythm that Popol Vuh's Daniel Fischelcher did so well. Froese is in full on blues raga mode, and the whole adds up to a spellbinding piece of space rock on a par with Force Majeure. The second half of the album doe not quite live up to the first - I suspect that Froese and Franke were road testing their shiny new synths and wondering 'what does this button do?' a lot of the time. White Clouds is propelled by an almost motorik rhythm and Astral Voyager gives the sequencer a bit of a work out, but while they are pleasant enough neither track really goes anywhere. Indian Summer is a big improvement, a near ambient piece of the kind of electronic atmospherics that TD did so well.

This album is recommended to fans of Stratosfear and Force Majeure - as others have noted, it doesn't really sound like a transition between Atem and Phaedra, but this could be explained by the absence of Peter Baumann (who left TD for a few months in 1973 to travel round Asia with his girlfriend). The title track deserves 5 stars, the rest of the album 3.

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Thi is very good and enjoyable piece of work. I was never a fan of TD and much less an expert in electronic music, but this album I prefer to their early efforts. I used to have "Phaedra" LP for a long time and now I have "Atem" and "Zeit" but never really got into them, while I liked their later 70s stuff, namely "Stratosfear" and "Force majeure". So I guess from previous reviews that's why I like this one too. The title track is excellent example of space electronic music with psyche solo guitar and drums, while "Astral Voyager" is another highlight marked with a sort of flute-like synth reminiscent of popular Morricone music from "Spaghetti western" films. The rest of the album is slightly more dull and mainly ambient sounds. Very a pleasant listen though, even for uninitiated people! Recommended.
Review by philippe
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Tangerine Dream have a very large back catalogue and we sometimes feel a bit disoriented by the lack of creativity which gains the two last decades. The band didn't success to renew their own style with consistence, preferring more mainstream & conventional synth sounds. Re-issued during the 80s, "Green Desert" represents a good breath after many indulgent albums. The album was originally written in 1973 and it reveals some of the most TD innovative materials. It's the first time the band uses their famous electronic arpeggios (in the mysterious and majestic ambient "Astral Voyage"). The title track is one of the most amazing TD compositions and negotiates a link between their most accessible electronic synthesis and their first attempts in "abstract" experimental contributions. The track begins with a deep moody "sustained" drone, then concentrates on a spacey guitar solo accompanied by technical drum parts and electronic effects. "White Clouds" features luminous, dreamy-like synth chords covered by "helicopter" drums. "Indian Summer" uses the same environemental ambience with a similar electronic material. Only linear, elegiac tones with no "hypnotic" pulsations. This album is without doubts very commended for beginners despite that it doesn't reach the musical level of the three previous efforts.
Review by progrules
3 stars Tangerine Dream has never really been a part of my progressive life so far. I heard of the band in the past and of course TD is a significant band in prog history but somehow I were never drawn to them. Checking all kinds of things and bands lately I thought I had to explore this band as well. It's part of progressive education so to speak, one at least have to try them to be able to judge.

So I ran into this one, but to be fair: I have no idea if this album gives a fair view of this band. Looking at it freshly (as a beginner) I feel it sounds like a mix between Kraftwerk and Jean Michel Jarre. And in this album it's quite clear to me: there are four tracks, the first and the last have strong resemblance to JMJ in my opinion and the two middle tracks have more comparison to Kraftwerk. I have no idea whether I have a clear view on this matter and maybe it's a totally faulty evaluation of TD but it's how I see it at first glance. Especially the last track has very strong resemblance to Oxygene part 2 in my believe. Big difference between TD and JMJ is though the fact that TD also uses percussion and guitar where JMJ just uses a synthesizer.

Anyway, I don't think there's anything wrong with Tangerine Dream, I like this sort of instrumental music without going overboard by it. I think I will explore some more in the future. 3 stars for this (3.2)

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars 70's or 80's? The decision is yours

"Green desert" is probably best regarded as a link between the music of Tangerine Dream of the 1970's and that which they created in the 1980's. It does not exactly fit into either period, as the original tapes date from the former, but the final sounds, after some overdubbing and editing, are very much of the 80's.

The (LP) side long title track is a brooding, atmospheric piece which takes ages to get going, but features some fine guitar work by Edgar Froese. As the track develops, drum sequences become more dominant and the piece acquires a harder edge, the changes always being subtle and gradual. The track concludes with some wonderful mellotron drifts.

At around 5 minutes, "White Clouds" is the shortest track on the album. There is a certain onomatopoeia to the music, but the track lacks substance. "Astral Voyager" is the most rhythmic of the tracks, with hints of African influences. The overall sound though is that of the middle sections of the two "Rubicon" tracks, the flute like synth sounds offering an pleasant diversion. The final track "Indian Summer" indulges in some rudimentary dramatics by way of introduction, but never really moves on from them.

In all, a decent album from what was at the time a duet of Froese and Franke. I would hardly describe it as a lost masterpiece, but those who appreciate the music of the Tangs from wither the 70's or the 80's should find the album rewarding.

Review by russellk
2 stars The great enigma, 'Green Desert' is a TANGERINE DREAM album recorded in 1973 while PETER BAUMANN was overseas, but not released. Instead, the trio went on to record 'Phaedra' when he returned. This album was supposedly 'discovered' by EDGAR FROESE in 1985 and issued in 1986.

Problem is, it really doesn't sound like a 1973 album. Having lost the courage to resist the smothering effect of 80s production values, how could FROESE resist spicing up this rather sparse and languid release with 80s sounds? The result is not dissimilar in effect to the Max Graham remix of 'Owner of a Lonely Heart' - out of time, left gasping like a novelty fish left behind by the tide. It leaves me wishing I could hear the original tapes, and suspicious that precious little of the original has made it on to this release. Still better than those soundtracks though.

Oh yes, the music. The title track is a smouldering slow burner, spiced up with a barely moving FROESE guitar and by FRANKE's somewhat inept but vigorous percussion. It closes with some rather (suspiciously) bright keyboards. It reminds me of something from 'Zeit' or 'Atem' with a little more vigour. 'White Clouds' is a charmless and directionless melange of synths and percussion. The most interesting track here is 'Astral Voyager', a clear guide as to the origin of 'Phaedra' and subsequent sequencer-driven tracks; but again this has been tidied up, and lacks the world-encompassing mystique of the muddied 1974 recording. It suffers for it. 'Indian Summer' is an apt title for a track that prolongs the drought of genuine musical ideas.

An historical curio that ought, I think, to have been left in the vault.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars According to the liner notes this was recorded in 1973 between "Atem" and "Phaedra" with the sole purpose of it being a taster for Richard Branson's "Virgin Records" label. It worked as they were signed to a 5 year record deal. The money the received was used to invest in new equipment and they promptly made "Phaedra" with it.This particular recording was set aside until Froese dug it out of the archives in 1984 and added some new material while re-mixing the rest. So yes it has that 80's flavour for good reason. Froese was prone to do things like this, he did it with some of his solo albums to the dismay of many fans.The mellotron is one of the victims when Froese starts to mess around in the recording studio with older material. I guess he likes the more modern sound. I cry sacriledge ! Anyway this is a very good record in my opinion regardless of what Froese did.

"Green Desert" is the side long opener which opens with sounds that drone and hover as other spacey sounds come and go. Drums start to beat slowly after 4 1/2 minutes. Guitar comes in a minute later and mellotron 7 minutes in. I like this a lot. Drums get louder and start to dominate as the guitar stops. Drums also stop before 16 minutes as it turns spacey. PINK FLOYD comes to mind after 18 minutes. Amazing tune !

"White Clouds" opens with drums and synths and again the synths a minute in remind me of FLOYD. The tempo picks up. There are some added jungle sounds which remind me of Froese's "Epsilon In Malaysian Pale" album. Cool song. "Astral Voyager" has lots of sequencer sounds that pulse as other synths join in. "Indian Summer" is the only track that i'm not totally into yet. Synths chords come and go in a rhythm as other sounds come in.

Well worth 4 stars in my opinion.

Review by ZowieZiggy
5 stars This album IS another great feature of the huge and great TD discography.

Some sort of a lost gem of the seventies, released much later (but who knows!). The music which is experienced here is just SUMPTUOUS, GORGEOUS and MARVELLOUS.

The title track is a pure beauty from second one to the latest. An absolute masterpiece to be honest. This is quite an astonishing band! Having released so many good albums out of an impressive range (over twenty so far).

Chapeau. Hats off. These are the only words that reflects my genuine feel about TD.

I wouldn't argue of when the original work was "invented" or released. The only aspect which is worth mentioning is that this album is just EXTRAORDINARY. The beautiful musical landscapes, the impressive wall of synths (still very much proggy during the first two pieces of music).

I am just found of "Green Desert" and "White Clouds". Much more than any songs from "Tangram" onwards. But of course, I'm fu**ing biased by all means. I am just deeply in love with these inhuman but so enjoyable beats. And "Astral Voyager" is just excellent.

Should this be compared with some lost jewel??? Oh dear! Yes!!!

This IS absolute wonder and joy. A glorious TD album. Maybe one of their best which can definitely compete with "Rubycon". Which is my all time fave from this great band.

The music proposed here is so WONDERFUL, it is so HUGE. Damned!!!

This is worth six stars or near. Just listen to the wonderful beauty of "Indian Summer". An outstanding number, a passionate release, a miracle of a melody, an endless refreshment, an absolute beauty.

What else can I bloody say?

This is an ENORMOUS prog release. No words as in my old time fave "Genesis", no great guitar as in my old time fave Floydean times, no crazyness as with Crimson, no dementia as with Tull, no such a complexity as my dear "Yes". More than this.

This album is just a MASTERPIECE. And you know that I am quite reluctant to give a five star rating. "Indian Summer" is a piece of music I can enjoy for HOURS. Listening to it in some kind of a loop.


Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Conjecture aside this is a 1986 release with an old feel to it. " Green Desert" starts off with a 5 minute drone, something familiar to Atem maybe? Who cares, it has an awesome mood before Edgar Froese's menacing lead guitar kicks in very Floydian in sound and the songs gradually builds to a trademark TD climax before some lovely synthesiser sounds play out this nineteen minute beauty. " White Clouds" is a typical 80's sounding song although the haunting synth and frenzied percussion gives it extra mph. ' Astral Voyager' is very pleasant to the ears and " Indian Summer" is without doubt from the Encore material tapes of 1977 ( near enough) or Cyclone's " Madrigal Meridian". I'd stake my life on it :-). A very satisfying album and a necessary member of your Tangerine Dream catalogue.
Review by Warthur
3 stars Green Desert is presented as a lost Tangerine Dream album from 1973 - a followup to Atem which was canned once the band got the deal with Virgin Records and the opportunity (and budget) to record Phaedra. However, Dream fans hoping to get a long-forgotten album in the style of Tangerine Dream's early Krautrock style should be warned that Edgar Froese spruced up the recordings with a substantial amount of newly-recorded overdubs in 1984.

This may well have been necessary to get them up to a presentable standard - we can't know for certain but I wouldn't be surprised if the old tapes were deteriorated or weren't entirely finished. However, Froese opts to perform these overdubs in a style more consistent with Tangerine Dream's approach in the mid-1980s, using modern equipment. Consequently, any historically illuminating aspects this album may have had are completely obscured under a heap of 80s synths and tinny drum sounds.

Had the overdubs been recorded using period-appropriate equipment, this album would have at least been interesting to Tangerine Dream collectors simply as an illustration of the evolution from Atem to Phaedra. But the fact is, they weren't, and as a result the end product falls between two stools, neither being an accurate representation of the group's 1970s work nor in keeping with what they were doing in the 1980s.

Taken on its own terms, it's perfectly pleasant enough, but to really appreciate it you need to get away from the "lost album" assumptions; certainly, if you come to it expecting something akin to Atem/Phaedra you'll likely be disappointed, though there are flashes of that approach detectable deep in the mix. I previously rated this one quite harshly, but on reflection that's really due to the somewhat misleading promotion around it rather than the content itself.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
4 stars Looking at the other reviews it seems that this album is very controversial, Somebody says that it's effectively the lost masterpiece recorded in 1973 and released only 13 years later, other says that it's just 80s stuff. Probably it's both the things.

The title track is a side-long one, as it was usual for TD in 1973. It starts very spacey and without rhythm, like it's coming from the pink period. Let me say that I immediately loved this track. After some averagely good and sometimes not so good things released in the 80s, with some relevant exceptions mainly in the live albums, we finally have something that's not too far from Zeit. Another clue that this comes effectively from 1973 is the drums and the guitar entering slightly after about 5 minutes. In the old years 5 minutes was the average time until the theme has a significant change in TD long tracks. Also the floydian mood of the guitar (reminds me to Obscured By Clouds) dates this track to 1973. Wondering why this track hasn't been released actually, I think possible that Froese has considered it too "Floydian". Guitar leaves after 5 minutes more for drums and spacey sounds while the keyboard background is smoothly changing. Any doubt about it? It might have been edited before being released, but it surely comes from the 70s. Very Pink. At minute 16 it returns where it started but the love of Froese for Saucerful of Secrets is back again. I really have no doubts about the year of the first recording.

I'm less sure about "Whte Clouds". The soundscape is not so different and it has something that reminds me to Encore. However this is another very good track.

"Astral Voyager" is closer to Phaedra than to Atem and the title is the most spacey thing that it has. I love this track as I love the whole album, but here I have a doubt about this having been composed later to fill an album too short. Well, if this is a filler I'd like to have a compilation of fillers of this kind. The whistling sound in the second half of the track reminds me again to Encore.

"Indian Summer" is fantastic. The background storms behind the succession of keyboard chords with the bass on the third or fifth then the flute...(of course electronic) is clearly reminding to Encore again. Also the track's title does.

So I think that the original recordings may have been edited and/or overdubbed a little, but those are tracks coming from the 70s. They make me feel a sentiment of regret for the great music that TD have been able to give us in that period. This is probably not at the same level of Atem and Phaedra, but is very close to both.

Happy to be able to rate again a TD album with 4 stars

Review by Modrigue
3 stars 3.5 stars

"Green Desert" was initially a project started in 1973 by Edgar Froese and Christopher Franke, between "Atem" and "Phaedra", while Peter Baumann went meditating in Katmandu. Not released by Virgin, the compositions were finally remixed and overdubbed during 84-86. As a result, the tracks both sound 70's and 80's. For this review, I will focus on the music only, not the process. This album can be regarded as a transition from the abstract "kosmische" style to the use of mesmerizing sequences, although a little different from usual 70's TD's opus, as it is quite accessible and features percussions.

The 20 minutes long title track is a cool wandering space-rock jam, featuring typical floyd-ish guitar. Its percussions and discrete electronic background can remind PINK FLOYD's "Obscured by Clouds". "White Clouds" is my favorite track of the record. In the spirit of "White Eagle" (a coincidence?), but more melodic and with percussions, this tune makes me think of a lost Inca temple suddenly illuminated by the sun. "Astral Voyager" marks the appearance of hypnotic synth loops. Pleasant, but a bit too long. With its atmospheric mood, the final track "Indian Summer" is average.

"Green Desert" is certainly not essential in TANGERINE DREAM's discography. However, this record has a rather good homogeneous quality and its own ambiance. Recommended to those who want to discover another facet of the band and to fans of PINK FLOYD.

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Green Desert is a Tangerine Dream album that began in 1973 when Peter Baumann had departed for Berlin on a journey to Nepal and India, reducing the trio to the duo of Edgar Froese and Chris Franke. In London Virgin Records noticed the popularity of TD and decided to sign them up record Green Desert in Skyline Studios, Berlin. In the studio the duo utilised a rhythm controller, phaser and synthesizers. Chris Franke recalls in an interview: "The rhythm controller came from Italy and looked like something from science fiction with its console of 128 buttons which all lit up. It could be programmed, it was analogue and it was polyphonic! The lights blinked, I had hands on control and later I used it as a sequencer to trigger other synthesisers."

Peter Baumann eventually returned but the album was incomplete, but TD had begun to record Phaedra by this time. It was not until 1984 that Edgar Froese found Green Desert material lurking in the TD archives and it was decided that these tracks in their raw form would be reworked to create the next album release. The remix included sounds from the mid-80's with a more melodic flavour and with a lot more percussion, the drums were prominent and it does not have an early 70s sound for these reasons. It took till 1986 before an album release came to fruition and it was released as a part of the set In The Beginning. The result is an album with a very unique style opening with a drone synth and some impressive drumming that is something different for TD, many of their albums being free from drums. I particularly love the drumming on the album, being a drummer myself I can appreciate the complexity and dynamic rhythmic meters. Towards the end of the title track there is a beautiful wash of synths and some wave sounds generating a soothing atmosphere; one may be reminded of Jean Michel Jarre's Oxygene. It is a 19 and a half minute epic that is absolutely mesmirising.

After this fantastic start to the album drums open White Clouds and a synth with spacey textures and swirling crescendos. The drums are frenetic and the melodic synth lines are absolutely beautiful. This is a more positive sound for the band with uplifting sounds and some deliriously hypnotic chord progressions. The synth swishes and bird calls are an excellent augmentation, but again those drum rhythms are so African sounding and rhythm-centric it is a delight to listen to.

Astral Voyager follows with bass synth lines and a motoring beat reminding me of Rubycon or Ricochet in places. Indian Summer is the closing track and this time is replete with synth swells and very atmospheric spacey sounds. there is no beat and it kind of hypnotises with organic splashes of keyboard chords. Overall this is a solid release from the Tangs, quite different in many ways, with some mesmirising beauty scattered throughout, and definitely worthy of being in your TD collection.

Review by VianaProghead
4 stars Review N 638

Tangerine Dream is, without any doubt, one of the most influential electronic groups of all time, if not the most of all. Their music has made an immeasurable impact on ambient, new age, techno, trance, and progressive rock, as well as modern film score composition. Founded as a psychedelic rock group in 1967 by Edgar Froese, the group was initially associated with the Krautrock scene. Their initial phase, also called "The Pink Years", started with the avant-garde rocking debut work that bearded the misleading title "Electronic Meditation". It was only after their debut that we have the transition to "Cosmic Music", partly influenced by Pink Floyd. Synthesizers were only used on their second, third and fourth albums "Alpha Centauri", "Zeit" and "Atem". Until then they did their job without electronic instruments. The recordings for "Green Desert", which were only released in a revised form in the 80's, will be the subject of my review.

So, somehow, "Green Desert" is a superb relic from the older days of Tangerine Dream. It was recorded in 1973 only by Edgar Froese and the relative newcomer, ex-Agitation Free drummer Christopher Franke. The absence of the third bandmate Peter Baumann can be explained because he left temporarily the band in 1973 for a few months to a sabbatical travel around Asia with his girlfriend exploring Tibet. Thus, for many people, "Green Desert" is the great lost Tangerine Dream's album from what is usually considered their golden line up. It's the missing link between "Atem" of 1973 and "Phaedra" of 1974, which was gathering dust upon the shelves from 1973 till 1986. According to the liner notes, "Green Desert" was recorded with the only purpose of being a taste for Richard Branson's Virgin-label. It worked because they signed a five year record deal with Virgin, beginning what is called "The Virgin Years" of Tangerine Dream, which are considered the golden years of the band. The money received was used to invest in new equipments.

So, "Green Desert" was set aside until Edgar Froese dug it out of the archives in 1984. This reformed version of the original recordings has some polishes added during the remixing for the original 1986 edition. In reality, Edgar Froese couldn't resist leaving the original tapes the way they were recorded originally. So he added quite a lot of overdubs with some new equipment that wasn't available yet at the time when it was initially recorded. It would be really interesting to know which parts actually come from 1973. This is especially felt by me with the first two pieces that seems to be from the 70's. For instance, "Green Desert" was one of the last instances where Christopher Franke would wield his sticks, on the first two pieces on the album, the title track and "White Clouds". The two other last pieces seems to me definitely from the 80's, because on them I can hear a lot of sounds that seems to me belong to a later Tangerine Dream's phase.

The album opens with the title track which was the A side of the original vinyl record. It's a broody and atmospheric piece that begins with synthetic humming and shimmering. This merges into an extended and carried guitar solo by Edgar Froese, accompanied by creative and driving drums by Christopher Franke, as well as all sorts of electronic sounds such as strings or choirs. The electric guitar falls silent as the process progresses and you only hear busy drums and floating carpets made of Mellotron and synths, till finally a lyrical melody supported by frugal chords begins. The theme continues in the tighter and compact "White Clouds". It has an interesting combination of lively drums and a bright synthetic backdrop. It can be seen as the most rhythmic track on the album due to the strong percussion parts. However, this track contains an overall mellow sound. The piece is pervaded by a cautiously optimistic melody, really. "Astral Voyager" is carried by a fast sequencer- like motif, and with its digital-sounding sounds much like an intensive Edgar Froese post-processing, more after 1984 than after 1973. If one knows Edgar Froese's pronounced "improvement vein", this assessment becomes almost to certainty. You may never know how it sounded in the original version, really. "Indian Summer" offers wave movements and scattered string chords that come across as suspiciously modern. This sound image is interspersed with delicate melody lines. Well, "Astral Voyager" and "Indian Summer" are adorable, but would most likely fit one of Froese's last two solo albums. So they will have little in common with recordings from 1973.

Conclusion: "Green Desert" is a Tangerine Dream's album of great historical value. The old master tapes are only used on two tracks, but they're already very interesting. I cannot say whether the other two pieces were completely re-written or at least partly based on old ideas. However, they convey enough retro feeling to revive the spirit of the 70's. The old Tangerine Dream's fans can still marvel at the unadulterated drumming skills of Christopher Franke, otherwise there is again an example of Edgar Froese's strange handling of old recordings, which in this case has brought quite convincing results. "Green Desert" cannot be a lost masterpiece, but those who appreciate the music of Tangerine Dream recorded in the 70's and 80's may find it rewarding. However, it was historically vital to the progress of the band.

Prog is my Ferrari. Jem Godfrey (Frost*)

Latest members reviews

4 stars Background aside, this is a very good Tangerine Dream album. There is some discussion surrounding this album, whether the remix of the original tapes has changed radically the original music or not. I don't know if it is very important. Structurally, the album either relates to Atem and Phaedra or t ... (read more)

Report this review (#2591421) | Posted by mickcoxinha | Thursday, September 2, 2021 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Contractual obligations perhaps? Firstly, there is no way that these tracks could have been recorded - even composed in 1973. The style is very mid-'80s, something that Froese would not have envisaged at the time of space/cosmic preoccupation. This album is a short collection of tunes, com ... (read more)

Report this review (#895012) | Posted by BORA | Thursday, January 17, 2013 | Review Permanlink

2 stars This is only a transitional work, and it is obvious why they kept this album in safe for over ten years before decided to release it. This was not the best music they were able to make at that tim. Phaedra is real masterpiece of music and was created the year after Green desert. Synthesizers ar ... (read more)

Report this review (#149591) | Posted by nisandzic | Thursday, November 8, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars After "Atem", TD suffered their first identity problem. There were 4 albums (one of them the double-lp "Zeit") and things werent working exactly as they liked, so 73 was a strange year for the group. While Baumann travelling in the East, Froese and Franke decided to record something at Berl ... (read more)

Report this review (#45987) | Posted by rgmeli64 | Thursday, September 8, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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