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Tangerine Dream

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Tangerine Dream Tyranny Of Beauty album cover
2.79 | 68 ratings | 8 reviews | 4% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1995

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Catwalk (7:18)
2. Birdwatcher's Dream (6:51)
3. Little Blond In The Park Of Attractions (6:56)
4. Living In A Fountain Ren (6:58)
5. Stratosfear 1995 (5:06)
6. Bride In Cold Tears (4:51)
7. Haze Of Fame (8:29)
8. Tyranny Of Beauty (6:33)
9. Largo (from Xerxes) (4:13) *

* Composed by George Frideric Handel

Total time 57:15

Bonus Track on 1999 reissue:
10. Quasar (3:46)

Line-up / Musicians

- Edgar Froese / keyboards, 12-string (4,8) & lead (5,7) guitars, drums (7,8), arranger & producer
- Jerome Froese / keyboards, lead guitar (3), drums (1-3,5,6,8), percussion (3,4,6,7), arranger

- Gerald Gradwool / acoustic (1) & lead (2-5,8) guitars
- Mark Hornby / acoustic (2,4,5), 12-string (2) & slide (3) guitars, lead guitar & e-bow (6)
- Linda Spa / soprano (7) & alto (3-5,7,9) saxophones, English horn (8)
- Gisela Kloetzer / string arrangements (9)

Releases information

Artwork: Tadream Vision

CD Virgin- 840275 2 (1995, Europe)
CD TDI Music- TDI CD020 (1999, Germany) With a bonus track, new cover art

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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TANGERINE DREAM Tyranny Of Beauty ratings distribution

(68 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(4%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(18%)
Good, but non-essential (44%)
Collectors/fans only (28%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

TANGERINE DREAM Tyranny Of Beauty reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Like most of the TD production of the nineties, this album is subject to controversy. Accordingly, should I say.

For some early fans, this could be considered as a massacre. For some other ones who understood their swap in their musical style, only some harm was done. But at the end of the day, there were already several years during which TD offered different layered music that the one of their great first decade.

And one had to live with this because several great albums were also released during the eighties.

This one has of course little to with the wonderful "Rubicon" of course. But at the same time, I would say that TD never sold out (so far). Even if the music presented here has NOTHING to do with the great and ambient maestria of the early seventies, it shouldn't be considered as useless either.

Most of the songs are quite decent and acceptable ("Catwalk", " Little Blonde In The Park Of Attractions"). Indeed, there are some weak moments as well. But to be honest, after having reviewed some thirty albums of the band, there were really few weak moments in their discography. Still, "Living In A Fountain Pen" does belong to one of them.

I can't be thrilled with the "adapted" version of the huge "Stratosfear" of course. What can I say? Just listen to the original and superb track of course!

So far, in my TD abundant reviewing I have only rated three of their works with two stars and even if this album is not a great one, I can't go any lower than three stars in terms of the music being played. If you ever consider how poor some production of the giants we had to face in the eighties, TD is certainly one out of many to have raised the prog flag pretty much high in the sky.

There are still some sublime musical moments in here: just listen to the extraordinary guitar work during "Hate Of Fame" to be convinced. Such a passionate moment my dear prog friends. The title track being of no less interesting mood. And what to say about the extreme jewel "Largo". Speachless, my friends.

Only therefore, they owe a lot of merit. I'm maybe rating this album on the higher range, but three stars for this "Tyranny" is my judgement.

Review by Modrigue
2 stars TANGERINE DREAM continues their long journey through the desert of the 90's. At the same time, a whole new generation of electronic artists has taken the power, coming with a large panel of groundbreaking styles and exciting ideas: techno, ambient, IDM, big beat, trance, world music... By proposing backgound, flat, uninspired new age compositions, the german pioneers are getting outdistanced. Honestly, the only reasons to listen to "Tyranny of Beauty" are only 2 tracks.

The first tune, "Catwalk", represents the band as it should have been in 1995. Catchy, with a fast modern beat, while featuring interesting variations. Froese and co. finally entered the 90's. One of their best compositions of this period. So the question is... why don't the other tracks have this quality and modernity?

"Stratosfear 1995" is a rather nice reinterpretation of the original 1976 composition. More direct and rock-oriented, it's an enjoyable tune.

Despite its title, the music is not really oppressive nor beautiful. Listen to "Catwalk" and "Stratosfear 1995" if you want, the rest of the album has no interest.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Between the years of 1992 ' 1996, Tangerine Dream was a four-some which consisted of Edgar Froese founder of the group, Jerome Froese his son, Linda Spa saxophonist, keyboardist and conductor, and Zlatco Perica guitarist. It is with this line up, and a few other musicians, Gerald Gradwohl, Mark Hornby and Gisela Kloetzer, that Tangerine Dream would record their 51st studio album, Tyranny of Beauty, released in 1995.

Starting off with 'Catwalk', we get a European sound with a constant up tempo beat which is somewhat subdued and a nice melody. There are some vocal effects done with a synthesizer. A Spanish style acoustic guitar plays a nice solo in the middle. 'Birdwatcher's Dream' starts with atmospheric synths and a guitar fanfare establishes a melody. Percussion starts abruptly as a beat is established with chord changes that are marked with a thick sound. This track departs from the usual formula of the previous track and tries for a more complex rhythm and melody and it is driven by the guitar until the 3 minute mark when it settles into a rhythmic pattern. However, changing themes and patterns keep things interesting and the addition of the guest musicians provides a much fuller sound than in some previous albums.

'Little Blonde in the Park of Attractions' is based off of a synthesized piano melody established at the first of the track. There are some nice vocal effects in there too that sound similar to the 'Enigma' sound. This one has more of a softer feel that leans toward ambient. 'Living in a Fountain Pen' continues with the same feel as the previous at first, but then a strumming guitar directs the beat and breaks up the monotony a bit. Hand drums are used this time around too. A separate acoustic guitar plays a counter melody, then a saxophone comes in and takes over. Next an electric guitar solo follows and the drums seem organic at this point as they are more interesting now and not following a programmed pattern.

'Stratosfear 1995' is a re-imagining of the TD staple. This time it seems to be done as a full band mixed with the electronics. It's an interesting take on the original that actually builds on it. 'Bride in Cold Tears' moves the album in a slightly different direction with a more romantic feel, a more melodic turn and a smoother delivery.

'Haze of Fame' is the longest track at over 8 minutes. It starts with an electric guitar solo supported by airy synths and no percussion. When the percussion does come in after a minute, it is at a medium-slow tempo. This track also features a romantic sax melody. It tends to teeter dangerously close to a new age sound, and you start to forget that this is an electronica album.

The title track 'Tyranny of Beauty' comes next. This track continues the slower, more pensive side of TD. This one is a bit better than the last track in that it isn't so new age sounding, but it still stays close to an accessible sound and is more driven by guitar in the middle, but gets too repetitive before it ends. The last track listed is 'Largo' which is a cover of the popular Handel processional melody from 'Xerxes'. You'll probably recognize it when you hear it. If you doubted the 2nd half of this album was new age, you'll be more certain that it is now as it could just as well be Kenny G playing the sax. Bleah! This is followed by a hidden unlisted track named 'Quasar'. This is a relatively shorter track placed here to end the album on a higher note with an upbeat track. Even the electronic melody is better that anything else on this side of the album.

At first, during the first 5 tracks on this album, it seems like a marked improvement that was helped with the additional personnel, and at times harkened back to a slightly more progressive sound from yesteryear, but the 2nd half of the album quickly declines in quality as it inches closer and closer to that inevitable new age sound. With half of the album being great and the 2nd half just being mediocre or less, this ends up as another 3 star album.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars It starts with a track which could have been written by Peter Bardens or Alan Parsons. Not bad, but nothing new. The unexpected spanish guitar a la Al Di Meola adds a lot to the track, but is this really Tangerine Dream?

Let's try to ignore the band name, which is now newage oriented, and let's concentrate on music instead. "Catwalk" is a nice easy listening newage track, but it's very similar to Speed of light, an album that Peter Bardens released few years before.

"Birdwatchers Dream" is a little better as it's more in line with the TD music of the period. I sometimes wonder why they have never tried to use proper drums, bit I think it's mainly because they liked the electronic mood given by drone drums.

"Little Blond In The Park Of Attractions" features electric piano and sax. It's a proper newage track. In the 90s I've had some interest in newage, and there was plenty of tracks kike this. In particular I remember a German duo, the CHI, making music like this, but also Bardens comes to mind because of the sax.

"Living in a Fountain Pan is a track that I don't like, really. It has the same rhythm as the other, but the minor chords don't make it more dramatic. Just a bit boring. A so-so track with a 12 strings guitar taking the lead for a while.

With "Stratosfear 1994" the good old squared waves make a brief coming back into the TD sound. I don't know if the lead guitar is Froese or his guest, but Gradwool is mentioned as lead guitar on track 5, so it must be him. Squared waves apart, this is what TD, now just the Froese family, were used to do in the 90s.

"Bride in Cold Tears" sounds more 80s than 90s. It's like the clean guitar his waiting for some longhair metal vocalist to join. It doesn't happen. The mood is still newage., but Jerome Froese seems to have a lot of fun with the percussion. There's a lot of them in this track and not bad, I must say.

"Haze Of Fame" has a slow start. With a different guitar sound it could have been CAMEL. I think Latimer would have sounded great. Not a bad track at all.

The title track is based on two chords: I don't have the "absolute ear", but I guess it's F#minor-B. Interesting lead guitar but nothing special. "Largo" is a term used in classical music, and this closer sounds like a 17th century composition, but again, it may be me, but I hear an unexpected connection with CAMEL. I like it. A pleasant surprise at the end of an album with very few highlights.

In summary, this is not bad, but as like as dozens of TD albums of the 80s and the 90s I wouldn't suggest a newbie to start a TD journey with this one

Latest members reviews

1 stars Probably the worst of all Tangerine Dream albums, and one of the worst things that I've ever heard - the mid-'90s were a real dark age for Tangerine Dream, and Tyranny of Beauty is its nadir. The band certainly needed to move on from the dull muzak of the Private Music albums and Rockoon, but while ... (read more)

Report this review (#1261828) | Posted by Stalvern | Wednesday, August 27, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars A BEAUTY OF MUSIC...THE BEAUTY IN MUSIC What can I say! I was very skeptical about TD music in the 90's. Basically, TD in this period is more modern and commercial. In fact, after the Virgin era, the music of TD turned into one more accessible fo ... (read more)

Report this review (#167862) | Posted by Sachis | Friday, April 18, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I have to say when I first heard this CD I was of the opinion that it was a mess... but after several more plays I found some tracks brilliant, the 1st track Catwalk is a good introduction, the next tracks get better up to track 4 : Living in a fountain pen, this is almost jazz, with Linda Spa's ... (read more)

Report this review (#50212) | Posted by | Thursday, October 6, 2005 | Review Permanlink

2 stars After the extravaganza of the previous year's concept album "Turn Of The Tides",TD wanted to make a simpler,more stripped down album and so 1995's "Tyranny Of Beauty" is a very different affair. Unfortunately,they went too far in the opposite direction. By trying to do something different than ... (read more)

Report this review (#32576) | Posted by Pixel Pirate | Tuesday, February 22, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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