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Tangerine Dream

Progressive Electronic

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Tangerine Dream Mars Polaris album cover
3.24 | 56 ratings | 5 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Comet's Figure Head (10:02)
2. Rim of Schiaparelli (6:15)
3. Pilots of the Ether Belt (10:15)
4. Deep Space Cruiser (4:42)
5. Outland [The Colony] (9:15)
6. Spiral Star Date (6:13)
7. Mars Mission Encounter (5:45)
8. Astrophobia (9:57)
9. Tharsis Maneuver (4:31)
10. Dies Martis [Transmercury] (4:00)

Total Time: 70:45

Line-up / Musicians

- Edgar Froese / composer, arranger, performer & producer
- Jerome Froese/ composer, arranger & performer

- Peter Liendl / computer software assistant

Note: The actual instrumentation could not be confirmed at this moment

Releases information

Artwork: Edgar Froese from a photo by NASA

CD TDI Music - TDI CD016 (1999, Germany) Sub-titled "Deep Space Highway To Red Rocks Pavilion"

There exist several misspressed editions, with wrong track list (including tracks from "Great Wall of China"), albeit some with original cover info:
CD TDI Music - TDI CD016 (1999, Germany) Only initial 100 units of this pressing, which were differently sub-titled "Original Motion Picture Space Reality"
CD Eastgate - 232617 (2009, Europe) Sub-titled "Mars Mission Counter"
CD Eastgate - IECP 10181 (2009, Japan) Remastered and sub-titled "Mars Mission Counter"
CD Documents - 232648 (2010, Germany) Sub-titled "Deep Space ..." as the 1999 original

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy TANGERINE DREAM Mars Polaris Music

TANGERINE DREAM Mars Polaris ratings distribution

(56 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(36%)
Good, but non-essential (39%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

TANGERINE DREAM Mars Polaris reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars The last studio album of the band in the nineties. After quite a long break (in terms of original studio albums).

I have been following the band for a very long time and I can quickly summarize that the seventies was the decade of the discovery and grandiose albums; the eighties were quite a good reinforcement of their work and rather good in terms of quality output.

But the nineties were way behind IMHHO. Lots of soundtracks and also average studio albums (with a few exceptions, but not many).

This album is just in line with their late decade production. Some very fine moments with the opener "Comet's Figure Head" which is one of the few to represent the "dreamy" music we all once liked ("Deep Space Cruiser" is another one).

But the global mood doesn't feature any extravaganza nor great passion as far as I'm concerned. A song as "Outland" holds too many "dance" feel to be convincing.

Unfortunately, several other songs featured this approach as well ("Pilots of the Etherbelt" or "Rim Of Schiaparelli", "Mars Mission Counter"). Just basic stuff, no more. But that's the case with most of the tracks from "Polaris".

I would have liked the band to finish the decade on a higher note, but this album is far from being a masterpiece, even if a few songs are decent: "Spiral Star Date" is another one as well as "Astrophobia" to some extent.

I hope that the naughties will be more interesting in terms of TD material. This "Mars Polaris" is just average: some good songs as I have outlined, but more music is on the average side and I can't go up to rate this work with three stars. Five out of ten, probably.

Review by Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Strange, I didn't expect it, but this works. Rich, colorful, with a lot of variations (important fact), layering like an onion, possessing rhythm (weird, but I can get used to it) and getting ourselves towards the great concept of space-themed story. Of course unspoken, it would be, well, strange at least to have spoken TD. I have to wonder why this works, while so many other TD albums failed. And given that this is one of their worse (generally accepted) albums, I'm surprised that I like it so much.

4(+), so far 2 TD disappointments and 2 wins, that makes average 3 stars. Oh, bad track here is Astrophobia, about first half, or 2/3, because of drum'n'bass feeling (strange to hear it there), while a lot of songs here are good atmospheric pieces (oxygen atmosphere anyone ? let's make some pun fun with space).

Review by Modrigue
3 stars The best TANGERINE DREAM album of the 90's

3.5 stars

Finally, after 13 years of errance, a decent studio release by the german electronic band! At the end of nineties, Froese and son manages to get rid of their insipid new-age inspirations. "Mars Polaris" offers what you would expect to hear from the band during this decade: the spirit is here, on par with its time. The compositions are more structured, more inspired and the sound has (finally) been modernized. This opus also marks the return of the "long" pieces: four tracks have a duration of 10 minutes. Although mainly electronic, the record contains some guitar incursions. The music is an imaginary soundtrack of the flight of the "Mars Polar Lander" capsule. Once said, is the theme respected?

The first part of the album contains some of the best TD tunes since a long time. The opening "Comet's Figure Head" is very good, an immediate boarding for space, with musical changes and rythm variations. "Rim Of Schiaparelli" is more mysterious and features a cool melody. As its title suggest, "Pilots Of The Ether Belt" is a suitable soundtrack to navigate during a spatial trip. The finale is just dreamy. Unfortunately, the remaining tracks are a bit unequal.

The aerial "Deep Space Cruiser" is rather flat, while "Outland (The Colony)" is average with its techno beat. "Spiral Star Date (Level P)" is a nice tune for space adventure and exploration. The transparent "Mars Mission Counter" is repetitive and not varied enough. On the contrary, "Astrophobia" and its energic big beat respects its name by displaying both oppressive and spacey soundscapes. "Tharsis Maneuver" shows great promises with a typical TD sequence, but does not feature many changes after. The ending track, "Dies artis (Transmercury)" seems out of place with its sleepy new age approach.

Although containing weaker passages, "Mars Polaris" is a unexpected good surprise for TANGERINE DREAM fans. The spatial theme is respected, the ambiance is present, the compositions are rather inspired and the sound is modern. Everything is coherent. Forget their other 90's studio albums, this one is the best of this decade. You're about to board for the red planet...

NOTE: If you want to acquire "Mars Polaris", you must be careful and look for this 1999 CD edition, subtitled "Deep space highway to red rocks pavilion", with these 10 tracks names. There is another 1999 edition, subtitled "Original motion picture space reality", with 11 tracks. This second version is incorrect, as it mixes compositions from "Mars Polaris" and "Great Wall of China", a TD soundtrack. Furthermore, the 2006 reedition is based on this faulty alternate version. So be sure to check the cover, the year and the tracklist.

Latest members reviews

4 stars An album of two halves . . . but they're all jumbled up. I find the tracks flow much better for me by starting with Jerome's louder, exciting and rhythmical compositions 'Comet's Figure Head', 'Pilots Of The Ether Belt', 'Outland (The Colony)' and 'Astrophobia' followed by Edgar's transitiona ... (read more)

Report this review (#2205606) | Posted by 2dogs | Saturday, May 25, 2019 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Inspired by the launching of a Nasa space probe to Mars (the Mars Polar Lander),"Mars Polaris" is one of the best recent TD albums. Many might see this as a continuation,or updating, of the "Alpha Centauri" album of the early 70's and the two albums share the same vision of space and cosmos bu ... (read more)

Report this review (#32583) | Posted by Pixel Pirate | Friday, February 18, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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