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Tangerine Dream

Progressive Electronic

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Tangerine Dream Exit album cover
3.49 | 279 ratings | 17 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1981

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Kiew Mission (9:18)
2. Pilots Of Purple Twilight (4:19)
3. Choronzon (4:07)
4. Exit (5:33)
5. Network 23 (4:55)
6. Remote Viewing (8:20)

Total Time: 36:32

Line-up / Musicians

- Edgar Froese / keyboards, producer
- Christopher Franke / keyboards, producer
- Johannes Schmoelling / keyboards

According to Wikipedia the musicians performed collectively on the following instruments: Moog Modular, Project Electronic Modular Synthesizer/Sequencer, Sequential Circuits Prophet-5, Roland TR-808 Rhythm Composer, ARP Odyssey, Oberheim OB-X, ARP Pro/DGX, Minimoog, Elka String synth, Synclavier, PPG Wave 2, PPG 360 Wave Computer, PPG 340 Wave Computer/380 Event Generator

Releases information

Artwork: Monique Froese

LP Virgin ‎- 203 998 (1981, Germany)

CD Virgin ‎- CDV 2212 (1985, UK)
CD Virgin ‎- TAND 13 (1995, UK) Remastered by Simon Heyworth

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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TANGERINE DREAM Exit ratings distribution

(279 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (39%)
Collectors/fans only (9%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
2 stars six tracks on a Td release: Must be a double Lp! No ? Wow are they turning into new wave then . Well maybe not quite that far but they did try something different here and it did not work . Easily their worst album so far (and one of the worst all eras considered) this is about as close as dud as they will ever be. Not that this is that bad (Still a TD album) but it is lacklustre and this shows well that the inspiration had left them something that looking back started as Baumann had left after the double live Encore , but that Force Majeure (and Tangram to a much lesser extent ) had occulted for a few years. Best avoided.
Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Not sure what their objective was when releasing Exit. I do like the material being a biased TD fan but there is nothing dynamic on the album apart from ' Kiew Mission' and ' Exit'. Yes the compositions were shorter which had a negative impact on their creative energy. Also listening to tracks like ' Choronzon' now sound dated. Compare that to say ' Encore' and that era where the music was timeless makes you realize that this was a downward move.
Review by Peter
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars By the 1980s, German electronic music explorers Tangerine Dream had undergone some major changes. Many of the band's long-term fans were less than pleased with the path the group was now taking (see the previous reviews), while others, like myself, had no problem with an evolving TD, as popular music in general was changing with the new decade. (I still enjoy much 80s music -- perhaps not a majority stance here!)

1981's EXIT is a product of that change in direction. Peter Baumann, who had been an integral member of the trio for their vaunted Virgin years, had departed by 1980, to be replaced by Johannes Schmoelling (who had appeared on EXIT's excellent predecessor TANGRAM). In addition, the band's sound had widened to include more rhythmic, accessible and shorter numbers along with their trademark "spacey" material. Both aspects of this 80s TD are demonstrated on EXIT.

Album opener "Kiew Mission" has long been a favourite for me (and now, for my dear wife as well). This track, following a brief and somewhat scary intro which features the simulated sounds of a large gong and screaming fighter planes, morphs into a pleasant piece with a very sexy and breathy female voice chanting the names of the continents in German (there are other lyrics too, but I don't understand enough of the language to translate them). This dreamy number is a good choice for "amorous encounters" -- enough said! After the gentle, extended fadeout, which integrates some evocative synthesized voice into the mix, the band returns to a somewhat more "traditional" sound (for them!) on the understated "Pilots of Purple Twilight," which would readily lend itself to soundtrack use.

The third track, "Choronzon," typifies the newer, more universally approachable Tangerine Dream that is (apparently) anathema to so many freaked-out former fans. I however, really like this up-tempo, even uplifting song, and followers of rhythmic electronic acts like Kraftwerk should also find much to like here. (Many of TD's 80s and early 90s releases have such a track -- a shorter, faster, dare I say -- gasp! -- near "commercial" number, that might even move some to tap their feet -- nay, even to consider dancing! Perish the thought! Stop snickering so superciliously, Hugues!)

Sneering old acid heads can yet find some relief with the title track: "Exit" is another meandering number that evokes visions of slowly revolving space stations and other such futuristic technological undertakings. Great background music for reading science fiction, or envisioning other planets. (As an added bonus, the heavy rainfall sounds at the end make this another likely choice for erotic assignations!)

The disgruntled old "heads" had best leave the room at this juncture, or simply skip "Network 23" altogether, as this is another one that will have your household robots getting up to ponderously dance about the domicile, metal feet labouriously clunking, and thereby disturbing the Soma-induced repose of your neighbours in the unit below. "Far out! Cut a rug, R-2! No! Not literally, you metalloid moron! Aargh -- my simulated plastic Persian! That cost me 10,000,000 Earth Credits!"

The final song may just soothe the jangled nerves of the addled old hippies in attendance, and possibly even placate peevish progholes. All is not lost for the nostalgically backward-gazing denizens of this alien 80s "Brave New World" (that has such wonders in it!); for this set, "Remote Viewing" has perhaps the closest kinship to the "melting music" of the band's classic mid 70s era. Very spacey! Is that a gigantic electrical storm I descry upon the planetary surface far below?

Thus, EXIT is a fine choice for those more open-minded Tangerine Dream fans who supported the band in their 80s incarnation, but the disc still retains examples of TD's classic sound for those who would have wanted them to stick to formula. I really like EXIT, but (despite the attempts at humour above) I can understand why many long-term fans were less than enthusiastic with the new direction. Was it progress? Was it all a horrible mistake? Decide for yourself, but I still think that this is very good electronic music.

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Exit is one of the most accessible and rythmic album of the Schmoelling-era. The rythmic part definitely sounds a bit like Thief; the difference is that here there are more surrounding keyboards arrangements which add more some subtle and melodic elements. Johanness Schmoelling has created his best catchy, sustained & powerful rythmic keyboards here, as revealed by tracks like Network 23 and Choronzon. The miscellaneous multi-layer keyboards also produce melodies so that they work very hard to create a pleasant futuristic ambience. The relaxing "Remote Viewing" is very interesting, with its endless interlocking melodic sequencers. Surprisingly, many bits sound a bit like the Poland album (1984). The tracks are short, and some of them made the music themes of popular TV series in the early 80's.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review by russellk
3 stars Enter the dance beat, exit prog rock.

Shorter songs feature here, two ('Chronozon' and 'Network 23') riddled with a disco beat, and precious little of the avant-garde effects that made TANGERINE DREAM such a heady experience. That said, 'Exit' is still an excellent album. The tracks have a personality to them: 'Kiew Mission' is spacey and ethereal, sombre backing for an unnamed vocalist declaiming about the end of the world in nuclear war. 'Chronozon' is a splendid track, all melody and rhythm, the nearest the DREAM had come to a pop song. The highlight for me, though, is the title track, a ponderous thing, a slow, metronomic rhythm providing the platform for some fine synth noodling.

The other three tracks are a little less successful. Nevertheless, SCHMOELLING was exerting his influence, and his tinkering with the trademark TD sound kept them relevant for a few more years. This is, however, light-years short of the magnificence they demonstrated only a couple of years previously.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars This line up was already well established and had released the superb ''Tangram'' album.

This one is of course different by substance but not too much when you look deeper than just a quick listening. Some tracks are of decent length (even by TD standards) and the opener ''Kiew Mission'' is quite an interesting piece of music. Of course, the ''vocals'' (or better said wording) could have been avoided, but they don't last for too long, fortunately.

This song shares the bill with several good TD ones. Not a masterpiece, but nothing to complain about either. Even if shorter in format, ''Pilots of Purple Twilight'' also has its moments: spacey and tranquil although the typical background synth sounds are so delicious?

The story is dramatically different with the synth-pop ''Chorozon''. Might be OK if the band sitting behind it was not TD. I guess that they were willing to access a new kind of fans. But some oldies like me are quite upset to say the least. A much more commercially oriented track. I wouldn't say ''press next'' but the temptation still does exist.

''Exit'' is not too bad an album, even if the best territories of the band are not investigated. None of the tracks can compete with their great works, but apart from ''Chorozon'' and the dance ''Network 23'' none of these tracks can be considered as weak.

The title track offers some peaceful and ambient spacey and melodic moments and the closing numbers is all of Eastern influences mixed together with truly ''old'' sounds coming from the middle seventies. I guess that you know what I mean?It is by far my favourite track and should be including in any ''best of'' from the band. But a ''best of '' from TD sounds almost as an heresy to me. Or it should be a six CD boxest?

In all, this short album rates three stars on my scale (let's call it seven out of ten). Could have got another half one if some of these tracks would have been expanded (the closing ''Remote Viewing'' being a wonderful ''item'' to have pursued a little more) and two tracks deleted from the list.

Review by kenethlevine
4 stars In 1981, the new age genre, which later claimed TANGERINE DREAM as one of its darlings, was not yet a force for the preservation of accessible unchallenging music, TD was not yet the de facto soundtrack composer they would become, and the new romantic movement was bending the floorboards at local clubs, so what was a serious band to do? Luckily, simply marking time was not an option, so TD shed a few lbs and shook its booty, quite successfully I might add.

On "Exit", tellingly, the best cuts are those that yield to the 1980s, because the band was tiring of their late 1970s sound, as evidenced by the rehash of "Tangram", and they sought to upgrade their technology in every sense, while retaining integrity if not all their fans. The opener is a surprisingly warm ode to the globe, replete with sultry feminine voice reciting the world's continents. It starts, builds, and releases. "Pilots of Purple Twilight" and "Choronzon" represent the peak, as the group struts about with new found enthusiasm and rock spirit. The first is more ambient but leads into the electronic power pop of the latter, which features a powerful main melody and sound effects. Only in the last cut does the album falter, as the group veers back towards the minimalism of early releases almost as an afterthought.

Something of a departure for TD, "Exit" is an illuminating and entrancing artifact from a dark era.

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars I like it, but I like newage too so I had to wonder about how much prog is this album. Listening to the opener, it's not much different from the 80s things of the prog-related Vangelis (at least on PA is only prog-related), even with the square waves that are a distinctive sound since Zeit.

It's unusual that on an album that's not a movie soundtrack TD release just 5 minutes long tracks, but if you listen to some of the previous masterpieces looking at the clock, you'll see that they are used to move from one theme to another inside the same track more or less every 5 minutes.

So while "Kiew Mission" can remind to Vangelis, "Pilots of Purple Twilight" is pure electronic and makes me think to the late Pete Bardens instrumental works, also because of the equipments used. I mean "Seen One Earth" as reference.

"Choronzon" doesn't seem to have much to do with Tangerine Dream. I can imagine David Sylvian in Japan's style singing on bass pitch over this track, but with Jarre instead of Japan behind. Nice to listen but the 80s are full of stuff of this kind.

The title track "Exit" could be good for a soundtrack. The slow tempo end the repetitive bass notes are a touch of old TD, but the melody comes from the 80s.

"Network 23" is a sort of smooth disco-electronic song, but if you survive to the first seconds is not so bad. Not worse than some Kraftwerk stuff of the same period, at least.

Only "Remote Viewing" has some real interest to me for its spacey sound. The rest of the album can work in background while you drive, this track seems to have been put here to ask the old fans to forgive the band for the actual direction taken. At least the first 2 minutes have a Pink Period flavour and also what follows is not too different from Froese's solo masterpieces like Aqua or Epsilon In Malaysian Pale, or from Ricochet.

To summarize, this is not completely my pot. I don't think and I don't care about how much "commercial" it is. What I can say is that it's still a good album, but doesn't add anything to what TD have already done at that times, so it fits perfectly in the definition of "Non- essential".

3 stars are rounded up.

Review by colorofmoney91
3 stars Exit is often criticized for being less progressive overall than Tangerine Dream's previous efforts, which is true, but that doesn't mean that this album is particularly horrible. I feel the same way about this album as I do about Goblin's Phenomena soundtrack, and the two really are kind of similar - they've stayed at their progressive roots, but have ventured slightly into the pop domain in an effort to appeal more to the mainstream crowd. Again, that doesn't mean this is a bad album.

The sound of the '80s affected a lot of great progressive groups, and it's definitely apparent on Exit, which consists of much shorter tracks than usual on a Tangerine Dream album a with far less progression throughout. "Kiew Mission" and "Remote Viewing" are the only tracks on Exit that really have any progression in the song structures, and the latter really sounds like a missing track from Phaedra. The other four tracks are simple, short, individual tracks that create a decent electronic listening experience, but doesn't have the same strength as any of the albums prior to this one.

This seriously isn't a terrible album, and is only slightly less quality in structure than the best of Tangerine Dream's output with an added hint of the '80s.

Review by Warthur
4 stars After the rather lacklustre Tangram, Tangerine Dream updated their sound for the 1980s with Exit, taking careful notes of the advances of other artists in the electronic field and reacting accordingly. With hypnotic, pulsing electronic rhythms running through the album it's an extremely listenable piece, and whilst it does resemble a lot of their 80s soundtrack work it is at least on a par with their best soundtrack pieces. With a sleek, cyberpunk sound to the album, all of a sudden Tangerine Dream were cool - who'd have ever thought it possible? - and so as a whole this strikes me as a pretty important album to the course of their career.
Review by GruvanDahlman
4 stars Electronic prog. That is what "Exit" is all about. It was my first love of the genre and continues to be so. Brilliantly executed with an amazing 80's feel to it I can't but help falling madly in love with it every time I return to its bossom.

Growing up in the 80's I remember the Cold war. I remember the electronic extravaganza of digital watches, Walkmans and every other gadget known to be essential for the evolution of mankind, or not. Whatever. This album brings it all back to me like the 80's was yesterday or this morning. But don't get me wrong, it is not a question of pure nostalgia. Certainly not, my dear boy or girl. It is a fitting tribute to a decade so littered with good music it is ridiculous. (As if not other decades are littered in the same way...)

The music is full of ambience and emotion, though cold emotion. There is a chilly atmosphere on "Exit" which is not uncommon in music of the time. I will not discuss every track, just stating that he tracks are all great. (That's making it easy, eh?) Anyway, I urge you to listen to "Pilots of purple twiligt", "Kiew mission" and the title track. Then you'll know. Then you will know.

Review by Modrigue
3 stars First little mistake from the german band. For me, one of the weakest studio album of the Schmoelling-era, second to "Le Parc". The band tried to evolve and "modernize" their sound, but the result is unequal. From long, meditative, hypnotic pieces, they move on to short, melodic compositions. "Exit" is a turning point for TD, the transition from their former works is quite abrupt.

"Pilots of Purple Twilight" and "Network 23" are rather flat and repetitive. They do not sound like TANGERINE DREAM. The remaining tracks are enjoyable. "Kiew Mission" has trippy moments. "Choronzon" will become a concert favorite. I do enjoy the delicate alien-ish "Remote Viewing" that concludes the record.

At same period, the band was proposing more inspired material in their concerts. If "Calymba Caly" and "Horns of Doom" have replaced the 2 weak tracks I mentionned earlier, I would have easily given 4 stars.

Fortunately, the trio will quickly correct the situation on the next releases.

Review by stefro
4 stars Underrated for far too long, the 1981 album 'Exit' was the 14th studio album from Tangerine Dream in a little over 12 years, and came at a time when when the group were becoming involved with Hollywood. One of two albums issued that year, 'Exit' proved popular enough amongst fans but was somewhat overshadowed by the soundtrack album to Michael Mann's existential crime thriller 'Thief', which effectively kick-started the German outfit's Hollywood career after a four-year break from soundtrack work. Pre-'Exit', the group's one-and-only soundtrack album had been for William Friedkin's costly adventure film 'Sorceror', and although reviews for the album had been mostly positive, the film itself proved something of a disaster, costing round twenty million dollars to produce, drawing strong criticism and subsequently tanking at the box-office. The failure of 'Sorceror' virtually ruined the career of director Friedkin, who had previously enjoyed huge critical-and-commercial success with both 'The French Connection' and 'The Exorcist', and, for a while, also seemed to blow TD's chances of furthering their Hollywood ambitions. The release of 'Thief', however, proved something of a watershed moment, and TD spent much of the 1980's producing a number of soundtrack albums, with 'Thief' followed by the likes of 'The Keep', 'Firestarter', 'Miracle Mile' and 'Near Dark'. Although originally conceived as a studio album, 'Exit' would also hit the silver screen, when, much to the group's surprise, writer-director Paul Brickman included several of the album's tracks in his 1983 film 'Risky Business'. A slick consumerist satire posing as a commercial teen-flick, 'Risky Business' featured a young Tom Cruise, was a sizeable box-office hit, and proved perfect for the gleaming synthesizers and carefully-layered melodies of 'Exit'. Both the film and the music complimented each other nicely, and as a result the original album took on far more relevance. The key piece proved to be the atmospheric title-track, with it's throbbing bass pulses, rainy effects and rhythmic keyboard runs showcasing TD's rapid muscial evolution from 1970's psychedelia to full-blown electro- ambient rockers, whilst also proving perfect for the high-chic eighties look and crisply-shot photography of Brickman's glossy film. Elsewhere, 'Exit' is ideally framed by the churning repitition of the classic-era style 'Network 23', the slow-burning atmospherics of the glacial opener 'Kiew Mission', and 'Choronzon's' rapid percussion intro and stabbing keyboard melodies, all of which added yet more layers to the carefully-styled proto-futuristic sheen of the group's singular musica style. Constantly evolving, the music of TD has always relied on technology, and 'Exit' is filled with an array of technological tricks and effects. A sleek, powerful and carefully-crafted record, 'Exit' perhaps presents the last strains of TD's intial brilliance, before the changing trends of the 1980's, the wear-and-tear of a lengthy career and the group's dalliance with Hollywood took it's creative toll. For many original fans, the real Tangerine Dream faded away sometime around 1987 or 1988, and whilst the group will always be cherished for their earlier albums, this deeply-affecting album must surely rank as one of their last significant releases, and it's inclusion in the excellent 'Risky Business' only enhances it's many qualities. STEFAN TURNER, STOKE NEWINGTON, 2016
Review by Progfan97402
4 stars Exit is the third album with Johannes Schmoelling, their previous album was a soundtrack to Thief, a movie starring James Caan (I never seen the movie, as those kind of movies, apparently a crime movie, never really appealed to me). Since this came right after Thief, I get the feeling the band wasn't in the mood for side-length pieces (but they went back to that on their next album White Eagles). Kiev shows that early '80s Tangerine Dream sound, there's a lady speaking, I guess, Ukrainian (Kiev is in Ukraine). I also noticed a synth sound that sounded exactly like the intro to Michael Jackson's "Beat It', which meant the same synth was used, the Synclavier II, but, if I remember right, the band was less than happy with the Synclavier II, so it was never considered a major synth in their gear. I guess this album dated from the Cold War, that only makes sense to record a song bearing a title of a major (then-Soviet) city. Much of the album is rather upbeat, compared to Tangram, as clearly shown on "Chorozon" and "Network 23". "Remote Viewing" more or less hearkens back to '70s Tangerine Dream, especially with the sequencers, and does capture somewhat the atmosphere their '70s, even though it's recorded on newer (for 1981) equipment. It's a rather accessible album, that's for sure. If you have an aversion to that early '80s sound, and prefer the mid '70s classics, you probably won't find this enjoyable, but I find Exit rather good, and worth having.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Ok, I admit to a strong sentimental streak when it comes to Exit, as it was the first TD album that I owned, discovering the band in college from an astronomy professor who liked playing electronic music before class as the students filtered in. I asked him who the band was, he told me, and I w ... (read more)

Report this review (#200120) | Posted by PhilPDX | Wednesday, January 21, 2009 | Review Permanlink

5 stars For someone that had been following the Tangs previous offerings for a long time, this showed a major change of direction. I suspect most people listening to the music were unaware of the dramatic changes in technology, equipment and music technology, but up until this point, most synthesisers we ... (read more)

Report this review (#184990) | Posted by Tryptych | Tuesday, October 7, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Maybe this is not the essential record in TD's production, but Exit has got very good moment (as well as some boring 1980s synth pop relics). "Pilots of purple twilight" and "Choronzon" are the ideal candidates for the most useless stuff by Tangerine Dream. Their synths sound so outdated and l ... (read more)

Report this review (#117971) | Posted by paolo.beenees | Wednesday, April 11, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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