In keeping up with all the permutations, iterations, reissues, and boxed sets, Tangerine Dream collectors and completists are susceptible to severe damage to their wallets and/or credit cards. The amount of Tangerine Dream product is finite but huge. One of the best packages is the set that includes Phaedra from 1974 and Rubycon and Ricochet from 1975; all of the originals are on Virgin. The first two CDs are among Tangerine Dream's strongest efforts. The latter is the first -- and best -- live disc. All three discs feature the Tangerine Dream lineup of Edgar Froese, Christopher Franke, and Peter Baumann. Phaedra, while a firm Berlin school album, is one of the first electronic ambient albums, predating Brian Eno's Ambient series by four years and being a contemporary of the Fripp & Eno releases. Rubycon shares many of those characteristics. Froese, Franke, and Baumann were creating atmospheres at a time when very few artists used that term in association with music. It is a tribute to their technical wizardry that they were able to do it analogically. Ricochet crams a lot of electronica into a short (38 minutes) span. It is most likely the first album of live all-electronic music. Pink Floyd pioneered some of the techniques on the live disc Ummagumma, and there are similarities to that epic album. This is a very strong collection. Most Tangerine Dream fans already have all three CDs, but for new fans this is an excellent starting point.
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