on September 22, 2001
In March and April of 1977 Tangerine Dream enjoyed their first North American tour, where they were welcomed enthusiastically. Long-haired musicians barely visible behind the stacks of analog electronic equipment, with a huge Moog synthesizer staged in the center, right behind Christopher Franke, with lights dancing around, synchronized with the psychodelic - for that was how they were received - music from the moon. Imagine that you have never heard this type of music, and then bang, you discover that the ways humans musically expressed themselves so far - are very limited. New worlds of excitement are open for you to roam about. That was an unforgettable series of concerts, the series that made Tangerine Dream widely popular. They conquered the American market, the biggest audience in the world. Europeans and everyone who was not able to travel with Tangerine Dream - received a priceless gift in the form of the longest-to-date album, "Encore", featuring various concert pieces mixed into four movements.
This album is also the swan song of Peter Baumann, for this was the last gig he participated in, the last album featuring his name, the last compositions that have been partially conceived by this brilliant musician. In early summer of 1977 Tangerine Dream was down to two members: Edgar Froese - the founding father, guitarist and mellotron player, and Christopher Franke, the godfather of the trade-mark Tangerine Dream sound, the Moog maestro of the bubbling ostinata, the primary composer of the band. What they lost with the departure of Peter Baumann was the eerie feeling of the fantasy Tolkien marshes, the misty swamp atmosphere of his synthesizers, the memorable flute passages, which could make you heartbroken. Never again was Tangerine Dream's music so personal, so spontaneous, so complicated and yet simply beautiful. Indeed, the loss of Peter Baumann as an active musician was the largest loss for everyone who loved the electronic roots music.
For all the aforementioned reasons, "Encore" is a monument, a historical landmark, and an album, which is virtually worshipped by generations of audiophiles all over the world. "Encore" is monumental indeed - it features four long compositions, which used to correspond to the vinyl 'sides' of analog records - for in the times of black records, it had been a double album. The mood of all compositions reflects the classical masterpiece of Maestro Vivaldi - 'Le Quattro Stagioni". The resemblance of the atmosphere and concept is so strong, that it's stunning. The opening track, 'Cherokee Lane', is SPRING - vivacious, full of hope, vitality, energy; it bursts with optimism and dynamism. Nature wakes up from the haze of winter sleep, and enters the periodical evolution race for growth. 'Monolight' comes into play silently, where the world is full of magical scent, and the happy universe is enjoying the peak of its creative abilities. Such is also 'Monolight', where beautiful melodies, resembling "Stratosfear", are inter-looped with one another, and where the composition nears its end, you might feel a painful regret of the SUMMER that will die soon. For the AUTUMN comes fast, with its monotonous showers of rain, with its howling winds, with the death of the vivacious, the optimistic, the warm. 'Coldwater Canyon' is very much like Vivaldi's memorable third movement. One might make exactly the same comment for 'Desert Dream', the WINTER part of the album. Cold, detached, frozen, frigid, glacier winterlanschaft music, only at times intercepted with beautiful tunes, which perhaps signify that even in winter one may curl up under the blankets in a snow-bound hut, light an oil lamp, and read 'Moomintroll Midwinter', and still be happy.
This beloved album deserves to be treasured, listened to, and enjoyed. Spontaneously composed tracks, composed during the gig - show that Tangerine Dream was the band of extremely able and literate musicians. "Encore" is the work of art, the work of genius.
on February 1, 2003
I must admit that I was a bit sceptical about picking up live Tangerine Dream albums, because I'm not much of a fan of live albums in general. But seeing as how these songs are essentially jam sessions, well recorded, and do not appear on other albums, I didn't hesitate too much to pick this up. This does NOT disappoint! If you liked the more active approach they took on "Stratosfear" then this will definatly thrill you! It still has the same urgency, and some live instruments of "Stratosfear," but its really trippy. The track "Desert Dream" features some of the darkest TD music ever, with the strange Egyptian feel in the second movement of the song. The song "Clearwater Canyon" is a bit more "active" than other TD songs, with a strong beat running all the way through the song. When you give this album a few listens it really grows on you.
As usual, its kind of difficult to really describe the way the album is because it is like a dream; it takes you away on a fantastic journey filled with abstract and normal sounds, evoking strong emotions, but when its done, you can only remember bits and pieces. "Encore" is not as unified as "Ricochet," nor as synth based, but its an absolutely essential TD album.
The four tracks presented here cover a good selection of Tangerine Dream's live styles from the late 70s, bearing in mind that Froese, Franke and Baumann habitually improvised nearly all of their concerts. This remastered edition removes many of the recording problems that earlier copies of "Encore" suffered from, although the sound is now a little muddier in places than it was. Generally, though, this edition is much to be preferred over the earlier releases and can be recommended without reservation: this remains an indispensable item for the Tangerine Dream enthusiast's collection.
If you like what you hear here, be sure to investigate TD's albums "Stratosfear", "Ricochet" and "Sorcerer" for more great sounds like these.
on April 11, 2003
This is one of Tangerine Dream`s best album ever!! And that really says a lot,from a band that have released almost 100 albums from 1970-2003!! This is a live album from the north american tour-77 with the classic line up of froese\franke\baumann. They had material here for two double albums,but choosed these 4 tracks to make encore.each track runs up to 20 minutes, and that makes the listener to flow into the music!The Highlight is definately "monolight", this is emotions on a very high and spiritual level. You can listen to td in every state of mind, and it always makes you feel that you are part of something bigger than yourself.. If you like td you must buy this one,and "ricochet",exit","tangram" and "underwater sunlight" DREAM ON....
on December 11, 1998
For many of the faithful, the mid-70's lineup of Froese, Baumann and Franke was the defining incarnation of Tangerine Dream. Combining polished, classically -influenced compostional structure with emerging synthesizer technology, the band hit the right balance between harmonic substance and cosmic de-materialization -- frequently afterwards, especially as a result of personnel changes, the band's competing stylistic biases often yielded mixed results. This live CD from the very sucessful 1977 American tour is a fairly raw document, neither the sound system nor recording standards remotely comparable to today's standards, but they do reveal a band confident in its excesses and sublimely gifted at delicate dynamics, deep spatial excursions and some playful fun. The last half of "Desert Dream" beautifully sums the band's 70's experience, but the entirely CD (originally a double-album, though only 70 or so minutes in length) is a fitting document of the band's visionary presence in a world relatively unknown to ambient, techno or anything particularly cosmic. A must for long-haul Dream fans, at the very least. And, for the adventurous newbie Dream fan, a glimpse of days (long) gone by.
on August 19, 2002
I think it is widely accepted that Tangerine Dream's (TD) "peak period" of creativity came with the unforgettable trio of Baumann, Franke and Froese. Albums that come to mind would be any one from the groundbreaking and stunning "Phaedra" to this, "Encore" - which was to be the last album featuring this classic lineup. While there were certainly other moments, no other period has been quite as influential or magical. Go to your local club and just listen - you'll hear those knob-twidlings and analog washes - hey, sounds a lot like it came from the good old days TD used to know about! Anyhow there are three TD live LPs from the peak period: "Ricochet" (1975), "Soundmill Navigator" (1976) and "Encore" (1977)(double LP). Although for a true Tangerine Dreamer they are all essential. If I had to choose one as the best summary of a live performance it would have to be the "Encore" LP. This recording captures more of a sense of lyricism that harmoniously enhances the trancy sequencer pulsations rather than just sound completely unrelenting (as in "Ricochet"). Furthermore you hear the many different tonal varieties and "moods" that TD can create. I might add I also recommend this over the '75 and '76 LPs since the sound quality of "Encore" is notably better (remastered) and the '76 recording, at least to my ears (I am an amateur musician), appears to have been "manipulated" and "touched up" with digital instrumentation not even available at the time of the performance. Honestly, "Encore" is my favorite perhaps, but I still listen to the others as well.
So anyway, how's the album? "Cherokee Lane" is worth the price of admission alone. From the opening sonic surrealism of low frequency oscillators gone haywire from too much knob turns to the minimal sequencer assault that follows coated by an icing of Mellotron strings and flutes and other effects you know you're in for a ride. "Monolight" follows a similar pattern with some different subtleties. "Coldwater Canyon" introduces an electric guitar (with a way-cool "wah-wah" effect)into the mix, though for some it may seem to meander endlessly. Finally, "Desert Dream" begins with sounds not heard from TD since the title track from "Zeit", with its theremin-like synth lead and eerie atmospherics. The title says it all. Soon a dark sequence begins not unlike "3 AM . . ." from "Stratosphere" then followed by more darkness.
Although I would have liked to see more official TD live releases from around the time of the "Phaedra" and "Rubycon" LPs, I was very impressed with the musical craftsmanship and quality of "Encore". This is a double LP that fits conveniently on one extra long CD. Highly recommended.
Fans of this should also listen to former TD member Klaus Schulze's solo output from the mid to late '70s. Also highly recommended.
on May 11, 2015
In my opinion, 1977 was the greatest year for live music in the US. The Grateful Dead, Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, and, of course, Tangerine Dream all toured that year, and they all performed the best shows of their career. Encore is taken from a couple of shows (I think DC and Santa Monica), and represents some of the best music of the classic era with Froese, Franke and Baumann. The four tracks also feature some themes from the Sorcerer soundtrack. Get it. You won't be disappointed.
on February 24, 2014
This CD was compiled from a series of live recordings made in 1977. Hailing from Germany, Tangerine Dream largely set a new standard for electronic instrumental music. Like the early studio albums, this CD is ethereal and atmospheric. The four tracks run 16-19 minutes in length. The rock rhythms are provided by a sequencer, while the instrumental passages feature complex interplay of mellotron and synthesizer. The mellotron, in particular, gives the music an almost symphonic quality. Perhaps surprisingly, these live recordings come across as better than many of the band's studio efforts. Playing together before a live audience allowed the instrumentalists to improvise more, giving the music more immediacy. This is a solid, competent performance.
on June 30, 2008
In what was a triumphant 1977 Spring/Summer tour, Tangerine Dream solidified itself as a band that had to be seen as well as heard in what was already a prodigious catalog of studio work to appreciative crowds in venues across the United States.
Released in October 1977, the four selections are based on themes from the critically-acclaimed studio album, Stratosfear, and features the lineup of Edgar Froese, Chris Franke and Peter Baumannn. The latter would leave the group in November.
The most interesting track is Desert Dream, which has an ambient mood that draws in the listener through its stately elegance. The oftentimes underrated guitar work of Froese drives Coldwater Canyon. Though performed with a heavily-treated sound, his extended solo compliments the swirling rhythm by not overwhelming the textures from Franke and Baumann.
Cherokee Lane and Monolight work on the fringes of clubland, as the punchy beats tread near the trail carved by Kraftwerk, and explored by David Bowie during this time period.
The 1970s brought great commercial success to Tangerine Dream and Encore is an artistic statement from the stage which retains its relevance some 30 years later.
on February 9, 2009
This album gets 5 stars just for the guitar lead in COLDWATER CANYON, it is unlike most of the other 9 TD albums I own where I dont hear much obvious guitar. The entire album makes a great short concert. Highly recommended if you love complicated trippy space music. You wont believe its just 3 guys making all that wild sound!