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Tangerine Dream


- Studio, released March 1973 -


CD release Europe 1996
Artwork: Edgar Froese
Photo: Monique Froese

CD release UK 1987

CD release Japan 2004
Artwork: Edgar Froese
Photo: Monique Froese

CD pirate release Russia 2001


1.Atem 20:2720:27
2.Fauni-Gena 10:4710:47
3.Circulation Of Events 5:525:52
4.Wahn 4:294:31
5.The Deutschlandhalle Performance -40:01
Total running time41:3581:38


Recording dateDecember 1972 - January 1973
Recording site(s)Dierks Studio (Cologne)
Recording engineer(s)Dieter Dierks
Composer(s)Edgar Froese, Chris Franke, Peter Baumann
Musician(s)Edgar Froese, Chris Franke, Peter Baumann
Producer(s)Edgar Froese, Chris Franke, Peter Baumann


Tangerine Dream's final album for Ohr Records, Atem, released in early 1973, was much more accessible than Zeit. The British DJ John Peel was a big fan of Atem and wrote and phoned Edgar Froese to tell him how much he loved their music. Atem became his album of the year 1973, and this might be the reason TD got a contract with the London-based Virgin Records.


From 30 Years Of Dreaming

In December 1972, Tangerine Dream recorded what was to become the album Atem. This time it was done without any help from guest musicians. The result was released at the beginning of 1973.

The music still had this "cosmic" atmosphere, but with a lot more dynamics and structure. Especially the vocal (!) track Wahn stands out -- even today. It sounds something like "Stockhausen meets Pink Floyd"...

The [...] American John Schaefer, [...] a very active and passionate spokesman for every kind of new music, wrote about this phase in Tangerine Dream's career: "Here were three young German rock musicians (Klaus Schulze briefly among them) playing music that sounded as bizarre and self-indulgent to pop listeners as Eminent or Stockhausen sounded to much of the traditional classical audience. Often without any recognisable melodies or harmonies, the early Tangerine Dream recordings, such as the two-record set Zeit (Time), took the listener on a flight through a chemical wonderland. Spaced, occasionally abrasive, at times completely adrift from conventional musical forms..." (New Sounds -- John Schaefer, 1987, Virgin)

Edgar Froese: "Atem was the beginning of an adventure. For the next few years, we were constantly improving and experimenting and, although it wasn't perfect -- we didn't always make great music -- it was a period which brought me richer experiences than any other" (Melody Maker, 8th October 1994)

Atem was the last album Tangerine Dream made with Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser for the record company Ohr. As it often happens in the music business, disagreements between the artists and the record company evolved. They parted, but only after a lawsuit, and Froese, Franke and Baumann were now looking for a new recording label. Before the final break, Tangerine Dream played at a remarkable concert arranged by a magazine in Paris. Among others Tangerine Dream were playing together with Ashra Temple, Kraftwerk and Klaus Schulze, who have all gained a lot of recognition and almost cult-like status in their genre through the years.

With Atem, Tangerine Dream got some success abroad for the first time, when the English DJ, John Peel, chose Atem as the best album of the year! He often played it on his radio program and was thereby contributing to making Tangerine Dream popular in England. It was especially the English who opened their eyes to that special kind of progressive rock music, which came from West Germany. The psychedelic wave -- with Pink Floyd in front -- had cleared the way for a new way of thinking in music.

There was a strong underground scene, which had also revealed itself as having a big commercial potential. As is well known, Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells was a very big success even though it was considered a strange album at the time with no traditional vocals or drums. The enormous success of Tubular Bells was forming the financial basis for this little new record company called Virgin Records. A record company, with the eccentric adventurer Richard Branson in the forefront, which has now evolved into becoming one of the world's biggest multimedia companies and now also an airline company. It was also Virgin Records who promoted Tangerine Dream on a global level for many years and -- to some degree -- still do.

Legend has it that "on sunny afternoon in August 1973, Richard Branson and Edgar Froese sat on the small wooden stairs in the hallway of Virgin Records store in Nottinghill Gate, London. Both were negotiating the first deal for Tangerine Dream in England. Branson only had a small office above the store. As they agreed upon the main points, Branson pulled out a demo cassette from a certain Oldfield, which he'd received. They gave the pre-prehistoric version of Tubular Bells a listen -- and the rest is history." (TDIFC Newsletter #13, March 1991)

Well, anyway it's a good story.

© 1999 by Kent Eskildsen




In 1987 the album was released on CD for the first time. While the USA release featured the reworked original cover artwork, the UK release had a total different cover design, originating from the boxed set In The Beginning.


Nine years later, in 1996, the CD was re-released again. Though being remastered from the original tapes, this was not a perfect recording like under 1996 studio conditions, but probably the best version of Atem that would ever become available. The cover artwork was very similar to the original LP cover. The CD booklet features sleeve notes taken from the book "Krautrocksampler" by Julian Cope.


In 2001 are pirate CD release was issued in Russia, featuring totally different cover artwork.


In 2004 the album was re-released in Japan with a cardboard sleeve featuring the exact replica of the original LP sleeve.


A very special edition of Atem was released in August/September 2011 by the British Esoteric Records as part of a re-issue of the TD back catalogue of the Pink and Blue Years. The album was released as a double CD, the first disc featuring the original album, while the second one, titled "The Deutschlandhalle Concert", is a re-release of the fan release Tangerine Tree Volume 23: Berlin 1973, featuring a 1973 concert in West Berlin. Like all other re-releases of the Esoteric series, the discs come nicely packaged with a highly informative 16-page booklet, featuring the original artwork, credits, numerous photos and an essay by journalist Malcolm Dome.


In April 2012 the Japanese company Belle Antique re-released the remastered Esoteric version of Atem as double SHM-CD (Super High Material CD), including the bonus disc.


1975: Polydor
LP [a]: 2383 297; red labels
1996: Essential/Castle
CD [a]: ESMCD348
1999: Essential/Castle
LP [a]: ESMLP348; picture label/white label
2002: Sanctuary/Castle
CD [a]: CMRCD495; standard jewel case with additional cardboard sleeve
2011: Reactive/Esoteric
2CD [b]: EREACD 21019; cardboard wrapper; slim double jewel case; multicoloured discs
2012: Reactive/Esoteric
LP [a]: EREALP 1019
1973: Cosmic Couriers
LP [a]: CLE 33003; yellow labels, foc
1976: Virgin/CPF
LP [a]: 940 526; multi-coloured labels
1992: Jive/BMG
CD [a]: 2111 334-2
1973: Ohr
LP [a]: OMM 556031; ear labels
1992: Jive/BMG
CD [a]: 2111 334-2
1973: PDU/EMI Italia
LP [a]: Pld. A 5084; black/silver labels, foc
1976: Virgin/Nippon Columbia
Promo-LP [a]: YX-7126-AX; white/grey promo labels, foc
LP [a]: YX-7126-AX; white/grey labels, foc, 12-page booklet
1978: Virgin/Nippon Columbia
LP [a]: YZ-97-AX; white/grey labels
2004: Arcàngelo
CD [a]: ARC-7050; cardboard sleeve, obi, fold-out poster
2008: Arcàngelo
CD [a]: ARC-8009; cardboard sleeve, obi
2012: Belle Antique
2SHM-CD [b]: BELLE 121945-6; cardboard sleeve, obi
Promo-2SHM-CD [b]: BELLE 121945-6; cardboard sleeve, obi; sticker "SAMPLE" on rear, print "LOANED SAMPLE" on inner CD ring
2001: SomeWax
Pirate-CD [a]: SW077-2
19??: -
LP [a]: NP-60067; blue/silver labels, black/white cover
1974: Polydor
LP [a]: 2383 297
1987: Jive
CD [a]: C TANG 2
1987: Relativity
LP [a]: 88561-8071-1; black labels
CD [a]: 88561-8071-2
1996: Sequel/Castle
CD [a]: 1035-2
1999: Castle
CD [a]: CMACD551
2003: Sanctuary
CD [a]: 06076-81245-2
Atem was also released as part of the sets Alpha Centauri/Atem, In The Beginning, Nebulous Dawn and The Pink Years Albums.

Copyright/Disclaimer   © 2001-2021 by Michael Berling. Last Update: 2021-09-19 21:31