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Tangerine Dream

Oedipus Tyrannus

- Album, released June 2019 -


Download release Europe 2019


1.Overture 11:02
2.Act 1 16:45
3.Act 2: Battle 10:10
4.Act 2: Baroque 8:56
5.Act 2: Zeus 5:43
6.Act 3 22:09
Total running time74:45


Recording dateJune 1974
Recording site(s)CBS Studios (London)
Recording engineer(s)Steve Taylor
Composer(s)Edgar Froese, Chris Franke, Peter Baumann
Musician(s)Edgar Froese, Chris Franke, Peter Baumann


Oedipus Tyrannus can be considered the 'holy grail' regarding lost Tangerine Dream recordings. It was recorded in June 1974 in London as soundtrack for the namesake stage play to be performed at the Chichester Festival on August 18th, 1974. The then current line-up consisting of Edgar Froese, Chris Franke and Peter Baumann created a musical suite of more than 70 minutes, divided in an overture and three acts.


Regarding the time-line, Oedipus Tyrannus is the missing link between TD's studio albums Phaedra (1974) and Rubycon (1975), though musically it has more in common with the earlier, more dark and eerie albums like Atem (1973) or the band's more improvised but less structured live performances around 1974.


Oedipus Tyrannus was planned for release in late 1974, after having premiered on the festival, and considering the amount of music material it could have easily resulted in a double vinyl album -- though it is a bit unclear how the material would have nicely fitted on four vinyl sides without either cutting compositions or changing their natural order. But apparently the band was not really happy about the results, so the recordings were shelved in the Virgin vaults, unreleased with the exception of Overture that was included in the Virgin compilation V (1975) and thus, for the next 45 years, became the only part of Oedipus Tyrannus to be officially released.


Meanwhile BBC radio moderator John Peel had received a rough mix of some of the other material from the sessions, and on July 11th, 1974 he premiered two short excerpts during his radio show: Baroque and Zeus. These two parts found its way on a number of tapes and bootlegs circluating among TD fans, sometimes mislabelled as live recordings from the Chichester Festival. In 2004 they were fan-released as part of the Tangerine Tree project on Tangerine Tree Volume 41: Space Is The Place.


Tangerine Dream had taken a safety copy of Oedipus Tyrannus with them when they had returned to Berlin, and months later they included a small section of about five minutes from Act 3 in their forthcoming studio album Rubycon, only slightly overdubbed at the Manor. And then, in 1977, Peter Baumann incorporated a short section from Zeus into the composition Desert Dream that, unlike Cherokee Lane and Monolight, was purely a studio creation, though released as part of a 'live' album.


Finally, when the Virgin archives were searched for the original master tapes to be used for the In Search Of Hades box set, the Oedipus Tyrannus tapes were found and both a 5.1 Surround Sound and a stereo mix were done by Steven Wilson to be included in the box.


The stereo mix of Oedipus Tyrannus was released as an individual download version as well, though no physical release on CD or vinyl has seen the light of day by now.


The cover artwork is of unknown origin; most probably it was done in 2019 especially for In Search Of Hades (where it is displayed in LP size in the accompanying book), but it is nicely in line with that of TD albums of the time of recording (especially with Rubycon, done by Monique Froese).


2019: Virgin/Universal
Download: complete album or individual tracks
Copyright/Disclaimer   © 2001-2021 by Michael Berling. Last Update: 2021-09-19 21:31