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Phaedra

by Tangerine Dream

- Studio, released February 1974 -

Covers


CD release Europe 1995
Painting & Design: Edgar Froese

CD release UK 1984
Painting: Edgar Froese

Counterfeit-CD release Russia 1998

CD release Japan 2005
Painting: Edgar Froese

8 track tape release USA 1974


Tracks

[a][b]
1.Phaedra 17:3916:47
2.Mysterious Semblance At The Strand Of Nightmares 9:5510:45
3.Movements Of A Visionary 7:467:58
4.Sequent C' 2:132:17
Total running time37:3337:47


Details

Recording dateDecember 1973
Recording site(s)The Manor (Shipton-on-Cherwell)
Recording engineer(s)Phil Becque
Composer(s)Edgar Froese, Chris Franke, Peter Baumann
Musician(s)Edgar Froese, Chris Franke, Peter Baumann
Producer(s)Edgar Froese


Notes

The first album released worldwide by Virgin Records, Phaedra, was recorded in less than three weeks. The title originates from the Greek myth of Phaedra, the daughter of Minos and Ariadne's sister. She committed suicide after her stepson refused her advances. The album is divided into four compositions: two credited to the group, one each to Edgar Froese and Peter Baumann. Along with conventional instruments like guitar, bass, organ and flute, each member used a VCS 3 synthesiser. Edgar Froese played his Mellotron, Chris Franke the big Moog and Peter Baumann electric piano. Phaedra was released on February 20th, 1974 and went straight into the album charts, reaching number 15 of the British Top 20 and staying on the chart for 15 weeks.

 


Backtracking with Tangerine Dream

Edgar Froese: "We've always been interested in Greek mythology, and the titles on this album come from there. Not just Greek, but Egyptian, Indian, European, philosophy mixed with a bit of humour. I have to say that, although I liked the recent Virgin compilation, Dream Sequence, it includes a very strange two minute edit of Phaedra which shocked us. It's as bad as the rest of the compilation is good. There are people who think Phaedra was the last decent piece of music we recorded, but fortunately there are others who think Tangram was our first record."

(Interview with Johnny Black, thisBEAT, issue 17, April 1986)

 


In 1995 Virgin re-released the album on CD in the so-called "Definitive Edition" series, featuring the original front cover artwork. The sound quality of this release, using the Super Bit Mapping technology, is probably the best up to now, but like most of the other releases of this series, the booklet text contains a little error in that Peter Baumann's name is misspelled Bauman, and on the backside insert the second track is misspelled 'Stand' instead of 'Strand'. Furthermore the tracks have been indexed differently, opening the second track with a minute of ambient noises (you can hear some children's voices in the background) which was originally part of the first track.

 


In 2005 the album was re-released in Japan with a cardboard sleeve featuring the exact replica of the original LP sleeve.

 


In 2005, too, a completely reworked version of this album has been released as Phaedra 2005.

 


In 2011 the original album was re-released as part of the compilation box The Virgin Years 1974-1978.

 


From 30 Years Of Dreaming

When Baumann returned from his trip to Asia, Tangerine Dream were playing their latest demos for Virgin, and the record company, [...] owned by Richard Branson, signed a five year world-wide contract with the group. It was a contract that would later be extended to a total of ten golden years on Virgin. A new album went straight into the making, and at the end of 1973, Tangerine Dream left for England and Virgin's recording studio -- The Manor Studio in Oxfordshire. The production, which would be released as Phaedra, began on 20th November and lasted for about three weeks.

Tangerine Dream had received an advance from the forthcoming album sale and the money was straight away invested in a big Moog Modular synthesizer -- one of the big monsters you often see the musicians pictured in front of.

The instruments, and the technologies as a whole, created a lot of problems while the recordings took place and almost everything went wrong. It would often take several hours just to get the instruments in tune and make a usable sound. On those first electronic machines there was nothing like memory to save the sound, the tuning and other parameters from session to session.

Edgar Froese: "We worked each day from 11 o'clock in the morning to 2 o'clock at night. By the eleventh day we barely had 6.5 minutes of music on tape. Technically everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. The tape machine broke down, there were repeated mixing console failures and the speakers were damaged because of the unusually low frequencies of the bass notes. After 12 days of this we were completely knacked. Fortunately, after a two-day break in the countryside a new start brought a breakthrough. Mysterious Semblance was recorded on 4th December, Peter and Chris were asleep after a long recording session, so I invited my wife Monique into the studio. I called in the studio engineer and recorded it in one take on a double-keyboard Mellotron while Monique turned the knobs on the phasing device. The piece is on the record exactly as it was recorded that day. And this practice was due to continue for the rest of the session. For example, on the title track, Chris pressed the button to start the bubbling bass note. Unfortunately the bass pattern didn't work the way it should have -- after a few seconds, as you can hear on the album, the note drops in but out of tune. Chris then started tuning the bass sequence while running it. What he didn't know was that I had told the engineer to press the recording button whenever music or some sounds could be heard. So what you hear in the beginning of Phaedra is a rehearsal! Even when I started playing the melody line, it was just a try -- no one thought it would go on the record." (Interview with Mark Pendergast, January 1994 / Tangents)

Even if almost no one knew about Tangerine Dream in England, Phaedra quickly became very popular: The band had not given any interviews to the music press and besides John Peel's shows, nobody played their music on the radio. But Phaedra nevertheless managed to slip into Melody Maker's album-list and gained a high ranking. Later on, it received gold in several countries!

So this third release, Phaedra, from the trio Froese, Franke and Baumann, in many ways became a turning point in their careers.

© 1999 by Kent Eskildsen


Releases

Australia
1974: Virgin/Festival
Promo-LP [a]: L 35138; green labels with sticker, foc
Promo-LP [a]: L 35138; black/white labels with sticker, foc
LP [a]: L 35138; black/white labels, foc
LP [a]: L 35138; multi-coloured labels, foc
197?: Virgin/CBS
Promo-LP [a]: V 2010; white promo labels, foc with promo stamp
LP [a]: V 2010; red/green labels, foc
Brazil
1977: Virgin/Phonogram
LP [a]: 9124 127; red labels
Canada
1974: Virgin/WEA
LP [a]: VR 13-108; multi-coloured labels, foc
1977: Polydor/Virgin
LP [a]: V 2010; multi-coloured labels, foc
LP [a]: V 2010; red/green labels, foc
1984: Virgin
LP [a]: V 2010; red labels with white stripes
Europe
1995: Virgin
CD [b]: 840 062-2; identical to UK version from 1995
France
1974: Virgin/Eurodisc Arabella
LP [a]: 2933 723; black/silver labels, foc
1974: Virgin/Polydor
LP [a]: 2933 723; black/silver labels, foc
LP [a]: 2933 723; red/silver labels, foc
LP [a]: 2933 723; green labels, foc
1975: Virgin/CPF
LP [a]: 840 030; black/white labels
LP [a]: 840 030; multi-coloured labels
1981: Virgin/Ariola
LP [a]: 202 622; red/green labels, foc
1983: Virgin
LP [a]: 70 041; red/green labels, foc
1985: Virgin
CD [a]: CDV 2010; identical to UK version from 1984
Germany
1974: Virgin/Ariola
LP [a]: 87 761; multi-coloured labels, foc
LP [a]: 87 761; black/white labels, foc
LP [a]: 87 761; green labels, foc
LP [a]: 87 761; red/green labels, foc
LP [a]: 87 761; red/green labels
1984: Virgin/Ariola
LP [a]: 87 761; red/green labels
LP [a]: 87 761; white/grey labels
1985: Virgin/Ariola
CD [a]: 610 378; identical to UK version from 1984 with the German order number on a sticker fixed on the jewel case
1993: Virgin
CD [a]: 786 064-2
Greece
1977: Virgin
LP [a]: 062-VG 50053; red/green labels
1977: Virgin/Phonogram
LP [a]: 2933 723; green labels
Israel
1974: Virgin
LP [a]: V 2010 DD 30861; multi-coloured labels, foc
1975: Virgin/General Music
LP [a]: BAN V 2010; multi-coloured labels
LP [a]: BAN V 2010; red/green labels
Italy
1974: Virgin/Dischi
LP [a]: VIL 12010; black/white labels, foc
LP [a]: VIL 12010; multi-coloured labels, foc
LP [a]: VIL 12010; red/green labels, foc; mispressing: side two is pressed on both sides of the LP
LP [a]: VIL 12010; two red of the red/green labels, foc; mispressing: side two is pressed on both sides of the LP
1984: Virgin
LP [a]: OVED 25; red/green labels, foc, mispressing
LP [a]: OVED 25; white/grey labels, foc, mispressing
Japan
1975: Virgin/Nippon Columbia
Promo-LP [a]: YQ-7021-VR; multi-coloured promo labels, foc
LP [a]: YQ-7021-VR; multi-coloured labels, foc
1978: Virgin/Victor
Promo-LP [a]: VIP 6909; white promo labels, foc
LP [a]: VIP 6909; green labels, foc
1982: Virgin/Victor
LP [a]: VIP 4149; green labels
1990: Virgin
CD [a]: VJCP-2513
Promo-CD: VJCP-2513; same as regular release, but with additional red promo sticker
2005: Virgin/Toshiba-EMI
CD [b]: VJCP-68667; cardboard sleeve, obi
Mexico
1981: Virgin/BMG
LP [a]: LA 410
New Zealand
1974: Virgin/RTC
LP [a]: V 2010; multi-coloured labels, foc
LP [a]: V 2010; black/white labels, foc
LP [a]: V 2010; red/green labels, foc
Russia
1998: Dora
Counterfeit-CD: JPCD 9801129; white/blue disc
South Africa
19??: Virgin/Gallo
LP [a]: V 2010; white/black labels, foc
South Korea
1985: Virgin/Yeh Eum
LP [a]: YVPL-067; red/green labels
1997: Virgin/Doremi/EMI
CD [b?]: VKPD-0225
Spain
1975: Virgin/Ariola
LP [a]: 87 761-I; multi-coloured labels, foc
1976: Virgin/Ariola
LP [a]: 87 761-I; multi-coloured labels, foc
1978: Virgin/Ariola
LP [a]: 87 761-I; green labels, foc
197?: Virgin/Ariola
LP [a]: 87 761-I; red/green labels, foc
1980: Virgin/Ariola
LP [a]: 87 761-I; red/green labels, foc
1987: Virgin
LP [a]: E 87 761; red/green labels
UK
1974: Virgin
LP [a]: V 2010; multi-coloured labels, foc with order number on back side
LP [a]: V 2010; multi-coloured labels, foc with order number on front side
LP [a]: V 2010; green labels, foc
LP [a]: V 2010; green labels with white circles, foc
LP [a]: V 2010; red/green labels, foc
1984: Virgin
LP [a]: OVED 25; red/green labels
LP [a]: OVED 25; white/grey labels
1985: Virgin
CD [a]: CDV 2010
1995: Virgin
CD [b]: TAND 5
2010: Virgin
LP [a]: VR 2010; multi-coloured labels, foc
USA
1974: Virgin/Atlantic
Promo-LP [a]: VR 13-108; black/white promo labels saying 'sample copy' with numbers ST-VR-743109-DJ PR/ST-VR 743110 PR; +_PHAEDRA is split in three sections: Part 1 4:51, Part 2 5:15, Part 3 6:15
Promo-LP [a]: VR 13-108; black/white promo labels saying 'promotional copy' with numbers ST-VR-743109-DJ MO/ST-VR 743110 MO; +_PHAEDRA is split in three sections (see above)
Promo-LP [a]: VR 13-108; black/white promo labels saying 'promotional copy' with numbers ST-VR-743109-DJ RI/ST-VR 743110 RI; +_PHAEDRA is split in three sections (see above)
LP [a]: VR 13-108; multi-coloured labels
8 track tape [a]: TP 13-108
1981: Virgin/JEM
LP [a]: VI 2010; skin-coloured labels, foc
1988: Virgin
Promo-LP [a]: 90 933-1; black labels with blue triangle, gsc
LP [a]: 790 933-1; black labels with blue triangle
CD [a]: 790 933-2
1993: Virgin
CD [a]: V21Y 86 064-2
Yugoslavia
1975: Virgin/RTB
LP [a]: 55-5533; white labels, foc
LP [a]: 55-5533; multi-coloured labels, foc
LP [a]: 55-5533; green labels, foc
LP [a]: 55-5533; red labels, foc
LP [a]: 55-5533; yellow labels, foc
Phaedra was also released as part of the set Synthetiseur.

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