Solo (1974-1983) - The Virgin Years- Set/Compilation, released April 2012 -
CD release Europe 2012 (Cover)
Design: Rebecca Edwards
CD release Europe 2012 (Booklet)
Design: Rebecca Edwards
|Recording date||1974 - 1983|
|Having re-issued (almost) the complete back catalog of Tangerine Dream on The Virgin Years 1974-1978 and The Virgin Years 1977-1983, Virgin issues a similar set consisting of the major part of Edgar Froese's solo work of that period.|
The 4-CD box contains the complete material of the albums
Four additional bonus tracks have been taken from the compilation Solo 1974 - 1979 (1982), that never has been released on CD. All tracks have been carefully remastered in 2012 by Denis Blackham at Skye Mastering, who apparently did a great job as the sound quality is extremely good. The compilation features the versions from the original albums, that is, not the remixed ones as on the re-releases issued by Edgar Froese himself in 2004/2005.
Disc one features the complete album Aqua plus a re-recorded version of the composition NGC 891 taken from the compilation Solo 1974 - 1979. The disc closes with the title track from Epsilon In Malaysian Pale that formed the first side of the original album.
The second disc continues with the second composition from Epsilon In Malaysian Pale, followed by a short remix of Tropic Of Capricorn taken from Solo 1974 - 1979 (which, in the booklet, mistakenly is listed as an alternate version of Epsilon In Malaysian Pale from the same compilation). The disc then features the complete first record of the double album Ages.
Disc number three continues with the second record from Ages, complete with the closing title Golgatha And The Circle Closes that was missing on the former CD release of that album due to time limitations of the single CD compared to the original double vinyl format. Then two bonus tracks from Solo 1974 - 1979 follow. The first one is a non-album version of Pizarro And Atahuallpa (originally on Ages), the second is said to be Tropic Of Capricorn from the same album. In fact, this track is present on disc two (see above). What you can hear instead is the edited version of IF 810, as present on Solo 1974 - 1979. Originally this composition had been released on Macula Transfer (1976) which is not part of this set, so this track is (by mistake) the only one present from that album. The disc closes with the first three tracks from Stuntman (forming the first side of the original album).
Last, but not least, the fourth disc features the remainder from Stuntman and the complete Pinnacles album. There are no more bonus tracks.
Unfortunately, the ultra-rare album Macula Transfer (1976) is not part of this set -- it even is not mentioned at all -- most probably due to the fact that it never has been released by Virgin, so there may be copyright issues preventing that album from being included. The other two remixed tracks from this album that were released on Solo 1974 - 1979 are missing as well, as is the complete soundtrack album Kamikaze 1989 (1982), which at least is listed in the booklet (with the remark "not featured"). And another opportunity to include the rare vinyl-only solo track Baryll Blue by Edgar Froese has been missed.
The compilation comes in a quaduple jewel case. The cover artwork is based on the original inner gatefold to Aqua. A variation of the artwork is used for the front and inner pages of the booklet and the discs. The 8-page booklet features a track list on four pages, which is correct with the exception of spelling errors of two track titles and the three mixed-up tracks (but apparently that is an error that occurred while creating the disc masters and not the printed matter). Two more pages include the credits of all albums released by Virgin between 1974 and 1983. Thus, neither Macula Transfer is listed (as it was only released in Germany by Metronome), nor is Beyond The Storm (as it was released beyond the... eh... timeline covered by this compilation). Somewhat surprisingly, the credits of Kamikaze 1989 are included, though the music material is not. The credits feature quite a number of spelling errors, but the facts given are correct. The backside of the booklet shows very small versions of the cover artwork from the six featured albums and lists the credits of this compilation. There are no liner notes at all. The backside insert features the complete track list (with the same mistakes) as well as the small cover photos.
Summing up, four tracks unavailable on any other CD release alone (not counting the IF 810 edit) plus the excellent sound quality make this compilation worthwhile for any TD collector -- especially as the box is sold at a very fair price. Furthermore, the album Epsilon In Malaysian Pale has become quite rare over time, so this set is a good opportunity to get the original material from that album at a reasonable price. Had Virgin added two more discs and included the albums Macula Transfer and Kamikaze 1989 plus the missing remixes from Solo 1974 - 1979, this compilation would have been even better.
In early 2014 Virgin re-issued the compilation, correcting the mixed-up tracks. However, the booklet and insert are identical (with all of the errors), and the discs themselves look identical, so there is no way to check which issue is which.
- 2012: Virgin
- 4CD [a]: 50999 6 44945 2 2; quadruple jewel case
- 2014: Virgin
- 4CD [b]: 50999 6 44945 2 2; quadruple jewel case