Tangerine Dream Stratosfear- Studio, released October 1976 - Covers
CD release Europe 1995 Photo: Monique Froese Design: Cooke-Key Ass. CD release UK 1984 Photo: Monique Froese CD counterfeit release Russia 1997? 8 track tape release USA 1977 Tracks Details
Recording date August 1976 Recording site(s) Audio Studios (Berlin) Recording engineer(s) Ottmar Bergler Composer(s) Edgar Froese, Chris Franke, Peter Baumann Musician(s) Edgar Froese, Chris Franke, Peter Baumann Producer(s) Edgar Froese, Chris Franke, Peter Baumann Notes In summer 1976 Peter Baumann recorded his first solo album , being quite different from TD's music of that period. That year Virgin had re-released the early TD records Romance 76 (1970), Electronic Meditation (1971), Alpha Centauri (1972) and Zeit (1973), but the most important news was the August recording of Atem Stratosfear (note the play on words!) at Audio Studios in Berlin. Besides the well-known instrumentation of mellotron and moog synthesisers, Tangerine Dream surprised their listeners with their use of acoustic instruments like harpsichord, acoustic guitars, grand piano and mouth organ. On the other hand, Peter Baumann used a new Project electronic rhythm computer which gave the percussive sequences a very dry, precise finish. According to Edgar Froese, Stratosfear was the most complicated and nerve-wrecking of any TD production, as there were lots of technical problems with the equipment as well as a number of musical problems amongst the group about which tracks were to be chosen. From 30 Years Of Dreaming
In August 1976, Tangerine Dream went to the Audio studio in Berlin to record what would become the album
Stratosfear. It was released in October, and at the same time the band went on a big tour throughout Europe to promote the album. More than 30 concerts in Germany, France, Spain, Belgium, England and Scotland were accomplished. Stratosfear is much more ordinary in its sound and expression than the earlier albums. The tracks are shorter than before and they are much more melodic. The music has a higher degree of tonality and a lot of acoustic instruments like the grand piano, the chembalo and the mouth organ (!). Edgar Froese made frequent use of his abilities on both the acoustic and the electric guitar. His very characteristic and melodic way of playing has later on become one of the trademarks of the band.
As so many times before, in these very early days of electronics, they had a lot of problems with their equipment while recording: Peter Baumann had a new sequencer, which it had taken a German company a year to build, but it was not completely ready and in the studio it did not work properly. When it was finally made to work, the multi-track recorders broke down and at one point, smoke was pouring out of the studio's Dolby units and they could not record without them.
The three members of the band were very frustrated and besides the technical problems they where arguing about what music they should play and have on the album:
Froese: "When I appeared in the studio one day with a harmonica, the absurdity of the situation was revealed. It was supposed to be a joke, retort to the unpredictability of the technology, but after playing it during the beginning of
3 a.m. At The Border Of The Marsh From Okefenokee, everybody decided to leave it on. So much had happened during these sessions -- master tapes at times disappeared from the studio, finished tracks were mysteriously erased and the mixing console finally went up in smoke. The events which occurred during the making of Stratosfear alone would fill an entire book!". (Interview with Mark Pendergast, January 1994, ) Tangents
If you could feel the same mood on the earlier albums as in the movie,
2001 -- A Space Odyssey, then the cover of Stratosfear might be a clear reference to this movie; big monolith-like objects floating in formation over a deserted and strange landscape! Once again a spectacular cover from the hands of Monique Froese. Stratosfear is a classic, and in my opinion, also one of the absolutely best albums by Tangerine Dream. Even the band members themselves must have been rather satisfied with the result, because the title track has often been played at concerts and been re-recorded in different versions -- the latest one on with the title Tyranny Of Beauty Stratosfear 1995. © 1999 by Kent Eskildsen Backtracking with Tangerine Dream
Edgar Froese: "Somebody said
Stratosfear has a sort of atmospheric circle round the music. It's hard to explain with words. Every music can do this, but that record has a particularly strange, mysterious atmosphere. Here again, some of the titles relate to Greek philosophy."
Chris Franke: "Normally, when we go into the studio, there's no music written and we work by a system of trial and error. We work like Salvador Dali, so we're more like developers than composers. We don't write music, then memorise it, then play it. No, we play little bits, record them on tape or in the computer, decide immediately if we want to keep them or change them. It's a kind of composition that could not have happened before, because you would need an orchestra to be playing all the parts."
(Interview with Johnny Black, thisBEAT, issue 17, April 1986) Re-Releases In 1984 the album was released on CD for the first time as part of a series by Virgin. With the exception of , all releases of this series had a similar cover design, using only part of the original artwork in a monochrome border that featured the band and album title. Exit In 1995 Virgin re-released the album on CD in the so-called "Definitive Edition" series, featuring the original front cover artwork, but like most of the other releases of this series, it contains some little errors: The third track is misspelled 3AM At The Border Of The Marsh on the CD body, and Peter Baumann's name is misspelled Baummann in the booklet. In 2009 the album was re-released in Japan with a cardboard sleeve featuring the exact replica of the original LP sleeve. In 2011 the album was re-released as part of the compilation box , and in 2012 it was re-released on vinyl. The Virgin Years 1974-1978 In 2019 the album was re-released with three bonus tracks. In fact, this version is identical to disc thirteen of the box set, featuring the original album, newly remastered by Ben Wiseman from the original tapes. The bonus tracks are two single edits (originally released on In Search Of Hades ) and an excerpt from the live recording from of TD's famous Stratosfear/The Big Sleep In Search Of Hades concert in Coventry, 1975. Releases
Australia 1976: Virgin/Festival Promo-LP [a]: L 36052; multi-coloured labels, foc, sticker LP [a]: L 36052; multi-coloured labels, foc LP [a]: L 36052; green labels, foc Austria 1976: Virgin LP [a]: 28 146; multi-coloured labels, foc Brazil 1977: Virgin/Phonogram LP [a]: 9124 135; red labels Canada 1976: Virgin/Polydor LP [a]: V 2068; multi-coloured labels, foc 197?: Virgin/Polygram LP [a]: V 2068; red/green labels, foc 1984: Virgin Promo-LP [a]: V 2068; red labels with white stripes, gsc LP [a]: V 2068; red labels with white stripes 1995: Virgin/EMI CD [a]: 840 065-2 Europe 1995: Virgin CD [a]: 840 065-2; identical to UK version from 1995 2012: EMI Virgin LP [a]: VR 2068; multi-coloured labels; black inner sleeve; foc 2019: Virgin/Universal CD [b]: 774 697-8; multi-coloured disc; sticker France 1976: Virgin/CPF LP [a]: 940 533; multi-coloured labels, foc 1976: Virgin/Polydor LP [a]: 2473 721; green labels with printing 'Made in France', foc LP [a]: 2473 721; green labels with printing 'Fabrique en France', foc LP [a]: 2473 721; black/silver labels, foc LP [a]: 2473 721; red/silver labels, foc 1981: Virgin/Ariola LP [a]: 202 621; red/green labels, foc 1983: Virgin LP [a]: 70 040; red/green labels, foc 1984: Virgin CD [a]: CDV 2068; identical to UK version from 1984 Germany 1976: Virgin/Ariola LP [a]: 28 146; green labels, foc LP [a]: 28 146; red/green labels, foc LP [a]: 28 146; red/green labels LP [a]: 28 146; white/gray labels LP [a]: 652 909; silver labels; this is a club edition 1984: Virgin/Ariola CD [a]: 610 326; identical to UK version from 1984 with the German order number on a sticker fixed on the jewel case 1993: Virgin CD [a]: 786 092-2 Greece 1976: Virgin LP [a]: 062-VG 50054; red/green labels 1976: Virgin/EMI LP [a]: 2J 064-98572; multi-coloured labels, foc 19??: Virgin/Polygram LP [a]: 2473 721; red/green labels Ireland 1976: Virgin LP [a]: V 2068; multi-coloured labels, foc Israel 1976: Virgin/General Music LP [a]: BAN 2068; red/green labels Italy 1976: Virgin/Dischi LP [a]: VIL 12068; multi-coloured labels, foc LP [a]: VIL 12068; red/green labels, foc 1984: Virgin LP [a]: OVED 70; red/green labels, foc LP [a]: OVED 70; white/gray labels, foc Japan 1977: Virgin/Nippon Columbia Promo-LP [a]: YX-7141-VR; green promo labels, foc, some copies include a poster and insert LP [a]: YX-7141-VR; green labels, foc; the first 10,000 copies included a poster 1982: Virgin/Victor LP [a]: VIP 4152; green labels 1990: Virgin CD [a]: VJCP-2516; some with wrapper 'British Rock History on CD' Promo-CD [a]: VJCP-2516; same as regular release, but with additional red promo sticker 2009: EMI CD [a]: VJCP-68916; cardboard sleeve, obi Promo-CD [a]: VJCP-68916; same as regular release, but with additional numbered sticker on rear 2015: Virgin SHM-CD [a]: UICY-76989; gatefold cardboard sleeve Platinum SHM-CD [a]: UICY-40133; gatefold cardboard sleeve SHM-SACD [a]: UIGY-9676; gatefold cardboard sleeve 2019: Virgin/Universal 2SHM-CD [c]: UICY-78976; gatefold cardboard sleeve plus one single cardboard sleeve Mexico 1977: Virgin/BMG LP [a]: LA 367 Netherlands 1976: Virgin/Ariola LP [a]: TCV 2068; multi-coloured labels, foc New Zealand 1976: Virgin/RTC LP [a]: V 2068; red labels LP [a]: V 2068; red/green labels Portugal 1977: Virgin/Phonogram LP [a]: 5028 146; multi-coloured labels Russia 1997?: Spurk Counterfeit-CD [a]: 428797; white/black/blue disc South Korea 1989: Virgin/EMI Kemongsa/JIL LP [a]: VKPL-001 V2068; green labels, foc Spain 1976: Virgin/Ariola LP [a]: 25 146-I; multi-coloured labels, matte finish foc LP [a]: 25 146-I; multi-coloured labels, gloss finish foc 1978: Virgin/Ariola LP [a]: 25 146-I; green labels, foc LP [a]: 25 146-I; red/green labels, foc 1981: Virgin/Ariola LP [a]: 25 146-I; red/green labels, foc 1984: Virgin/Ariola LP [a]: E 28 146; dark red/green labels Taiwan 19??: Incredible Sound LP [a]: KS-5082; yellow labels 19??: Nova/Music Life LP [a]: ML-001; multi-coloured labels UK 1976: Virgin Promo-LP [a]: V 2068; green labels, foc, promo label LP [a]: V 2068; green labels, foc LP [a]: V 2068; red/green labels, foc 1984: Virgin LP [a]: OVED 70; red/green labels, foc LP [a]: OVED 70; white/gray labels, foc CD [a]: CDV 2068 1995: Virgin CD [a]: TAND 8 USA 1977: Virgin/CBS LP [a]: PZ 34427; multi-coloured labels, foc Promo-LP [a]: PZ 34427; white promo labels, foc, white demo cover Promo-LP [a]: PZ 34427; white promo labels, foc, gsc (demonstration) Promo-LP [a]: PZ 34427; multi-coloured labels, foc, gsc (promotion) Promo-LP [a]: PZ 34427; multi-coloured promo labels, foc, gsc (demonstration); some with pink sticker ('World wide smash album now available inthe U.S.') Promo-LP [a]: PZ 34427; multi-coloured labels, foc, gsc ('For Military Sale Only') Promo-LP [a]: PZ 34427; multi-coloured labels, foc, gsc ('For Governmental Sale Only') 8 track tape [a]: PZA 34427 1981: Virgin LP [a]: VI 2068; skin-coloured labels, foc 1988: Virgin LP [a]: 791 010-1; black labels with blue triangle CD [a]: 791 010-2 1993: Virgin CD [a]: V21Y 86 092-2 Venezuela 1982: Virgin/Betarecord LP [a]: LPBS-1067; brown labels, foc Yugoslavia 1976: Virgin/RTB LP [a]: LP 55-5633; multi-coloured labels, foc LP [a]: LP 55-5633; green labels, foc LP [a]: LP 55-5633; yellow labels, foc