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Tangerine Dream

Stratosfear

- Studio, released October 1976 -

Covers


CD release Europe 1995
Photo: Monika Froese
Design: Cooke-Key Ass.

CD release UK 1984
Photo: Monika Froese

Counterfeit-CD release Russia 1997?

8 track tape release USA 1977


Tracks



Details

Recording dateAugust 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 Romance 76, being quite different from TD's music of that period. That year Virgin had re-released the early TD records Electronic Meditation (1970), Alpha Centauri (1971), Zeit (1972) and Atem (1973), but the most important news was the August recording of 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-wracking of any TD production, as there were lots of problems with Peter Baumann's new sequencer. Additionally, both of the multi-track machines in the studio broke down, and after their repair the Dolby units in the recording room were defunct, master tapes at times disappeared from the studio, finished tracks were mysteriously erased and the mixing console finally went up in smoke. Also there were a number of musical problems amongst the group about which tracks were to be chosen. When Edgar Froese appeared in the studio one day with a harmonica the absurdity of the situation was revealed. It was supposed to be a joke, a 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 the group decided to leave it on.

 


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)

 


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


Releases

Australia
1976: Virgin/Festival
Promo-LP: L 36052; multi-coloured labels, foc, sticker
LP: L 36052; multi-coloured labels, foc
LP: L 36052; green labels, foc
Austria
1976: Virgin
LP: 28 146; multi-coloured labels, foc
Brazil
1977: Virgin/Phonogram
LP: 9124 135; red labels
Canada
1976: Virgin/Polydor
LP: V 2068; multi-coloured labels, foc
197?: Virgin/Polygram
LP: V 2068; red/green labels, foc
1984: Virgin
Promo-LP: V 2068; red labels with white stripes, gsc
LP: V 2068; red labels with white stripes
1995: Virgin/EMI
CD: 840 065-2
Europe
1995: Virgin
CD: 840 065-2; identical to UK version from 1995
2012: EMI Virgin
LP: VR 2068; multi-coloured labels; black inner sleeve; foc
France
1976: Virgin/CPF
LP: 940 533; multi-coloured labels, foc
1976: Virgin/Polydor
LP: 2473 721; green labels with printing 'Made in France', foc
LP: 2473 721; green labels with printing 'Fabrique en France', foc
LP: 2473 721; black/silver labels, foc
LP: 2473 721; red/silver labels, foc
1981: Virgin/Ariola
LP: 202 621; red/green labels, foc
1983: Virgin
LP: 70 040; red/green labels, foc
1984: Virgin
CD: CDV 2068; identical to UK version from 1984
Germany
1976: Virgin/Ariola
LP: 28 146; green labels, foc
LP: 28 146; red/green labels, foc
LP: 28 146; red/green labels
LP: 28 146; white/gray labels
LP: 652 909; silver labels; this is a club edition
1984: Virgin/Ariola
CD: 610 326; identical to UK version from 1984 with the German order number on a sticker fixed on the jewel case
1993: Virgin
CD: 786 092-2
Greece
1976: Virgin
LP: 062-VG 50054; red/green labels
1976: Virgin/EMI
LP: 2J 064-98572; multi-coloured labels, foc
19??: Virgin/Polygram
LP: 2473 721; red/green labels
Israel
1976: Virgin/General Music
LP: BAN 2068; red/green labels
Italy
1976: Virgin/Dischi
LP: VIL 12068; multi-coloured labels, foc
LP: VIL 12068; red/green labels, foc
1984: Virgin
LP: OVED 70; red/green labels, foc
LP: OVED 70; white/gray labels, foc
Japan
1977: Virgin/Nippon Columbia
Promo-LP: YX-7141-VR; green promo labels, foc, some copies include a poster and insert
LP: YX-7141-VR; green labels, foc; the first 10,000 copies included a poster
1982: Virgin/Victor
LP: VIP 4152; green labels
1990: Virgin
CD: VJCP-2516; some with wrapper 'British Rock History on CD'
Promo-CD: VJCP-2516; same as regular release, but with additional red promo sticker
2009: EMI
CD: VJCP-68916; cardboard sleeve, obi
Mexico
1977: Virgin/BMG
LP: LA 367
Netherlands
1976: Virgin/Ariola
LP: TCV 2068; multi-coloured labels, foc
New Zealand
1976: Virgin/RTC
LP: V 2068; red labels
LP: V 2068; red/green labels
Portugal
1977: Virgin/Phonogram
LP: 5028 146; multi-coloured labels
Russia
1997?: Spurk
Counterfeit-CD: 428797; white/black/blue disc
South Korea
1989: Virgin/EMI Kemongsa/JIL
LP: VKPL-001 V2068; green labels, foc
Spain
1976: Virgin/Ariola
LP: 25 146-I; multi-coloured labels, matte finish foc
LP: 25 146-I; multi-coloured labels, gloss finish foc
1978: Virgin/Ariola
LP: 25 146-I; green labels, foc
LP: 25 146-I; red/green labels, foc
1981: Virgin/Ariola
LP: 25 146-I; red/green labels, foc
1984: Virgin/Ariola
LP: E 28 146; dark red/green labels
Taiwan
19??: Incredible Sound
LP: KS-5082; yellow labels
19??: Nova/Music Life
LP: ML-001; multi-coloured labels
UK
1976: Virgin
Promo-LP: V 2068; green labels, foc, promo label
LP: V 2068; multi-coloured labels, foc
LP: V 2068; green labels, foc
LP: V 2068; red/green labels, foc
1984: Virgin
LP: OVED 70; red/green labels, foc
LP: OVED 70; white/gray labels, foc
CD: CDV 2068
1995: Virgin
CD: TAND 8
USA
1977: Virgin/CBS
LP: PZ 34427; multi-coloured labels, foc
Promo-LP: PZ 34427; white promo labels, foc, white demo cover
Promo-LP: PZ 34427; white promo labels, foc, gsc (demonstration)
Promo-LP: PZ 34427; multi-coloured labels, foc, gsc (promotion)
Promo-LP: PZ 34427; multi-coloured promo labels, foc, gsc (demonstration); some with pink sticker ('World wide smash album now available inthe U.S.')
Promo-LP: PZ 34427; multi-coloured labels, foc, gsc ('For Military Sale Only')
Promo-LP: PZ 34427; multi-coloured labels, foc, gsc ('For Governmental Sale Only')
8 track tape: PZA 34427
1981: Virgin
LP: VI 2068; skin-coloured labels, foc
1988: Virgin
LP: 791 010-1; black labels with blue triangle
CD: 791 010-2
1993: Virgin
CD: V21Y 86 092-2
Venezuela
1982: Virgin/Betarecord
LP: LPBS-1067; brown labels, foc
Yugoslavia
1976: Virgin/RTB
LP: LP 55-5633; multi-coloured labels, foc
LP: LP 55-5633; green labels, foc
LP: LP 55-5633; yellow labels, foc
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