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Tangerine Dream


- Studio, released March 1975 -


CD release Europe 1995
Photo: Monique Froese

CD release UK 1984
Photo: Monique Froese

CD counterfeit release Russia 199?

CD release Japan 2005
Photo: Monique Froese

Picture-LP release Europe 2013
Photo: Monique Froese

Picture-LP release Europe 2013
Photo: Monique Froese

8 track tape release USA 1975


1.Rubycon, Part One 17:1817:1817:18
2.Rubycon, Part Two 17:3517:4117:41
3.Rubycon, Extended Introduction -15:0515:05
4.Overture --11:02
5.Act 1 --16:45
6.Act 2: Battle --10:10
7.Act 2: Baroque --8:56
8.Act 2: Zeus --5:43
9.Act 3 --22:09
Total running time34:5350:04124:49


Recording dateJanuary 1975
Recording site(s)The Manor (Shipton-on-Cherwell)
Recording engineer(s)Mike Glossop
Composer(s)Edgar Froese, Chris Franke, Peter Baumann
Musician(s)Edgar Froese, Chris Franke, Peter Baumann
Producer(s)Edgar Froese, Chris Franke, Peter Baumann


The title Rubycon relates to a story about Julius Caesar crossing the river Rubycon in 49 BC. He did it for "all or nothing", running into an unstoppable war. Hence the phrase "crossing the Rubycon" points out that a unreversable decision is made -- a point of no return.


TD entered the Manor Studio again in 1975 to record an album on which they developed a new kind of electronic rhythm. Rubycon featured much the same instrumentation as Phaedra. It also showed a certain distance to mainstream rock, in that it was a suite in two parts, taking up two entire sides of the album -- as did Mike Oldfield's mid-'70s albums Tubular Bells, Hergest Ridge and Ommadawn which were released by Virgin as well.


From 30 Years Of Dreaming

Already in January 1975, Tangerine Dream returned to the Manor studio to record their second album for Virgin Records. Among the "new" instruments used this time were a new Arp synthesizer, an Elka organ, a gong and a piano. Some of them were of course modified with electronic devices.

Both sides of the album contain one long piece of music, which was still a long way away from a traditional rock music concept. The sequencer parts and rhythms, which float in and out, are the dominant musical element. At the end there is a very grandiose part sounding like a choir, which can easily take your mind to scenes from Arthur C. Clarke's and Stanley Kubrick's fantastic science fiction movie "2001". In this "space odyssey", it was Gyorgi Ligeti who created the cosmic music for the soundtrack, but it could just as easily have been Tangerine Dream.

The recordings for Rubycon progressed much faster than with Phaedra and without any great difficulties. The album was quickly released, already in March the same year. Monique Froese had made the cover and somewhere in the pictures you can find a picture of a young boy...

Froese: "When the band walked into the Manor for the second time, we were weighted down by the pressure of the success of Phaedra. There was a pressure to do it again but one has to point out that Simon Draper (the producer) and Richard Branson at Virgin did not pressure us to be commercial. The attitude was that Tangerine Dream could do whatever they wanted to on record, which was a very unusual practice for a record company". (Interview with Mark Pendergast, January 1994, Tangents)

Froese: "When we did Rubycon we talked much about if we wanted a commercial success or if we wanted to be progressive on our own terms. And honestly we decided that it was mostly ourselves it was all about. We wanted to develop the music we liked the most and to express ourselves personally". (Tangenten No.6, 1994)

Froese: "The recording of Rubycon was a very floating process. Unlike the Phaedra production there was never a break in the creative flow. The band had been on tour for most of the previous year and was now hot to spend a month working on some new music. Because of the commercial success of Phaedra, the sequencers could now be technically better equipped. At that time this branch of technology was fairly unknown and any technical alterations had to be custom-built. This was a very extensive undertaking and most of our earnings went into new equipment."

"I had orchestral instruments recorded by the BBC for my Mellotron, at the time a very luxurious thing to do. One can hear an oboe on Rubycon, Part Two as well as numerous strings sections had horns. The biggest problem, however, was the inconstant power supply at the Manor. At the time there were electrical problems throughout the Oxford region and sometimes the power was cut off for two to three hours at a time. We had to interrupt recording sessions when this happened, to connect our synths to electrical generators. Chris' Moog often played completely random sequences because of the unstable electrical current driving the oscillators. It was a crazy situation. When we finished recording there were altogether 12 hours of music from which to mix the final master". (Interview with Mark Pendergast, January 1994, Tangents)

When Rubycon came out in March, Tangerine Dream were on a small tour in Australia, where the sales from Phaedra had given them a gold album.

© 1999 by Kent Eskildsen


On the cover, Tangerine Dream fans can find a small photo of Froese's son Jerome hidden inside the gate-fold, a touch that can be traced right back to Alpha Centauri. At that time no one could expect that Jerome Froese would become a regular member of Tangerine Dream fifteen year later. When Rubycon was released, it went straight to number 12 in the British charts, staying there for 14 weeks.


Backtracking with Tangerine Dream

Monique Froese: "I think Rubycon is my favourite cover design, because it is so simple, just one single droplet of water splashing onto the surface. I also like Tangram, because that's even simpler."

Edgar Froese: "Monique likes simplicity in all things. We've rarely put our own image on our record sleeves, not because we think we're so ugly, but our faces cannot explain what the music is about, so why put them on? Just because people like to identify with the personalities? They should really identify with the music."

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




In 1984 the album was released on CD for the first time as part of a series by Virgin. With the exception of Exit, 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.


In 1995 Virgin re-released the album on CD in the so-called "Definitive Edition" series, featuring the original front cover artwork. In 2001, Rubycon became the first (and by now only) album by Tangerine Dream to be released on Super Audio CD (SACD) by Virgin. In 2005 the album was re-released in Japan with a cardboard sleeve featuring the exact replica of the original LP sleeve.


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


In October 2013 the album was re-released on vinyl as a limited edition picture LP. Unfortunately, the release turned out as a mispressing; it contains the music material from the LP Selling England By The Pound by Genesis which was released as picture LP at the same time (and is a mispressing as well, as it contains the music from Rubycon). At time of writing it is unknown whether these two albums are re-released once more.


In 2019 the album was re-released with a bonus track. In fact, this version is identical to disc nine of the In Search Of Hades box set, featuring the original album, newly remastered by Ben Wiseman from the original tapes, as well as the previously unreleased Rubycon, Extended Introduction.


1975: Virgin/Festival
LP [a]: L 35399; multi-coloured label with sticker, foc
LP [a]: L 35399; black/white labels, foc
LP [a]: L 35399; multi-coloured labels, foc
LP [a]: L 35399; green labels, foc
1975: Virgin/SOM
LP [a]: VRLP 12002; multi-coloured labels
1975: Virgin/WEA
LP [a]: VR 13-116; multi-coloured labels, foc
1975: Virgin/Polydor
LP [a]: V 2025; multi-coloured labels, foc
LP [a]: V 2025; red/green labels, foc
1984: Virgin
LP [a]: V 2025; red labels with white stripes
1995: Virgin
CD [a]: 840 063-2; identical to UK version from 1995
2001: Virgin
SACD [a]: 811 263-2; super jewel box
2013: Virgin/EMI
Picture-LP [a]: 840 063-1; mispressing
2019: Virgin/Universal
CD [b]: 774 697-0; multi-coloured disc; sticker
1975: Virgin/CPF
LP [a]: 940 505; multi-coloured labels, foc with order number on back side
LP [a]: 940 505; multi-coloured labels, foc with order number on front side
1975: Virgin/Polydor
LP [a]: 2933 716; green labels, foc
LP [a]: 2933 716; red/silver labels, foc
1981: Virgin/Ariola
LP [a]: 202 619; red/green labels, foc
1983: Virgin
LP [a]: 70 038; red/green labels, foc
1984: Virgin
CD [a]: CDV 2025; identical to UK version from 1984
1975: Virgin/Ariola
LP [a]: 88 754; multi-coloured labels, foc
LP [a]: 88 754; green labels, foc
LP [a]: 88 754; red/green labels, foc
1984: Virgin/Ariola
LP [a]: 88 754; red/green labels
LP [a]: 88 754; white/grey labels
CD [a]: 610 377; identical to UK version from 1984 with the German order number on a sticker fixed on the jewel case
1993: Virgin
CD [a]: 786 091-2
1975: Virgin
LP [a]: 062-VG 50056; red/green labels
1975: Virgin/EMI
LP [a]: 2J 062-98109; multi-coloured labels
1975: Virgin/Dischi
LP [a]: VIL 12025; multi-coloured labels, foc
LP [a]: VIL 12025; green labels, foc
1984: Virgin
LP [a]: OVED 27; red/green labels, foc
LP [a]: OVED 27; red/green labels with order number VIL 12025, slightly different foc
1975: Virgin/Nippon Columbia
Promo-LP [a]: YX-7035-VR; multi-coloured promo labels, foc
LP [a]: YX-7035-VR; multi-coloured labels, foc
1978: Virgin
Promo-LP [a]: VIP 6919; white promo labels, foc
LP [a]: VIP 6919; green labels, foc
1982: Virgin/Victor
LP [a]: VIP 4150; green labels
1990: Virgin
CD [a]: VJCP-2514
Promo-CD [a]: VJCP-2514; same as regular release, but with additional red promo sticker
2005: Virgin/Toshiba-EMI
CD [a]: VJCP-68668; cardboard sleeve, obi
Promo-CD [a]: VJCP-68668; same as regular release, but with additional numbered sticker on rear
2015: Virgin
SHM-CD [a]: UICY-76987; gatefold cardboard sleeve
Platinum SHM-CD [ab]: UICY-40131; gatefold cardboard sleeve
SHM-SACD [a]: UIGY-9674; gatefold cardboard sleeve
2019: Virgin/Universal
2SHM-CD [c]: UICY-78972; gatefold cardboard sleeve plus one single cardboard sleeve
1977: Virgin/BMG
LP [a]: LA 411
1975: Virgin/Ariola
LP [a]: V 2025; multi-coloured labels, foc
LP [a]: V 2025; green labels, foc
New Zealand
1975: Virgin/EMI
LP [a]: V 2025; multi-coloured labels, foc
197?: Virgin/RTC
LP [a]: V 2044; red labels
LP [a]: V 2044; red/green labels
199?: Spurk
Counterfeit-CD [a]: UE 98410; white/black disc
1975: Virgin/Ariola
LP [a]: 88 754-I; multi-coloured labels, foc
LP [a]: 88 754-I; red/green labels, foc
1987: Virgin/CBC
LP [a]: E-88 754; dark-red/green labels, foc
198?: Virgin/Polygram
LP [a]: E-88 754; red/green labels, foc
1975: Virgin
LP [a]: V 2025; multi-coloured labels, foc
LP [a]: V 2025; green labels, foc
LP [a]: V 2025; red labels, foc
LP [a]: V 2025; red/green labels, foc
1984: Virgin
LP [a]: OVED 27; red/green labels, foc
LP [a]: OVED 27; white/grey labels, foc
CD [a]: CDV 2025
1995: Virgin
CD [a]: TAND 6
2010: Virgin
LP [a]: VR 2025; multi-coloured labels, foc
1975: Virgin/Atlantic
Promo-LP [a]: VR 13-116; black/white promo labels saying 'sample copy' with numbers ST-VR-753333/34-DJPR; Rubycon, Part One is split in three sections: A 5:48, B 7:38, C 4:08; Rubycon, Part Two is split in three sections: A 4:20, B 6:50, C 6:31
Promo-LP [a]: VR 13-116; black/white promo labels saying 'promotional copy' with numbers ST-VR-753333/34-DJ-MO; some covers with orange sticker 'Promotional Copy - Not For Sale'; Rubycon, Part One and Rubycon, Part Two are split in three sections each (see above)
LP [a]: VR 13-116; black/white labels with numbers ST-VR-753333/34-DJ-RI; Rubycon, Part One and Rubycon, Part Two are split in three sections each (see above)
LP [a]: VR 13-116; multi-coloured labels, foc
8 track tape [a]: TP 13-116
1981: Virgin
LP [a]: VI 2025; skin-coloured labels, foc
1988: Virgin
LP [a]: 791 009-1; black labels with blue triangle
CD [a]: 791 009-2
1993: Virgin
CD [a]: V21Y 86 091-2
Rubycon was also released as part of the sets Synthetiseur and Rubycon/Ricochet.

Copyright/Disclaimer   © 2001-2021 by Michael Berling. Last Update: 2021-09-19 21:31