Edgar Froese, Chris Franke, Johannes Schmoelling, Thomas Tallis
Edgar Froese, Chris Franke, Johannes Schmoelling
The soundtrack album for The Keep can be considered 'the holy grail' by many Tangerine Dream fans due to the myths ranking about. After TD had delivered the music for the movie The Keep in 1983, a worldwide release of a soundtrack album had been planned for release in February 1984 and was already listed in the Virgin catalog, but the album was cancelled in November 1983, when it turned out that the movie was a box office flop in the USA. There may have been additional reasons for the album staying unreleased, as the official web site of Tangerine Dream states: "An official soundtrack has never been released due to disagreements between the film's producer and Virgin Records."
Some people believe that even a handful of LP copies may have hit the shops in 1984 before they were withdrawn and removed from display, but most probably they just took the movie's Laser Disk release from 1984 for the vinyl album: both Laser Disks and vinyl LP records were easy to confuse, as they both were sold in cardboard sleeves of identical size. Wouter Bessels, who was involved in master tape research for the Pilots Of Purple Twilight boxed set (2020): "Not one copy on vinyl (including test pressings) had been made, as the master tapes had not yet been prepared for a 'EQ production copy', which is a correctly equalised tape specifically for vinyl and cassette production. While Virgin held the copyright, the original master tapes were shelved for more than 35 years."
Thus until its first official release in 1997 only numerous bootleg releases were issued throughout the ninetees, most of them on CD-R, some on CD, plus the cover version The Keep by a band called "The Fantasy Merchants" in late 1995 featuring re-recorded material from several TD soundtracks including some tracks from The Keep.
The official 1997 release
In the ninetees the official release of The Keep seemed to be a never ending story of announcements, delays and denials. In late 1997 a new attempt was made to publish the album, and TD announced: "Edgar spent more than six weeks to bring the original score material from the early '80s into a CD format. Jerome finally did TD's DQC mastering." The CD would include "most of the material known from the picture plus some of those tracks which have not been used within the movie due to director's decision". Edgar Froese prepared the material for release using his PCM Beta tape copy of the original master tapes.
TD's own label TDI had the opportunity for a strictly limited release of the album and issued a special designed edition of just 150 copies which were sold on the UK concerts in late 1997, prior to the official release by Virgin that was announced for January 15th, 1998 -- one more announcement that proved to be wrong. In May 1998 Edgar Froese explained his point of view: "We have a contract which we will have to insist on", and the release date was announced for August. But in early September it turned out that Virgin had stopped once again all plans for the release as there were still open contractual and legal questions.
In late 1999, TDI released another limited edition of The Keep, the music being identical to the 1997 version. This time 300 copies with a different cover artwork were sold via Internet. They were not available separately but only in the so-called "Millennium Booster" set, together with a pre-release version of Great Wall Of China, an autographed card and a T-shirt -- all together for the price of $180. As a surprise for those collectors who bought this set, the parcel included an additional promotional poster and another collector's item: the CD Sony Center Topping Out Ceremony Score.
After release there were strong doubts among fans regarding the authenticity of the material: considering the amount of reworks Edgar Froese had done on vintage TD material -- released as Tangents (1994) or The Dream Roots Collection (1996), for example -- many TD aficionados argued that the material had been heavily 'tangentized' (that is, remixed or partially re-recorded) recently, or even exchanged to a considerable extent for the 1997 release. The latter assumption originated from the fact that much of the music of the actual movie is missing from the soundtrack album and vice versa.
The official 2020 release
In 2020 the soundtrack album was finally released as part of the Pilots Of Purple Twilight (2020) boxed set. This time it presents the original material the band had intended for release in 1984 -- which was then archived in the Virgin vaults. Comparing this CD with the 1997 TDI release reveals that the reworkings done by Edgar Froese were much less significant than assumed by many. Primarily, Froese had completely changed the track order, added three more tracks which were not part of the original recording sessions (and are not related to movie at all), and made a number of overdubs. Explicitly, the differences of the 2020 release compared to the 1997 one are as follows:
Arx Allemand has an additional sound element that is not present on the 1997 remix.
Canzone not only is 90 seconds longer, it is a completely different version; only the orchestral sample used is the same.
The Challenger's Arrival is shorter by more than a minute and does not have the 1997 additions.
Sign In The Dark, Weird Village and Love And Destiny are completely missing.
Truth And Fiction and Wardays Sunrise have slightly longer fade outs of a few seconds.
Heritage Survival is about 50 seconds longer and does not have the 1997 additions.
Hence, after release of the box set many fans were somewhat disappointed, as they expected to find more music material from the movie -- for example Tangerine Dream's cover of Howard Blakes's Walking In The Air that has not been officially released (and most probably never will). But most soundtrack albums released with direct support of Tangerine Dream do not feature the same music that is used in the respective movie. Apparently, with their soundtrack albums the band wanted to give their audiences coherent listening experiences that stood apart from the film, rather than provide just a series of cues. Nevertheless can be stated that no other TD soundtrack album features that many material of music not present in the movie, at the same time leaving out most of the material that actually can be heard in the film.
After release of Pilots Of Purple Twilight, The Keep was released as stand-alone version on several download and streaming services. By now, no physical stand-alone version has been released with the exception of a limited vinyl edition on occasion of the Record Store Day 2021, on July 17th.
Bootlegs and pirate releases
Since an official release by Virgin had not been seen until 2020, the 150 plus 300 copies issued by TDI in 1997 and 1999 were the only and ultra-rare official version of this soundtrack for the next decades. Throughout the years copies of these releases have been sold for several hundred of dollars via internet auctions. Thus it was only a matter of time that a pirate version of this album was released. Finally, in late 2001, a bootlegged version of the official album appeared, including all tracks from the official 1997 version (tracks 1 to 16) plus some more or less related material taken from the official albums Logos Live (1982; track 20), Tangents (1994; track 19), The Hollywood Years Vol. 2 (1997; track 17) and Antique Dreams (2000; track 18). The CD contains no previously unreleased material; it comes with a printed four-page booklet and a double-sided back insert.
This pirate version was re-issued in 2006 with different cover artwork and the imprint 'FAN CLUB EDITION / PROMO ONLY'. Of course, it was by no means released by the official TD fan club which had long been discontinued by then.
In 2003 a counterfeit version of the 1997 version of the album was released in Russia. This version comes in a stanard jewel case and thus can be easily distinguished from the ultra-rare original version that was released as digipack.
2001: 'Orange Records'
Pirate-CD [c]: ORCD 20011983; orange/silver disc
2006: 'Fan Club Edition'
Pirate-CD [c]: -; multicoloured disc
Download [a]: complete album or individual tracks
CD [b]: TDI010CD; digipack; limited edition of 150 copies
CD [b]: -; digipack; limited edition of 300 copies
Counterfeit-CD [b]: JPCD 2003042; standard jewel case; multicoloured disc