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The Bootleg Box Set, Vol. 1

Tangerine Dream 9/16/2003
After the success of their Emerson, Lake & Palmer bootleg boxes, Sanctuary Records approached Tangerine Dream in hopes of releasing similar sets, starting with the band's early years. Problem was the Dream didn't have many tapes of their early years, so they had to turn to their fans. The result, The Bootleg Box Set, Vol. 1, is sourced from the Tangerine Tree, a series of radio and audience recordings that had previously been distributed freely among fans -- with the band's consent -- through the Internet and snail mail. If you're a fan who's hardcore enough to lay down the cash for a seven-disc set where the sound quality varies greatly, chances are you have this in its original Tangerine Tree version, plus the three extra shows that aren't included here. (Tree owners at least get some new artwork that mimics the old logo for bootleg label Swinging Pig, plus the satisfaction of knowing some money has reached the artist.) For fans who are not Internet-savvy and can't tell a B&P from an FTP, the commercially released version makes for an easy way to bliss out to what many consider the band's golden age. The tracks here feature the band at their improvisational best, with each member feeding off one another and the unwieldy nature of early synths adding some extra unpredictable energy. The 20-minute-or-so jams offer more of a surreal landscape than the sterile futurism of later years and the occasional dissonance will be surprising to newcomers, especially when Edgar Froese reaches for his screaming guitar. You also get to hear Ricochet without the overdubs (the Croydon gig) and a rare show with Michael Hoenig on keyboards (the London gig). Great stuff, but tolerating subpar sound quality on about half the set will be the deciding factor for most. Gigantic thuds of bass turn muddy and fuzzy, tapes get garbled and bumpy, and a fan who claps rhythmically during a beatless improvisation is especially annoying (put the headphones on and you can hear someone telling him to "shut up"). Until Froese is willing and able to dig up some source tapes for these years (not likely), this will have to do. ~ David Jeffries
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  1. # Song Length
  2. 1 Sheffield 1974 PT43M51S
  3. 1 Royal Albert Hall, Pt. 1 PT14M20S
  4. 2 Royal Albert Hall, Pt. 1 (Continued) PT4M42S
  5. 3 Royal Albert Hall, Pt. 1 (Continued) PT16M53S
  6. 4 Royal Albert Hall, Pt. 1 (Continued) PT14M12S
  7. 1 Royal Albert Hall, Pts. 2-3 PT10M59S
  8. 2 Royal Albert Hall, Pts. 2-3 (Continued) PT7M15S
  9. 3 Royal Albert Hall, Pts. 2-3 (Continued) PT21M42S
  10. 4 Royal Albert Hall, Pts. 2-3 (Continued) PT13M50S
  11. 1 Fairfield Hall, Pt. 1 PT20M35S
  12. 2 Fairfield Hall, Pt. 2 PT30M15S
  13. 3 Fairfield Hall, Pt. 3 PT10M52S
  14. 1 Pabellion de la Castilla, Pt. 1 PT44M26S
  15. 1 Pabellion de la Castilla, Pt. 2 PT25M47S
  16. 2 Pabellion de la Castilla, Pt. 3 PT7M32S
  17. 3 Pabellion de la Castilla, Pt. 4 PT9M41S
  18. 1 Berlin Philharmonic: Electronic Rock at the Philharmonics PT31M25S

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