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The Bootleg Box Set, Vol. 1

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Tangerine Dream 9/16/2003

Review

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. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Sheffield 1974 Tangerine Dream 43:51
  3. 1 Royal Albert Hall, Pt. 1 Tangerine Dream 14:20
  4. 2 Royal Albert Hall, Pt. 1 (Continued) Tangerine Dream 4:42
  5. 3 Royal Albert Hall, Pt. 1 (Continued) Tangerine Dream 16:53
  6. 4 Royal Albert Hall, Pt. 1 (Continued) Tangerine Dream 14:12
  7. 1 Royal Albert Hall, Pts. 2-3 Tangerine Dream 10:59
  8. 2 Royal Albert Hall, Pts. 2-3 (Continued) Tangerine Dream 7:15
  9. 3 Royal Albert Hall, Pts. 2-3 (Continued) Tangerine Dream 21:42
  10. 4 Royal Albert Hall, Pts. 2-3 (Continued) Tangerine Dream 13:50
  11. 1 Fairfield Hall, Pt. 1 Tangerine Dream 20:35
  12. 2 Fairfield Hall, Pt. 2 Tangerine Dream 30:15
  13. 3 Fairfield Hall, Pt. 3 Tangerine Dream 10:52
  14. 1 Pabellion de la Castilla, Pt. 1 Tangerine Dream 44:26
  15. 1 Pabellion de la Castilla, Pt. 2 Tangerine Dream 25:47
  16. 2 Pabellion de la Castilla, Pt. 3 Tangerine Dream 7:32
  17. 3 Pabellion de la Castilla, Pt. 4 Tangerine Dream 9:41
  18. 1 Berlin Philharmonic: Electronic Rock at the Philharmonics Tangerine Dream 31:25

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