As noted in the title, we lost a musical pioneer this week. Edgar Froese has merged with The Infinite. (Thanks to Cavender for the link.)
My first exposure to Tangerine Dream was, oddly, as a reference in cult sci-fi book The Architect of Sleep that I read at summer camp when I was a kid. The hero of the book was a Tangerine Dream fan who accidentally made his way to a parallel Earth where apes had not evolved to be the bipedal species. Instead, raccoons were living in a sort of feudal, dark-ages-like society. I dunno. It's been almost 30 years.*
My take away was the hero was kind of a slacker-stoner who was into stuff even more mellow than Dark Side of the Moon's second half. At some point in my youth, then, I was buying Tangerine Dream on vinyl and cassette and chilling out like a champ under my Captain America and Michael Jordan posters.
I also recall, not too long after reading the book - and I can't remember if it was before or after I owned any Tangerine Dream, this movie came on the local UHF station, and it was directed by Michael Mann and had a score by Tangerine Dream. Thief? you ask. Ha. NO. The Keep, one of the most unjustly hidden gems of the 1980's. (edit: this is now available on Amazon Instant! holy cats!)
Anyway, after that I noticed Tangerine Dream did a lot of scores. The aforementioned Thief, Sorcerer, Risky Business**, Near Dark. Legend, anybody?
Yeah, Tangerine Dream can sound dated, but I put that up to how much they stamped a certain period of music, the massive influence they had and the army of imitators who flooded movie scores - never quite hitting the same level.
But we're not going to do this post and then not give you some examples.
So, here we go.
*The author reportedly refuses to reprint the book or write a sequel because he has been told by too many people it inspired them to be Furries. You can control what you write, but you can't control what people will think of it.
**I think we all remember the scene on the traincar. It'd be unfair not to include this one.