Composing a catalogue that includes fifteen studio albums and five live albums, KANSAS has produced eight gold albums, three sextuple-Platinum albums (Leftoverture, Point of Know Return, Best of KANSAS), one platinum live album (Two for the Show), and two one million-selling gold singles, Carry On Wayward Son and Dust in the Wind. KANSAS appeared on the Billboard charts for over 200 weeks throughout the '70s and '80s and played to sold-out arenas and stadiums throughout North America, Europe and Japan. Carry On Wayward Son continues to be one of the top five most played songs on classic rock radio, and Dust In the Wind has been played on the radio more than three million times!
The greatest electronic group in history wasformed in Berlin, 1966. The group already included EdgarFroese at that time, but the music of that era hadnothing to do with electronics. It was simply a Beatles-inspired rock group that playedlyrical poppy stuff with psychedelic touches. Ok, Froesealready showed his talent with the guitar, providing some excellent guitar solos, but thatwas the feature of the whole psych scene of the time, therefore the singles they releasedin 1966 (almost impossible to find now) are of no interest to EM fans musically, butnevertheless they are collectors' items and valuable historical documents. It wasn't until1969 and Froese's encounter with Klaus Schulze, a young Berlin drummer, that the group'ssound took a complete turn towards the experimental side. Before that the group has seenmany member changes with Froese remaining at the core ofthe organism known as Tangerine Dream. The trio of EdgarFroese, Klaus Schulze and Conrad Schnitzler recorded Electronic Meditation in1969. It was a very experimental work consisting of (pretty wild) improvisations andhardly having any structure per se. Very amorphous (even cacophonous) work which is a goodrepresentative of the early German experimental scene. After that Schulze and Schnitzlerleft the group. Froese was faced with the need of replacing the two with new people, so herecrouted a young jazz drummer Chris Franke (of Agitation Free) for his next album Alpha Centauri.The third member of the band at that time was SteveSchroyder. Alpha Centauri isconsidered to be the first electronic space album in history. A very nebulous blend offloating electronic textures and experimental sounds. Ok, it's almost useless to try todescribe the music itself, so I'll concentrate on the history of the group and personnelchanges in this particular article. In 1972, the group saw the addition of Peter Baumann to it's rows and the line-up of Froese, Franke and Baumann was to be one of the steadiest in the history ofthe group. It's the classic Tangerine Dream line-up which gave us masterpieces like Zeit,Phaedra, Rubycon, Ricochet and many more. 1972's Zeit(one of my favourite TD works which can be seen as the first Dark Ambient album in history) saw the briefreturning of Steve Schroyder as guest musician. In 1973, Baumannleft the group to travel to Tibet and the duo of Frankeand Froese recorded the basic material for GreenDesert which was reworked in 1984 and released only in 1986. Ok, I'm not going totell a long story about the \"Virgin\" years, which would take enormous spaceanyway, so I'll just say that in 1973, after Froese quitthe Kosmische Musik label, because he didn't want to be associated with Rolf UlrichKaiser's \"cosmic circus\", the group signed to Virgin records, then small andexperimentally-biased record company and this gave the group the freedom to experimentwithout any restrictions and without any time pressing. Thus, one of the group's mostfruitful periods began. Baumann left the group in 1977after their lengthy American tour and Froese formed thenew TD line-up adding British musician Steve Jolliffeand drummer Klaus Krüger. The 1978's Cyclonefeatured vocals of Jolliffe to a certain extent and thereaction from the crowd was far from being positive, although in my opinion the experimenthas worked pretty well, but only if it stays as an experiment, it's not what I'd want tohear in all TD works. Later Froese would distancehimself from the production of the album, although in an interview, Jolliffe says it was the idea of Froese to use vocals on Cyclone. In any case, thecombination of TD's trademark electronic sound and the impressionistic nonsensical lyricssounds pretty good, from my p.o.v., don't flame me for that :-) I generally *hate* vocalsin EM but this is one of those numerous exceptions. By 1979, Jolliffehad left and Force Majeure was recorded by just Franke, Froese and Krüger. After that, Krügerleft too. A young Berlin musician JohannesSchmoelling joined the band in 1980 and the second classic TD line-up took shape. In1983, the group's contract with Virgin expired and subsequent TD albums would bereleased on Jive Electro and, later, on Private Music label, set up by former TangerineDreamer Peter Baumann. In 1986, Johannes Schmoelling left the group and wasreplaced by a young Austrian keyboardist Paul Haslinger.By 1988, the group already had a huge discography of both normal releases, live albums andfilm soundtracks. That year saw the departure of ChrisFranke - to many fans, an irreparable lost. After more than 25 years of being thedriving force behind TD's sound, \"Mister Sequencer\" left the band for good.Well, the music of Tangerine Dream has become more poppish (in fact this was the tendencywhich had begun already during Schmoelling'sstay with TD, when Franke was still member of thegroup), but it was always very quality production that differentiated TD from the rest ofthe crowd. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that the albums made by the line-up of Froese and Haslinger (OpticalRace, Lily On the Beach and Melrose) are actually not bad. For instance, Melrosehas some interesting ideas. The track called \"Electric Lion\" is probably myfavourite TD track of the 1988-1990 period. It starts slowly with cute little melodies,then develops and finally Froese unleashes one of hisbest guitar solos, comparable to \"Coldwater Canyon\" from Encorealthough the atmosphere is completely different here. I usually prefer Manuel Goettsching when it comes to electronic guitarsoloing, but when Froese sounds so inspired I justcannot resist it. It's quite powerful stuff. In 1991 Haslingerleft to pursue a solo career and Tangerine Dream became the duo of Edgar Froese and his son Jerome, whoalready was a member on Melrose. The subsequent albums are the least interestingfrom my p.o.v., the 1990-1997 period containing the most bland and new age-like music TDever produced, with sax solos and all. In 1999, after the release of Mars Polaris my interest towards thegroup started to grow again, this is a really strong and interesting album. I think thecollaboration with NASA is a very good idea, they shouldcontinue in this direction (because space-themed albums were always something which TDwere particularly good at), but please, will they finally stop recycling (and marring)their old material I wouldn't want to hear Dream Mixes 35 or 175. Unfortunately,their post-Mars Polaris material has been rather lackluster at best. With the passing of Edgar Froese on January 20, 2015, the future of the band and the \"Tangerine Dream\" project name remains somewhat unclear. 59ce067264