Originally released in 1988, Optical Race marked a change in the sound of Tangerine Dream. After a couple decades of producing ambient/classical electronic music, Tangerine Dream moved toward a more accessible, even somewhat pop sound. Gone are the long, 15-20 minutes pieces. The album’s 10 songs are 4-6 minutes each, with the exception of Marakesh, the opening tune, which clocks in a bit over 8 minutes.
Interestingly, between 1988 and 2009, there were 20 versions of Optical Race published worldwide. There have been releases in Germany, the United States, Australia, Greece, Canada, Japan, Venezuela, and South Korea.
Longtime Tangerine Dream fans often differ about which albums are their favorite, but among the group’s more pop-sounding work, Optical Race ranks at or near the top.
Some Tangerine Dream Albums Similar to Optical Race
History of Tangerine Dream
Tangerine Dream is one of the premiere electronic music groups of all time (some would even say they are the definitive electronic music band). Founded in 1967, by Edgar Froese, the German group has been a constant source of creative genius.
Over the years, Tangerine Dream had many personnel changes, with Edgar Froese being the only continuous member. The most stable version of the group, during their influential mid-1970s period, was as a trio with Edgar Froese, Christopher Franke, and Peter Baumann. In the late 1970s, Johannes Schmoelling replaced Baumann. Edgar Froese’s son Jerome Froese was part of Tangerine Dream from 1990–2006.
Tangerine Dream has released more than one hundred albums. Their early “Pink Years” albums had a pivotal role in the development of Krautrock. Their “Virgin Years” albums helped define what became known as the Berlin School of electronic music. These and later albums were influential in the development of electronic dance music, and also the genre known as new-age music, though the band themselves disliked the term. From the late 1990s into the 2000s, Tangerine Dream also explored some styles of electronica.
Although the group released numerous studio and live recordings, a substantial number of their fans were introduced to Tangerine Dream by their film soundtracks, which total over sixty and include Sorcerer, Thief, Risky Business, Firestarter, Legend, Near Dark, and Miracle Mile. They composed the original score for the video game Grand Theft Auto V.
Following the death of Edgar Froese in January 2015, Edgar’s son, Jerome, said Tangerine Dream would no longer exist, since Edgar was the founder and creative spirit of the band. However, Tangerine Dream released a new album in December 2015, called Quantum Key, in honor of Edgar Froese.
Tangerine Dream Resources
Cat Scan from Optical Race — Tangerine Dream
Ruling the Waves from Optical Race — Tangerine Dream