Classic Recordings: Tangerine Dream – Zeit

Tangerine Dream – Zeit



By Paul Rigby

Zeit was a significant album for Tangerine Dream. On a technical level, it was a breakthrough project for the band principally because it was on this album that the group first used the Moog Modular System. That wasn’t all, however. Creatively, Zeit was also a structural advance. As Edgar Frose himself declared, “This album was mostly rhythmless, which was quite uncommon at the time.”

The months before Zeit was created was a significant period in the development of Tangerine Dream. Up until then the band consisted of Frose, Chris Franke and Steve Schroeder. Franke then brought Peter Baumann into the band to form, what has been recognised to be, the classic line-up. The reason was not an unfamiliar one for groups at this time. According to Frose, Steve Schroeder had become too “drugged out of it” to play and Froese had already been impressed by Baumann playing keyboards in a group called The Ants.

Zeit was the first project of the new line-up, released as a double album in 1972. As Frose remembers, “We invited Florian Fricke (of Popol Vuh) to the sessions. He owned the only big modular Moog synth in Germany but we didn’t know how to use it that well. So we were forced into learning how the thing worked.”

To celebrate the 40th year since the original release of the album (well, it will be in a few month’s time), Reactive ( has released a luxurious box set based around the album. Limited to 1,000 samples worldwide, the pizza-style box includes the original album, presented in a gatefold and pressed on blue vinyl. Within the packaging is a facsimile of the original, and very rare, German insert. A newly remastered CD edition is also included along with new liner notes plus a bonus CD disc featuring a previously unreleased performance of the album from Cologne, November 1972. Topping this lot off is a well presented 48-page, 7” square soft-back book plus three postcards, completing the package. Well mastered and superbly presented, it is the most comprehensive examination of this album to date.

Stand-out track: Second Movement: Nebulous Dawn


Featuring an atmospheric, drone-like presentation, this track is dark ambient music at its best and looks more towards your ancillary equipment for help. If you have too much distortion welling around your hi-fi chain, it’s going to turn this early synth classic into mush. The more clarity the better so you will need to look at your shelving and cables for salvation.

Zeit – A Recorded History

1972 LP Ohr OMM 2/56021

1976 LP Virgin VD2503

1986 CD Jive Electro C TANG 3

1996 CD Essential ESM CD 347

2000 LP Castle Music Ltd. 0000347


2000 CD Castle Music Ltd. 555

2000 CD Castle Music Ltd. 555

2002 CD Castle Music Ltd. CMRCD-490

2003 CD Sanctuary 81244

2005 CD Castle Music Ltd. 236151

2005 CD Castle Music Ltd. 36151

2006 CD Castle Music UK CMRCD490

2006 CD Disk Union 70489










  • Rafe says:

    The link for Tangerine Dream – Second Movement: Nebulous Dawn doesn’t work anymore, but this one does:



    PS. Love these posts and the whole B&W site in general, absolutely amazing featured artists, content, links, music, reviews and products. Many thanks!

  • Bowers & Wilkins says:

    Many thanks, glad you like the posts and will replace youtube link now.

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