Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tangerine Dream "Thief" / "Near Dark" / "Legend" - Seeing Sounds: January 15, 2011


I think that if you follow this page you know I started out as a film geek and moved into music geekdom from there. I know I'm both, but those who know what I do for a living know that it is the music geek thing that pays the bills, while the film geek thing (for the most part) has been a hobby. With Seeing Sounds I am going to talk about the movies that made me a music geek. These will be films that feature (mainly) the music of pop, rock, jazz, classical, etc,. performers and composers, as opposed to a traditional score you may find in, say, the films of Steven Spielberg.

As to why I'm starting with the music of Tangerine Dream, well, there's a ton of reasons. Recently I put up an old Top 10 Favorite Movies of All Time list and, boom, there's Michael Mann's "Thief" right in the middle. Plus, I've been turning my girlfriend onto all kinds of old flicks she never saw and Ridley Scott's catalog has been one that we've been reviewing of late. After Blade Runner I had to show her "Legend", of which I still prefer the theatrical cut with the TD score. And, there again, on a list of my favorite horror movies of all time is "Near Dark". Looking at all of this recent activity the question shouldn't be "Why Tangerine Dream?" but "Why NOT Tangerine Dream?".

In the end, though, I have to say I'm bringing up Tangerine Dream because they, along with the work of Goblin (another for-sure Seeing Sounds entry) and John Carpenter, introduced me to electronic music, something I've been a big fan of ever since. Likewise, they were a big influence on my desire to learn more about psychedelia (even more so than Floyd) and Krautrock.

I swear, no joke, I'll saw all three of these movies almost in the span of one month when I was around 8 years old. Each of them is still a perennial in my collection. When I ran a Blockbuster Video I would throw on "Legend", instead of the required, bullshit promo reel, and every time some one ask to rent it. I loved watching people see the movie, hear the music, say "What is that?" and then rent it not 30 seconds after I answered.

As for Tangerine Dream, I fell heads over heels and went out to get as many movies they scored and as many albums I could find. Thankfully, the local library, one of the best resources any kid could have, was loaded down with TD records and CDs. My first, and still one of my favorite records is their 1975 album "Rubycon". Below, I've included video of pieces from "Thief", as well as the opening of "Rubycon".

A side note: the other day at work a friend of mine told me he was frustrated that he couldn't find a used copy of "Sorcerer" on DVD, which our store inventory said we had. He said he had to hear the TD score. I told him, too bad, it's in my hold box. I'm gonna buy it. He laughingly railed against, but begrudgingly accepted that I am the king nerd around these parts and I had dibs.


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