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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

TANGERINE DREAM: Legend (1985)

“Legend is a magical soundtrack which adds a poetic depth to a fantastic work that wouldn't have be the same without its music”

1 Is Your Love Strong Enough 5:10 2 Opening 2:55 3 Cottage 3:23 4 Unicorn Theme 3:27 5 Goblins 3:03 6 Fairies 2:57 7 Loved by the Sun 5:57 8 Blue Room 3:24 9 The Dance 2:23 10 Darkness 3:05 11 The Kitchen/Unicorn Theme Reprise 4:49

Varèse Sarabande | VSD 5645

(CD 40:33) (V.F.)

(Melodic Berlin School)

Ridley Scott will have produced the 2 films that will have marked my turbulent life as a young teenager; Blade Runner and Legend. Two wonderful films that have one point in common; some beautiful music. But each time, a music that has caused a lot of confusion with the fans. LEGEND is the story of a young and pretty princess who is coveted both by the good, incarnated by innocence, and the forces of evil, incarnated by a powerful Minotaur, who seeks above all to pervert the beautiful little one by killing her two unicorns. It's a superb fantasy tale that Tangerine Dream embellishes even more with a music that is perfectly a fit with the story and images. Initially, it was Jerry Goldsmith who was to make the music, but the thinkers and makers of the Universal Studios asked for a younger, a more modern music. Two versions would be born; one with the soundtrack of Tangerine Dream for the North American market and the rest of the planet would have the music of Jerry Goldsmith. Beyond this artistic confusion, LEGEND is the last real album of the Dream with Johannes Schmoelling. And for me, it's the kind of album that gives a second dimension to the wonderful images of the movie and has an unforgettable effect for the rest of your life. Like Blade Runner but with a much more poetic approach. After a pop song, up to the repertoire of Bryan Ferry, the magic of Tangerine Dream and their music with fantastic tale flavors pervades our eardrums.

Opening opens with an incisive flute and its breath of medieval poems that float in an intriguing atmosphere. Strata and choirs rock these dark breaths whose brief harmonies shear our eardrums with enchanting breaths that will haunt our ears throughout this opus. Cottage is a sublime fairy lullaby where beauty and darkness coexist in a mephistophelic ballet. The chorus, seasoned by a superb arpeggiator, seems to have inspired Franke and Froese for Alchemy of The Heart on Tyger. It's a beautiful piece that is charming from the first listening, just like Unicorn Theme whose oneiric structure will serve as a catalyst for Loved by the Sun. This structure is the heart of a music that shines perfectly the mythical and romantic atmospheres of this medieval period. The title plunges into an agonizing atmosphere with magical percussions, sequences with wood tones and orchestrations that weave a wild ride through an enchanting forest and the lair of its madness. This race continues with Goblins and its shadowy passage where there is a strong mephistophelic odor. Fairies continues to crumble this cacophonous rhythmic course before marrying the harmonies of an astonishing lullaby for black magic with a beautiful duel of mellotron breaths that sings in bewitched dust.

Jon Anderson proves all the magic of his voice by being the only vocalist able to follow the eclectic music of the Mandarin Dream. His voice on Loved by the Sun, from the superbly melodious part of Unicorn Theme, is simply sublime. And when elven voices recite; Sweet songs of youth, the wise, the meeting of all wisdom and to believe in the good in man the sweat spreads over our backbone, showing the ultimate magic of music on images that exceed our expectations. Each title is flooded with this atmosphere that sets up the emotions on these beautiful images. Thus, Blue Room spreads its carpet of dark ambience where floats choruses in redemption and synth lines with strident bewilderment lost in a forest of a thousand satanic mysteries while The Dance is all its opposite with a youthful atmosphere. It's a wonderful ballad of medieval folklore where the virginal princess dances and dances in intoxicating harmonies. The breath of the Beast on the neck, she gives her innocence through this beautiful spherical waltz skillfully designed by the Berlin trio. With its black choirs with guttural breaths, Darkness, the name of the Beast, is as intriguing and disturbing as Blue Room, but with a diabolical touch clearly inspiring. It's a title of black ambiences that ends with hammering percussions and a cloud of fluty breaths. The Kitchen / Unicorn Theme Reprise ends Tangerine Dream's LEGEND with nervous breezes that quiver in an infernal whirlwind where percussion and sequences lay the groundwork for a rhythm that goes heavily into the apocalyptic phases that Edgar Froese's guitar bites of vindictive solos before sinking into the comforting sweets of Unicorn Theme and its virginly melodic breath.

LEGEND is a beautiful soundtrack that adds a poetic depth to a fantastic work. And to pay homage to this music, the DVD version offers the possibility to hear the Dream's music on the movie amputated of dialogues, thus measuring the full impact of this little masterpiece of cinematographic music where the images take all their meaning through these sweet moods as dreamlike as mephistophelic. I saw the movie with Jerry Goldsmith's soundtrack, and the impact on the emotions (you know, those little goose-bumps) never got close to the music of Tangerine Dream. And on the other hand, I listen to the music without the images and I always have those small chills of anguish running on the spine of my emotions. It's a magical and dark album that contains passages of an extreme beauty. It's a journey into the evil beauties of a blood-chilling abyss.

Sylvain Lupari (November 5th, 2006) *****

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