TangerineDreamStratosfearMike Oldfield has enjoyed tremendous success with the re-imagining of his incredible Tubular Bells suite.  In fact, he has done it more than once again.  And all of them have been extraordinary.

The key element was that he never attempted to replace the original nor create a note for note, sound for sound reproduction.  Instead, what he did was to explore the suite in a different way.

I can say that not only have I enjoyed the original and the subsequent re-imaginings, but I actually own them all.  I listen to each frequently.

Now, what I am about to suggest does not apply to everyone.  Only a select, and well-chosen few.  But I believe that there are complete albums out there that can be revisited to see what kind of evolutionary magic can be applied.  In specific, I’m referring to Tangerine Dream’s Stratosfear album.

Stratosfear was a crowning achievement for Tangerine Dream, who is largely an ambient band.  But lately, I’ve begun to hear it in different ways inside my head.  I’ve even gone so far as to suggest the idea to the band in an email.  Like Tubular Bells, I think it would evolve beautifully.

Stratosfear isn’t the only album that could weather such a concept.  I’m sure there are others.  I’m interested in what you think, especially if you’re a Tangerine Dream fan.

On a different level, I’d love to hear Tomita revisit either Planets and/or Snowflakes Are Dancing.  I’m betting that over the thirty plus years since their creation, Isao Tomita has learned a new trick or two to apply to his classics.  Certainly, I’m not asking to replace the original.  That’s impossible.  But, like the brilliance of Tubular Bells, I’m betting these, and others have some mileage left in them.

Having said all of this, I’d like to suggest to Virgin Records, the band, or whomever is in charge of the material that with 2016 representing Stratosfear’s 40th Anniversary (the album was released in 1976), an effort be made to honor the album with remastering, some hi-def mixes, and, if available, the rehearsal tracks, any outtakes and demos, or even early takes.  It deserves the treatment.

What do you think of my suggestions?  Or, what suggestions do you have of your own?

By MARowe

7 thoughts on “The Power Of Re-Imagining Great Works”
  1. I’m a fan of TD, at least through their Virgin years. If what you meant by “revisit” is remixing, remastering and a hi-def format release I am all for it. But Edgar Froese has re-imagined his solo work (by mixing in newly recorded tracks) and some TD classics (in concert anyway) to the usual response of “WTF was he thinking”? I love the originals and musically would leave well enough alone. On the other hand, Jean-Michel Jarre’s second Oxygene album was excellent, surpassing the original IMO.

  2. Mike has actually recorded a note-for-note recreation of the original TB, a little bit on the clinical side, IMHO.

    1. Thats a good choice along with Albedo 0.39 and the album he made with Jon Anderson, The Friends of Mr. Cairo.

  3. Actually, TD re-recorded Phaedra (2005), Hyperborea and Tangram (2008), just like the Froese solo recordings. They all sound great!! Also, Stratosfear 95, from Tyranny of Beauty sounds amzing!!

    1. I’m aware of these TD re-recordings. I’d just love to hear a re-imagining of Stratosfear, not to replace, but, like Oldfield, to add to the album’s history. Like having several children.

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