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Sometimes I just paste a review to take up space. This album is actually fucking killer -Ian

This disc is a re-release of the 1981 Virgin edition of Tangerine Dream’s music for the movie “Thief”, Michael Mann’s film adaptation of Frank Hohimer’s book, “The Home Invaders”. It doesn’t contain the film’s entire soundtrack music by any means: nor, indeed, is all of the music on the CD to be found in the film! The reasons are simple: much of the film’s most powerful music-that which accompanies the scenes “He’s beeping in good”, “Into the Shaft” and “Car Lot Showdown”-had already been released on the band’s 1979 album “Force Majeure”, as parts of the track `Thru Metamorphic Rocks’. Consequently, almost 15 minutes of soundtrack is represented on this disc in a shorter (5 minute) remix, `Igneous’, which uses a characteristic cue chord sequence from the film as an intro to the flanged percussion pulse overlaid with a new raw-edged guitar line. The movie’s closing music is also absent from the CD: this is the track `Confrontation’ by Craig Safan. Although originally present on the Elektra soundtrack release of the movie, Virgin did not bother obtaining the license for its inclusion here, as this was intended as a pure Tangerine Dream disc, not as a soundtrack album.

Several dodges have been applied to pad the disc out to a reasonable length (although it is still quite short). Firstly, the “San Diego Reverie” scene’s music is included twice (originally starting each side of the vinyl disc, it appears as tracks 1 and 5 here) in only slightly differing guises (`Beach Theme’ & `Beach Scene’). Secondly, the remaining soundtrack material is expanded into longer versions than used in the film, and finally a couple of additional tracks have been composed which draw on musical ideas used only briefly elsewhere or which conjure up the moods of some of the film’s scenes.

The result is some 40 minutes of material, often close to the actual film soundtrack but at other times merely suggestive of it, presented in an order that makes musical sense, rather than following any sequence relevant to the film. For all its alterations, though, this music comes across as every bit as powerfully stark as the movie. In many ways this album is more of a tribute to the film than a copy of its soundtrack, but probably is all the more potent as a result. It was a major chart success in its day and remains an impressive achievement even now.

-Steve Benner “Stonegnome”,

Tangerine Dream-THIEF OST (1981)


One Comment

  1. This is a terrific album. It has deliberate textural changes, almost song-like, very un-improvised sounding — and quite different from the cliched orchestral score that saws to and fro on a frantic search for a tonic. Also though the compositions are noir-ish and atmospheric they are rendered by synths crisp as a car driving by in the rain. One notices how tight and unreverbed the sound is. It's really right between your ears. Again very different from the self-consciously grander approach Vangelis took with Blade Runner, which though great I don't think touches this.

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