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BAMCinematek Celebrates Tangerine Dream: We Pick Their 5 Best Soundtrack Scores

by Edward Davis
June 5, 2012 6:28 PM
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3. "Risky Business" (1983)
One of the most unusual and inspired moves, one that a lot of moviegoers don't remember, is the fact that Tangerine Dream scored the 1980s teen comedy "Risky Business" starring a young Tom Cruise. The title track, the "The Dream Is Always The Same" isn't something you'll remember from the title, but when you hear the pensive modulations, you get that, "ohh, that theme!" feeling right away. And some of it is just subversively sinister -- not bad considering the film's about teens running a prostitution business while their parents are away on vacation. Check out the track "No Future (Get Off The Babysitter)" in the embed below and awe at its synth scuzzy genius.

4. "Near Dark" (1987)
Another classic in the dark, ethereal and often angelic work of Tangerine Dream is their atmospheric score to Kathryn Bigelow's waaaay, pre-"The Hurt Locker" days genre picture, "Near Dark." A strange hybrid of vampire, western amd biker film, it's also emerged as a horror classic in recent years. "With her makeshift family of nomadic, punk-styled vampires, they traverse the flat plains of the Midwest in railroad cars and stolen Winnebagos—an ideal canvas for Tangerine Dream," BAM writes

5. "Thief" (1981)
Arugably a major influence (along with Walter Hill's "The Driver") on Nicolas Winding Refn's "Drive" -- think another neo-noir where the loner thief tries to get out of the business with one more score set to throbbing and pulsating synths -- Michael Mann's "Thief" starring James Caan is a neo-noir classic of mood, nervy tension and paranoia. Perfect for Tangerine Dream, but with the last-minute track "Confrontation," composed at Mann's behest when the director thought he needed one more song, the German band proved they could rock and get anthemic with the best of them.

Interested? Sold? Also check out Tangerine Dream's scores to the adaptation of Stephen King's "Firestarter," Michael Mann's vastly underseen horror "The Keep" starring Scott Glenn, Gabriel Byrne and Jürgen Prochnow, and Andrey Konchalovskiy's drama "Shy People" starring Jill Clayburgh, Barbara Hershey, and Martha Plimpton.

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  • Olli | June 6, 2012 2:11 AMReply

    I'm sorry but their "Legend" score ruined the whole movie. Rarely has there been a score that's so out of place in a movie than this one. Do yourself a favor and check the Tangerine Dream version against the Jerry Goldsmith scored european version. A whole different experience and a vast improvement for the movie.

  • bohmer | June 5, 2012 9:59 PMReply

    For me it's "Love On A Real Train" from Risky Business that hits the spot

  • onatrain | June 6, 2012 6:28 AM


  • Brian | June 5, 2012 9:40 PMReply

    The Keep is my favorite of theirs as well. Especially the track "Stealing the Silver Cross".

  • Mark | June 5, 2012 7:14 PMReply

    The score to Near Dark is pretty incredible. But the score to The Keep is their masterpiece, especially the lengthy mountain pass opening, the sequence where the soldiers unwittingly release Molasar and the mesmerising synths that play over the awakening of Scott Glenn's character as he starts his journey to The Keep. Why has it never been released on DVD?

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