Edgar Froese, who helped pioneer what was to be known as Kraut Rock, which utilized rock elements with electronic sounds, most notably in Tangerine Dream, died on January 20, 2015, of a pulmonary embolism. The musician was in Vienna, Austria, when he died suddenly, according to a post on the Tangerine Dream Facebook page. He was 70.
Starting in 1967, Tangerine Dream was one of the most prolific and versatile bands that ever existed. With Froese as the only constant member through over 100 albums — many which used high amounts of synthesizers most notably the Moog, which had been dabbled with by various artists prior (The Monkees, Wendy Carlos) — Tangerine Dream became one of the leaders of the aforementioned Kraut Rock genre, and they shared success side-by-side with other legendary bands of that ilk like Kraftwerk and Can. Under the aegis of Froese, the band found its peak in the mid 1970s, having much success in the UK. Elsewhere, the band was revered in cult circles, something it remains to this day. In fact, the band was a curio at best to a lot of people, and was immortalized in Gonzo critic Lester Bangs’ unforgettable cough syrup-soaked wild bender piece, “I Saw God and Or Tangerine Dream.” In the piece, which originally ran in Creem magazine back in 1973, Bangs waxes while speeding on Robitussin about the visual and aural joys of attending a Tangerine Dream light show.
It’s that time of year again when the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame puts forth its nominees for induction into its hallowed halls. Maybe it’s just me, but I have to say, this year’s ballot is the least exciting one that I can recall.
Perhaps the biggest surprises are the inclusion of Green Day and Nine Inch Nails, both of which released their first albums in 1989, meaning that they have just passed the 25-year qualification for eligibility. Also, in the “How are they not already in?” category we have Stevie Ray Vaughn, War, Kraftwerk, and The Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Rounding out the list of nominees is: N.W.A, The Smiths, Lou Reed (solo work), Sting (solo work),Chic, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, The Marvelettes, The Spinners, and Bill Withers.