Edgar Willmar Froese (6 June 1944 – 20 January 2015) was a German artist and electronic music pioneer, best known for founding the electronic music group Tangerine Dream. Although his solo and group recordings prior to 2003 name him as "Edgar Froese", his solo albums from 2003 onward bear the artist name "Edgar W. Froese".
Froese was born in Tilsit, East Prussia, on D-Day during the Second World War; members of his family, including his father, had been killed by the Nazis and his mother and surviving family settled in West Berlin after the war. He took piano lessons from the age of 12, and started playing guitar at 15. After showing an early aptitude for art, Froese enrolled at the Academy of the Arts in West Berlin to study painting and sculpture.
In 1965, he formed a band called The Ones, who played psychedelic rock, and some rock and R&B standards. While playing in Spain, The Ones were invited to perform at Salvador Dalí's villa in Cadaqués. Froese's encounter with Dalí was highly influential, inspiring him to pursue more experimental directions with his music. The Ones disbanded in 1967, having released only one single ("Lady Greengrass" / "Love of Mine"). After returning to Berlin, Froese began recruiting musicians for the free-rock band that would become Tangerine Dream.
Froese declared himself to be vegetarian, teetotal, and a non-smoker; he also did not take drugs. Froese was married to artist and photographer Monique Froese from 1974 until her death in 2000. Their son Jerome Froese was a member of Tangerine Dream from 1990 through 2006. Edgar Froese remarried to artist and musician Bianca Acquaye.
Froese died suddenly in Vienna on 20 January 2015 from a pulmonary embolism. He was posthumously awarded the Schallwelle Honorary Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2015. He was quoted by the BBC as having once said: "there is no death, there is just a change of our cosmic address".
(2005 albums are ordered by catalogue number)
- Aqua (1974) (issued in two versions with different edits and song order, both in 1974)
- Epsilon in Malaysian Pale (1975) (also issued as Ypsilon in Malaysian Pale)
- Macula Transfer (1976)
- Ages (1978) (note: CD edition omits one track to make this double album fit on one CD)
- Stuntman (1979)
- Electronic Dreams (circa. 1980) (compilation)
- Solo 1974–1979 (1981) (compilation including some remixes and one new track with the same title as an older piece, identified as a re-recording, but completely different)
- Kamikaze 1989 (1982) (soundtrack for the German film starring Rainer Werner Fassbinder)
- Pinnacles (1983)
- Beyond the Storm (1995) (double CD semi-compilation with new and remixed tracks)
- Introduction to the Ambient Highway (2003) (sampler compilation issued prior to the series)
- Ambient Highway, Vol. 1 (2003) (semi-compilation with new and remixed tracks)
- Ambient Highway, Vol. 2 (2003) (semi-compilation with new and remixed tracks)
- Ambient Highway, Vol. 3 (2003) (semi-compilation with new and remixed tracks)
- Ambient Highway, Vol. 4 (2003) (semi-compilation with new and remixed tracks)
- Dalinetopia (2004)
- Ages (2005) (partially re-recorded, remixed version of the 1978 album, omits one track from the original, but not the same one omitted for CD previously)
- Epsilon in Malaysian Pale (2005) (partially re-recorded, remixed version of the 1975 album)
- Stuntman (2005) (partially re-recorded, remixed version of the 1979 album)
- Aqua (2005) (partially re-recorded, remixed version of the 1974 album)
- Macula Transfer (2005) (partially re-recorded, remixed version of the 1976 album)
- Pinnacles (2005) (partially re-recorded, remixed version of the 1983 album, omits the last 1/3 of the original)
- Orange Light Years (2005) (double CD semi-compilation with new and remixed tracks)
- Solo 1974–1983 (2012) (compilation including some alternate versions)
- '70 – '80 (1981) box set compilation album by Tangerine Dream includes a Froese solo track, "Baryll Blue". The track was an outtake from the Ages recording sessions.
- The Best of the O1/W (1992) promotional compilation album by various artists includes a Froese track, "Michiko". The album promoted and demonstrated the Korg O1/W synthesizer.
- Seeking Major Tom (2011) by William Shatner includes Pink Floyd's "Learning to Fly" with Froese playing guitar and keyboards.
- Ponder the Mystery (2013) also by Shatner, includes a track called Do You See? which features a guitar solo by Froese.
Edgar Froese solo material as Tangerine Dream
Tangents was a Tangerine Dream compilation album box set of five CDs issued in 1994, compiling music from their years with Virgin Records, 1973 to 1983. Disc five consists entirely of "previously unreleased material": ten tracks, seven of which are credited only to Froese as the composer. No information is given as to where or when these tracks were recorded, or by which line-up of Tangerine Dream. Most Tangerine Dream tracks credit the line-up that recorded it as the composers, therefore these appear to be Froese solo tracks, released under the Tangerine Dream name, and may have been recorded for this album. Furthermore, five tracks on disc three are described as "re-recordings by Edgar Froese", while the remaining tracks on discs three and four are described as "re-mixed plus additional recordings by Edgar Froese". The tracks on discs one and two are also remixed and contain new overdubs, and Froese is credited as producer for the entire album.
Another compilation box set, the 6-CD I-Box (2001) contains further bonus tracks credited only to Froese: "Ivory Town", "Storm Seekers", "Cool Shibuya" and "Akash Deep". Several of Froese's tracks from Tangents are included as well.
Phaedra 2005 (2005 re-recording of Phaedra, 1974), Tangram 2008 (2008 re-recording of Tangram, 1980), and Hyperborea 2008 (2008 re-recording of Hyperborea, 1983) are Edgar Froese solo albums released under the Tangerine Dream name.
The Tangerine Dream album Views from a Red Train (2008) was originally announced as an Edgar Froese solo album. It was eventually expanded with other band members performing, but the album remains composed entirely by Froese.
Other later Tangerine Dream albums have been composed and performed entirely by Froese, including Summer in Nagasaki (2007), Winter in Hiroshima (2009) and Chandra (2009).
- Froese, Edgar (2014). Tangerine Dream – Force Majeure – 1967–2014. Eastgate.
- Stump, Paul (1997). Digital gothic: A critical discography of Tangerine Dream. Wembley: SAF.