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Legend - Tangerine Dream

   (1 review)

Legend is the eighth soundtrack album by the German band Tangerine Dream and their twenty-eighth overall. It was released in 1986 for the North American theatrical version of the film Legend. It was issued a year earlier in Europe. The film was written by William Hjortsberg, produced by Arnon Milchan, directed by Ridley Scott and released domestically by Universal Studios. The album was released on compact disc on 15 August 1995 through Varese Sarabande.

After a disappointing test screening with Jerry Goldsmith's original orchestral score, Scott decided to make changes to the film. Sidney Sheinberg, president of MCA (the parent company of Universal at the time), felt that the Goldsmith score would not appeal to the youth and pressed Scott for a new score. Tangerine Dream was contracted to complete a new, more contemporary score—-a job they completed in three weeks. Until 2002, only European audiences could see Legend with Goldsmith's score.

"Loved by the Sun" is a vocal version of "Unicorn Theme" with lyrics written and sung by Jon Anderson of Yes. The vocals were added after Tangerine Dream had composed the instrumental music. It was originally recorded with vocals by Susanne Pawlitzki based on William Blake's poem "The Angel," but was rejected in favor of the Jon Anderson version. "Unicorn Theme" has been played live at several concerts in various versions. "Is Your Love Strong Enough?"—the song played over the end credits—has lyrics written and sung by Bryan Ferry with guitar by David Gilmour (of Pink Floyd fame) and bass by Guy Pratt. It is a former outtake of the recording sessions for Avalon, the eighth and last Roxy Music album. All of the other tracks are Tangerine Dream instrumentals. "Is Your Love Strong Enough?" was also released as a 12" single which included an extended version of the same song as well as an instrumental; neither of these last two versions were included on the Avalon album.

Tangerine Dream had recorded another piece that did not appear on the official soundtrack, but did appear in the film. It has only been found in bootlegs, in MP3 form at some P2P sites, and also on some streaming services, particularly Rdio. Within both mediums, the song was given either the title "Prologue" or "Once Long Ago". This music can be heard in the intro to the American film release and is also heard in one of the early scenes between Jack and Lilly. It is recognized for its distinct and memorable flute melody. Additionally, some of this melody can be heard at the end of the song, "Loved by the Sun," as it fades out. It can be theorized that the band originally intended that outro to be the "epilogue," reprising the opening melody as a means of continuity - to end the story in the place where it began.

Track Listings:
    Is Your Love Strong Enough 5:08
    Opening 2:55
    Cottage 3:23
    Unicorn Theme 3:27
    Goblins 3:03
    Fairies 2:57
    Loved By The Sun 5:57
    Blue Room 3:24
    The Dance 2:23
    Darkness 3:05
    The Kitchen / Unicorn Theme Reprise 4:49
Total Time: 40:30
Artist Name(s):
Tangerine Dream
Release Year: 1986
Ambient, Progressive, Soundtrack
Album Type:
Cassette, Compact Disc, LP 33 1/3
Label / Publishing
Label Name:
Varese Sarabande, MCA
Catalog Number(s):
MCA-6165 VSD-5645
Los Angeles, CA
Editions / Reissues
  1. LP MCA-6165
  2. LP 501 1056
  3. CD Varèse Sarabande VSD-5645
  4. CD Orange Records ORCD-20011986
  5. CD BSX Records BSXCD 8909
Synthesizers Used
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Jon Johnson


I like a good soundtrack and love a good soundtrack even more when it sounds great and done by an artist(s) I follow. I may even go out of my way to see the film but a lot of the time I am disappointed more with a film when I like the music. I bought this album not knowing anything about the movie but knew everything that i could know about Tangerine Dream in 1986. Almost 6 months after I saw them the first time on one of their arguably "best last tours". They got this gig because director Ridley Scott decided on a new soundtrack for the American release of the film, instead of the original one lined up by Jerry Goldsmith, to appeal to younger movie goers and by adding Bryan Ferry's "Is Your Love Strong Enough" tagged on for good measure.

Movie stats aside Tangerine Dream composed the music in 1985 for the film and they did not disappoint with the gear they were working with.Often time I hear groups do stuff thats kinda page turning and think "why are these guys not doing this on their own music?" There's passages heard here, as brief as they are, that define new timbres. Maybe because a film budget offers more chance? Doubtful but maybe at times.

About 20 seconds in from the piece that opens the film introducing the land of "Legend" there's a wonderful synth sound driven by an LFO/Filter, that I always thought was more on the digital side, which then gives way to a familiar Tangerine Dream sounding melody. Throught the short pieces from the film, there's suspense, terror, and, passion, with little bits of humor. The song "Loved By The Sun" has Yes's Jon Anderson providing vocals which also played into my naivety at the time that they were all in the studio together workling. Not so according to documented history of the movie. 

Over all the music of Legend is another inspiring Tangerine Dream album that the film's producers did a very good job at making it play with a beginning, middle, and, end. The music stands on it's own without the film but its probably hard to not think of the movie without it.

Edgar Froese, Chris Franke, and Paul Haslinger do a great job with the gear they had. Under a short time frame to work its harder to find those special things from gear or happy accidents. Some of the fantastic instruments purportedly used were the Synclavier II and Waveframe among their workhorses like Edgar's DX7ii, their Roland and Sequential gear.Magic does happen Legend or not.

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