The second collection of best titles from 1988-1998 combined by TD itself.
- Electric Lion [8:14]
- Midwinter Night [4:37]
- Graffiti Street [4:46]
- Crystal Curfew [5:01]
- Pictures at an Exhibition [2:59]
- Firetongues [6:34]
- Mobocaster [7:23]
- Three Bikes in the Sky [5:58]
- Birdwatcher's Dream [6:51]
- Too Hot for my Chinchilla [3:47]
- Little Blond in the Park of Attractions [7:15]
- Marakesh [8:16]
Edgar Froese - keyboard, drum, guitar
Jerome Froese - drum, percussion, keyboard, guitar
Paul Haslinger - keyboard, stick
Zlatko Perica - guitars
Linda Spa - soprano sax, alto sax
Gerald Gradwool - guitar on track 9 and 11
Roland Braunstein - trumpet on track 5
Vienna Horn Ensemble - horns on track 5
Mark Hornby - acoutic, 12-string, and slide guitar on track 9 and 11
"Atlantic Walls" is part of a 2-CD release (the other part being "Atlantic Bridges") intended to showcase the best of Tangerine Dream's output from the albums "Optical Race" (1988), "Lily on the Beach" (1989), "Melrose" (1990), "Rockoon" (1992), "Turn of the Tides" (1994) and "Tyranny of Beauty" (1995).
There are also bonuses in the form of one track on each album from the 1997 album "Timesquare (Dream Mixes Vol. 2)".
Between them, the two compilation discs cover about a third of each of the main albums. And a pretty good third at that, with the tracks allegedly being chosen by the band members themselves. Certainly, most of the tracks included have featured prominently in Tangerine Dream's concert repertoire over the years, so one can only assume that the band do indeed rate these as amongst their better works from the period. Both discs are also crammed to capacity, with some 70+ minutes of music each.
Music from the six principal source albums is spread fairly evenly over the 2 CD's, although "Atlantic Bridges" concentrates more on "Optical Race" and "Lily on the Beach", while the main exposure of "Melrose" and "Tyranny of Beauty" is left to "Atlantic Walls". "Turn of the Tides" is well represented on both discs, while "Rockoon" receives only minimal coverage (which is probably as it should be!)
"Atlantic Walls" concentrates more on the lyrical tracks from the source albums it covers. It also showcases most of the great guitar-led ballads, which were so much a feature that Zlatko Perica brought to the band throughout much the 10-year period covered here.
This disc manages to find lots of guitar music from the earlier albums too and it is interesting to here it all combined in one place like this. That said, I'm not convinced that the selection works particularly well in the order presented - especially around the middle of the disc, where it feels to be very much a mish-mash of pieces with little or no cohesion. The end of the disc presents some of the very best of the music from the period, though, and would be a delight to have if you don't already own the source discs.
Taken as a pair, then, "Atlantic Walls" and "Atlantic Bridges" would be a fine purchase for anyone not wanting to buy all of the original discs to get at the best. Of the two, "Atlantic Bridges" is probably the more satisfying collection, while "Atlantic Walls" has arguably some better tracks.
Personally, though, I think you'd be better off just going straight for the original releases - especially considering there is absolutely no new material on either of these discs. But then, I'm just a glutton for this kind of stuff!
One star has been lost just for my general dislike of collection CDs!
2000. Steve Benner