In Honor of Sorcerer: Your Kandy-Kolored Tangerine Dream Top 10, Baby

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There are plenty of reasons to be psyched about William Friedkin’s Sorcerer playing all this weekend at The Belcourt. One major reason is that audiences will be able to hear Tangerine Dream’s score blasting out of the auditorium speakers. (That's the theme you hear in the above clip from a Copenhagen show in March.)

Friedkin’s 1977 version of The Wages of Fear was the first film the famed German electronic group composed. From then on, the Dream’s stylish synthesizer sound would serve as background music for movies all throughout the ‘80s — some you’ve definitely seen, others you may not.

If your memory needs re-jogging (and to get you ready for Sorcerer), here is a rundown of the top Tangerine Dream soundtracks:



1. Risky Business (1983)
Everyone remembers Tom Cruise sliding around in his drawers, lip-synching to Bob Seger. But start playing the Dream’s choppy, synth score around your pals and they’ll immediately have visions of Rebecca DeMornay straddling them on a subway train.

2. Thief (1981)
For sheer pulpiness, you can’t go wrong with the rock-tinged score the Dream scored for Michael Mann’s neo-noir. Although you’d think the Dream and Mann would be such an ideal pairing that Mann would use them for all his movies, they only worked together again on The Keep in 1983.

3. Near Dark (1987)
Here we go from a neo-noir to a neo-horror/western/whatever-the-hell. That’s perhaps the best way to describe Kathryn Bigelow’s beloved, cult vampire flick, which the Dream provided efficiently spooky sounds for.

4. Legend (1986)
The Dream ended up scoring another Tom Cruise movie, this time turning out epic, ethereal and predictably swoony compositions for the Ridley Scott fantasy, a must-see for girls who were discovering their womanhood during the ‘80s.

5. Heartbreakers (1984)
This one’s a personal favorite of mine (I actually own a CD copy and everything!), where the Dream musically matched the melancholy that happens between two best friends (Peter Coyote and Nick Mancuso) who realize they aren’t as swinging as they used to be.

6. Firestarter (1984)
Who better to score music for scenes where little Drew Barrymore sets shit on fire with her mind?!

7. Wavelength (1983)
Who better to score a freaky-ass, sci-fi movie about kiddie aliens?!

8. Miracle Mile (1989)
Who better to score the END OF THE FREAKIN’ WORLD?!

9. Three O’Clock High (1987)
Am I the only one who thinks this black comedy, about a teenager spending a day trying to get out of a fight with a bully, is underrated? Anyway, the Dream once again provides music for a movie about a confused, horny guy who eventually decides to say, “What the fuck — make your move.”

10. Grand Theft Auto V (2013)
The whole Grand Theft Auto series is such an ongoing salute to the ‘80s, it’s not even that surprising to learn that the Dream composed music for the video game. In fact, you may wonder why the hell the Dream didn’t start scoring these games sooner.

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