After the influential British DJ John Peel declared Tangerine Dream's Atem 1973's album of the year, Virgin Records president Richard Branson presented Edgar Froese, Chris Franke and Peter Baumann with a five year contract. The trio entered Manor Studios where they worked from 11am to 2 am working with synthesizers and sequencers. "Just tuning the instruments took several hours each day," remembers Froese.
On Phaedra's the title track you can hear the instruments gradually fall out of tune. the music was composed rather than improvised but the overall effect remains haunting and celestial. 1974's quintessential "head' album, Phaedra reached #15 in the UK charts and #196 in the US charts .
40 years later, Tangerine Dream's Phaedra sounds like the music of the future. In 1997 Froese remembers telling someone "In about 10 years' time, everybody will play synthesizers". The guy he was talking to told Froese he was an idiot and walked out.