Tangerine Dream then reduced their number of live appearances and increased their activity in the film music industry.

The concert on December 10th 1983, which took place in Warsaw, was released as the double LP Poland - The Warsaw Concert in 1984. This album represented their first production on the Jive Electro label, to which they switched on the cessation of their Virgin Records contract which had expired.

Tangerine Dream then reduced their number of live appearances and increased their activity in the film music industry.

In 1983, the soundtrack to the teenage comedy Risky Business, directed by Paul Brickman came out, making lead actor Tom Cruise world famous. It wasn't a complete Tangerine Dream soundtrack, since they contributed only five tracks. Love on a real train became the most famous and one of the most remixed, reworked, covered, sampled and mashed-up songs from the electronic music genre on SoundCloud.

A further soundtrack appeared in 1984 with the film music to the Stephen King film Firestarter. In this film, directed by Director Mark L. Lester, the young Drew Barrymore plays the leading role, right after her worldwide success in Steven Spielberg’s E.T.

In 1985 Tangerine Dream wrote the soundtrack for the fantasy film Legend, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Tom Cruise in the leading role. Two songs appear on the record alongside the other instrumental tracks, the first being Is Your Love Strong Enough by Bryan Ferry (Roxy Music), the other being Loved By The Sun by Jon Anderson (Yes). Remaining unreleased for a long time, the CD finally came out in 1995. Originally it was planned that the music of composer Jerry Goldsmith would be used in the film. But the producers were looking for more contemporary music and approached Tangerine Dream. Edgar flew to London and watched the film version with the Jerry Goldsmith score. When responding to a question asked about this in an interview, Edgar Froese said: "I was absolutely inspired by the soundtrack. The fact that someone whose music we like very much, someone we look up to and respect, should be replaced with something else which had be better than Goldsmith's music was a very heavy responsibility. That was a very hard and instructive experience." Due to opposing viewpoints between the producer and the director, Legend would become one of the most time-consuming film-score experiences the band had ever undertaken. They worked for almost 6 weeks in the studio.

On the following studio album Le Parc, the tracks are inspired by some of the most beautiful parks in the world. Among them the Tiergarten in Berlin, New York's Central Park, and Hyde Park in London. The track Le Parc, subtitled as L.A. Streethawk, was the theme tune for the American action series Streethawk, and this was also released as a single. The last track, Yellowstone Park, features background vocals by Clare Torry, who was renowned for her vocal performance on Pink Floyd’s The Great Gig in The Sky on their album Dark Side of The Moon.

October 1985 brought about a major change. Johannes Schmoelling decided to take a break and left the group. After his departure, Johannes dedicated himself to his own projects. His first solo album, titled Wuivend Riet was released on the German label Erdenklang.

The new member on board the Tangerine Dream ship was Paul Haslinger and he came from Austria. He had studied classical music at the academies in Salzburg and Vienna and was playing in clubs as a jazz and funk keyboarder at the time.

In March 1986, TD toured in Europe, playing 21 concerts. The aquatically themed LP Underwater Sunlight was the first release from the newly-formed trio in 1986. In May and June 1986, Tangerine Dream toured North America again, playing 25 shows. Whereas earlier concerts consisted more of improvisations and unreleased material, they now played music which had already been released, however in a modified form. The tracks were selected in such a way that they ran smoothly into one another which led to compositions that lasted for over one hour of continuous music.

In 1987 more soundtrack albums, such as Three O'Clock High and Shy People were released. Tangerine Dream co-operated with an orchestral group for the soundtrack to Andrei Konchalovsky's family epic Shy People, as they had previously done before with Firestarter. Three tracks were sung by Jacquie Virgil and Diamond Ross. The score was nearly completed when the director asked the composers for something commercial "maybe a real song, and can you have it ready tomorrow morning?" Edgar was ready to leave the hotel in LA to fly back to Berlin when the call came in. At 2 o'clock am he sat down at the Sunset Marquis Hotel to write the song and the lyrics, managing the feat within two hours, after which he flew back to Berlin. The band did the final recording over the next night, handed it over to a PanAm stewardess in good faith at an airport in Berlin, asking her to deliver it to a studio messenger at the airport in LA. It got there on time.

Tangerine Dream again dared to experiment with the use of vocals for their record Tyger, just as they had done with the Cyclone LP ten years earlier. American soul singer Jocelyn B. Smith took over the singing parts on some of the tracks. The song lyrics are taken from the English poet and painter William Blake (1757-1827).

Tangerine Dream also composed the film music to Kathryn Bigelow's film Near Dark. Edgar: "Actually she tried to avoid making a typical genre film and so she didn't want the music to sound like that of a typical horror movie. She wanted to have something contradictory, and not necessarily electronic-sounding. People had the wrong image of what we did at this point. They always thought there are 120 computers on the wall and all we have to do is flick switches back and forth. In reality this is only one third of the whole production process. The rest is just normal acoustic equipment."

Also in 1987, a video film with breath-taking nature scenes was released, to which Tangerine Dream contributed the soundtrack. Under the title Canyon Dreams both a video and an album were released on the American record label Miramar. Aerial images that had never before been seen were taken from an aircraft during a flight over and through the Grand Canyon. Combined with TD’s music it created a very special audio-visual experience. Jerome Froese appeared for the first time as a composer with the track Colorado Dawn. This was the music that brought them their first Grammy nomination.

The material which Tangerine Dream recorded during their concerts in 1986/1987, was released in 1988 as Livemiles, this being the last production for the Jive Electro label. Part one, which was well over 30 minutes long, was recorded during a concert in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and part two (27+ minutes long) at an open air festival during the 750th anniversary celebrations of the city of Berlin. The show at Platz der Republik (Republic Square) in West-Berlin was also the last appearance of TD together with Christopher Franke. Livemiles, contrary to the bootleg recording from the radio broadcast, does not correspond to the original concert in Berlin. For legal reasons Tangerine Dream could not release the whole concert, but had to cut out some sections. As Edgar explained in a 1989 interview: "...not only unreleased material was played during the live concerts. As we often do, things were also played which appeared as parts of official releases. Music which might have been locked away in the vaults of the film production companies, some parts were on records which are difficult to obtain, and similar things like that. For the release we had to use certain sequences and sections which were legally available to us."

Christopher Franke, Edgar's musical collaborator for many years, left the band after the concert in Berlin and went to Spain to take a break from the music industry. In 1990, he moved to Los Angeles, built a studio, and began scoring TV productions for various companies. His first solo album Pacific Coast Highway was released in 1991. From 1993 to 1995 Christopher composed the music for all five episodes of the science fiction series Babylon 5.