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Jean Michel Jarre

Discussion in 'music' started by tiggers, Mar 18, 2023.

  1. tiggers

    tiggers pfm Member

    Any fans on here?

    Everyone knows Oxygene and Equinoxe, but any fans of his later output? I've been revisiting his back catalogue in the last few days having watched a documentary on how he came to make Oxygene and forgotten how good some of it is (some of it isn't so good I'll grant you).

    Along with Kraftwerk and Joy Division, JMJ is the third in my trilogy of early musical influences that shaped a lot of my future listening habits.

    Oxygene still sounds amazing today and it's hard to believe it was recorded in a kitchen on an 8 track in the long hot summer of 1976... nearly 50 years ago ... yikes I'm getting old.

    Anyway what are people's favourites outside of his best known work? I rather like Oxymore, Electronica 1 & 2 and Metamorpheses.
    Tarzan likes this.
  2. robs

    robs should know how this works by no

    Strangely, I was listening to his new(ish) album on Tidal last night. It's rather good - Oxymore. Not what I was expecting, and it will be on again.
    tiggers likes this.
  3. PhilofCas

    PhilofCas pfm Member

    Yes, played Zoolook to death when it came out.
    freefallrob and tiggers like this.
  4. cj66

    cj66 pfm Member

    Once you take away his best known albums, my favourites are Rendez-Vous, Destination Docklands and just nudging in is Waiting for Cousteau.
    freefallrob and tiggers like this.
  5. tiggers

    tiggers pfm Member

    I tend to lump Oxygene, Equinoxe, Magnetic Fields, Rendezvous and Revolutions and Concerts in China into the best known category, but not sure why. I need to give Waiting for Cousteau another listen.
  6. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I’ve liked Oxygene since release, though have yet to hear anything else I’ve really wanted to keep, so haven’t. I’ve got a remarkably good sounding quiet early UK copy of Oxygene and that’s it. In fairness what I’ve head is very far from everything as the same few albums tend to turn up again and again (Equinoxe, Rendezvous, Concert In China etc). I don’t actively dislike any of them, just feel Oxygene is so much better to my taste, so why bother? Same story with Mike Oldfield, my carefully curated collection is one UK 1st press of Tubular Bells.

    PS JM Jarre always comes across as a really nice guy, his studio tour etc on YouTube is well worth a watch.
  7. chartz

    chartz If it’s broke fix it!

    As a teenager I bought Oxygène and Équinoxe when they were released, and Chants Magnétiques a bit later. I was so disappointed that I stopped buying his stuff.
    I still listen to the first two records (French first pressings) regularly though.
    But the rest… no.
  8. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I’ll give the next mint early copy of Equinoxe I find a spin as I may have been unfair and I do find my taste changes with time. Always worth reevaluating stuff.
    tiggers and chartz like this.
  9. chartz

    chartz If it’s broke fix it!

    Équinoxe has some great moments. Enjoy Tony.
    tiggers likes this.
  10. cupples

    cupples pfm Member

    Équinoxe is also a great album. There is something about those two album covers too, that and Oxygène, two of my favourite bits of cover art. If I had enough time and effort to display albums on my wall, those two would be up there.
  11. Rug Doc

    Rug Doc pfm Member

    Been a fan for years. Oxygene is my fave. I was at Docklands in the rain, was fabulous.
  12. chartz

    chartz If it’s broke fix it!

    I saw a JMJ laser show back in 1987 in Lyon. A free gig no less.
    freefallrob likes this.
  13. Alex S

    Alex S carbon based lifeform

    When was that? Think I was too.
  14. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Feelin' nearly faded as my jeans

    I bought "Oxygene" (or maybe bought for me by dad) from Lambs Records (a proper shop with listening booths) in Huntingdon back in 1976 - this was because dad thought it was a better way to spend money than buying the "Part IV" single in the charts. Didn't really do much more on the Jarre front than enjoy that until me and my friends and I started buying records in about 84/85 and they bought "The Essential" which at that time was everywhere, being subject to a heavy TV advertising campaign - I made a tape copy (obvs) in exchange for letting them tape "The War of the Worlds" or suchlike. I was too busy buying Tangerine Dream and Mike Oldfield records to buy the Jarre catalogue up to that point (and they were more expensive than most TD / Oldfield records in the shops), but then "Zoolook" came out. Whistle Test ran the video for the title track which came out as a single, and I had to buy the album, even though it was going to be (sharp intake of breath) £6.99! Got that, discovered new musical directions to check from the appearances of Laurie Anderson, Marcus Miller and Adrian Belew on that album. Then bought "Rendez-Vous" which was alright, enjoyed the Houston concert on TV but really lost interest at that point as his music became quite boring and a triumph of style over content, to suit his big city performances. I heard "Waiting for Cousteau" on the day of release; it was completely unmemorable and, with the CD, you get an extra 24 minutes of musical wallpaper that is the title track.

    IMHO, all albums up to and including "Rendez-Vous" are essential. Equinoxe is peak Jarre with Parts 5-7 being a stunning piece of electronic music, taking the rhythmic drive of German EM and adding melody.

    Of his later stuff "Geometry of Love" is OK, and the "Electronica" collaborations are mildly interesting but me and Jean-Michel really parted company a long time ago. Jarre is a good point to start with electronic music, but other artists did it better.
  15. Seeker_UK

    Seeker_UK Feelin' nearly faded as my jeans

    freefallrob and Alex S like this.
  16. Isobarik

    Isobarik pfm Member

    I was listening to Amazonia last night, Binaural , brilliant! using a pair of open backed cans.
  17. Isobarik

    Isobarik pfm Member

    I did like Oxygene and Zoolook, but I liked the works of Klaus Schulze more.
  18. Big Tabs

    Big Tabs looking backwards, going forwards

    Liked Oxygene but found it a bit boring compared to the Kraftwerk I was listening to at the time.
    Enjoyed Zoolook, but haven’t played it for many years.
  19. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    I dived into electronic music as soon as I was aware it existed and I’d certainly found Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream before Oxygene was a hit in the UK (1977). I certainly had Autobahn, TEE and Rubycon by that point. I remember thinking Oxygene was quite cheesy as I’ve always been far more interested in rhythm and texture rather than melody, but I warmed to it and still really like it, as I did to Giorgio Moroder’s stuff with Donna Summer around the same time. All this stuff has been part of my life since I was 13-14 or so and overlapped with shifting taste through eras of prog, punk, new-wave and ‘80s synth pop, indie, techno etc. I’ve always liked a good bleep.
    Andrew C! likes this.
  20. Rug Doc

    Rug Doc pfm Member

    Was oxygene really recorded in a kitchen?

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