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Jean-Michel Jarre - The Essential CD (album) cover


Jean-Michel Jarre

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Honorary Collaborator
2 stars First compilation from Jarre featuring his "greatest hits" from 76-82. This one perhaps was interesting back when it was released, but stands as an anonymous product now and quickly got "replaced" by further compilations by him. If you have his studio albums from 76-82, then you don't need this one, it had a purpose back in 1983, but now I think "Images - The Best of..." is a much better choice if you want a Jarre compilation.
Report this review (#57158)
Posted Sunday, November 20, 2005 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars A demo disc for a compact disc player

"The essential Jean Michel Jarre" is a worthwhile introduction to the music of this keyboard showman. It gathers together tracks from his early high selling albums (i.e. omitting his first two releases) from "Oxygene" in 1977 through to "Magnetic Fields" in 1981 and the live "China" album the following year.

Inevitably, the most commercial tracks are selected, and the hit singles placed up front, kicking off with "Oxygene part IV". Hearing the tracks in this manner is reasonably rewarding in a superficial sort of way. It is like listening to a succession of good quality pop songs that you can sing along to. Not something you would want to do too often, but an acceptable diversion on occasions.

The "Oxygene", "Equinoxe" and "Magnetic Fields" albums each contribute approximately the same amount of material, the tracks simply being distinguished by their numbers within each work (such as Equinoxe part V). Only the three tracks from the "Concerts in China" album have unique names, these being new pieces which had not previously appeared on studio albums. Of these, "Fishing junks at sunset" is heavily edited down from its original 9+ minutes to extract the most commercial three minutes.

This album was released in the very early days of the compact disc, offering those who had a CD player the opportunity to demonstrate the quality and power of the sound now available through high quality recordings of futuristic music. These days, this collection may have a quaintly dated feel to it, but for those of us who were there at the time, it is enjoyable nonetheless.

Incidentally, the album has a different sleeve in the UK, and possibly other territories.

Report this review (#152992)
Posted Wednesday, November 28, 2007 | Review Permalink

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