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Jean-Michel Jarre

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Jean-Michel Jarre Équinoxe album cover
4.04 | 307 ratings | 20 reviews | 40% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Équinoxe Part 1 (2:23)
2. Équinoxe Part 2 (5:01)
3. Équinoxe Part 3 (5:11)
4. Équinoxe Part 4 (6:54)
5. Équinoxe Part 5 (3:47)
6. Équinoxe Part 6 (3:23)
7. Équinoxe Part 7 (7:24)
8. Équinoxe Part 8 (5:04)

Total Time: 39:46

Line-up / Musicians

- Jean Michel Jarre / synthesizers (2600 ARP, AKS, VCS 3, Yamaha Polyphonic, Oberheim Polyphonic, RMI Harmonic, Korg Polyphonic Ensemble), sampler (RMI Keyboard Computer), organs (Eminent & Elka 707), Mellotron, sequencers (ARP Sequencer, Oberheim Digital Sequencer, Matrisequencer 250), drum machine (Rhythmicomputer), vocoder (E.M.S.), producer

Releases information

Artwork: Michel Granger

LP Disques Dreyfus ‎- FDM 83150 (1978, France)
LP Disques Dreyfus ‎- 422 829-456-1 Y-1 (1986, US) Remastered by Jack Skinner

CD Disques Dreyfus ‎- FDM CD-83150 (1983, France)
CD Disques Dreyfus ‎- FDM 36141-2 (1997, France) 24-bit remaster by Scott Hull

Numerous LP, MC and CD reissues

Thanks to Dragon Phoenix for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy JEAN-MICHEL JARRE Équinoxe Music

JEAN-MICHEL JARRE Équinoxe ratings distribution

(307 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(40%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(42%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

JEAN-MICHEL JARRE Équinoxe reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars After the overwelming success of his previous Oxygene album , JM Jarre confirmed heavily that he was no fluke. One could say he took no risk and duplicated the formula , but this is far from the exact copy of the predecessor. Although yes , the music is also all electronics and does bear a resemblence to the other electronic wizzards as Klaus Schulze , Tangerine Dream , Brian eno , Vangelis and to a lesser extent, Heldon and Oldfield.

But however the music does not have that immediately pleasing quality that Oxygene had , and the music does not flow as easily and effortlessly as it did previously. It is safe to say that if this album had been released before Oxygene , it would have not sold quite as much. The moods developped here are more abrupt and harsher. One might need more effort and attention and need a few spins to really appreciate this album.

Ultimately , although not as spectacular as Oxygene , Equinoxe is probably more rewarding after repeated listenings. One more thing in favour of this album JM Jarre has not made a second Equinoxe album as he did with Oxygene , ruining a bit the original Oeuvre.

Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The most perfect Jarre release for me, "Equinoxe" defines Jarre's classic sound extremely well, maybe even better than the previous "Oxygene" album. A very rhythmic and dreamy journey through different soundscapes, not as space themed as "Oxygene", this one is earthier, like an underwater journey rather then space journey, the music changes for each part of the album, from atmospheric ambient to rather upbeat and rhythmic electronica, presented in such a way that it becomes extremely enjoyable and downright addictive, at least for me. Highlights are Parts 2-7, Part 1 and 8 being not as good but still two good intros and outros for the album. This was one of my first Jarre albums acquired, and it still is among my abosulte favorite releases of all music I've listened too. Highly recommended! 5/5!
Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars "Equinox" is a step forward for J.-M. Jarre's musical proposal after the success he achieved with his top-selling previous album "Oxygene". He doesn't exactly break new grounds with "Equinox", but what he does is, more properly, manage to articulate his massive synth-based ideology on a more solid focus. Keeping the intelligence to create captivating ambiences and catchy synthesized adornments, Jarre's refreshed interest in building well-crafted electronic orchestrations allows him to deliver and portray a bigger sense of ordainment, and therefore, put a major emphasis on the basic melodic lines and their complementation with the programmed harmonies and ethereal synth layers; Jarre also takes special care at using percussive undertones in the programmed arpeggios and setting particular ambiences for some specific passages. The sound production feels also a tad stronger, which is quite appropriate for the nature of this album's repertoire. Parts I & II show this trend quite openly, and so do Parts IV & VII, which IMHO are the most powerful numbers in the album. The exquisite motifs comprised in both Parts IV & VII reach an almost epic stance, due to the constant display of energy and the subtle use of the re-elaborations that keep on coming along: the strong presence of the Solina String definitely helps to build an orchestral feel that seems to be floating all over the electronic textures and effects. Part V was the single, and it's no wonder, since it's quite catchy and it emanates a similar vibe to that of 'Oxygene Part IV'; Part VI is basically a minimalistic sequenced chord progression a- la "Radio-Activity"-era Kraftwerk that founds a linkage between Parts V & VII. Finally, Part VIII brings occasional memories from a bohemian club in Paris (a section that later would be called 'Band in the Rain') before a bombastic reprise of Part V's main motif emerges and closes down the album. In short, I find "Equinox" entertaining and excellent, and definitely, it is worth of Jarre's fame as a keyboard-based pop music innovator that he fairly gained in the late 70s.
Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After "Oxygene", Jean-Michel Jarre continues his progressive New Age realizations with this excellent album. Compared to "Oxygene", "Equinoxe" has much more elaborated rhythmic sequencers, often approaching the Tangerine Dream's "Ricochet" sound. Jarre still uses his personal slow wah-wah effect on the intensely floating streams of keyboards, and he also adds here weird keyboards notes that sound like water drops falling into another liquid. "Equinoxe part 3" amazingly sounds similar to Tangerine Dream's "Force Majeure". On side 2, there is even a sequenced bottom beat in the beginning which sounds like the ones on Tangerine Dream's "Stratosfear". Unfortunately, the album oddly ends with a possible emulation of an European accordion air.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review by russellk
4 stars A real step up from his previous album, JARRE'S 'Equinoxe' is a broader album with true progressive sensibilities: beauty, grandeur, complexity and humour.

'Oxygene', JARRE'S breakthrough album, was a pastiche of simple tunes bound together by synth tricks. This album is much more cohesive, the synths are crisper and the sounds more experimental. JARRE takes risks here, especially in Parts 1 and 4, and in every case they pay off. He's alos overcome some of the problems created by the inherently sterile sounds of synthesisers; the section near the end of the album with the band in the rain, for example, humanises the album, an essential requirement to warm any purely instrumental record.

He was to follow this with another studio album not unlike this and the last; and then decide he'd had enough, switching to experimental mode for 'Zoolook'. Of the three studio albums between 1976 and 1981, I find this much the most compelling. Start your JARRE collection here.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars Jean-Michel Jarre certainly deserves credit for bringing the Electronic genre into the mainstream. You could say his music was like a gateway to other Electronic bands like Klause Schulze, TANGERINE DREAM etc. I guess that's the problem i'm having with it, sure it's catchy and melodic but after listening to Klause and TD a lot recently this commercial sounding Electronic music just doesn't measure up. In fact I think that's why the "powers that be" here at ProgArchives put him in "prog-Related" instead of the legitimate "Electronic- Prog" genre. Don't get me wrong, I have grown at least to like this album, well at least the first half, I just don't think he's in the same class as Froese and Schulze.

"Part 1" is interesting with the two synths playing different melodies then joining together as it fades into waves of sound. I like it. These waves blend into "Part 2" which floats along beautifully. I like this part a lot as well. "Part 3" becomes very melodic just like "Part 4" which has some mellotron in it. This part is quite catchy and spacey.

I like the way "Part 5" begins with the sound of rain and thunder and the way the beat comes out of the storm. I just don't like the rest of the song. "Part 6" becomes annoying in my opinion much like the previous part, but annoying in a different way. It settles after 3 minutes and blends into "Part 7". The synths in the background here are distracting for me. I don't like that sound at all. In "Part 8" we here a return of the storm. Some organ in this one.

I know i'm in the minority here with my rating, but there's no way I could give this 4 stars. I like the cover a lot though.

Review by ZowieZiggy
4 stars It is always damned difficult to release a great album after a great album. Huum?are you following me?

The man does use the same technique, skill and maestria than for "Oxygène", maybe an inch lower in the hierarchy of commercial feel.

The music performed holds its bunch of emotional affairs, gut feeling themes, above the atmosphere music which is able to reach unmatched textures: in one word it is another of his extremely good albums.

I am of course biased, being a deep lover of prog electronic. But I only want to share my passion with all of you: some of these moments are just magical. As some TD or Schulze in their first decade of grandeur. No more, no less.

I guess that this shows enough the quality of this album. But JM already demonstrated his talent during "Oxygène". The great point is that he is matching again the expectations (which were quite high after such a ground breaking album).

This one man band is quite efficient in terms of bombastic themes ("Part IV" for instance) and grandiose music. It is of course more commercial than lots of his fellow mates (the great German wizards) but at this stage one can't say that the man was selling off or playing too conventional music. "Part VII" is sublime, attractive, rhythmic and just beautiful to summarize in one single word.

Let's not forget that this album was released just after the punk explosion and the new wave ignition. This is probably why I didn't discover it at the time of release since I was much more involved into these scenes. But such a work does pass the proof of time and each of us should at least spend some time to try and appreciate.

Similar to "Oxygène" and its famous "Part IV", this one is also holding a chart song with "Part V": an upbeat, synthetic and melodic pop electronic track. A good track, in line with the whole of this album.

To have this artist catalogued into the prog related genre is quite bizarre. Electronic prog would be a "suit" that would "suit" him much better. This aim will surely be met.

Four stars for this very good album.

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I mentioned in my review of Oxygene that I preferred Equinoxe but what I forgot to say was that this is actually one of my all time favorite albums!

When I first heard this Jean-Michel Jarre album I was hooked on it for a whole month straight! At first I was grabbed by the incredible Équinoxe Parts 4 and 5 which are in my opinion the most catchiest electronica compositions ever recorded. But unlike Oxygene this album actually grew on me more and more with every new spin and I eventually I began to appreciate the slow and subtle progression of Équinoxe Part 2 or the somewhat humorous ending of Équinoxe Part 8.

If I had to single out one particular moment then it would be Équinoxe Part 3 for its sheer beauty that I just never seem to get enough of and how about that excellent transition into Équinoxe Part 4! My definite runner-up would be Équinoxe Part 7 because it's just a perfect conclusion to all of the preceding chapters.

Come to think of it this is probably one of the few albums where the first and last tracks are weaker in comparison to the albums middle section. I just can't think of any other example off the top of my head, but feel free to send me a comment if you know of one!

It's truly a pity that Jean-Michel Jarre never followed up on the blueprint that he created on Oxygene but perfected on Equinoxe. Maybe he realized that there was no way of pushing this concept any further? Or did the new equipment that was made available during the 80's make him loose his sense of direction?

No matter the reasons, Équinoxe is a one-time masterpiece that Jean-Michel will probably never surpass but composing this type of material once is, in my opinion, enough to become immortal!

***** star songs: Équinoxe Part 3 (5:09) Équinoxe Part 4 (6:54) Équinoxe Part 5 (3:47) Équinoxe Part 7 (7:06)

**** star songs: Équinoxe Part 2 (5:00) Équinoxe Part 6 (3:28)Équinoxe Part 8 (4:57)

*** star songs: Équinoxe Part 1 (2:25)

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The impact of Jarre's previous album was impressive. It became a popular hit and managed to bring electronic music into the mainstream. It's something I can only applaud as I love much of the dance music that indirectly came forth from it.

So what did Jarre do for the follow up? He created a very similar album that sits so close in style and sound to Oxygène that I feel tempted to simply copy my review of that album and paste it here. Many of the points I tried to make there are also valid for this release. It is clever, dynamic, its lush, sparkling and catchy, but...

The first half is slightly better then the previous album. The cosmic flow of part 2 and the very original sequencing of part 4 especially are very moving. Part 3 is a bit less but still ok. The second half is a letdown. Part 5 tries to emulate Kraftwerk but it misses all the cool and the fine taste of them. It ends up being terribly trite and commercial. Cringeworthy, can't bear to listen to this. Part 6 continues the same beat and tries to add a more artsy flavour to it but it fails miserably. So, in Part 7 Jarre goes entirely cheesy again and resorts to commercial electro pop with classical pretensions.

By revisiting this particular Jarre album for reviewing, I understand now why he is listed as Prog-Related. This music misses the organic progression, the innovation and the artistic integrity of the true masters of the progressive electronic music in the 70's. It has two excellent pieces but the rest is either average or downright annoying. I can't have the plain pop clichés that Jarre resorts to here.

Review by Dobermensch
3 stars A second attempt to catch lightning in a Jarre (Sorry, I've been waiting for ages to use that!). Unfortunately it doesn't quite come off. A direct continuation of 'Oxygene', 'Equinoxe' is a lot more melodic, which may be part of it's downfall. At times he seems to be hamming it up - like at a kid's Pantomime. All that's missing is the ice- cream. jelly and bouncy castle.

Undoubtedly 'Equinoxe' has far more elaborate and fancy sequencers at play than 'Oxygene' ever had. And there's one thing for sure - there's no mistaking the sound... You'd recognise the style a mile away. Only Jean Michel Jarre could create a record like this. Much more futuristic than Tangerine Dream who were on a slippery slope in 1978, and also ahead of Kraftwerk's robot-like repetitiveness with 'Mensch Maschine',

The best way to approach this is to forget the horrible mainstream cascade of albums that followed and just to think of 'Oxygene'. Mind you that accordion sound is pretty crap... Where the hell did that come from?

I'm at a loss - it just contains that indefinable 'X' factor that works. Maybe just too syrupy and nice to be taken too seriously.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Equinoxe finds Jean Michel Jarre offering up an almost classical approach to synthesiser composition, in contrast to the approach taken on Oxygene. In truth, I actually prefer this one to its predecessor, since the individual sections flow together a little better and it feels more like a cohesive piece rather than a bunch of different songs mashed together. That said, this might all come down to personal preference, because the two albums are sufficiently alike in instrumentation, production quality, and overall structure that they end up having a great many similarities, and if you like one you should probably give the other a chance.
Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars It is an incredible thing to produce one of the most popular albums of the 1970s and then follow it up with an excellent product. Jean Michel Jarre was a major worldwide success when he released Oxygene and then with the followup Equinoxe the magic continued. Equinoxe is a stunning musical triumph with crystallised sparkling synths that dazzle with the shimmer of infectious melodies. The main theme heard in part one is now part of the musical soundscape when it comes to instrumental icons. These melodies are so ingrained in the 70s that it is impossible to forget although I heard them over 30 years ago. As soon as that haunting melody begins on the opening theme I am totally drawn into the beauty of the music.

Jean Michel Jarre is a virtuoso musician and knows how to build up from simplistic motifs to massive crescendos that explode into a cacophony. The tempo ranges from droning to full on triplet beats, and of course during the dawn of disco this was a very danceable track. The classical influences are prevalent, it drifts with cosmic cadence and then lifts with mega tempo hooks and swathes of synths. It is undoubtedly one of the grandest pieces of music from the master of synth but of course it is not as masterful as Oxygene, and that was really lightning in a bottle for Jarre. However, I can recommend Equinoxe as one of the most indelible soundtracks of the late 70s. Perhaps it was the end of the Electro prog Moog fad that was sweeping through so many vinyl albums of the 70s. In every aspect it is sensational synth at its finest.

Latest members reviews

4 stars A successor to Oxygene that can hold on its own. A lot of textures, nice keyboard layers. This album is more reflective than Oxygene and almost a masterpiece but still missing more complexity and ideas. The melodies are strong and sometimes catchy. Although there are influences of Tangerine Drea ... (read more)

Report this review (#1932460) | Posted by sgtpepper | Saturday, May 19, 2018 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The musical twin of Oxygène, but I have to say that I think this is a substantially better album. That may be heresy to to some, but there you go. I find it more melodic ? where Oxygène majored on breaking new sonic ground, Equinoxe refines the blueprint and develops it along more musical lines. ... (read more)

Report this review (#1340086) | Posted by benbell | Sunday, January 4, 2015 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "Ã??quinoxe" is just as mesmerising as the hugely successful "Oxygene" and is also very similar. There are some even nicer whirling soundscapes of multi-textured effects on this album. As before, nothing is repetitive and the tracks are smoothy paced. Some parts are very sublime, they even send shiv ... (read more)

Report this review (#401395) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Wednesday, February 16, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Wow, what an album. For a while I fell asleep every night listening to this album. There is something here beyond normal music- there's immense feeling, not really positive, not really negative. The best I can describe it is; it is the music of humanity, pure humanity- what we all are inside, wit ... (read more)

Report this review (#261153) | Posted by Neurotarkus | Saturday, January 16, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Surrounded by hundreds of electronic instruments (many of them unique)and using all music ideas to put them on the keyboards and synthesisers, Jean Michel Jarre has been created from the beginning his own world of electronic music, pure and nonconformist, especially in his first part ... (read more)

Report this review (#194499) | Posted by Sachis | Saturday, December 20, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars After gaining unprecedented success with 'Oxygene,' French electronic composer Jean-Michel Jarre began work on a follow-up. 'Equinoxe,' a forty-minute musical journey performed on synthesiser, organ, keyboards, mellophonium, mellotron, Farfisa organ and rhythm programmer, owes a great debt to ... (read more)

Report this review (#82510) | Posted by Frankingsteins | Monday, July 3, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "Equinoxe" is probably the second great achievement from the French synth maestro, continuing with the good smooth and elegant synthesizer work shown in "Oxygene", although trying to show a new musical dimension. This record has again some excellent moments, specially in parts IV (this one is ... (read more)

Report this review (#63308) | Posted by shyman | Thursday, January 5, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The follow-up of the surprisingly successful Oxygene album. Perhaps predictably, Jarre changed little in the winning formula. As such, this album is less important than Oxygene and scores one star lower for me. The saving track is Equinoxe 2, one of the best instrumental tracks I know. Jarre e ... (read more)

Report this review (#35099) | Posted by Dragon Phoenix | Wednesday, May 25, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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