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JEAN-MICHEL JARRE

Prog Related • France


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Jean-Michel Jarre biography
Jean-Michel André JARRE (born August 24, 1948 in Lyon, France) is a French composer of electronic music. He is the son of Maurice Jarre, a composer of film music, who has written the scores to such films as "Lawrence Of Arabia" and "Dr. Zhivago", among many others.

Jean-Michel JARRE is regarded as one of the pioneers in the electronic music genre, along with artists and bands such as Wendy CARLOS, VANGELIS, KRAFTWERK, Isao TOMITA or TANGERINE DREAM. He is well-known for staging spectacular outdoor concerts of his music, which feature laser displays and fireworks, and three of which appeared in the Guinness Book of Records for their large audiences, often of several million.

Jean-Michel JARRE began studying piano at the age of five, but he abandoned his classical training. During his youth he formed a band called MYSTERE IV. In late 1960s he started experimenting with tape loops, radios and other electronic devices, until, in 1968, he joined the Groupe de Recherches Musicales, under the direction of Pierre Schaeffer, the "father" of the musique concrète, where he was introduced to synthesizers.

His album "Oxygene" launched in 1976 was a big success worldwide, the song "Oxygene Part IV" becoming one of the best-known pieces of electronic music ever.

In 1978, his second album "Equinoxe" was released, followed by a concert in Paris on the Place de la Concorde in Paris in 1979. This concert attracted 1 million people, which was JARRE's first entry in the Guinness Book of Records for the largest crowd for an outdoor concert.

In 1983 he created the album Musique pour supermarchés (Music for supermarkets), which had a print run of only a single copy. JARRE destroyed all the master records from his studio work, allowed a Luxembourg radio to broadcast the album once and auctioned it to raise money for French artists. People recorded the album using their tape recorders while it was broadcasted on the radio, so we can listen to that album, at a very poor quality though (the radio station was an AM station).

In October 1981, JARRE was the first Western pop-artist who was granted to give concerts in the People's Republic of China.

In 1986 NASA and the city of Houston asked him to do a concert to celebrate NASA's 25th anniversary and the city of Houston 150th anniversary. During that concert, astronaut Ronald McNair was to play the saxophone part of JARRE's piece "Rendez-Vous VI" while in orbit on board the Space Shuttle ...
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Electronica 1: Time MachineElectronica 1: Time Machine
Import
Imports 2015
Audio CD$6.83
$9.11 (used)
OxygeneOxygene
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$3.40
$4.71 (used)
EquinoxeEquinoxe
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$3.63
$3.68 (used)
Les Chants Magnetiques/Magnetic FieldsLes Chants Magnetiques/Magnetic Fields
Import
Imports 2014
Audio CD$4.32
$3.06 (used)
Oxygene 7-13Oxygene 7-13
Sony 1997
Audio CD$55.52
$1.82 (used)
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JEAN-MICHEL JARRE shows & tickets


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JEAN-MICHEL JARRE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

JEAN-MICHEL JARRE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

1.90 | 18 ratings
Deserted Palace
1972
2.44 | 16 ratings
Les Granges Brûlées
1973
3.89 | 269 ratings
Oxygene
1976
4.00 | 195 ratings
Equinoxe
1978
3.38 | 101 ratings
Les Chants Magnétiques (Magnetic Fields)
1981
3.24 | 87 ratings
Zoolook
1984
3.40 | 82 ratings
Rendez-Vous
1986
3.11 | 51 ratings
Revolutions
1988
2.94 | 49 ratings
En Attendant Cousteau/Waiting for Cousteau
1990
3.57 | 56 ratings
Chronologie
1993
3.45 | 62 ratings
Oxygene 7-13
1997
2.72 | 30 ratings
Metamorphoses
2000
2.07 | 10 ratings
Interior Music
2001
3.03 | 18 ratings
Sessions 2000
2002
3.12 | 19 ratings
Geometry of Love
2003
3.14 | 22 ratings
Aero
2004
1.71 | 30 ratings
Téo & Téa
2007
3.63 | 15 ratings
Electronica 1: The Time Machine
2015

JEAN-MICHEL JARRE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.26 | 66 ratings
Les Concerts En Chine
1982
3.31 | 24 ratings
Jean Michel Jarre in Concert: Houston-Lyon
1987
3.22 | 18 ratings
Jarre Live
1989
4.42 | 12 ratings
Les Concerts en Chine, Vol. 1
1992
4.42 | 12 ratings
Les Concerts en Chine, Vol. 2
1994
3.18 | 17 ratings
Hong Kong
1995
3.88 | 8 ratings
Live From Gdansk - Koncert W Stoczni
2005
3.40 | 5 ratings
Printemps de Bourges 2002
2006

JEAN-MICHEL JARRE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.88 | 8 ratings
The China Concerts
1989
4.86 | 7 ratings
Paris La Defense: A city in concert
1990
4.12 | 14 ratings
Jarre in China
2005
4.36 | 12 ratings
Solidarnosc Live
2005

JEAN-MICHEL JARRE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.61 | 8 ratings
The Essential
1983
3.50 | 6 ratings
Musik Aus Zeit Und Raum
1983
3.55 | 19 ratings
Images: The Best of Jean Michel Jarre
1991
2.14 | 5 ratings
Jarremix
1995
2.80 | 5 ratings
Odyssey Through O2
1998
2.15 | 7 ratings
The Essential
2005
3.13 | 4 ratings
Essentials & Rarities
2011
5.00 | 1 ratings
Essential Recollection
2015

JEAN-MICHEL JARRE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.25 | 4 ratings
La Cage / Eros Machine
1969
2.13 | 5 ratings
Music For Supermarkets
1983
3.20 | 5 ratings
Revolutions [Single]
1988
4.50 | 4 ratings
Oxygene-Destination Docklands
1989
2.80 | 5 ratings
Calypso
1990
4.33 | 3 ratings
Zoolookologie
1991
3.00 | 4 ratings
Chronologie [Remixes]
1993
3.00 | 3 ratings
Chronologie 6
1994
4.40 | 5 ratings
Oxygène 8
1997
4.33 | 3 ratings
Oxygène 10, Pt. 1
1997
4.00 | 2 ratings
Oxygène 10, Pt. 2
1997
4.00 | 2 ratings
Oxygène 10 [4 Track Single]
1997
3.75 | 4 ratings
Rendez-Vous 98 (France 98 World Cup, with Apollo 440)
1998

JEAN-MICHEL JARRE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Electronica 1: The Time Machine by JARRE, JEAN-MICHEL album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.63 | 15 ratings

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Electronica 1: The Time Machine
Jean-Michel Jarre Prog Related

Review by Replayer

4 stars With the exception of this album, I haven't yet listened to the albums Jarre released after Metamorphoses, partly because of his change in sound and partly because of the rather lackluster reviews they have garnered here on PA. I am familiar with all his previous studio albums, however.

Jarre's output has tended toward pop-style electronica, as evidenced by the fact that he's listed under Prog Related category rather than Progressive Electronic. Nevertheless, I find him a good composer and enjoy much of his material.

Electronica 1: The Time Machine consists of 68 minutes of music, so it's almost a double album. As the album's subtitle suggests, the music represents a fusion of classical and contemporary electronica. Each track is the result of collaboration with other artists and groups, ranging from musical contemporaries from Jarre's generation to emerging acts. Electronica 2 is expected to be released in Spring 2016.

The synthesizers used on the album include such classics as the Arp 2600, EMS AKS and VCS 3, Mini Moog, Moog Modular, Fairlight, Korg MS-20, and Roland JP8. I noticed Jarre makes use of arpeggiators more than usual for him on Electronica 1.

Of Jarre's collaborators I was only previously familiar with Tangerine Dream, John Carpenter and Pete Townshend. I also heard the instrumental version of Massive Attack's Teardrop as used on the House television series as the theme song.

The album opener, The Time Machine, is suitably uptempo. Somewhat surprisingly for a Jarre composition, it features a Minimoog solo.

Glory is an upbeat and spacy song, with pleasant vocals and chorus chanting.

Close Your Eyes features metallic vocoder-processed vocals. It has a slow tempo and features piano prominently.

Jarre worked with Vince Clarke (Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Erasure) on Automatic, Pt. 1 and Pt. 2. They are polyrhythmic, sequencer-driven tracks.

I really dislike If?!, though I admit that it's catchy in an earworm sort of way (research suggests that songs with lyrics account for 73% of earworms). I dislike the girly bubblegum pop vocals and the whooping and scatting. Thankfully it's only three minutes long.

Immortals is driven by an interesting but rather poppy arpeggiator pattern overlaid on a synth wash, with drums joining in later.

Suns Have Gone starts with some arpeggios and synth strings. Moby starts singing and synth drums soon join in. The bass line reminds me of Equinoxe.

Conquistador is a Middle Eastern-tinged instrumental (it reminds me a little of Led Zeppelin's Kashmir and Deep Purple's Perfect Strangers). I actually like the drums here and think they suit the composition. This composition slightly reminds me of Industrial Revolution Part 3.

Travelator, Pt. 2 features Pete Townshend of the Who, who also contributes guitar. The first minute is okay, but then the drums starts and Townshend starts shouting. I dislike the last minute "We'll be dancing on a better planet/Move your feet to the beat". I suppose Travelator, Pt. 1 will be featured on Electronica 2. Perhaps the collaboration is not that unusual when one considers that Townshend's Baba O'Riley (1971) anticipated Tangerine Dream's sequencer-driven compositions. In fact, Jarre mentions Baba O'Riley as tribute for Terry Riley, for whom he worked for as a teenager.

Zero Gravity is Jarre's collaboration with Tangerine Dream and sadly, with Froese's passing, it looks to be a one-off. It's main the reason why I bought this album as I heard a preview and was hoping for more compositions in this style. It manages to sound both like Jarre and Schmoelling-era TD. It features a guitar-like Minimoog line. The track ends with the rain effects of Equinoxe.

Rely on Me is one of the songs I dislike on the album. It is a Laurie Anderson collaboration, who has previously worked with Jarre on Zoolook and Je Me Souviens on Metamorphoses. It is another spoken word song and reminds me of Metamorphoses' Love Love Love due to its computer-style vocals. In fact, the song is supposed to represent a conversation with a smart-phone and is pretty witty. The bass line reminds me of Oxygene Part 6.

Stardust is the composition I consider closest in style to Jarre's spacy sound of the 70s and 80s. It's mood reminds me of Second Rendez-Vous and the Fourth Rendez-Vous.

Watching You is the album's nadir for me, mainly due to the slurred and digitally processed vocals. If it were instrumental, I would rate it above If?! and Rely on Me.

Thankfully, the album ends on a high note, as both the remaining songs are among my favorites on this album. A Question of Blood is slightly eerie and reminiscent of Carpenter's Halloween Theme. The Train & The River is probably the most unexpected collaboration, as Lang Lang is a classical pianist. It starts off in a jazzy manner, but sequencers and bass lines soon join in, with the piano joining in at different intervals. Halfway through the track, the echoed synth and from Oxygene Part 1 and Equinoxe Part 2 makes an appearance. I enjoy classical music, but I frankly don't feel the piano adds too much. The album ends with piano and rain effect, in a manner reminiscent of Equinoxe.

Overall, I'd say this is the best album Jarre has released since Chronologie (I enjoyed Oxygene 7-13, but I found it too close-sounding to the original).

On this album I prefer the instrumental compositions to those that have vocals, and not just because I generally prefer instrumental electronic music. My favorite tracks are Zero Gravity, Automatic, Pt. 1 and Pt. 2, A Question of Blood, Stardust, and The Train & The River. Kudos to Jarre for his attempt to update his style and making a strong album. Even though there are tracks I don't particularly enjoy, there is enough material on the album to make me satisfied with my purchase.

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 Oxygene by JARRE, JEAN-MICHEL album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.89 | 269 ratings

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Oxygene
Jean-Michel Jarre Prog Related

Review by steelyhead

4 stars It is difficult to run if you are on a permanent state of "goosebumps". This is utterly ridiculous when I put this in my iPod I can barely remember the trail and I am in a continuum "air keyboard" state.

I remember very well the way We used this LP at our parties and It is still bringing memories. This is the ONE CD to have from the french master. Really recommended to all progressive electronic fans.

Like Tangerine Dream but with a little sense of rhytm. Like Kraftwerk but more for the masses. A timeless classic to cherish for another years to come. Get It soon!

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 Oxygene 7-13 by JARRE, JEAN-MICHEL album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.45 | 62 ratings

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Oxygene 7-13
Jean-Michel Jarre Prog Related

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Breathe this!

I have always loved the melodic pieces of Jarre's original Oxygene (particularly the well-known and memorable Oxygene IV), but the album as a whole I never was able to like. The reason is simply that it contains way too much aimless soundscapes that are not much more than transportation to my ears. Oxygene 7-13 is the follow-up to that classic 1976 album and I am happy have discovered that it is built on the style of the best and most melodic parts from the original and as such is a much more enjoyable album overall for me.

The original Oxygene album was of course a pioneering work of electronic music and as such has earned its place in music history and Oxygene IV is rightly considered a classic tune, but this more recent album is a more mature effort and a much better album overall in my opinion. Indeed, I would even say that this is the best I have heard from Jarre and one of the best electronic music albums I have encountered.

Recommended!

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 Equinoxe by JARRE, JEAN-MICHEL album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.00 | 195 ratings

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Equinoxe
Jean-Michel Jarre Prog Related

Review by benbell

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.

The character is quite similar. As with Oxygène there are lots of string synthesizer parts played through phasers and plenty of whooshes and twinkle noises from VCS and other synths, often but not always to synthesized drum marts. There are some lovely memorable themes and melodies, and part 5 in particular is every bit the match for the more famous Oxygène part 4.

I'm not normally particularly into music which relies heavily on synthesizers and drum machines, but even so think this is a great album. Very definitely worth a listen.

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 Hong Kong by JARRE, JEAN-MICHEL album cover Live, 1995
3.18 | 17 ratings

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Hong Kong
Jean-Michel Jarre Prog Related

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

3 stars Jarre with guitar

I am not a big fan of Jean-Michel Jarre, or of electronic music in general, but this live album took me by surprise. Compared to his studio albums, and some other live albums of his, Hong Kong is a bit more towards the Rock side. By no means all the way, but the presence of something like a "band" backing him up, Jarre's music tends to be less sterile here. Electric guitar and a real Rock drum kit is featured here alongside the expected synthesisers and programmed rhythms. Some non-electronic keyboards are used and some parts are even downright "symphonic" with choir-like sounds.

The always welcome hit Oxygene Part 4 remains faithful to its original version, but Equinoxe Part 4 is tastefully embellished with lead guitar; easily the best version of this familiar piece of electronic Pop that I've heard (and ever likely to hear). In general, I enjoy Jarre's more melodic numbers--Magnetic Fields 2 is another one of those (not unlike something from Rick Wakeman)--but I don't care much for bleak soundscapes or experiments in sound which are just transportation to my ears. There is some of that here as well, but also several highlights.

The most interesting release I've heard from Jarre

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 Equinoxe by JARRE, JEAN-MICHEL album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.00 | 195 ratings

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Equinoxe
Jean-Michel Jarre Prog Related

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

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.

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 Oxygene by JARRE, JEAN-MICHEL album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.89 | 269 ratings

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Oxygene
Jean-Michel Jarre Prog Related

Review by Progtronic

5 stars "Oxygen" has become a part of my life. Nearly 40 years now it's been made, and I regularly come back to it (Itunes helps quite a lot). I still find the sounds sharp, modern and powerful, so distinct from current sounds and current synths. A strange blend of softness, depth and mystery oozes from this album, and it keeps pleasing my ears year after year. Every time I listen to it (same with Equinox, to a lesser degree), I tread mysterious lands, fly through deep space, and glide over unknow territories peopled with strange beasts. Melodies are simple and unobstrusive ; they have nothing very remarkable. What counts are the slowly mesmerizing sounds and overall atmosphere. This album is to me a musical "movie" all in itself, and a one way ticket into strangeness. Not one Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze album has ever come close (I know them all).

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 Equinoxe by JARRE, JEAN-MICHEL album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.00 | 195 ratings

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Equinoxe
Jean-Michel Jarre Prog Related

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Oxygene by JARRE, JEAN-MICHEL album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.89 | 269 ratings

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Oxygene
Jean-Michel Jarre Prog Related

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Jean Michel Jarre's breakthrough album is an atmospheric and playful electronic release which proves Jarre to be a stylistically diverse and sometimes compositionally playful synthesiser wizard. The influence of preceding electronic acts (Tangerine Dream in particular) is noticeable and much of the album is in a rather ambient tradition, through it regularly transitions into somewhat more energetic passages which keep the listener's interest engaged and helps with the pacing of the piece. For those who've listened to a lot of electronic material from the era it might not stand out in the absolute top tier, but it's a very credible release from an emergent voice with promises of even better material to come.

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 Aero by JARRE, JEAN-MICHEL album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.14 | 22 ratings

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Aero
Jean-Michel Jarre Prog Related

Review by Dobermensch
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Sterile, white, germ free and clinical. No... not St Mary's hospital in London, but a description of this 'Best of - Re-worked' album by Jean Michel Jarre.

On the plus side Jarre appears to have used his trusty old indestructible analogue synths from the 70's, only this time the sound is given a complete overhaul on the engineering and production front. A much beefier result is obtained, where the 'Equinoxe' tracks in particular are brought to the fore.

A compilation like this only highlights the weaknesses of Jarre's later recordings, when compared with the altogether superior 'Oxygene' and 'Equinoxe' which showed depth, atmosphere and space between tracks.

The new 'Aero' tracks (4 of them!) are even more sexless and limp than latter day Tangerine Dream, using some very uninspired drum machines and percussion. Horrendously cheesy saxophone is at the forefront of 'Last Rendez-Vous'. Vangelis' Blade Runner soundtrack proves that electronics and saxophone can work together beautifully if put in the right hands.

Just when things couldn't get much worse 'Zoolookology' slaps you on the face with a wet trout just as you are about to fall asleep. The less said about the remainder the better.

At the end of the recording you'll be left mumbling incoherently to yourself... "What was the point of it all?, Is he really so short of ideas that he has to go back and re-hash all that old material?"

Granted, you'll be hard pushed to hear a better produced and clearer electronic recording than this, but at the end of the day it's very forgettable and without character.

Now, if you fancy burning out your TV screen or computer monitor, why not give the accompanying DVD a spin? A dazzling fluorescent white covers every square millimetre of your screen, along with a pair of big eyeballs flicking left and right from beginning to end. That's all you get for over an hour. DO NOT WATCH IN THE DARK! You will go blind! In fact, if you can manouevre your screen to your window and point it towards Mars you'll probably find that the 'Curiosity Rover' can pick up the light signal. You can virtually see your screen melt with the strain as capacitors and resistors go into shutdown mode.

Away from my sniping moans, Aero's not that bad and sounds ok whilst driving or cycling and for this reason only it gets 2 stars.

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