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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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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)

2.12 | 20 ratings
Deserted Palace
1972
2.44 | 17 ratings
Les Granges Brûlées
1973
3.89 | 280 ratings
Oxygene
1976
3.99 | 205 ratings
Equinoxe
1978
3.39 | 104 ratings
Les Chants Magnétiques (Magnetic Fields)
1981
3.26 | 91 ratings
Zoolook
1984
3.40 | 88 ratings
Rendez-Vous
1986
3.12 | 53 ratings
Revolutions
1988
2.94 | 50 ratings
En Attendant Cousteau/Waiting for Cousteau
1990
3.57 | 59 ratings
Chronologie
1993
3.58 | 67 ratings
Oxygene 7-13
1997
2.75 | 32 ratings
Metamorphoses
2000
2.07 | 10 ratings
Interior Music
2001
3.03 | 18 ratings
Sessions 2000
2002
3.09 | 20 ratings
Geometry of Love
2003
3.13 | 24 ratings
Aero
2004
1.72 | 32 ratings
Téo & Téa
2007
3.45 | 20 ratings
Electronica 1: The Time Machine
2015
3.08 | 6 ratings
Electronica 2: The Heart of Noise
2016

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

4.26 | 68 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 | 15 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
3.56 | 20 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)

3.00 | 5 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 2: The Heart of Noise by JARRE, JEAN-MICHEL album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.08 | 6 ratings

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Electronica 2: The Heart of Noise
Jean-Michel Jarre Prog Related

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

3 stars From YELLO, Gary Numan, The Orb and Edward Snowden to Cyndi Lauper, Peaches, The Pet Shop Boys and other more contemporary guests like Primal Scream, it is hard not to feel entertained.

Jean Michel Jarre delivers some solo pieces and for the second time invites important or remarkable electronic related colleagues and names this release "Electronica 2: The Heart of Noise", 2016, the sequel to his "Electronica 1: The Time Machine", 2015.

I assume the best way to review this release is as a Various Artists album. For starters, before getting tangled in such a concept, J.M. Jarre, opposite to what one will suspect as his lengthy SOLO discography might suggest, is a perfect team player! ! He can blend as fire to fire to any of his guests' style, no matter if he has never played on those fields and yet imprinting his signature music language in the mix.

Now as the V.A. focus demands, if you do not enjoy, for example The Pet Shop Boys (as myself), well you are not going to get your kicks for starters, unless you accept the V.A. tagging and then maybe you might be in for some surprises. I myself felt happy with the inclusion of YELLO, and extra delighted with their collaboration, but not that amazed with the extraordinary Gary Numan's one (it lacks his usual gloomy "punch') and extremely surprised with the unknown to my ears Jeff Mills', Peaches' or Cristophe's songs and so on.

I also own his first ELECTRONICA and a similar thing happened with it (dissapointed with the Tangerine Dream and Pete Townshend collaborations but amazed with the Laurie Anderson's or Massive Attack's one and so on..), therefore in able to truly enjoy both releases you have to accept the idea of listening to some stuff you would usually avoid by rule.

This release is entertaining. Some great stuff (as a couple of his solo pieces included), some perfectly performed, out of my taste, ones and another few of forgettable ones.

I would have preferred to give a single 4 stars rating to both albums if they were one, but separately each deserves ***3.5 stars, on the rise!

 Oxygene 7-13 by JARRE, JEAN-MICHEL album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.58 | 67 ratings

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Oxygene 7-13
Jean-Michel Jarre Prog Related

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars It was probably inevitable that sooner or later Jean Michel Jarre would be prompted to revisit his breakthrough album Oxygene - particularly in the wake of Mike Oldfield's successful revisiting of Tubular Bells demonstrated that there was an appetite in the "New Age" market for updated revisitations of old themes.

As the title implies, the music here is presented as an organic continuation of the original album, and Jarre manages to skilfully revisit the old stomping ground with instrumentation that doesn't sound too out of place (perhaps a happy side-effect of the original Oxygene sounding so far ahead of its time) and sprinkles on a few more modern electronic influences (including a bit of trance here and there) which refresh the sound of the album whilst keeping its character recognisable. Motifs from the original album come back to play here and there, but there's enough new material to make the album more than a mere exercise in nostalgia.

 Oxygene 7-13 by JARRE, JEAN-MICHEL album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.58 | 67 ratings

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Oxygene 7-13
Jean-Michel Jarre Prog Related

Review by AndyJ

5 stars Jean Michel Jarre's 'Oxygene 7-13' is the 1997 follow-up to the Frenchman's ground breaking 'Oxygene' album. The 7 tracks presented on the album are utterly sublime and near perfect in their execution and composition. Melodic themes develop during the tracks, but never outstay their welcome. Twists and turns occur at the perfect intervals and keep the listener engaged thoughout. In short this is a masterpiece of electronic music.

Its safe to say I have a real soft spot for electronic music and I think of this album as one of the reasons for that. It is hard to compare this to the original work as they were composed and recorded in very different times. 'Oxygene 7-13' does sound much more modern, which of course it is. It is interesting to note, however, that Jean Michel Jarre actually went for a full-on analogue only approach to recording parts 7-13, which of course harks back to the days of 'Oxygene' and 'Equinoxe'.

Musically, we have some stunning soundscapes, up-beat melodic synthesizers and some trance-esque percussive beats at times. I do have to wonder how an album such as 'Oxygene 7-13' can feature on the prog archives, as I don't really consider this progressive, per se. In terms of genre its a far better fit in the chill-out / intelligent dance music camp rather than progressive. But who cares, its still an absolute joyous ride whatever genre it is, and I can't imagine anyone who loves music not loving 'Oxygene 7-13'. Unlike the original 'Oxygene' album, which I think has aged pretty badly, I think parts 7-13 really are a 5-star effort from the electro-wizard that is Jean Michel Jarre. Highly recommended!

 Deserted Palace by JARRE, JEAN-MICHEL album cover Studio Album, 1972
2.12 | 20 ratings

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Deserted Palace
Jean-Michel Jarre Prog Related

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

3 stars JEAN MICHEL JARRE was born and raised in Lyon, France and not only was classically trained to play piano but also spent most of his early years under the influences of his musical family (his grandfather was an oboe player and engineer) and also by his early exposure to the famous French street performers that sparked his interest in developing his own unique style of progressively inspired electronic music. In the early 70s JARRE was already gaining attention when he was noticed by Norbert Schmucki to contribute music for a ballet at the Palais Garnier in Paris. As one thing led to another in his musical progressions, he would score the opportunity to record his first album DESERTED PALACE.

This debut album was supposed to be recorded so that it could be used in various television programs, ads and film soundtracks. Basically an all purpose use for anything type of album's worth of material. The material on here is very much in the experimental electronic department but JARRE was taking a different approach even on this first album of his career all the way back in 1972 before his big break with 'Oxygène' four years later. Whereas other contemporary progressive electronic artists of the day were deriving their influence strictly from the Berlin school of psychedelic and trippy weirdness that was partly inspired by lysergic dissonance and otherworldly freak outs by the hands of Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream, JARRE was very much in touch with his inner pop star sensibilities and added a highly melodic underpinning to all of his musical edifices, much in the vein of Krautrocker Achim Reichel with his German equivalent 'Die Güne Reise,' however JARRE clearly has his classical influences well on board on DESERTED PALACE and the album comes off as an equal mix of classical inspired rhythms, melodies and ideas mixed with electronic embellishments, timbres and experiments all dressed up in a poppified easily digestible format.

Although this album is hardly a contender for the cream of the crop of JARRE's creative output, all of the elements that would be tweaked and fine-tuned for future use are all present here and this debut release and is an excellent insight into the more sophisticated sound that would come together a few short years later. The melodies are already here, the electronic experiments likewise and the pop sensibilities that often sound like classical tinged proto-synthpop are also on board as well. What IS lacking here is the totally refined weaving of all these styles into the irresistible and undeniably brilliant concoctions that would emerge on 'Oxyg'ne.' While not at that same level of coolness, i find all the tracks on DESERTED PALACE quite listenable and beautifully constructed. This indeed is a fine debut release and maybe not quite to the level of OMG essentialism but nevertheless is for sure a damn fine listen that won't disappoint. 3.5 rounded down

 Electronica 1: The Time Machine by JARRE, JEAN-MICHEL album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.45 | 20 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.

 Oxygene by JARRE, JEAN-MICHEL album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.89 | 280 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!

 Oxygene 7-13 by JARRE, JEAN-MICHEL album cover Studio Album, 1997
3.58 | 67 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!

 Equinoxe by JARRE, JEAN-MICHEL album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.99 | 205 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.

 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

 Equinoxe by JARRE, JEAN-MICHEL album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.99 | 205 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.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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