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JEAN-MICHEL JARRE

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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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Rendez-VousRendez-Vous
Import
Sony International 2004
Audio CD$29.95
$0.56 (used)
Oxygene 7-13Oxygene 7-13
Sony 1997
Audio CD$19.94
$1.36 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Mc Lane Explosion Magic Fly Oxygene 7/45 1977 Portugal Space Jean Michel Jarre US $9.99 [0 bids]
1h 40m
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1 day
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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 | 14 ratings
Deserted Palace
1972
2.47 | 11 ratings
Les Granges Brûlées
1973
3.86 | 218 ratings
Oxygene
1976
4.02 | 151 ratings
Equinoxe
1978
3.39 | 81 ratings
Les Chants Magnétiques (Magnetic Fields)
1981
3.22 | 70 ratings
Zoolook
1984
3.39 | 67 ratings
Rendez-Vous
1986
3.10 | 37 ratings
Revolutions
1988
2.91 | 40 ratings
En Attendant Cousteau/Waiting for Cousteau
1990
3.62 | 43 ratings
Chronologie
1993
3.51 | 46 ratings
Oxygene 7-13
1997
2.82 | 21 ratings
Metamorphoses
2000
2.07 | 8 ratings
Interior Music
2001
3.04 | 16 ratings
Sessions 2000
2002
3.14 | 17 ratings
Geometry of Love
2003
1.69 | 24 ratings
Téo & Téa
2007

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

4.26 | 53 ratings
Les Concerts En Chine
1982
3.30 | 20 ratings
Jean Michel Jarre in Concert: Houston-Lyon
1987
3.26 | 15 ratings
Jarre Live
1989
4.30 | 10 ratings
Les Concerts en Chine, Vol. 1
1992
4.30 | 10 ratings
Les Concerts en Chine, Vol. 2
1994
3.19 | 15 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)

5.00 | 4 ratings
The China Concerts
1989
4.83 | 6 ratings
Paris La Defense: A city in concert
1990
4.13 | 12 ratings
Jarre in China
2005
4.39 | 11 ratings
Solidarnosc Live
2005

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

2.56 | 7 ratings
The Essential
1983
3.40 | 5 ratings
Musik Aus Zeit Und Raum
1983
3.51 | 17 ratings
Images: The Best of Jean Michel Jarre
1991
2.15 | 4 ratings
Jarremix
1995
2.75 | 4 ratings
Odyssey Through O2
1998
3.27 | 20 ratings
Aero
2004
2.15 | 7 ratings
The Essential
2005
3.13 | 4 ratings
Essentials & Rarities
2011

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
2.29 | 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
3.33 | 3 ratings
Rendez-Vous 98 (France 98 World Cup, with Apollo 440)
1998

JEAN-MICHEL JARRE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Hong Kong by JARRE, JEAN-MICHEL album cover Live, 1995
3.19 | 15 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
4.02 | 151 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
3.86 | 218 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
4.02 | 151 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
3.86 | 218 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 Boxset/Compilation, 2004
3.27 | 20 ratings

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Aero
Jean-Michel Jarre Prog Related

Review by Dobermensch

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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 Oxygene by JARRE, JEAN-MICHEL album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.86 | 218 ratings

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Oxygene
Jean-Michel Jarre Prog Related

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'Oxygene' - Jean-Michel Jarre (6/10)

Along with The Beatles' "Sgt. Peppers..." and Genesis' "Invisible Touch", one of the earliest albums I can remember being exposed to was Jean-Michel Jarre's "Oxygene II". Described to me as 'space music', I find that label resonating even more with his music than I did years and years ago. Naturally, hearing the first part of this musical journey was an essential quest for me; it would give my earliest experience with electronic music some much-needed context. "Oxygene" is widely considered to be a classic of its style, a blend of synth melodies and rhythmic sequencers innovated and popularized by Klaus Schulze and Tangerine Dream not long before Jarre jumped on the wagon. While I found "Oxygene II" to be a well-composed, exciting adventure, something about its older brother has left an emptiness in me. Some of Jarre's musical ideas here are indeed excellent, but there is not enough consistency here to make it feel like the masterpiece it's claimed to be.

Jean-Michel Jarre's approach to electronic music feels like a streamlined Klaus Schulze. Normally, making things more concise in progressive music is a definite no-no, but it works here. Schulze's explorations of space generally involve a chunky investment of time before getting to the 'payoff', whereas Jarre attempts to achieve that atmosphere in less time. In some of his work, he certainly accomplishes that, and even on this album's opening suite (comprising the first two tracks), his talent for composition is clear. The music is almost permanently chilled, often mysterious and brooding.

"Oxygene" experiences a few moments of pure awe, usually when the compositions undergo some sort of sonic shift and climax. Even if its simply a texture that isn't heard anywhere else on the album, Jarre is a master of creating moments of brilliance. This is unfortunately not something that spans throughout the entire album. In fact, much of the album feels like blank space between payoffs. Although the sequencers are textured well, there is little variety to the core sound of "Oxygene". Although it would have been state-of-the- art for its time, the compositions of "Oxygene" often feel as if they're unsure whether to pursue atmosphere or melody. "Oxygene II" was an incredible way for me to be introduced to electronic music, but I do not feel the same connection towards the first.

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 Oxygene by JARRE, JEAN-MICHEL album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.86 | 218 ratings

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Oxygene
Jean-Michel Jarre Prog Related

Review by 1967/ 1976

5 stars "Oxygen" is one of France's most famous albums, and a masterpiece of electronic music. Recorded in private studio of Jean Michel Jarre in Paris, using an 8-tracks, "Oxygen" is the most direct example of how an artist with the use of analog and digital synthesizers can simulate an orchestra. Electronics, to be understood. Listening to "Oxygene" we are thrilled by the powerful magic that music releases. It is as if our mind fly free in space, landed, then, in a planet full of flowers and trees, clean and magic. In the distance a castle, protected by a magical shield. However, the looming threat of an invasion from space. The war will bring us back into space.

But it will be defeated by good.Musically, "Oxygen" is a long suites in 6 parts that no other steps that sweet music, highly evocative (even technical, if we look good) but too full of magical atmosphere. There is no attempt to use synthesizers to find new sounds but the synths are here to seek new horizons in music, as if you would like to continue a conversation begun by Mozart or Beethoven.

The only problem with "Oxygen" is to have been composed, recorded and released in 1976, the year zero of Punk. Because "Oxygene" was, is and will always be a masterpiece. Not only of the Prog.

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 Essentials & Rarities by JARRE, JEAN-MICHEL album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2011
3.13 | 4 ratings

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Essentials & Rarities
Jean-Michel Jarre Prog Related

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

3 stars 3½ stars really. Jean Michel Jarre dedicated this compilation to his dear friend and record company leader Richard Dreyfus who died in 2010. CD one ("Essentials - new HD mastering from restored original tapes") contains tracks from each album, and doesn't much differ from numerous other Jarre compilations. The opener is the delicious 'Souvenir Of China'. Debut Oxygene gets more space than others, three tracks (Parts 2 - the biggest hit? -, 4 and 6). The order is not chronological; otherwise it probably would nastily show how his music became worse as it went more techno-poppish, at least in my opinion. Albums like Zoolook and Waiting For Cousteau are not up to the level of his first albums, nor are the chosen tracks here. But a decent compilation nevertheless. It ends with a fine 8- minute 'Space of Freedom' which was one of the few new tracks for me.

The bigger interest, especially for an advanced Jarre listener, lies in the second CD: "Rarities - Pre-Oxygene early works; 16 unreleased & rare tracks". Considering that Oxygene was released in 1976 and Jarre began making music of his own already in the late sixties, this is a very intriguing hidden field to reveal in this width. And we're talking about real rarities. Some of them have been released on very obscure occasions and the most of them never before.

The first notion is how experimental young Jarre was. 'Happiness Is A Sad Song' (1968) is actually Musique Concrete and pretty listenable at that. There's an instrumentation info to each track which also helps to form a deep picture of his evolution. He was a French equivalent to what was happening in Germany's so called Berlin School (Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream, Agitation Free, etc), studying the possibilities of the latest electronic technology. Compared to e.g. Klaus Schulze, Jarre was more interested in melody. The tracks remain shortish, so they're relatively accessible. The portion of melody would naturally become much bigger in his albums. In these recordings (where he uses for example VCS3 and Farfisa) he interestingly sounds closer to Krautrock than later on. Solo works of Edgar Froese could be a good comparison. You can only wonder why his debut didn't appear years earlier.

The curiosity value of this set is obviously very big if you're into Jarre and Electronic Music. I'm not even a fan (I'm much more fond of Tangerine Dream from the Virgin era onwards, Klaus Schulze and Vangelis, than Jarre), so I was happily surprised how bid deal of this CD was not only listenable but even quite good. Thanks to this set, I decided to listen to more of his albums. And yes, Oxygene and Equinoxe - parts of which I had heard in various compilations - were better than I had thought.

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 Les Concerts En Chine by JARRE, JEAN-MICHEL album cover Live, 1982
4.26 | 53 ratings

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Les Concerts En Chine
Jean-Michel Jarre Prog Related

Review by toroddfuglesteg

4 stars This live album is documenting the first ever gig by a western artist in China. Jean Michel Jarre is not exactly a rebellious artist with a hatred towards authorities. So he was a safe artist for the paranoid regime in China.

It is obvious China also coloured Jean Michel Jarre when playing this gig. The material here has a distinct Chinese classical music feel. A scene sadly neglected by us here in the west. This album very much brought this scene to our attention and that is the most important mission this album has in my view.

The music on this album is great and the mix, with various tidbits, really capture this experience almost perfectly. The best stuff here is the Chinese music which Jarre makes into his own like any great musician always does. Fishing Junks at Sunset is a great song too and so is the Magnetic Fields stuff. The final track Souvenir de Chine is the best track here though.

I would say this is Jean Michel Jarre's crowning moment and his best ever release. It is that good and it is highly recommended.

4 stars

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