Jean Michel Jarre

Jean Michel Jarre - Oxygene
Jean Michel Jarre – Oxygene

To many people, Jean Michel Jarre‘s Oxygene & Equinoxe are just IT. Oddly for me they aren’t. Sure they are very good records, bordering on brilliant even, and I do enjoy them when I listen but for some reason I just can’t hold them up as the best electronic music ever.

Oxygene & Equinoxe are undeniably important records in the existence of every electronic musician since 1976 when we suddenly heard the sounds. I was taken in too but just not as far in as I was with Vangelis.

Maybe what went wrong for me is that Jarre didn’t manage to develop past these records. For me his other music just didn’t work out. Also those record became such a template that everyone tried to copy them so they became a caricature of electronic music. Just as you’d be hit with a wall of Stairway and Smoke in guitar shops, Jarrisms abound in keyboard workouts. The net is littered with them. Perhaps, to be unkind, Jarre even did the same himself.

That said I have really enjoyed albums from artists who have followed Jarre’s lead. Some records that I think are well worth tracking down are:

  • Adelbert Von Deyen – Live: somewhere between Jarre and Tangerine Dream with enough Kraftwerk thrown in.
  • Reichmann – Wunderbar : anyone in blue is cool and this record is cool too
  • Nova – Terranova: took the style to perhaps the pinnacle with fun pop pieces
  • Anthony Dupre – Midnight Harmonies: an independent like me, Anthony’s CD is nice listening but sadly he has disappeared off the internet

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