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Jean-Michel Jarre

Celebrated as the European electronic music community's premier ambassador, composer Jean Michel Jarre elevated the synthesizer to new peaks of popularity during the 1970s, in the process emerging as an international superstar renowned for his dazzling concert spectacles. The son of the famed film composer Maurice Jarre, he was born August 24, 1948, in Lyon, France, and began studying piano at the age of five. Abandoning classical music as a youth, Jarre became enamored of jazz before forming a rock band called Mystere IV; in 1968, he became a pupil of the musique concrète pioneer Pierre Schaeffer, joining Groupe de Recherches Musicales. His early experiments in electro-acoustic music yielded the 1971 single "La Cage"; the full-length Deserted Palace followed a year later.

Jarre's early works were largely unsuccessful, and gave little indication of the work to follow. As he struggled to find his own voice, he wrote for a variety of singers, including Françoise Hardy, and also composed for films. Seeking to push electronic music away from its minimalist foundations as well as the formal abstractions of its most experimental practitioners, he slowly developed the orchestrated melodicism of his 1977 breakthrough effort, Oxygène, an enormous commercial hit that reached the number two spot on the U.K. pop charts. The follow-up, 1978's Equinoxe, was also a smash, and a year later Jarre held the first in a series of massive open-air concerts at the Place de la Concorde in Paris, the estimated one million spectators on hand earning him a place in The Guinness Book of World Records.

Only in the wake of 1981's Les Chants Magnétiques (Magnetic Fields) did Jarre mount a proper tour, traveling to China with a staggering amount of stage equipment in tow; the five performances, performed backed by some 35 traditional instrumentalists, later generated the LP Concerts in China. Released in 1983, Music for Supermarkets instantly became one of the most collectible albums in history -- recorded for an art exhibit, only one copy was ever pressed, selling at a charity auction for close to $10,000. The master was then incinerated, guaranteeing the record's rarity. Jarre's next proper release was 1984's Zoolook, which failed to connect with audiences with the same success as its predecessors.

A two-year hiatus followed before he resurfaced on April 5, 1986, with an extravagant live performance in Houston celebrating NASA's silver anniversary; in addition to the over one million in attendance, it was also broadcast on global television. Rendez-Vous appeared a few weeks later, and after another highly visual live date in Lyon, France, Jarre assembled the best material from the two events as the 1987 concert LP Cities in Concert: Houston/Lyon. Revolutions, featuring the legendary Shadows guitarist Hank B. Marvin, followed in 1988, and a year later a third concert LP, dubbed simply Jarre Live, hit stores. After 1990's En Attendant Cousteau (Waiting for Cousteau), Jarre mounted his biggest live experience yet, with an attendance of over two and a half million fans converging on Paris to see him perform in honor of Bastille Day.

The decade to follow proved surprisingly quiet, however, and apart from the occasional live appearance Jarre was largely removed from the limelight; finally, in 1997 he issued Oxygène 7-13, updating his concepts for a new musical era. At the turn of the millennium, he recorded Metamorphoses and then took a break from the studio as a flurry of reissues and remixes followed, including Sessions 2000, Les Granges Brulees, and Odyssey Through O2. In 2007, after a seven-year hiatus from recording, Jarre released a new dance single, "Teo and Tea," a surprisingly strong return to electro, and followed it with a trancey, angular album also titled Teo and Tea. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

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He performed in Monaco for royalty need I say more the man is a legend
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still a trip
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I love this song
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The review is poor and not accurate, it does not mention Chronology, which one of them was a Tour de France Gingle, so I don't think JMJ was quiet before Oxygene 7-13
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Oxygene.
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i love his unique genre of music.
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Try this similar artist: http://www.p a n d o r a . c o m / h u g o - v a z q u e z
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Master..
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I first listened to Oygene in my high school library. Of course I had to use those big plastic headsets. I had to find out why the surface of Earth was being stripped away. What I experienced was an incredible and haunting story in music like I have not heard before or since, except for Beethoven and Mendelssohn.
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@Jon Pevehouse: Maurcie Jarre was Jean-Michel' s father, not brother.
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Interestingl y enough, my buddy and I had seen a movie called Dreamscape and loved the music, which was done by Michel's brother Maurice Jarre. While at the record store (back when there was such a thing), we couldn't gind anything by Maurice, but found Magnetic Fields by Michel. And the rest is history ..
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My first album was in 1984 Zoolook and I've been listening since
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I grew up with his musi! Simly love him
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Been listening to his work for decades. Timeless.
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His Music Change the way Listen to Sounds
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vantom5150
Legend
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Saw JMJ in Houston; Best Day Ever!
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lost my v-card to his music!!
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Just great!! From mexico.
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ccroses
My older brother introduced me to Oxygene when I was barely a teenager. Have love everything Jarre since. That led to Kraftwerk, Eno, Numan, you name it. cool stuff
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barkenn
Been a fan since Oxygen. A definite groundbreake r . The article about him should be at least twice as long. A lot of info is missing. Wiki him.
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My favorite
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So nice to see I wasn't the only one who listened to Jarre back in the day...though I was the only person I know who did... great stuff, really great stuff...espe c i a l l y Equinoxe~
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Had the closest thing to a musical out of body experience back in the early 80's listening to Equinox in it's entirety. Jarre is incredible.
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he is the best at what he does.
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high school days... reminizing
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jcarltone3
euro tomita oh atlantis whatever happened to the component analog synthsizer which i loved so much in the late 70's and was fortunate enough to play in atlanta with a top notch new wave band and open for every big guy that ever came down
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mattanddonna
LIKE, WOW MAN!
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melizu20
he is my favorite musician ever ,i ear since 1977 when ear oxigene,and equinoxe ,is very inspirationa l , r e l a x i n g , m u s i c .
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alex4prez
The best there ever was and ever will be...
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the best pioneer sintetizer.. . . . .
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rob61169
I only see 3 albums mentioned, but he made much more albums then that. Oxygene, Equinox, Magnetic Fields and Zoolook are my favorites. The Trance/Techn o music we have today would not be as it is without Jean Michelle Jarre. Fantastic Musician.
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I've been a fan since late 70s. Some of his stuff is pure genius, but later efforts are not as even. Still, a great composer/mus i c i a n worthy of his father.
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lonestar17
Indeed, one of the best in this genre....Jus t Charlotte Rampling?? one time wife...I have everything he's recorded...I s he still working? Love to hear him live in 2011!!
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m125
Amazing how LITTLE americans know him! ... When most other parts of the world absolutely love him ... I don't undestand.
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Nice cerebral ambience music.
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Jarre est tre's formidable!! ! ! ! ! ! OK, I won't butcher the French language any more! Been an avid fan as soon as he hit the record stores! Just lucked up & found Oxygene! I liked the cover & took a chance. He was totally unknown in the States! If I hit the exclamation point again, my left pinky will break,(wait for it) ! ow
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totorochobit s
Definitely listening to Bedlam Pharmacy at Skylab Space Headquarters - breath deep the gathering blue.
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I discovered this guy back in the 80s and have loved his work ever since. He's one of the true pioneers of electronic music.
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bonchanz
He's been my favorite since 1987 - I listen to concert from China on my way to work to wake up and get in a good mood! Fantastic musician and composer! He also invented some of the instruments you hear.
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mngo70
one of the best in electronic music!
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raymondklimk o
Why Jean is not recognized in America is beyond my understandin g . He is one of the best musical minds in music. I have all his compositions . His outside concerts are visual and aural treats.
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negrum17
beautiful music
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He's good, and one of my favorites, however I like Vangelis better.
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Revolutions should be here too. I think Zoolook and Revolutions were his best, although Oxygene deserves high props for coming as early as it did (Revolutions , and so many others were great too, but to me, they seemed too similar to Oxygene to stand out). His dad, Maurice, is a pretty amazing composer too -- he did the score to the film "The Year of Living Dangerously" which had some amazing music.
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Magnetic Fields needs to be here too.
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I love Jean-Michel Jarre, starting with Zoolook, of all things, and it grew from there. Great to hear he is still putting out music, even if not so prolifically .
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They forget to mention "En Attendant Cousteau", or "Aero" and Mr. Jarre has many other live albums as well as tribute albums. Poor review.
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You the man Jarre!
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Wait--WHAT?! ? ! ? Only THREE of his albums are on this, and one of them is a compilation? ? ?
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