A pioneer in the electronic, ambient and new-age music
Electronic music genius Jean-Michel Jarre turns 74
A pioneer in the electronic, ambient and new-age music, French composer and musician Jean-Michel Jarre has been breaking world records since the 1970’s with his influential music and live performances. He was born in Lyon, France, August 28, 1948. His first music influences came through Jazz music. As a child, he often accompanied his mother to Le Chat Qui Pêche (The Fishing Cat), a friend’s Paris jazz club, where saxophonists Archie Shepp and John Coltrane, and trumpet players Don Cherry and Chet Baker were regular performers, these performances, suggested to him that music could be “descriptive, without lyrics”. Jarre released his first record “La Cage/Erosmachine”, a mixture of harmony, tape effects and synthesizers in 1969. During the 1970’s he started to become increasingly popular with the mainstream rise of Prog Rock and synthesizers.His first mainstream success was the 1976 album “Oxygène”. Recorded in a makeshift studio at his home, the album sold an estimated 12 million copies and it was followed in 1978 by “Équinoxe”. In 1979, Jarre performed to a record-breaking audience of more than a million people at the Place de la Concorde, a record he has since broken three times. In 1983 Jarre created the album “Musique pour Supermarché”, he played it live one time only at the “Supermarché” art exhibition, allowing Radio Luxembourg to broadcast it uninterrupted, in its entirety, before he auctioned off a single vinyl print on 5 July 1983, at the Hôtel Drouot in Paris in protest at the “silly industrialisation of music” Jarre controversially burned the original tapes of the album in the presence of a bailiff. The owner of the only known copy of “Musique Pour Supermarché” is unknown, but having been pressed only one, is among the most prized (and hard to get) in any music collection. Jarre reached an even wider audience during the mid 1980’s with his album “Rendez-Vous”, released in April 1986. The album sold some three million copies worldwide and remains Jarre’s longest-running chart album in both the U.S. and UK, producing the smash hit “Fourth Rendez-Vous” In April 1986, Jarre performed the large-scale outdoor concert “Rendez-vous Houston” in Houston, Texas, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the founding of Texas. The show attracted a then, amazing world record live audience of 1.3 million people. Jean-Michel Jarre remains one of the most relevant, creative and influential Electronic music composers and musicians, over the years he hasn’t stop composing and producing new music, his latest studio album, “Amazônia” was released in 2021.
Watch and listen to these three prime examples of Jean-Michel Jarre mastery
“Equinoxe 5” by Jean-Michel Jarre, 1979
“Magnetic Fields, Pt.2” by Jean-Michel Jarre, 1981
“Fourth Rendez-Vous” by Jean-Michel Jarre, 1986
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