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Jean Michel Jarre – Oxygène (1976)

March 20, 2016


Le beau logo est par Sarca @ caughtmegaming

Made in France Artist #1: Manu Chao

Made in France Artist #2: Daft Punk

Made in France Artist #3: Jean Michel Jarre

[Album 454/1001]

Why this album? Why now?220px-Oxygene_album_cover

I blame some fine fellow bloggers.

1) Until I read Hackskeptic (and fellow Geoff)’s recent concert stats post, I hadn’t realized Jean Michel Jarre (JMJ) holds the distinction of playing for the world’s biggest concert audience: a staggering 3.5 million in a 1997 Moscow attendance. He also played for the 3rd largest crowd 7 years earlier in Paris, though only for a mere 2.5 million fans! Surely, if you can appeal to that many Parisians and Muscovites (incidentally, what a demonym), Oxygène must be worth exploring.

2) Sir 1537’s revisiting of the album from last week; a far from unfavorable review. Has a Welshman, or even a Welshman’s 7-year old self, ever steered me wrong?

3) The line “taste and opinion are only instant” from the poem ‘critique’ by ofopinions. Oxygène didn’t seem like an album to award a thumbs up/down and move on. Much like ofopinions’s writing, I had a feeling this might be a record that would stay with me long after the fact.


One must approach Oxygène with the right mindset, it is not for the synth-phobic. I imagine many suffering from such an affliction will only be able to hear Ross Geller.


But the loss would be theirs.

With an open mind, this is a fantastic listening experience.

Fittingly, my first impressions of Oxygène were formed while I was preparing my ‘First Impressions’ early report cards for my Grade 9 business class.

On several of the reports, I found myself saying “Student name demonstrates his/her creativity, notably in his/her ‘In the year 2040’ assignment.” (The 2040 assignment is a formative literacy activity, where the students describe how technology will impact a day in their life in the future titular year).

I could have easily written a similar, positive report for young Monsieur Jarre.

And so I did:


From → 1970s

  1. Hackskeptic permalink

    So pleased to hear you enjoyed it so much! This may be one of those additions to the book that make the purchase price and this project we’re often toiling through truly worth while. Maybe at some stage I’ll evaluate the records I’ve enjoyed that I would have probably never listened to without the book.

    • Yes – that’s an excellent idea for a list! This would definitely be on there for me too, off the top of my head, the divine comedy, Emmylou Harris, and Fairport Convention would likely have gone unheard if not for the list, it would be a shame!

  2. Nice post, Geoff. This has been on my list a while (since Mr 1537’s The Concerts in China post) and I was very close to picking up a copy a few months back. Unfortunately, that plan was foiled by a really horrid looking scratch that stretched across every track on one side. Oooft.

    This and the recent 1537 post has made me wish it was in the collection so I could give it a spin. Only a matter of time, though!

    • That’s disappointing where the sleeve looks fine but then the record much less so – I was fortunate to find one the other way (usually $8 on sale for $4!), the sleeve wasn’t in terribly good shape but the record itself was just fine.
      Good luck on the search J – it’s worth the effort!

      • Nice! I would have gladly bought a copy with a scratch down one side of the sleeve … especially at a nice sale price!

  3. Wonderful, Geoff!

    • My thanks Joe – thank you for speaking so highly of the record in your post, it was such a fine ‘album.’ I appreciated how III wrapped up side one nicely and IV kicked things off again, among many of the other nice details. 7-year old you had fine taste!

      • Those night-time drives made such a huge impression on me. It’s where I also first heard ‘Riders on the Storm’ too, that rainy intro in a car at night, in the rain! Joy of joys!

      • a fitting listening location for a first listen, nice!

  4. Wonderful post! I love the review sheet, it definitely inspires me to make ones of my own! For a moment, I had Jean Michel Jarre confused with Maurice Jarre, only to find out they are son and father! I am afraid, I haven’t listened to the former, though your ‘French’ reviews are helping me make a ‘to-listen’ list. I am definitely not synth-phobic, but highly synth-curious!

    • And I have yet to listen to the latter! Thanks ofopinions (and merci for the post inspiration too), it’s a very atmospheric record, unlike any I’ve heard thus far!

      • De rien! I feel I must brush up on my very rudimentary but ‘very expensive’ French for the purpose of your series! My knowledge of French musicians is very, very poor. All the big ones – Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Serge Gainsbourg, and that’s it!

      • Oh your knowledge is better than mine was – that’s part of the reason for the world listening tour, I’m pretty well versed in North America and the UK but fairly uninformed everywhere else!

      • Post idea – French songs by non-native musicians. “Ne T’En Fui Pas” by Kate Bush should definitely be there!

      • THat is a fine post idea – Billy Joel’s c’etait toi also jumped to mind!

  5. Great the J-M J is getting so much international lurve!

  6. Dammit here’s ANOTHER recommend. I really need to find this album, apparently!

    • It’s interesting seeing the records most of us agree on – another one I remember being Carole King’s tapestry, a universal appreciation for her songwriting & perfectly imperfect performance. Here I think all who have reviewed appreciate the atmosphere & the album as a whole experience!

      • Psst. I’m not very keen on ‘Tapestry’ – don’t tell anyone.

      • Are you sure you’re not just being Groucho Marx, whatever it is I’m against it? 😉
        Not to worry, I’m not sure if there is a universal crowd pleaser!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Jacques Brel – Olympia ’64 | 1001albumsin10years
  2. Jean Michel Jarre – Oxygène (1976) – Jean Michel Jarre fan page
  3. Air – The Virgin Suicides (2000) | 1001albumsin10years
  4. MC Solaar – Qui Sème le Vent Récolte le Tempo (1991) | 1001albumsin10years

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