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Old 12-05-2018, 10:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Opinions on Jean-Michel Jarre?

I watched a Youtube video about his music on a whim and am checking out his music on Spotify right now.

It struck me that I'm not sure I've ever noticed anyone in here talking about him, despite his relative fame.

So what does MB think of Jean-Michel Jarre?




Listening to Chronology right now.

https://open.spotify.com/album/4RTDlj21LMbDZD5sm4WTEW
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I've heard a lot of his music through other people years ago, and it's decent enough. ZooLook, Rendez Vous, and Oxygene mostly. TH was probably his biggest fan here though.
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I own Oxygene on CD but it never struck me as anything more than weak new age. Granted, I haven't listened to it in awhile.
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Introduced his music to school friends in the 70s because it was an exciting time
for that type of electronic music and it was hard to contain, but lost interest in him -
like a lot of electronic musicians - by the mid 80s. Funny how you get pegged
with certain works and, after years or sometimes decades, you try to reimagine
them for the modern era. Sometimes it works (in his case, for me, yes) and
sometimes it comes off as desperation (re: Mike Oldfield).
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Old 12-05-2018, 01:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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So far, my impression is that he's got some cool sounds, but that the music also seems to have been outrun by so many of the electronic artists that have followed him.

Hearing his music, I see how his influence has no doubt hit wide and deep. And there's some surprising compositions here and there. I'm gonna need to listen to more, but "weak new age", as Windsock put it, is a little too fitting at times.

As for your comment, Rostasi, I haven't personally listened much to Oldfield albums older than the mid 80's, so I don't know what I'd think about later material. But I do really like Crises, Five Miles Out and Discovery.
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Old 12-05-2018, 01:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MicShazam View Post
So far, my impression is that he's got some cool sounds, but that the music also seems to have been outrun by so many of the electronic artists that have followed him.

Hearing his music, I see how his influence has no doubt hit wide and deep. And there's some surprising compositions here and there. I'm gonna need to listen to more, but "weak new age", as Windsock put it, is a little too fitting at times.

As for your comment, Rostasi, I haven't personally listened much to Oldfield albums older than the mid 80's, so I don't know what I'd think about later material. But I do really like Crises, Five Miles Out and Discovery.
I think Jarre has a lot of his father's work in his mind and I think
"electronic orchestration" may be a result of that. It was a bit forward
thinking for the time because it raised the bar on popular electronic music by
not being either a parroting of classical instruments (which was a big thing in
the 60s) or the mostly minor key freak-outs of European space-rock performers
of the years just preceding the success of Oxygene. It was a kind of safely
textured sound that could resonate with folks who'd not usually listen to such music.

I can understand you coming from the opposite direction with Oldfield -
and those three albums you mentioned are not bad. He had a major mental
crises {pun} tho after the success of his first album(s) (and the introduction
to the world of "Virgin Records") and, I think, tried to overcome it by putting
out other versions of it that just made him look sad (except for the early one
that David Bedford arranged). To me, his music works best when he does his
long-form highly integrated pieces, but he appears to occasionally think that he's
a songster when he's often not. If he had never done anything else, the first
three albums would stand as a mighty trilogy and Amarok - done 15 years later -
could join that as a fourth solid recording in the style that he's best at doing.

Also, remember that "weak new age" is looking at things in the rear-view
mirror as "new age music," as a style, didn't exist at this time. If he could keep
from looking like a guy in his mid-60s trying for a PBS audience, he could resurrect
a large ensemble of young folks willing to take on these extended works of his -
almost like the way that Terry Riley is being "rediscovered."
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Last edited by rostasi; 12-05-2018 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 12-05-2018, 02:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I like him a lot fwtw
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Old 12-05-2018, 02:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rostasi View Post
I think Jarre has a lot of his father's work in his mind and I think
"electronic orchestration" may be a result of that. It was a bit forward
thinking for the time because it raised the bar on popular electronic music by
not being either a parroting of classical instruments (which was a big thing in
the 60s) or the mostly minor key freak-outs of European space-rock performers
of the years just preceding the success of Oxygene. It was a kind of safely
textured sound that could resonate with folks who'd not usually listen to such music.

I can understand you coming from the opposite direction with Oldfield -
and those three albums you mentioned are not bad. He had a major mental
crises {pun} tho after the success of his first album(s) (and the introduction
to the world of "Virgin Records") and, I think, tried to overcome it by putting
out other versions of it that just made him look sad (except for the early one
that David Bedford arranged). To me, his music works best when he does his
long-form highly integrated pieces, but he appears to occasionally think that he's
a songster when he's often not. If he had never done anything else, the first
three albums would stand as a mighty trilogy and Amarok - done 15 years later -
could join that as a fourth solid recording in the style that he's best at doing.

Also, remember that "weak new age" is looking at things in the rear-view
mirror as "new age music," as a style, didn't exist at this time. If he could keep
from looking like a guy in his mid-60s trying for a PBS audience, he could resurrect
a large ensemble of young folks willing to take on these extended works of his -
almost like the way that Terry Riley is being "rediscovered."
Definitely reached a new audience that previously wasn't so into that kind of thing. I've got an uncle who's about 65. Big classic rock guy, but also a big fan of Depeche Mode and Jarre specifically on the electronic side of things.

Believe it or not, but I actually really love the best of Oldfields simple songs. To France, Crystal Gazing, Poison Arrows, Moonlight Shadow, pluse a few more. It's really mainly the Discovery album that I'm totally in love with.

My patience with his longer prog pieces varies quite a bit.




Note: And so I guess some new age should really be called watered down Jarre.

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Originally Posted by OccultHawk View Post
I like him a lot fwtw
That's worth some. Got a favorite album or two?
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Oxygène is by far his best. About a year ago I went through his discography pretty carefully and didn’t run across anything else nearly that good. Oxygène is an absolute gem, however. The central theme is fantastic and what he builds around it is perfectly coherent and hypnotic. It doesn’t rest on the electronic element but instead uses it to create something that will be remembered for a long time.
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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His Spotify discography is incomplete to say the least, but I think I spotted Oxygène in there, so I'll prioritize that one over whatever other albums are available.
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