My choise belongs to one of the pioneers of elctronic and electroacustic music, the man who introduced me to electronic music, to the music I would say in a sense.
He is Jean Michel Jarre.
I was about 6 when I first listenned to his music by vinyl, the milestone album Oxygene and I was totally immersed to his musical universe...Though later I forgot him and got on radio-friendly one-hit-wonders well, this has not lasted for too long time.
I was 15 when I found this album in my father's collection...I played it then I became a die-hard fan of him.
From that time, I began buy his albums...
It is "useless" to say that each of the albums made big influence musically on me.
The beginning of JMJ.
He was born in 1948 in Lyon, France. His father was the world famous, Oscar-winning soudtrack composer, Maurice Jarre.
After his parents divorced when he was 5, he started to learn classical piano. Due to this prooved difficult, he began to work on his musical scales.He became self-tought keyboard player...He studied in class of Group of Musical Research, under Pierre Schaffer, father of musique concrete. This man became Jarre's major influence.
Later he played in different rock bands, then turning to synthesizers and began to work on first pieces.
He composed pieces for commercials, theatres, ballets...In 1971 he was the youngest musician who was asked to compose for opera Palais Garnier by electronics.
Still some steps in the "chanson music", then he started to work, establish his new musical steps in electronic.
In 1974-75 he moved to his studio in Paris. Trying to balance and experiment between pop (electropop) and experimental music.
By ended with the project and recording sessions, he released Oxygene at end of '76.
None of the record companies wanted to release it, during the punk era, an instrumental album? It sounded ridiculous..."no singers, no titles of each tracks, tracks last at 10 mins and so on...afterward a local record company made the risk to release it : 50.000 copies in the first wave. The album sold very well in France (70.000 copies till April 1977, but after a major English radio played the entire album...well, it is history now : unexpected succes of the album!! Oxygène has since sold an estimated 12 million copies, and is the best-selling French record of all time. It became a huge success in his native France, reached no.2 in the UK album charts, no.65 in Canada, and broke the top 100 in the US.
The single Oxygene 4 became a hit.
The record company made an excellent decision taking on JMJ.
Followed by enormous succes of Oxygene, Jarre composed Equinoxe in 1978, I would point out 2 of its tracks.
Equinoxe 4 (album version)
It was 14th July 1979, when JM gave his first concert to an audience of appr. one million at Place de la Concorde, Paris
1981 was a big challange for Jean Michel. He released Fairlight-CMI based Magnetic Fields, but mainly because he got the chance to do concerts in China, as the first ever Western musician in China!!!
Some videos of the tour.
In 1982, a live album was born, entitled The Concerts in China.
1984 album Zoolook was a sample based album that got many awards. A true masterpiece is Ethnicolor (succeded to find as separated due to YT capability)
1986 - Houston - a city in concert
The concert took place in the shadow of the deaths of the seven astronauts who had exploded along with the Challenger space shuttle, one of them, Ron McNair, a friend of Jarre’s. The event was broadcast on TV all over the world and made Jarre a concert legend.
The occasion for the concert was the 150th anniversary of the city of Houston and the 25th anniversary of NASA.
Any explanation needed? ;-)
A series of outdoor gigs...1988 London, 1990 Paris, 1994 Hongkong, 1995 Paris, 1997 Moscow, 1999 Egypt, 2004 Beijing...just to mention the more important ones...
A true light and sound celebrity from London docklands...
After Zoolook, major albums included-
Revolutions ( an arab influenced piece : Revolutions http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjHMOfwv_Yo !!! ;-)
En attendant Cousteau
Chronologie ( a video from it : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_y-UZu-_Q4 GREAT!! )
Geometry of Love (lounge style : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6o9fqXbL9E , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVg6fatPYnk )
Teo & Tea (experiment into dancefloor music - not a big succes among fans... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OS7kAtQoc58)
Jean Michel Jarre is a true pioneer on his on path...in a sense. Though he may not that know in US or Australia, his name oppositely well-known in Europe.
With Oxygene he made a musical revolution. Arsenal of synths ; wide range of discography regarding styles. Ethnic elements, orchestral elements,
He made a well-deserved fame by outdoor concerts, with lasers, lights, videos, projections, fireworks...
His official site is
www.jeanmicheljarre.com ... I suggest you to follow this, next year's concerts will be announced on here, aswell.
Official Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jean-M...rre/9760369095
A very good UK fansite (and forum there)
For Frenchmen http://aerozonejmj.free.fr/accueil/
Still good source of infos www.zoolook.nl , www.jarreblog.com
He is doing his world tour this year, which continues into 2011....
New album on the way...
2010 marks the winning of Lifetime Achievement Award from MOJO !