Incredible! For the first time in the history of french music, a french LP album is ranked number one in the U.K. Charts. It has been more purchased at the record stores than the biggest albums from Elvis Presley the day he died. Something unseen since the Beatles phenomena. The Daily Mirror, printed to three million copies, wrote… “French Revolution to rock the world”. He’s number one in France, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. It has been already sold to two million people…

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“French revolution to rock the world”
from Stan Sayer in St Tropez
Daily Mirror, August 15, 1977

Jean Michel Jarre is a name to make you say “who?”. But not for long. I promise.
He is a highly talented French composer who has already conquered the pop market in Europe.
Now Jean Michel Jarre has started a music revolution which looks like sweeping the world.
This 29-year-old prince of pop is pioneering a new sound which he calls “The music of our time”.
And it has arrived in Britain on an album called “Oxygène“. It’s aim is to switch you on – litteraly. All his music is produced by electronic synthesizers.

Jean Michel explains: “Contemporary electronic music is meant to be thought about.
“My music, I hope, is easy to feel and understand. It doesn’t have the language barriers that pop music has.”
“It has no message, but there is an invitation to dream, to feel,”
says Jean Michel, talking in his St Tropez home.
To illustrate his point, the slim, dark-haired composer, plays “Oxygène” on his stereo sound system.
I try to put the music into a category, but fail. It has a beat to thrill rock fans and a beauty and majesty that will appeal to lovers of classical music.
It is probably he first “complete music” for ALL tastes. “Oxygène” is selling by the million from Los Angeles to Moscow.
In Britain, it is already in the top twenty albums charts and the title track is the single of the week on Simon Bates’ Radio One show.

“I must make it clear”, says Jean Michel, “that I am not re-creating sound. The big difference with electronic instruments is the way I play them and that I can capture the wind and the rain in a poetic sense.”
“If I had lived a century ago I wold have used an orchestra. But today we are in the electronics age. I use the instruments of my time.”

Jean Michel had a thro-rough education in classical music at the Paris Conservatoire. Then he played in French pop groups. He went on to the music research center in Paris – the biggest in the world – to study the techniques of electronic syntesizers.
“I quickly realised this was not satisfying me“, he says, “because the people there were doing music for the head and not for the heart.”

After three years, Jean michel quit, and at the age of 21 wrote the first electronic music score for a ballet called “Aor“. It caused a sensation.
But he wasn’t satisfied. He wanted to know how to reach his public. So he studied the pop usic field and its marketing methods.
Then Jean Michel settled down to write his first album, “Oxygène”. He composed the music, played all the instruments and produced the record in his own Paris studio.

“I did everything myself. No serious paiter would ever tell others to fill in the colors. “
His father Maurice was the man who pioneered theme music for films and won awards dor such epics as “Doctor Zhivago” and “Lawrence of Arabia”.
Now Jarre junior is pioneering his music for today – and tomorrow.


Thanks to Thierry Lebon for the scan

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