Jean-Michel Jarre

Jean-Michel Jarre

Real Name:
Jean Michel André Jarre
Jean-Michel Jarre (August 24, 1948, Lyon, France) is a French composer of electronic music. Son of Maurice Jarre, a composer of film music, who has written the scores to such films as Lawrence Of Arabia and Dr. Zhivago, among many others. He is well-known for staging spectacular outdoor concerts of his music, which feature laser displays and fireworks, and three of which appeared in the Guinness Book of Records for their large audiences. One of his albums, Musique pour supermarchés had a print run on only a single copy, which was auctioned to raise money for French artists. In 1986 he worked with NASA; astronaut Ronald McNair was to play the saxophone part of Jarre's piece Rendez-Vous VI while in orbit on board the Space Shuttle Challenger. It was to have been the first piece of music recorded in space, for the album Rendez-Vous. After the Challenger disaster of January 28, 1986, the piece was recorded with a different saxophonist, retitled Ron's piece and the album dedicated to the seven Challenger astronauts. He is a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.
In Groups:

Jean-Michel Jarre Discography


GS 177 Jean Michel Jarre* Les Granges Brulées (Bande Originale Du Film) (Album) Eden Roc GS 177 Canada 1973 Sell This Version
SF 1029 Jean Michel Jarre* Deserted Palace (Album) A Sam Fox Production SF 1029 US 1973 Sell This Version
3222215 Jean-Michel Jarre Oxygene (Album) Les Disques Motors 3222215 France 1976 Sell This Version
PD-1-6175, 2310 636 Jean Michel Jarre* Equinoxe (Album) Disques Dreyfus PD-1-6175, 2310 636 US 1978 Sell This Version
5720508 Jarre* Les Chants Magnétiques = Magnetic Fields (Album) Disques Dreyfus 5720508 Yugoslavia 1981 Sell This Version
3500 132 Jean-Michel Jarre Les Concerts En Chine (Album) Disques Dreyfus 3500 132 Germany 1982 Sell This Version
FDM 18113 Jean Michel Jarre* Musique Pour Supermarché = Music For Supermarkets(LP, Album, Ltd) Disques Dreyfus FDM 18113 France 1983 Sell This Version
FDM 18118 Jean-Michel Jarre Zoolook (Album) Disques Dreyfus FDM 18118 France 1984 Sell This Version
422 829 125 Y-1 Jean Michel Jarre* Rendez-Vous (Album) Disques Dreyfus 422 829 125 Y-1 US 1986 Sell This Version
833 170-1 Jean Michel Jarre* En Concert Houston / Lyon (Album) Disques Dreyfus 833 170-1 Greece 1987 Sell This Version
837 098-1 Jean-Michel Jarre Révolutions (Album) Disques Dreyfus 837 098-1 Greece 1988 Sell This Version
841 258-1 Jarre* Live (Album) Disques Dreyfus 841 258-1 Portugal 1989 Sell This Version
843 614-4 Jean Michel Jarre* En Attendant Cousteau (Album) Disques Dreyfus 843 614-4 Greece 1990 Sell This Version
210312, 519 373-2 Jean Michel Jarre* Chronologie (Album) Disques Dreyfus 210312, 519 373-2 Venezuela 1993 Sell This Version
FDM 36154-2 Jarre* Hong Kong (Album) Disques Dreyfus FDM 36154-2 Canada 1994 Sell This Version
DFI 94 4 519579 Jean-Michel Jarre Chronologie Part 6 (Slam & Gat Decor Remixes) (Album, Single) Polydor, Polydor DFI 94 4 519579 UK 1994 Sell This Version
EPC 486984 4, 486984 4 Jean Michel Jarre* Oxygene 7-13 (Album) Disques Dreyfus EPC 486984 4, 486984 4 Spain 1997 Sell This Version
EPC 4897644, A004396/2541, none Jean Michel Jarre* Odyssey Through O₂ (Album) Disques Dreyfus EPC 4897644, A004396/2541, none Bulgaria 1998 Sell This Version
none Jean-Michel Jarre Metamorphoses (Album) Disques Dreyfus none Germany 1999 Sell This Version
none Jean Michel Jarre* Interior Music(CD, Ltd, Promo) Bang & Olufsen none France 2001 Sell This Version
361654 Jean Michel Jarre* Sessions 2000 (Album) Disques Dreyfus, Disques Dreyfus 361654 Poland 2002 Sell This Version
2564 60693-2 Jarre* Geometry Of Love (Album) EastWest, Aero Productions 2564 60693-2 Europe 2003 Sell This Version
6204526 Jean Michel Jarre* Aero (Album) Warner Music France 6204526 Mexico 2004 Sell This Version
5101114482, CNC / EDV 110 Jean Michel Jarre* Solidarność Live (Album) Warner Vision France, Warner Vision France 5101114482, CNC / EDV 110 Europe 2005 Sell This Version
none Jean Michel Jarre* Printemps De Bourges 2002(4xFile, AAC, Copy Prot., 128) Aero Productions none 2006

Reviews Show All 16 Reviews

Add Review



October 24, 2015
For me - he is Elvis Presley of the 80's.

In my childhood I remember that I was going to school and hum melodies from his tracks.

No doubt - During the 80's He was one of them who announced big changes in world music scene which happened in 90's
techno/ rave / trance / drum and bass etc.

If You don't agree You don't know the history of the electronic music.



February 3, 2015
Mindless debates about the "pioneers"... Please guys, stop it! Electronic music had an evolution and every person had his contribution to it MORE or LESS. Timewise and meaningwise Jarre had one of the greatest contribution to it all even if there were electronic music before unlike the Stockhausens who never made anything "musical" but ad-hoc, random-like chaotic effects what I wouldn't call music.

1976 Was a milestone: Oxygene was an incredibly important, deep, thoughtful blast and I consider it to be one of the biggest impact to the history of the music. I do remember those times very well....

Kraftwerk, T. Dream, Vangelis is a different question. They were also the few ones who paved the road. I'd vote Oxygene as one of the biggest creature of the mankind. I know what it takes to ignore it, I know the nowadays don't really accept the "truth" what is mirrored by the philosophy, the art, the music. Even if you can't accept it, even if you think other way, Oxygene comprises this "truth" about the being!!!! OK, if you deny it, say it's OK if you don't like it but please think about it: you are a great lier (for yourself on the first place). I proclaim!


July 5, 2014
JMJ the PIONEER of electronic music?? Come on, you guys...Why would you lie about something as beautiful as music?? There were lots of people, like Karlheinz Stockhausen and others who were creating electronic music LONG BEFORE JMJ did (at least one decade before), so PIONEER, my a*s. And please, don't you mess with Kraftwerk, because they paved the way for ALL of the dance music genres and styles we know nowadays, like hip-hop, electro, house, techno, synth-pop, trance, you name it. Can JMJ make such a claim?? Nope. Not in a million years. Besides, JMJ's music is a LOT different from Kraftwerk's, so let me ask you this: why would you even compare them?? It makes no sense at all...


April 18, 2014
Jarre is undoubtedly the pioneer, because he understands and demonstrates the power of electronics on every level. However, does that make him an "electronic" pioneer? Exploring, playing and obsessively demonstrating what electronics can do - whether by themselves or in combination with real instruments - and despite the unquestionable creative (and of course, anthology) value of albums like "Oxygene" or "Equinoxe", his music is mostly and sadly secondary.

Because, Jarre is more interested in populism - and that is why his music suffers a great deal, due to plain and simple ambition, or even more so - ego. Of course, when saying "ego", it is not necessarily a bad thing, but the kitsch aspect definitely (and sadly) does compromise most of his catalogue.


February 16, 2014
I agree. In reality neither Kraftwerk or Tangerine Dream are really the pioneer of electronic music.


April 27, 2013
edited over 3 years ago
When i was young i listened every day to the music of JMJ.

Some people say he was not the pioneer of electronic music. Listen to Kraftwerk or Tangerine Dream. I all agree, but when you listen to Oxygene or Equinoxe you can here that the quality of the music (and the use of instruments) is much higher than the other groups. If you listen to the records nowdays, the sounds are still fresh. So it must be said: JMJ is the pioneer of electronic music ;)


August 6, 2010
edited over 3 years ago
Jean-Michel Jarre is one of the most important figures in 20th Century electronic music. Being the son of a famous composer (Maurice Jarre) did not deter the young man from setting his goals on changing people's perception of classically-styled music, and in the 1970's this was quite a feat indeed. What set Jean-Michel apart from his father (and many others) was his insistence on using electronics instead of traditional instruments to put his ideas across.

In the early 70's he began to produce music that incorporated synthesizers as main instrument, perhaps best showcased in his soundtrack to the French film Les Granges Brulées (1973). Comprising mainly of a melodic refrain that was treated by female vocal and electronic sound, it was haunting and sublimely beautiful at the same time.

Nothing, however, could prepare the young Frenchman for what he would accomplish next. In 1976 he released an entirely electronic album, composed on nothing but synthesizer and electronic equipment. It enraptured an audience worldwide, and set forth the wheels in motion for a stellar career that continues to this day. The name of this album is Oxygène.

Comprised of six parts, it could be classed as a concept album. Indeed, the cover tells a story all of its own. "We are destroying the planet"? "The world is finite"? As typical of a concept album, many people have various opinions. Jean-Michel himself has answers for those who wish to hear. But I believe one can only get an answer by listening to the music itself. Personally, I am as enthralled by the sounds I hear now as I was as a child, all those years ago.

1978 saw a follow up album, Equinoxe. Very much in a similar musical vein as Oxygene, it nonetheless introduced a few new flavours. Part 4 was unique in that it could be said that it foresaw the style of dance music that would become Trance (not just in rhythm, that honour equally applies to Space's "Magic Fly", but in actual composition) and as a whole the album was caught somewhere between the ambience of early Klaus Schulze and European Disco.

By 1981 Jarre had attained quite a following, helped by live concerts in places as far flung as communist China (where his instrumental music was seen, correctly or not, as non-threatening). He released a third album, the quirky and accomplished Magnetic Fields, which saw him begin to dabble with digital equipment. The album contained a mere 5 tracks, but the quality was consistent throughout the 36 minute running time. Part 2 was sampled in the legendary 8-bit computer game "Bomb Jack", and to many 80's gamers this was (unwittingly) their introduction to Jarre's work.

It took a further three years for Jarre's next album to arrive, but once it did it was easy to understand the delay. Featuring countless worldwide samples (the LP's inner sleeve was in various exotic languages) and guest collaborations from the likes of Laurie Anderson (who was famous for her experimental single "O Superman"), Zoolook was an instant critical success. The first track, "Ethnicolour 1" is simply mind-blowing. The Laurie Anderson collaboration "Diva" is enchanting, and the single Zoolook is lively. Perhaps the one drawback on the album is the vocal sample that is prevalent on "Zoolooklologie". Jarre really should have consulted his then-wife, the English actress Charlotte Rampling, on whether the phrase "TIT, TIT TIT TIT, TITTIT" would come across as nothing more than comically distracting to an English speaking audience!

In 1986 Jarre released Rendez-Vous, and all snide remarks had vanished. An album of epic proportions, he showcased it live in Houston, Texas. Truly, the era of a superstar had begun. To some, this was also when his credibility began to decline. The reintroduction of a "laser harp" (on Rendez-Vous Part 2), while visually stunning, meant very little to those who knew what it technically produced. Still, it did look impressive. Aside from the bombast, Rendez-Vous Part 4 was one of Jean-Michel's most melodic and memorable tunes to date. Jarre had intended for the Space Shuttle Challenger astronaut Ron McNair to play saxophone on the last piece of Rendez-Vous live, sadly history was not to allow the gallant man that privilege.

In '88 Jarre decided to play a live concert in London, UK, to coincide with the release of his newest album Revolution. The album was very heavy in parts, taking inspiration from the Industrial Revolution, and it showed a very classical approach which Jarre had been constructing up to this point. Still, there were a few dance tunes such as the fantastic Arabic infused "Revolutions", with its vocodered vocals hinting at what different cultures accepted (or not).

1990 saw a radical departure for Jarre's studio work. While the three main pieces of "Waiting For Cousteau" (entitled Calypso) were somewhat typical of the time (huge digital sampling of native instruments, cod Caribbean dancing puppets in the live shows), the main attraction was the title track (in French, "En Attendant Cousteau"). Clocking in at over 45 minutes long on the CD issue this was a shock to every Jarre fan... it was without rhythm! This is ambient, in the strictest meaning of the term (coined by the founder of the genre, Brian Eno). It still stands as a sublime piece of understated music, and a definite nudge to those who dare to tar Jarre with one stereotypical brush.

In 1991 Jarre released a Best Of compilation, "Images", in which he re-recorded his best pieces on digital equipment. The results are poor, the music sounding sterile and cheap. On the whole, this compilation is best avoided (although it does contain the rare tracks Moon Machine & Globe Trotter).

1993 saw the last album that Jean Michel would release on digital equipment before returning to his analogue roots. Chronologie is a strong LP, which while being totally digital still has a soul that makes it eminently listenable. He toured Europe to promote this album, and standout tracks such as Part 6 and the euphoric Part 4 make this certainly an album to investigate.

But by 1997, Jean-Michel had had enough of digital music. He decided to return to his analogue roots, and it is with this idea that the album Oxygène 7-13 was born. Quite simply, it is sublime. Containing all the elements that made the original Oxygène great, Parts 7-13 compliment the original album yet at the same time demonstrate a freshness that made it very relevant to the burgeoning electronic dance sound of the mid-90's that Jarre helped define.

At the turn of the Millennium the album Metamorphoses was released, a radical departure in that most of the tracks featured vocals. As could be predicted, some work better than others. It is ironic that Jean-Michel credits the band AIR in his notes around this time, as where that band undoubtedly were inspired by him in their formative years Jarre appeared to be influenced by them in return for this album. Softly vocodered vocals over lush electronics abound, and it ends up being difficult to decipher who influenced who. Still, it is a strong album and the track "Millions Of Stars" in particular is incredibly beautiful.

Post 2000 I have somewhat lost count of Jean-Michel's work. I do know he has made some low-key pieces such as "Sessions 2000" and "Geometry Of Love", as well as a new "Best Of" entitled "AERO" (which is useless unless you have incredibly expensive equipment on which to play it) and a new album called Téo & Téa, which was unremarkable with the exception of the retro sounding "Vintage".

Nonetheless, Jean-Michel Jarre has provided me with more than a lifetime's worth of fantastic music. More than I could expect from any artist. I sincerely hope to hear more from this groundbreaking musician soon.


May 4, 2004
As a music collector, and lover of all things synth, Jarre is an included artist in my ever expanding music collection. As much as I like his work, I have to bring up the fact that when Jarres 'Oxygene part IV' charted in August 1977, Kraftwerks 'Autobahn' had already been doing the rounds for more than 2 years. If you want pioneering electro/synth then start from Germany before arriving at France.


May 2, 2004
edited over 2 years ago
While he's undoubtedly a massive commercial one-man force and the subject of intense adoration from a seriously geeky fanbase, the lack of consensus among the many self-appointed Harold Blooms of electronic music regarding Jarre's (non-)inclusion in the canon is striking and shows how one man's techno pioneer is another man's purveyor of insignificant housewife-friendly electronic schmaltz. But while Jarre's romanticism sometimes tip over into sentimental sappiness and ill-advised kitsch (like "Magnetic Fields Part 2"s unfortunate resemblance to Elton John's "Crocodile Rock"), and his infamous concerts were some of the most megalomaniac excesses ever conceived, his most inspired music is instrumental synth pop genius which has stood the test of time remarkably well. Post-80's Jarre is for the most part eminently avoidable, but from "Oxygene" and ca. a decade onwards, the Frenchman popularized electronic music with a lot more style and finesse than he's often accused of. And the break in "Equinoxe Part 5" is textbook proto-techno.


December 9, 2002
Jarre might have been a source of inspiration for a LOT of dance producers in the 80's and 90's (just take a listen at his track 'Arpeggiator', this is massive!!!), but his roots were far more in pop and new-age. He was a pioneer in the latter, and indeed you can go crazy from listening to his stuff...combine it with some Vangelis and you're in for a trip to the asylum...

Lists Add to List

Videos (121) Edit