“Équinoxe” by Jean Michel Jarre - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1978Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s

TJR says

After the huge success of “Oxygène”, Jarre delivered the follow-up in December '78, exactly two years later. The wondrous space age effect remains the same, whilst the nuanced sounds and textures from an ever-increasing array of synthesizers, sequencers and computers keep the senses stimulated for the near 40-minute journey. Just when you feel there's a lull, something suddenly sparkles and glistens before you, like the aural equivalent of some nebulous whirl from a far off galaxy. The journey moves onwards with such subtle variety that it's often difficult to recall the identity of one piece from another, which is probably why he felt that titling the pieces as numbers made sense. Noticably, the album is divided into two distinct sides, the first almost serving as the relative calm before the storm. For me, it's the latter four sections which hold the greatest excitement, led from the off by the immediate finger-clicking melodic brilliance of the “Equinoxe, part 5”, one of two singles released from the set (it was preceded by “Equinoxe, part 4”). His uniqueness is striking; not an easy thing to pull off in the world of electronica.

On 14th July 1979, Jarre held a large open-air concert on Bastille Day, at the Place de la Concorde, as Wikipedia tells: “The free outdoor event set a world record for the largest number of spectators ever at an open-air concert, drawing more than 1 million spectators. Although it was not the first time he had performed in concert (Jarre had already played at the Paris Opera Ballet), the 40 minute-long event, which used projections of light, images and fireworks, served as a blueprint for Jarre's future concerts. Its popularity helped create a surge in sales—a further 800,000 records were sold between 14 July and 31 August 1979 — and introduced the Frenchman to Francis Rimbert, who worked for Jarre during two decades on a full-time basis.” Clearly, a smart operator. He was now backed by two good albums and a big fan base. I think the world was ready for this freshness.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:15] 5.5.png Jean Michel Jarre - Equinoxe, part 1 (Jean Michel Jarre) Electronica
A2 [05:10] 5.6.png Jean Michel Jarre - Equinoxe, part 2 (Jean Michel Jarre) Electronica
A3 [05:35] 5.2.png Jean Michel Jarre - Equinoxe, part 3 (Jean Michel Jarre) Electronica
A4 [07:30] 6.3.png Jean Michel Jarre - Equinoxe, part 4 (Jean Michel Jarre) Electronica
B1 [03:50] 8.7.png Jean Michel Jarre - Equinoxe, part 5 (Jean Michel Jarre) Electronica
B2 [03:30] 7.0.png Jean Michel Jarre - Equinoxe, part 6 (Jean Michel Jarre) Electronica
B3 [08:10] 6.8.png Jean Michel Jarre - Equinoxe, part 7 (Jean Michel Jarre) Electronica
B4 [05:00] 7.0.png Jean Michel Jarre - Equinoxe, part 8 (Jean Michel Jarre) Electronica

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