From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Studio album by Jean Michel Jarre|
|Recorded||August 1976 – November 1976|
|Genre||Electronic, New Age, ambient|
|Producer||Jean Michel Jarre|
|Jean Michel Jarre chronology|
Oxygène is an album of instrumental electronic music composed, produced, and performed by the French composer Jean Michel Jarre. It was released in 1976 on Disques Dreyfus and licensed to Polydor. Jarre recorded the album in his home using a variety of analog synthesizers and other electronic instruments and effects. It became a bestseller and was highly influential in the development of electronic music. It has been described as the album that "led the synthesizer revolution of the Seventies."
Prior to 1976, Jarre had dabbled in a number of projects, including an unsuccessful synthesizer music album, advertising jingles and compositions for a ballet. His inspiration for Oxygène came from a painting by the artist Michel Granger that was given to him by his future wife Charlotte Rampling. The Painting showed the Earth peeling to reveal a skull and Jarre obtained the artist's permission to use the image for this album.
Jarre composed Oxygène over a period of eight months using a number of analogue synthesizers and an eight-track recorder set up in the kitchen of his apartment.However, he found it difficult to get the record released, not least because it had "No singers, no proper [track] titles, just 'I', 'II', 'III', 'IV', 'V' and 'VI'".
He eventually found a publisher, Francis Dreyfus, head of Disques Motors (now Disques Dreyfus). Dreyfus was the husband of one of Jarre's fellow-pupils at the Groupe de Recherches Musicales of Pierre Schaeffer, where Jarre had learned to use synthesizers, including the EMS VCS 3, which was to play a major part in the music of Oxygène. Although Dreyfus was initially skeptical of electronic music, he gambled by pressing a run of 50,000 copies. The album went on to sell 15 million copies.
In 1997, Jarre produced a sequel album called Oxygene 7–13. This refers to the original album as being the first six movements from a larger complete piece of work, despite the time difference between the release of the two albums. It was written in the same style and using some of the same instruments, although the work is much more uptempo. Jarre was clear about not trying to copy the mood or atmosphere from the original album, but using the same work approach to "create a mood later".
In 2007, Jarre produced a new version of the album, recorded live on a stage, but with no audience, for a DVD release that included 3D video. The title of the new DVD CD set is Oxygene: New Master Recording. He used the same instruments, but performed the work with three other collaborators (Dominique Perrier, Francis Rimbert and Claude Samard), rather than overdubbing all parts himself.
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Oxygène consists of six tracks, numbered simply Oxygène Part I to VI. Its sound has been described as "an infectious combination of bouncy, bubbling analog sequences and memorable hook lines."
Contrasted with its contemporaries, such as the rather "clinical", hard, futuristic sound of Kraftwerk's early music or the more "cosmic" and murky Tangerine Dream, Oxygène has a lush, spacey and strongly melodic sound.
- "Oxygène (Part I)" – 7:40
- "Oxygène (Part II)" – 8:04
- "Oxygène (Part III)" – 2:58
- "Oxygène (Part IV)" – 4:07
- "Oxygène (Part V)" – 10:31
- "Oxygène (Part VI)" – 6:19
The track "Oxygène (Part I)" was used in the film documentary entitled "Palawan : Le Dernier Refuge" on the life of oceanographer Jacques-Yves Cousteau.The track "Oxygène (Part II)" was used in the Australian film Gallipoli to accompany the crucial running sequences.
The track "Oxygène (Part II)" (the fugue part beginning from 1:36) was used as a (alternative) title theme for the British SciFi TV Series Space: 1999 in the German dubbed version as shown by the ZDF during the early 80s.
"Oxygène (Part II)" was used in the introductory scenes of "COSMOS by Carl Sagan" when it was first aired in the Brazilian Television in 1981.
"Oxygène (Part II)" was used in the advert for the Citroen C5 in 2001.
"Oxygène (Part IV)" features in the game Grand Theft Auto IV on an in-game radio station, The Journey.
"Oxygène (Part IV)" also appears in UK comedy series Knowing Me, Knowing You... with Alan Partridge's second episode as magician Tony LeMesmer (David Schneider) performs a magic trick on Alan's show. It has also been used in television station interstitials and station identifications, such as Canadian television station CBXT in the early 1980s accompanied by a spinning CBC logo on a black background, primarily before the end of the broadcast day.
Segments of the album "Oxygène" can be heard in many amusement arcades across the United Kingdom (notably in "Elaut" machines).
"Oxygène (Part IV)" was also used for the UK television series Where There's Life
"Oxygène (Part IV)" is also used in Mega Crane novelty claw machines manufactured by Elaut.
"Oxygène (Part IV)" was played during the closing credits of the BBC documentary Micro Men.
Key components of Jarre's sound included his use of the Electro-Harmonix Small Stone phaser on synthetic string pads provided by the Dutch-built Eminent-310 Unique organ, and liberal use of echo on various sound effects generated by the VCS 3 and EMS Synthi AKS synthesizers.
The album reached #2 in the UK charts and #78 in the US charts.
- Jean Michel Jarre – ARP Synthesizer, EMS Synthi AKS, VCS 3 Synthesizer, RMI Harmonic Synthesizer, Farfisa Professional Organ, Eminent 310U, Mellotron and the Rhythmin' Computer (later revealed to be a Korg Minipops-7 rhythm machine)
- ^ a b c Green, Thomas H. (2008-03-27), Oxygène: ba-boo-boo beew, telegraph.co.uk, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/3672108/Oxygene-ba-boo-boo-beew.html, retrieved 2009-03-14
- ^ a b Greg Rule, Electro Shock!: Groundbreakers of Synth Music, p. 238. Backbeat Books, 1999. ISBN 0879305827
- ^ a b Edwards, Mark (2008-03-16), Jean Michel Jarre's return to planet Oxygene, entertainment.timesonline.co.uk, http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article3542056.ece, retrieved 2009-05-28
- ^ Jonathan Rayner, The Films of Peter Weir, p. 134. Continuum International Publishing Group, 2003. ISBN 0826415350
- ^ "The Music of The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy". h2g2. bbc.co.uk. http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/alabaster/A4147652. Retrieved 2008-04-14. "The author say the source is "This information comes from the original radio series script book.""
- ^ "Oxygene Review". http://www.connollyco.com/discography/jeanmichel_jarre/oxygene.html.