Jean-Michel Jarre



by Final Origin USER (41 Reviews)
June 27th, 2005 | 11 replies

Release Date: 1978 | Tracklist

Equinoxe was the second major-label album release by Jean-Michel Jarre, released in 1978. The total record sales of this album is more than 10 million copies, but yet inferior to the sales of Oxygene. The album reflects the all day life of a human being, from morning to night. This album clocks in at about 40 minutes altogether which is good for just 1 song that is "Equinoxe". The parts are quite awkwardly divided up into 8 which on vinyl is hard to differenticate whether a new part has started, but now this album is on CD so you don't have to worry about that.

Jarre had developed his sound, employing more dynamic and rhythmic elements, particularly a greater use of sequencing on basslines. Much of this was achieved using custom equipment. This album consists of only keyboard and synthesisers. No vocals or other live instruments are used so basically this album is very unique in one aspect.

The release followed by a concert in Paris in 1979. This concert attracted 1 million people, which was Jarre's first entry in the Guinness Book of Records for the largest crowd for an outdoor concert. This was later beaten by himself at a later date by far more millions in Moscow.

Jean-Michel Jarre is regarded as one of the pioneers in the electronic music genre, along with artists and bands such as Vangelis, Kraftwerk, Isao Tomita or Tangerine Dream. 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, often of several million.

I have this on Vinyl so I have no idea when a track changes so I am going to write in full paragraphs.

So here is the review of:

Jean-Michel Jarre - Equinoxe

--- The Review ---

"Equinoxe Part I" starts off with keyboard playing at a fast rate to create this fast pace that kicks off the album. The atmosphere builds in in a short amount of time by adding in synthesised organs onto the rhythmic layer. At this point the are 2 pieces of layers playing at the same time. Then, a further layer is put on so it creates that waking up feeling of a person in the morning. This layer feels like that you have woken up in a good mood feel like running in the beautiful outside. "Part I" is kind of a wake up call to the album and makes you want to listen further into the sound which makes it an excellent start.

After this brief intro now comes "Part II" of the album. This part has an eerie feeling to it with its spooky music created on the synth. It sends shivers up your spine making you feel vunerable. The effect used is I think a phaser of some sort. On top of this, some kind of low sounding xylophone is placed on top creating an uncomfortable atmosphere which is about enough to make you feel worried. This kind of construction is amazing as it has that special effect that makes you feel isolated and I have never had that experience before in music so thats a first in my life. What a journey this is so far. The keyboard composion is fantastic here by Jean-Michel Jarre, don't forget, he is a one man band which is just mind boggling how he does this stuff. Later on, it feels like a kind of Sci-Fi feel to it which is kind of strange. After this it changes which goes to "Part III".

"Part III" comes away from the eerie atmosphere to bring up a more pleasent sound to put up your mood. The keyboard playing gets more in depth creating more texture into the song. The effects here are amazing here musically wise. The sounds coming out of the synth is superb and makes the journey of this album even more in depth. This part makes you feel like you are underwater swimming lower into the ocean aimlessly. Great atmospheric feel to it which now brings you to "Part IV". So far, this album sounds unique in its every way of music.

"Part IV" starts off with a fast pace of music with artifical drum beat to it. The atmosphere sound like you are running really fast franticly going past people in a rush. The beat here brings out the running feel here. Superb construction here with effects coming on at uneven times making surprises at times. This part is a bit repetitive but at times the texture of the song builds up enormously, its just the rhythm that is repetitive. The build up of this part tells you that the rush is getting more and more faster and then all of the music starts to fade away slowly to bring us to "Part V" of the album. This part is very good musically wise but does get repetitive but its not much of a problem.

"Part V" starts with a few lightening strikes then a sudden outbreak of beats come in out of nowhere. This part is very uplifting and beautifully made. The keyboard playing is special here and the lovely effects used here that are frantic are perfect to bring up this nice atmosphere, this is a break from the dark atmosphere that was the first 4 parts. The construction here is nicely done with effects at right times and composion is perfect. The ending brings out a rising notation which shows uplifting mood here. This part brings us to "Part VI".

The next 2 parts are just continuations of the recent part but with a more upbeat style. More texture is put on to create a more uplifting atmosphere which is nice to hear. Lovely composion here on the keyboard. This part as I said is nearly the same as the recent one so can't say much more about it other than as you get further into the music, the deeper the climax is from there, like "Part VI" is darker than "Part VII". These Parts sends you mouth watering for more amazing music from the genius electronic composer Jean-Michel Jarre. And comes more for "Part VIII".

"Part VIII" starts with wind blowing vigourously, then for the strangest reason, comes some kind of happy French music which I have no idea where it came from but then changes briefly to an organ style playing. This indicates the end of the journey which sounds like victory music. This is very pleasent to listen to and creates the atmosphere of victory and triumph. This piece is very short but it does have an impact on the album due to its reasoning. An amazing finish to an album.

--- Overview ---

Here are the ratings of the songs:

1. Equinoxe (Part I) - 4.5/5
2. Equinoxe (Part II) - 5/5
3. Equinoxe (Part III) - 4.5/5
4. Equinoxe (Part IV) - 4/5
5. Equinoxe (Part V) - 5/5
6. Equinoxe (Part VI) - 4.5/5
7. Equinoxe (Part VII) - 4.5/5
8. Equinoxe (Part VIII) - 5/5

Overall, the album lays down masterpieces of mind boggling music for your ears to listen. This kind of music is very unique and special. The atmospheric music here is superb that ranges you from feeling isolated to being victorious.

The album is very successful selling 10 million copies and attracting millions of people to just 1 concert!!!!! Surely this album is classic isn't it?

- Fantastic music
- So much atmospheric feeling to send you reeling
- Lovely composition
- Excellent songs all round

- A bit repetitive at some places

Overall: 5/5

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user ratings (106)

Comments:Add a Comment 
Final Origin
June 30th 2005


Album Rating: 5.0

I think I have his 1st album, "Oxygene" which is supposed to be his best album. Im gonna check out if I have it and review it if I find It.

Thanks for the feedback.

Final Origin
October 24th 2005


Album Rating: 5.0

Anyone heard of the legend that is Jean-Michel Jarre?

Final Origin
October 25th 2005


Album Rating: 5.0

It's very different, when you get time, check it out.

June 14th 2006


How does this one compare to Oxygene? That's the only Jarre record I own. I can't believe his music was ever popular, it's far too good.

Final Origin
June 15th 2006


Album Rating: 5.0

This is more atmospheric, it's also very different in music. I haven't heard Oxygene much so I guess you'll have to see for yourself.

January 8th 2009


Album Rating: 3.5

this isn't nearly as strong as oxygene but i really like this guys style. i feel like his music can sound really overdone at times but it doesnt really hinder the listening experience.

September 5th 2009


Album Rating: 5.0

The review wasn't very well done but this album is splendid. Through I feel Oxygène is much more

emotionally powerful then this album.

May 27th 2010


Album Rating: 4.5

This album is brilliant!!!!!Jarre's music is very popular even if we don'r know it.It has been used in endless spots and tv programmes...

December 5th 2010


The main purpose I think of Jarre in this style was to help popularize this kind of music, which is partly why they are so famous. With Jarre i really like some of his singles, but I'm not sure the two albums he did in this period fully convince me. But his impact to me is about the tunes which got the deserved airplay and obviously led to it being a big influence on the main part of popular music.

January 19th 2015


My Grandad gave me this on vinyl with a bunch of other stuff.

Guess I better jam.

December 21st 2015


Album Rating: 4.5

First half of Part 7 is awesome

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