Jean Michel Jarre – Oxygène, part 5

• “Oxygène, part 5” set to a picture of the housing album cover. Thanks to oldiesfan520.

7.7 “Great Electronica from France”

From his album “Oxygène” (Les Disques Motors 2933-207) released in 1976.

Oxygène came in 6 parts; parts 2 and 6 were my favourites but I had long since collected them via an old compilation LP, so it falls to the next best selection which was new to me this year. Part 5, ten minutes long, has a particularly excellent second half.

My album review:

After quietly cultivating his craft over the course of several years, the 28-year-old painter from Lyon assembled his debut album at home in his makeshift studio, and Disques Motors took the gamble where others would not, pressing up 50,000 copies for sale. “Oxygène” was released just in time for Christmas ’76 and within 4 months they were onto a second pressing with sales of 70,000. In time, the LP would go on to sell 12 to 15 million copies (depending on whose account you believe), and became the biggest selling French LP of all-time. Hipsters from the Tangerine Dream crowd scoffed but what do they know? Not complex enough they say. Simplistic melodies they say, as if some sort of hideous crime has been committed. There are those who are lining up to tell you that this LP is nothing more than a coffee table accessory piece, filled with background muzak pleasantry, but they are all wrong. Intensely lush and highly melodic, this set is simply luxurious – the aural equivalent of sinking into a bubble bath with freshly cut melons and nothing on your agenda but sweet, sweet music. Careful listening reveals the soundscape adventures within to be many and varied. This LP is just lovely – a work of art.

You can read more of my favourite album reviews of 1976 here.

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