|Produced by Jean-Michel Jarre|
|Released on December 1976|
|UK CHART POSITION #2 . . . US CHART POSITION #78|
|Find it at GEMM|
O K, here’s a brain teaser (and I’ll give you a clue that the engineer connection is irrelevant). I, Robot: Animals as Oxygene: a) Book of Dreams b) Metal Machine Music c) Phaedra d) Heaven and Hell. If you answered C, then you’re probably feeling at least a twinge of pity for me that I have nothing better to do with my time. This album of space rock literally launched the career of Jean-Michel Jarre, riding on the cosmic coattails of earlier space pioneers like Tangerine Dream, Vangelis and Michael Oldfield all the way to #2 on the UK charts. In the world of music, timing is everything and talent is gravy. The trouble with Oxygene is that it’s spread with a pretty thin galactic gravy, thus its status as a kind of Tangerine Dream lite. Fortunately, it’s a pretty big universe out there, and space rock fans can make all sorts of room for an artist like Jarre. He doesn’t conjure the electrical stormclouds of TD or the precious antiquity of Vangelis, choosing instead a modicum of sounds with which to paint the cosmos. The results can be heard as refreshingly accessible or relatively trite, depending on whether you see space rock as an extension of the classical movement or as an excuse for non-musicians to make grandiose musical statements. If you’re inclined to give this music the benefit of the doubt, let Oxygene wash over you with its persistent sequencer patterns, crackling synthetic percussion, and streams of sound. The net effect is very similar to Tangerine Dream, if less likely to reward medicated introspection. Jarre’s most distinctive touch may come on the closing Part VI, a kind of synthetic lounge music that lets the air out of the space rock balloon, exposing that rarest of breeds: an electronic composer with a sense of humor. Not that it has anything to do with anything, but Oxygene (Part VI) reminds me a lot of a Godley & Creme song (“Freeze Frame,” I think). Oh, and did I mention that I like Oxygene? Probably should have worked that in somewhere...
|PD-1-6112 back cover||PD-1-6112 promotional sleeve|
JEAN-MICHEL JARRE -- A.R.P. synthesizer, A.K.S. synthesizer, V.C.S. 3 synthesizer, R.M.I. harmonic synthesizer, Farsifa organ, Eminent, mellotron, Rhythmin' computer
Jean-Pierre Janiaud -- mixing engineer
Michel Granger -- cover art
|REGION||RELEASE DATE||LABEL||MEDIA||ID NUMBER||FEATURES|
|FRA||1976||Disques Motors||LP||MTO 77000|
|UK||1981||Polydor||2CS||repackaged w. EQUINOXE|
|FRA/US||September 21, 1993||Dreyfus||CD||FDM 36140|
|1997||Dreyfus||CD||EPC 487375||24-bit remaster|
For more discographies visit...
© 2006 Connolly & Company. All rights reserved.