PD-1-6175 Equinoxe
Produced by Jean-Michel Jarre
Released on December 1978
Find it at GEMM
PD-1-6175 cover
[high resolution photo]

D ining on a desert moon, with the taking of toast and tea, this is the Jarre of space jam I would bring with me. As much as I enjoyed Oxygene (OK, so it didnít exactly take my breath away), itís Equinoxe where Jarre settles into his own element. Slices of Tangerine Dreamís creepiness, Vangelisí romance and Klaus Schulzeís rhythmic re-casting of a seemingly solid foundation are slipped into the sandwich, but the concoction is clearly in the hands of the French composer. His warmth, sense of humor, appreciation for clarity and simplicity all conspire to make Equinoxe his most compelling cosmic ballet. The work is again split into parts, ostensibly following the sun on its course over the planet, witnessed from a remote location in the quiet aether. Pieces of Equinoxe can be counted among the composerís most memorable moments: kindling his romance with the cosmos on Part 1, the burbling that closes Part 3 and leads the listener into the fascinating world of Part 4, the effusion of energy on Part 5, and the heroic Part 8. Where some of the devices in Oxygene seemed artificial, drawing the listener back down to earth with mundane gimmickry, Equinoxe chooses its effects with efficacy and eloquence: bubbling magma, clouds of loosely aggregated matter skimming by at light speed, and shafts of light piercing an interminable darkness are carefully introduced and cleanly disposed before becoming overexposed. Though Jarre had added a few polyphonic synthesizers to his arsenal since Oxygene, itís not merely a broader lexicon of sounds but a better grasp of the electronic language that comes to light on Equinoxe. Granted, Equinoxe isnít a departure from Oxygeneís formula so much as a new-and-improved version of that formula; the pieces are still divided into a rhythmic foundation and a melodic tier on top, and his hallmark humorous interlude appears a little early at the close of Part 7 (this piece was later billed as ďThe Band in the RainĒ when performed for Les Concerts En Chine). Perhaps Equinoxe isnít a Polaris in the pantheon of luminous space rock epics (a place Iíll accord to Phaedra), but certainly it stands a work of Sirius merit.

PD-1-6175 back cover
PD-1-6175 back cover


  1. EQUINOXE PART 1    2:15
  2. EQUINOXE PART 2    5:10
  3. EQUINOXE PART 3    5:35
  4. EQUINOXE PART 4    7:30
  5. EQUINOXE PART 5    3:50
  6. EQUINOXE PART 6    3:30
  7. EQUINOXE PART 7    8:10
  8. EQUINOXE PART 8    5:00

    Composed by Jean-Michel Jarre


JEAN-MICHEL JARRE -- 2600 ARP synthesizer, AKS synthesizer, VCS 3 synthesizer, Yamaha polyphonic synthesizer, Oberheim polyphonic synthesizer, RMI harmonic synthesizer, RMI keyboard computer, ELKA 707, Korg polyphonic ensemble, Eminent, Mellotron, ARP sequencer, Oberheim digital sequencer, Matrisequencer 250, rhythmicomputer, Vocoder E.M.S.
Michael Geiss -- special thanks for his help and development of new instruments
Jean-Pierre Janiaud -- mixing engineer
Michael Granger -- front cover

FRA 1978 Disques Dreyfus LP/CS FDM 83150  
UK December 1978 Polydor LP POLD 5007  
US/CAN December 1978 Polydor LP/CS/8T PD/PD4/PD8-1-6175  
GER/NET 1978 Polydor LP 2344 120  
JPN   Polydor LP MPF 1214  
YUG 1978 Dreyfus LP 5946  
US April 5, 1994 Dreyfus CD 361412  


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