Monday, March 17, 2008

Jean Michel Jarre's return to planet Oxygene

Jean Michel Jarre talks on taking his electronic opus on tour

Jean Michael Jarre

...going back to his routers: synth pioneer Jean Michel Jarre

[The Sunday Times, March 16, 2008]. We’ve come to believe that - unlike the greedy, grasping, bottom-line-obsessed present day - the 1970s represented a golden age in the music industry, when record companies would nurture and invest in talent with nary a thought for commercial returns. This may not be entirely true. If it were true, it would follow that when Jean Michel Jarre started taking his Oxygène album round the record companies looking for a deal back in 1976, he would have met an enthusiastic response, along the lines of: “Okay, it’s a bit different, but you’re obviously a talented lad, so we’ll take a chance on you and, if it doesn’t sell, so be it.” This is not what happened.

“It was refused by many, many record companies,” Jarre recalls, with the wry amusement that 15m subsequent sales of the album affords him. He reels off the litany of excuses he was given for this rejection: “ ‘There are no singers, no songs, the tracks are all too long, they’re all called the same thing.’ “Even my mother asked me, ‘Why do you have to name it after a gas?’ ” Oxygène was finally released in France in 1976, and in the UK a year later, establishing itself as a landmark album and making Jarre an international star... [continued...]

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