Trivia / Jean-Michel Jarre

  • Ascended Fanon: The first Rarities bootleg album had a cover based on that of the extremely rare La Cage/Erosmachine 7" single with some of the tracks listed at the top and bottom margins. Being a bootleg, it has never been official. Then came the 2011 Essentials & Rarities compilation. The Rarities CD got its own cover—based on the Rarities bootleg.
  • Author Existence Failure: The NASA astronaut Ron McNair was to record a piece of music composed for this purpose aboard the space shuttle and even play it live at Rendez-vous Houston. Then came the 1986 Challenger disaster with McNair on board.
  • Breakthrough Hit: Oxygène as an album, "Oxygène 4" as a single/a song. Most people aren't even aware that Jarre has made music before Oxygène already.
  • Cash Cow Franchise: Although Disques Dreyfus has always been a jazz label, Francis Dreyfus clung to his rights on Jarre's recordings as hard as he could because the immense amount of money they made. And they still do—Oxygène was released in 1976, but it still sells well enough that whatever number of sales one might read somewhere that isn't declared recent has long been surpassed.
  • Completely Different Title: The Japanese title for Oxygène is 幻想惑星, Fantasy Planet.
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer:
    • Mass media sometimes love to mention a Moog synthesizer in conjunction with Jarre's classic albums. Jarre didn't own a Moog before he made the 1993 album Chronologie. What they hear instead is most likely an ARP 2600.
    • Also, the use of the term "digital" on Jarre's famous classic albums to describe how futuristic and high-tech they may seem. Actually, Jarre had only two at least partly digital instruments in The '70s, the RMI Harmonic Synthesizer and the RMI Keyboard Computer which have digital oscillators for maximal tuning precision and stability. Everything else is analog.
  • Creator Couple: Jarre and his second wife, the British actress Charlotte Rampling. She is responsible for the vast majority of official photographs of her husband, including those on album covers. Jarre even sampled the shutter and winder noises of her camera and used them in "Souvenir Of China".
  • Cut Song: "Moon Machine" was intended to be part of Rendez-vous but never released before the Images compilation five years later. Also, the many songs left out of most of Jarre's official live albums and videos.
  • Executive Meddling: It's more like Political Meddling, but Jarre had to replace every instance of "revolution" in "Revolution, Revolutions" for the Twelve Dreams of the Sun because the word "revolution" is banned in Egypt.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes
    • Anything pre-Oxygène was produced and originally sold in comparatively small numbers and without any re-issue. Not only are these items hard to find today, they're also outrageously expensive. Jarre's first single release, La Cage/Erosmachine of which not many more than 100 have survived, sells for four-digit Euro prices. His first album, Deserted Palace, and the Les Granges Brûlées soundtrack grew similarly expensive. The first of a series of Rarities bootleg records was produced to compensate this and bring these treasures to the average Jarre fan (with good enough connections to be able to obtain one, that is), but even these are long-out-of-print and costly items. For many years, Jarre fans had to literally circulate and copy audio tapes and then distribute MP3 files ripped from said audio tapes to hand them over to other fans until they were at least partly Rescued: Les Granges Brûlées was re-released on CD in 2003, and 2011 saw the release of the Essentials & Rarities compilation with one CD full of rare pre-Oxygène tracks (including "Happiness Is A Sad Song" and "Hypnose" which are even older than "La Cage").
    • Of Music For Supermarkets, only one copy was ever made, and since Jarre destroyed the master tapes, there will never be any more. A bootleg is the only way to get it, and even the bootlegs are of abysmal quality since they're all from the same AM radio broadcast.
    • There have only ever been two official concert recording which contains a complete Jarre show with no tracks left out or shortened. One is the Concert pour la tolérance LaserDisc; this item was available in France only and neither on VHS nor later on on DVD. The other one is the Jarre In China CD/double-DVD box, and even this only thanks to thousands of fans' outrage about the drastically shortened Live In Beijing single DVD. Most Jarre concerts, including every single tour since 1997, have never seen an official release. The few official concert recordings don't really represent the actual show well. Tracks are missing (Rendez-vous Houston, for example, has been cut down from a two-hour show to about 40 minutes), have been edited in length (Paris La Défense, for example, has only a few unedited tracks, some others are only half as long as they were at the show; also compare the old In Concert Houston-Lyon with its Cities In Concert re-release), or have been remixed or even re-recorded (Rendez-vous Lyon is an offender of this), and the Hong Kong album doesn't even contain a second of music from the actual concert (Souvenir Of China and Fishing Junks At Sunset were taken from the rehearsals, the whole rest comes from the Europe In Concert tour, mostly the Barcelona show which was—incompletely—released on VHS). Even today, the only way to obtain a full-length Jarre concert recording is a bootleg. Fortunately, Jarre encourages this.
  • Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition:
    • The golden Original Master Recording edition CDs of Oxygène and Equinoxe.
    • The limited box set The Laser Years exclusively contained Cities In Concert, an In Concert Houston-Lyon special variant with all music in full length — that is, until In Concert Houston-Lyon was replaced by Cities In Concert as part of the regular back catalog during the 1997 remastering.
    • The original eleven-track Jarremix with an additional Laurent Garnier remix has inofficially become that.
    • The Complete Oxygène is Oxygène and Oxygène 7-13, the latter with a bonus track called "Oxygen In Moscow", in a tall black cardboard case. Today, the case is the only reason to buy The Complete Oxygène because the bonus track is actually Claude Monnet's "Oxygène 12" remix also available on Odyssey Through O2, and even then you'll have a hard time fitting that box anywhere into your collection as it's even taller than a DVD case.
    • Aero came out as a CD, a CD with a video DVD of Anne Parillaud's eyes while listening to the album (as seen on the cover) and a CD with a 3-D video DVD of Anne Parillaud's eyes.
    • Oxygène – New Master Recording also came along with a video disk containing the Oxygène – Live In Your Living-Room performance recording.
  • Milestone Celebration:
    • Rendez-vous Houston celebrated both the state of Texas' and the city of Houston's 150th anniversary and the 25th anniversary of NASA. Jarre even joked about returning another 150 years later.
    • The mini-gig Destination Trocadéro honored the Eiffel Tower's 100th birthday.
    • Paris La Défense, breaking Jarre's Rendez-vous Houston audience record, was exactly one year late for celebrating the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution and the 10th anniversary of Jarre's already record-breaking debut concert.
    • At Jarre's Europe In Concert gig in Brussels, the fans celebrated his 45th birthday.
    • Oxygen In Moscow, breaking Jarre's Paris La Défense audience record, was part of the city of Moscow's 850th anniversary celebrations.
    • The album Oxygène 7-13 was originally scheduled to be released 20 years after Oxygène, but it came several months later when it was already 1997.
    • Oxygène – New Master Recording was even worse. It was first largely re-recorded in a studio. Then it was completely re-recorded by Jarre and his three live co-keyboardists at that time in front of running cameras which became Oxygène – Live In Your Living-Room to be bundled with the album. When that was completed and the Oxygène remake could finally be released, it was 2008 already.
    • Oxygène 3, however, came out on December 2nd, 2016, precisely 40 years after Oxygène
  • No Export for You: Taken to the extreme with the Oxygene Moscow DVD, of which only two versions were released in the USA and Brazil respectively. Also, the Concert pour la Tolérance LaserDisc was released in France only, and the concert itself has never been officially available on any other media, neither video nor audio (bootlegs notwithstanding).
  • Prop Recycling: The monstrous "musical instrument" from Destination Docklands named "Central Station", custom-made by Lag, had two semi-circular keyboards stacked upon one another as a central element, one with 97 normally-spaced black and white keys, one with big illumiated keys. These two ended up as a much smaller controller at Paris La Défense. The normal black-and-white keyboard, in turn, was used at the Europe In Concert tour, standing on two regular X-shaped keyboard stands with no special external casing.
    • Also, the gigantic "Merry Monarch" puppets from Paris La Défense returned at Oxygen In Moscow.
  • Sequel Gap: Oxygène 7-13 was released almost 21 years after the original Oxygène, Oxygène 3 came exactly 40 years later.
  • Similarly Named Works: Jarre played a two-part piece of music named "Aero" at the concert of the same name in Denmark 2002. Two years later, the album Aero was released with an entirely different track named "Aero"—and the live version of "Rendez-vous 4" which had been played right after the original "Aero" at the concert.
    • There have been three different Jarre compilations titled The Essential so far.
  • Troubled Production:
    • The China concerts in 1981 were the first time ever that live music was electronically amplified, let alone produced, in the People's Republic of China. Among other things, it turned out that there was simply not enough electricity in Beijing for the concerts and the surrounding city quarter. Solution: Everything around the concert venue was blacked out in order for Jarre to have sufficient electricity.
    • Also in Beijing, Jarre noticed that the entire audience of his first concert consisted only of government and military officials and the like. Normal people were completely absent because they simply couldn't afford the tickets although these were comparatively dirt cheap. Not a single ticket had been sold. Solution this time: Jarre and his team went out the next day, bought all the tickets for what amounted to a few hundred dollars and gave them away for free. Outcome: epic celebration the same evening.
    • Rendez-vous Houston was difficult not only because nobody had ever staged a concert of that sheer size before, but also because fireworks are banned in Texas, not to mention Ron McNair's death and street traffic in large parts of the city coming to a grinding halt, especially after the concert when more than 1.5 million people wanted to drive back home all at once.
    • Destination Docklands actually had to be delayed by almost a month and played twice because of the horrible rain and storm. When the two shows finally took place, it wasn't that much better, though, and much of the equipment suffered from water damage. Likewise, one of the Europe In Concert shows had to be cancelled after heavy rainfall because the stage had started to sink into the muddy ground.
    • Jarre wanted to play a concert during the total solar eclipse in Teotihuacan, Mexico, in 1991. The reason why this didn't happen was that the ship from Europe with the special custom-made stage aboard sank while crossing the Atlantic.
    • Mont Saint-Michel proved to be too difficult for the audience to reach during the Europe In Concert tour. That said, this was the very first tour concert Jarre has ever played. Nonetheless, the traffic to the rather remote venue jammed so badly that people with valid tickets couldn't get to the location in time, and it got even worse after the show when the crowd left again.
    • The Madrid concert of the Europe In Concert tour had to be cancelled hours before it would have gone ahead due to heavy rain. The weather itself wasn't so much of a problem, but the ground under the stage was so soaked that the gigantic welded stage had begun to sink in.
    • Oxygen In Moscow. Try to get the biggest concert in Russian history off the ground in Moscow less than six years after the end of the Soviet Union. Most of it ended up being sheer luck.
    • Aero took place in a windmill park somewhere in Denmark. There were no buildings, not even any paved surfaces of any kind. And it rained like crazy. Everything in front of the stage turned into a mudfest, and after the concert, cars would get stuck in the mud in the Danish outback in the middle of the night.
  • Vanilla Edition: Live In Beijing seems to be this in hindsight because all songs on it are shortened whereas Jarre In China contains exactly the same double-concert uncut and with THX-certified surround sound plus an excerpt audio CD. The truth, however, is that Jarre In China came into existence because thousands of fans protested against Live In Beijing being cut like all Jarre concert releases (except for the France-only ''Concert pour la tolérance LaserDisc) before.

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