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Jean-Michel Jarre: 'Electronic music deals in sound, not just notes'

French synth legend Jean-Michel Jarre tells Prog the inside story behind the creation of his breakthrough Oxygène album, and about finally completing its 40-year journey

These are heady times for Jean-Michel Jarre, even by his own lofty standards. His two Electronica albums – 2015’s _The Time Machine_ and this summer’s The Heart Of Noise, featuring top-notch guests like Tangerine Dream, Massive Attack, Hans Zimmer, Laurie Anderson, The Orb, John Carpenter and many more – were huge hits across Europe, taking him into the UK Top 10 for the first time in 25 years.

Their combined success led to an extensive tour of the continent this autumn, packing out arenas from Cardiff to Copenhagen, Brussels to Budapest. At 68 years of age, and bearing in mind this is a man who’s shifted 80 million albums over his career, Jarre’s commercial and artistic clout is arguably at its peak – or at least on a similar level to 1977, when Oxygène took him from jobbing composer of library music to full-blown international superstar.


From the archive

From the archive

From the archive

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