Imagine the scene in 1976. One unheard of French gent, a simple 8 track recording studio, mostly self made. Simple monophonic and primitive polyphonic synthesisers which no one could understand and a album consisting of 6 instrumental pieces of music strung together with no vocals titled Oxygene. Sounds dull ? Forget it.
This was an incredible achievement in anyones eyes. Electronic music in 1976 was a mostly unheard of style and only a handfull of artists broke thru to the public domain being held back not because of thier talent but because of simple prejudice and a misunderstanding of the style. Many a talent in this field struggled for many years, Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Tomita, Vangelis to name a few.
Then Jarre delivered this masterpiece which caught the publics imagination then spawned many a wannabe in subsequent years.
Futuristic, majestic, deep, dark and melodic the music swirls and envelopes you in a timeless wash of synthestic tunes bubbleling to the occasional sequence or beat of an ancient drum machine or sequencer and those who ventured are rewarded with a album you can play and play and play.
Anyone around in 1976 would remember the haunting melodies on offer here, as slowly the media picked up on the LP, a fresh alternative to other 'popular music' of the day. The single Oxygene Part 4, managed to get to no.2 in the UK and even today the sounds created by Jarre then, seem as futuristic as ever even in todays over reliance of synthetic sounds especially in the manufactured world of pop. Oxygene will never tire.
Fo me, the slow outro Part 6 is stunning and a little sad as the final synth wash and bird sounds fades into the speakers, leaving silence. Fantastic
Jarre pushed the old techonolgy on this album and continued to pave the way up until Zoolook. For me, Jarre lost the magic and the distance early electronic artists had gained as then every man and thier band used a synthesier but with more comes less.
Jarre struggled to capture the magic on the sequel which shows that the technology of today will never give rise to the true experimentation of the mid 70's.
Buy some magic and buy Oxygene.