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4.2 out of 5 stars9
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 17 January 2007
This new collection of Jarre classics is indeed perfect if you want a good collection of his work, and also a must for the Jarre fan's collection, and I like the fact it has a mix of the "Classics", "Popular" and also "Overlooked", which is a refreshing change of releasing a collection in which most would have all the tracks already and then it including some bad 'b-sides' to fill up the time.

My only critism of the album, is that contrary to what I have just said, the list of tracks could be slightly better.

It is missing some amazing tracks by Jean Michel, and when Dreyfus released the album, by putting these missing tracks on, I am sure the album would have sold so much more.

Brilliant-Must-Listen-To tracks include:

> Oxygene 4 (The first, and the trademark)

> Forth Rendez-Vous (A popular classic)

> Chronologie 4 (A refreshing and masterful side of Jarre)

> Equinoxe 5 (A brilliant upbeat track for his 2nd hit album)

> Revolution (A hard-hitting anthem that is fantastically different)

Tracks that are good but not really necessary on an 'essential' compilation include:

> Souvenir of China (Warm and emotional, but not something you can continuously listen to easily without skipping)

> Ethnicolour 1 (Even though this track is an amazing introduction to the Zoolook album, it's 3:37 in length, when the original is triple this - listen to the original instead)

> Oxygene 6 (A good end to the first album but not important)

> Band in the Rain (Clever and a nice sidestep when it was used, but totally unnecessary in this album).

Tracks some ignore or have never heard of that are brilliant to listen to:

> Calypso (From a totally different album dedicated to Jacques Cousteau, but a marvelous track you can't help but tap your foot to)

> Oxygene 8 (Oxygene 7 blows the Oxygene 7-13 album away already, but Oxygene 8 is not without it's charm and detail)

> Zoolookologie (Not many have heard the Zoolook album, but it's a wonderful upbeat way of showing just what you can do with synths and various vocal and lingual effects).

As a final note, considering I titled this review with "...But Missing A Few Gems", these are some of the other tracks (one from each album listed below) you simply have to listen to, to fully appreciate Jarre:

Rendez-Vous II (Rendez-Vous, 1986)

Magnetic Fields I (Magnetic Fields, 1981)

Ethnicolor I (Zoolook, 1985) - I'm talking about the full version

Industrial Revolution Overture (Revolutions, 1989)

Chronologie 6 (Chronologie, 1993)

Oxygene 7 (Oxygene 7-13, 1997)

Geometry Of Love 1 & 2 (Geometry Of Love, 2003)

Aerology (Aero, 2004)

Overall, the album is worth buying, but if you are serious about jarre, invest in the original albums to be totally satisfied. If you simply want a taster of Jarre with various examples of his work, buy it!
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on 17 August 2012
If you like your music with a generous helping of technical wizardry, you certainly can't go wrong with the sounds of Jean-Michel Jarre. For me, listening to J-M J is like tucking into my favourite chocolate bar; giving me that 'feel-good factor' through and through. If you like early Goldfrapp and the works of Chris Cunningham, you'll certainly enjoy Jean-Michel Jarre's 'The Essential' album.
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on 25 February 2012
Those of us who follow JMJ, will realise this is not the first compilation to be called "Essential" in his career. This is always due to the record companies cashing in. I have all the other versions from 80's, and the variants (Images, Aero etc) from later on. To be honest what can a record company fit on a single "best of" album that will make everyone happy! Perhaps an artist in his 5th decade of solo studio and live recordings deserves at least double album with better coverage from those early 70's recordings right up to his recent live outings. Then perhaps a comprehensive box set covering this time, perhaps even some HD versions, but I guess as JMJ fans we are often disappointed with the various record companies output. This Essential is really no different, some of my favourites missing but for a person wanting to know what JMJ's music is all about it is a respectable mixture, covers some of the favourites and his more well-known tracks. There are some tracks that are really non-essential like Band In The Rain, but overall an acceptable starting point, but nothing new or interesting to the JMJ fan. 4 stars for another "introduction to" album.
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on 5 February 2012
An absolutely brilliant compilation album - very easy to download - very pleased with the product - will give me many hours of listening to an excellent musician.
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on 19 June 2009
This album gives a fair overview of Jarre's career up to Metamorphoses (2000) and contains at least one single from each studio album up to then except Magnetic Fields (1981) which inexplicably has no representation on this compilation. I would not describe all the tracks here as 'essential' such as 'Band In the Rain' and the lesser-known 'Diva' but many of his most famous tunes are present e.g. 'Oxygene 4', 'Equinoxe 5', and the 'Fourth Rendez-Vous'. A few of the tracks are shortened edits of the original album versions (they are 'Equinoxe 4', 'Ethnicolor 1', 'Oxygene 2', and 'Calypso') but otherwise the music is intact. It would have been nice to have had the whole of 'Ethnicolor 1' on here and missing tracks like the 'Second Rendez-Vous' and 'Magnetic Fields 1' but when you try and fit all this onto one disc inevitably some essential stuff is going to get excluded.

It just goes to show that Jarre's discography is overdue for a comprehensive 2 disc 'best of' album - which is what this compilation should have been. So Dreyfus Records have rather missed an opportunity here, especially when you consider that Jarre had made no less than eleven albums under Dreyfus' tenure. A double album would have allowed more scope to justifiably include some lesser-known Jarre tracks, such as 'Diva'.

However until such time as when that double album appears, this compilation provides a reasonable stop-gap, and a good introduction to his music for the casual buyer but there is nothing new and exclusive on this album for Jarre fans, so from that perspective it is not as essential as Images: the Best of Jean Michel Jarre (1991) or Aero [CD + DVD] (2004).

NOTE: This album is not to be confused with The Essential Jean Michel Jarre which is an earlier compilation from 1983 that only covers his first four albums.
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on 17 May 2015
Bought this cd as i had heard it on vinyl many years ago and I wasn't disappointed brilliant
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on 14 January 2016
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on 1 January 2011
Jarre has produced some very catchy tunes and, listened to in isolation, they are very good indeed. However, listened to as an album, this collection is tedious. There is just not enough variation in sound between the tracks and the overall electronic / synthesiser sound is shallow and lacking in the depth that is achieved by classical "proper" instruments.

I would say that this work has not stood the test of time as well as the electronic music produced by Kraftwerk for example. On the basis that I got bored listening to this album very quickly I can only award 2*.
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on 24 January 2005
This cd glimmers and sparkles like a freshly caught fish. I have a pet fish. I call it Jean-Michel Jarre. He is very shiny. He likes fish food, pond weed, rocks and hiding. He doesn't like being out of water. Sometimes I tease him. I say, "Look, Jean-Michel Jarre, you don't have arms or legs! You will never receive the Duke of Edinburgh Award!".
This makes him sad, and also makes him hide.
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