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Chronologie
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 20 May 2017
The best from Jean-Michel
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on 3 June 2017
Excellent
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VINE VOICEon 7 January 2015
Chronologie (note the title) was originally released in 1993 as a prelude to a sizeable European tour. It also includes variations on a theme that were recorded for watchmakers Swatch, which appeared in some of their products labelled "Une Alarme Qui Swinge". It also features the guitar work of Patrick Rondat, who JMJ had also recently produced.

The album in tone feels like a return to the more classically-styled work of his earlier career, particularly Equinoxe, to which I think it bears a big resemblance. This is no bad thing as Equinoxe is one of his very best piece of work. The similarity is especially noticeable in parts 4-6, which, like Equinoxe are very dance-oriented. It is influenced heavily by the notion of time, from watches and clocks to the work of Stephen Hawking. In many ways it's a n optimistic piece of work, ranging from the slightly portentous keyboard washes of part 1 and its echoes of the swirling particle clouds and the vastness of the early universe, through part 2 and it's classical, almost early industrial bombast, counterpointing some of the same ideas that appeared on the Revolutions album. Part 3 is mournful and keening, together with that Rondat guitar. Part 4 is the joyous lead track, with the album's leit motif plastered all over it, before leading into the industrial, consumerist drone of the factory production line in part 5. Part 6 is another highlight, with the dance beat gradually fading into a lone accordion line, before melting into the buzzing of bees and the peace of part 7. The album closes with the foot-samping celebration of part 8, redolent of dub reggae in some ways, biro finally doing out to the background hum and heartbeat that completes the album's cycle.

This remaster is not a bad effort. The sound isn't bad, though it does feel a touch compressed, and lacking the fullness of the dynamic range of the original, possibly because it has been mastered primarily for digital playback and not hi-fi use. Also, of course, we have the rather mystifying change of title. Why revert to the English version a full 22 years after release? If you don't have the album it's certainly worth the price to listen to something which was a very definite eturn to form after the comparative lull of Revolutions and Cousteau (though they too are both good albums in part)
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on 8 September 2015
This is pointless release. It appears to have been remastered by a chimp - it's a victim of the "loudness war", having been mastered so loudly that it's practically brickwalled. The music audibly distorts in places, and one of the mastering errors that crept into the Sony re-issue in 1997 (a 'skip' in the middle of "Chronologie (Part 4)") is still present as well (it's in exactly the same place, so it's not just my disc). Even at £5.99, this is daylight robbery. A pity, as "Chronologie" is a superb album - it deserved to be treated with a lot more care. There seem to be comparable problems with all of the 2014 Sony reissues of Jarre's albums: my advice would be to give them a very wide berth and stick with the far superior 1997 editions or original versions.
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on 7 June 2012
Chronologie is an excellent album. It is an utterly enjoyable sonic ride in a classical Jean Michel Jarre style. The album is very melodic, has rich, interesting textures and sounds and spans various music styles, such as pop, dance, classical music and even hip-hop tinges, at the same time remaining a pure electronic, synthesizer-based piece of music.

With Chronologie Jarre continues his typical style of making music, more coherent and moody, based on open compositions flowing seamlessly into each other, in the vein of Oxygene or Equinoxe (rather than Zoolook for example).

This time the subject matter of the album is time. Jarre composed Chronologie most probably being inspired by Stephen Hawkins' `A Brief History of Time", which even receives its credits in the booklet. The somber beginning of part 1 makes you think of the dawn of time, some prehistoric moment of history, when God created the heaven and the Earth, and where it all began. The music then surges enthusiastically as if things were falling into place and the creation of the world started to take its final, recognizable shape. With each following part a new universe is discovered. The up-tempo pseudo-classical Part 2 flows into a new-agey and dreamy part 3. This is where the first part of the LP stops.

Part 4 is a dream pop/dance classic, with its catchy melody and rich textures. (I bet there would be no Robert Miles without Jarre!) Part 5 recalls the melody of the previous part with a definitely new age ambient touch, before reaching its own climax. The music meanders for a while before abruptly crashing into the thumping bass line of part 6. This piece does not have a typical melodic hook, but with the throbbing bass line and the infectious dance beat it is certainly one of the stand-out tracks. Part 7 (the only weaker moment on the album) is a short transition piece which paves the way for the grand closing of the album with part 8. Here we have marvelous church organs opening the show and leading to a hip-hop-based core. The music then fades and we hear Jarre counting down until zero, when time comes back to its pristine, ancient beginning. Again we hear the sounds known from the first seconds of the album which finish off the work, and we know the cycle of time has been completed. The ending however invites us to push "play" again and to go on this journey through time over again.

My only peeve is that this great album is only 42 minutes long...
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on 1 November 2017
Bought this a long time ago and recently went back to it.
Not his best album. But Chronologie 4 is by far the track that I always go back to. Simply fantastic.
Agree with some of the earlier comments that the conclusion of this track is a bit weak and fast..
My main complaint is, however, related with track 5.
The intro (about 1min30sec) is probably one of the finest existent ambient tracks ever. Why not a longer track expanding this part?
I have seen that JMJ reworks some of his previous tracks for new anthologies. Hope he expands Chronologie 5
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on 7 October 2009
The title of this review is also the full title of this 'album'. I say album because really this is just an extended single, but it was classed as an album when it was released in 1994 presumably because it has five tracks (the maximum allowed for a single is four) and a long running time (40 minutes). It even entered the UK album chart (it reached #60).

The remixes were not done by Jarre himself and the overwhelming impression of this CD is that it's dull. All four remixes (track 5 is the original album version) are uninteresting and not very danceable either. Only one of the remixes, 'Slam Mix 2', has any of the original track in it and 'Slam Mix 1' has the ticking sound from 'Chronologie 4' but other than that without the titles you would not know that these were remixes of Chronologie at all. It's occasionally moody, particularly in 'Slam Mix 1' but really these are only good for background music.

'Main Mix' and an edited 'Slam Mix 1' appeared again on the 1995 remix album Jarremix which if you want a JMJ remix album I would recommend instead of this as it's much better.

So this is definitely for completists only, if you are looking for a good introduction to the music of Jean Michel Jarre then I would recommend the compilations Essential Jean-Michel Jarre (2004) or Musik Aus Zeit Und Raum (1983) or his classic studio albums such as Oxygene (1976) and Equinoxe (1978).
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on 11 July 2007
Of all the Jarre albums I own this is without doubt the most played. The album is a wonder to listen too with it's dreamscape musical flow of the opening of Chrono Part 1, to the the sampled drum loops from his early works of 'Eros Machine' (the twanging of a ruler) for the thumping Chrono Part 2, the delightful Chrono Part 3, the truly awesome Chrono Part 4 with the forever whistling too end solo lead, the ambient Chrono Part 5, the foot stomping bass to Chrono Part 6, the dreamy whisps of Chrono Part 7 and finishing with the highly enjoyable Chrono Part 8, this is one catchy album that has to be played again, and again, and again. This album ranks high and sits well amoungst his earlier material such as 'Equinoxe' and 'Oxygene'.

The ony down side to the 'Chronologie' album is the ending of Part 4. Not so much the transistion between Part 4 and the start of part 5 (as already pointed out in another review) but more so the ending of the part 4 with the solo lead. The original ending was much longer and such a shame it was not included in the album release.
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on 3 September 2002
Easily his most enjoyable album, barring perhaps Oxygene I. Perhaps the most palatable 'synth' album ever, with very little of "weirdness", of compositions like those of Kraftwerk, to spoil things and not too many of those "right, what shall I do here, then" bits in the middle like many of the other Jarre albums.
Interesting, uplifting and even toe-tapping, this one you will play again and again and again just to listen to those imaginative tunes with their intricate melodies. Buy it now!
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on 17 March 2011
very musical with some haunting melodic tunes , backed with what sounds like an orchestral choir at times but knowing jarre is probably a sample .. very accomplished in it's own right but in the context of jarre i cannot give it 5 stars because its not quite up there with Oxygene 1-13 , Equinoxe , Mag Fields and Zoolook .. but if you like jarre's music you will not be dissapointed and at £8 worth adding to your collection. grows on you.
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