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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 21 January 2015
As several CD reviewers have pointed out, this seems to be a somewhat flawed release in terms of the remastering (and that's possibly an understatement, but I won't pretend to be an expert in production matters). I want this review to concentrate on the music, rather than the merits of the re-issue relative to the 1980s original. I'll simply drop one star in respect of the mastering problems.

"Rendez-Vous" holds a special place in my heart. It was the first Jarre album that I purchased (on cassette tape!) with my own saved-up pocket money. And I still love it dearly for its warmth and optimism. Even the title and album artwork are suggestive of a call for togetherness that also lies at the heart of the music.

Jarre nearly always opens his albums well, and this is no exception. First Rendez-Vous is beautiful: sparse and simple, with an improvised feel. I like to picture Jarre in his studio, simply playing in the notes from a couple of keyboards while recording this track. It also acts as a prelude, introducing melodies to be explored more fully later on.

But while First Rendez-Vous may set you afloat on a dreamy cloud to begin with, Second Rendez-Vous begins with a siren-like urgency: a memorable hook that launches the album's most ambitious and innovative sequence. This is Jarre at his most orchestral, and it's no wonder that this piece works so well in live performance. Strings, brasses and choirs pound out dramatic fanfares. There's also a delicious foot-tapping sequence that features the thunderous "laser harp" (actually an Elka Synthex), which reprises the bassline that was introduced by the first track. The initial hook then fades back in to signal the grand finale: orchestral and choral fanfares return, and a synth lead soars over the top, exploiting Jarre's ingenious use of pitch-bend to great harmonic effect before the track comes to a cymbal-crashing close.

Third Rendez-Vous provides a reflective pause, and here the noble laser harp takes centre stage with a stately and nostalgaic theme.

No Jarre album is complete without the crowd-pleasing big tune, and Fourth Rendez-Vous famously provides it here. For me, this is the album's least interesting track, but I won't say it's a weak point. The tune is famous for a reason: it's a great one. But there's little else to say.

Fifth Rendez-Vous is another multi-segmented work that gives itself ample time to breathe and develop. The slow opening has an improvised feel once again, and a lovely bell-like sonority. The more agitated later section is actually reworked from the mythical "Music for Supermarkets" album.

The poignant final track, aptly named "Last Rendez-Vous" (and even more aptly subtitled "Ron's Piece") was to be performed and recorded in space by the astronaut and saxophonist Ron McNair, who was among the seven who lost their lives on the ill-fated Challenger shuttle mission of 1986. The piece now makes a fitting musical tribute: an elegiac saxophone solo drifts reflectively amidst a luminous backdrop of string-like harmonies.

I haven't heard this album since I virtually wore out the cassette version in my teens. Despite the technical problems of this re-issue, it was like being greeted by an old friend.
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on 18 October 2017
Great album on original vinyl great bass on this lp hard to to beat well worth finding a good copy,5 stars to music genius.Third Rendez-vous amazing laser harp,all tracks are worth a listen,saw Jarre live at Wembley stadium back in early 90's great memories of some of this album's tracks,get a copy on good old vinyl.
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on 5 June 2017
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on 10 April 2017
Good album in v.g.c.
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on 7 September 2017
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on 5 April 2003
Rendez-vous is an amazing work of art. Starting off with the "Ouverture", Premier Rendez-vous (First Rendez-vous),
Moving on to Second Rendez-vous, which is a marvellous pseudo-classic tune with synthesized horns, choir and a cutting lead synth.
After that, Third Rendez-vous which is a very melancholic, requiem-sortof tune, with the most beautiful synthesized choir and chords ever heard, in my opinion.
Then comes Fourth Rendez-vous, a classic everyone *must* have heard. It starts off with a bass pulse, then procedes into a technopop beat, which is very kicking, promising and a superb melody. It has a gothic kind-of-chorus where it changes character for a short time - from a overly happy track to a gothic sort of melody/chord progression.
Fifth Rendez-vous is a sheer work of art. Starting off with a 3/4th rhytm, it creates the most amazing soundscapes, coming in full 3 parts of a classic suite (which 4th Rendez-vous can be called the Ouverture to)
Sixth Rendez-vous is a mellow, sad tune which is about the tragic death of Ron McNair and the rest of the challenger crew. Ron McNair played Saxophone, and the saxophone plays a sad solo in the song.
All in all, it's an amazing album, DEFINATELY recommended.
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on 17 January 2007
Rendez-Vous (1986) is probably one of the most overlooked of the albums from both a Jarre fan and non-Jarre fan's perspective, regardless that it is an essential album in the catalogue.

Listening through headphones, take a listen to track 1, which is probably one of the best introductions to an electronic CD, being only a short track and then straight in to one of the most popular and magically performed Rendez-Vous II (Second Rendez-Vous, track 2).

I believe it's one of the best orchestral, but electronic pieces ever conceived. If you went to see Jarre live, you'd pray for Rendez-Vous to be played. It's also the debut of his famous Lazer-Harp, in which (live on stage) several lazer beems are generated, facing to the sky and then mirrored over the audience, and breaking a lazer generates a note.

The 'Lazer-Harp' sound that is used in Rendez-Vous II (& III) and future tracks is ground-shaking.

Rendez-Vous is really the anthemic of all the albums - it's powerful and makes a massive statement.

It takes a serious listener, even though it's an album you can listen to in the background to an extent, but can only be fully appreciated when you give it undivided attention. Do this, and you will be blown away.

Other important parts to note are:

Rendez-Vous IV: Made more famous as ITV's (UK) World Cup theme for 1998 and a very popular track of Jarre's...

The album also has a tribute to Ron McNair (and the other 6 astronaughts who died in 1986)...

Overall, despite the album not being a complete dream, there are tracks that have set a new standard for Jarre, and tracks people love. Rendez-Vous II & IV being the popular, and without this album, Jarre would not be as popular as he still is today.
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on 29 June 2013
I had been wanting this album for some time and was pleased when it arrived, unfortunately track 2 was unplayable due to it skipping. I was refunded in full with no problems but I would have preferred a replacement. I cannot fault the service that I received.
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on 30 March 2012
I was at the Rendez-Vous concert in Houston, and it was truly an amazing experience. Ron McNair, the astronaut was supposed to have joined Jarre on stage that night, and when it came time for the Sixth Rendez-Vous, Jean Michelle stopped and gave a really moving tribute to Ron McNair who had just recently lost his life in the Challenger disaster. With NASA being based there in Houston, there wasn't a dry eye in the crowd that literally stretched out for miles to see Jarre turn the entire Houston skyline into a giant canvas of light and sound. The entire concert was dedicated to the Ron McNair and the crew of the Challenger, and that night under a cloudy sky was the perfect eulogy to those brave astronauts who gave their lives to science and exploration.

The album itself is amazing, and it does capture the feelings and emotions of that night in Houston. I can't recommend it enough. If you ever get a chance to see the video of this concert, I have the original VHS sold here in the USA, you will begin to understand how much this concert played in the healing of a city rocked by the tragic loss of the brave men and women of the Challenger.
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on 23 September 2013
As a teen I listened to the tape back-to-back and I've found I still love it all these years later.
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