leejohnson's current selection is:
Oxygene (Part IV)
by Jean-Michel Jarre
I'm about to unleash the full force of "The Guardian" review system on you (the online version of the UK newspaper), particularly focussing on a set of gigs Jarre did more recently in October 2016, and compiled by David Bennun:


Less influential electronic artists than Jean-Michel Jarre have been far more acclaimed. Why? Was he too successful? "Oxygene" (12 million copies sold since 1976) is the album on every parental shelf that nobody much mentions. His vast outdoor concerts have occupied several slots in the "Guinness Book of Records". But his lack of critical status is not all down to snobbery. Partly, it's what he influenced: which in addition to 'ambient', 'rave' and 'trance' - genres he justly reclaims for himself on his new tour - includes 40 years of commercial and corporate music. That isn't his fault. His own work is neither insipid nor sterile, but a lot that sounds like it is. And partly it's what he evokes, or rather, what he doesn't.

Seldom can an "oeuvre" so innovative and radical have coursed so far from menace and mystery. Electronic music has veered towards the sinister, the icily exotic, but Jarre's is as direct and congenial as he is. His presence and his anti-patter are understated and undramatic - even when manipulating sound from a kind of synthesizer harp constructed of towering laser beams. His show is neither understated nor undramatic, but it is always polite.

Polite - and sensational. As much concerned with 'lumière' as with 'son', Jarre is in the business of stimulation and spectacle, and he is excellent at both. The music pulses; the geometric patterns play on ingenious mesh screens; the performance scarcely flags or bores for a moment. And at the end, it leaves no mark on you. It glides straight off, wipes perfectly clean. You are exactly the same person who went in, not in the slightest emotionally or psychologically rearranged; conscious only of the faint aftertaste of pleasure.

This is no complaint. His show need exist only in its own medium and moment. It sinks no hooks in you other than the melody of "Oxygene 4" - the most persistent "earworm" in popular music. Jarre's successive "Oxygene" projects (17 and counting, with the latest premiered in the encore) are aptly titled: airy, weightless, briefly intoxicating - then gone without trace.


What a mixed bag that review is! Sounding alternately condescending of the man, then blinded by his genius, Mr Bennun sits nicely on the fence, right up to the last paragraph. Let's be honest - the only way to make real sense of Jarre's show would have been to attend one. And I'm just not enough of a fan to have ever done that. "Part IV" is the only "Oxygene" track I think I've ever sat through - and that's only because it was a No. 4 single hit in the UK in 1977, staying at number four for four weeks (how spooky was THAT?). In the States, only the album which contained this track ("Oxygene") did anything, reaching No. 78 on the Billboard Hot 200 Albums in November that year.
1977 - Polydor - United Kingdom - From the album "Oxygene".
Posted: About 10 hours ago
Rewind to the Seventies! Anything from 1969 to 1980 appears here.......
Born in 1954, leaving education by 1972, 'glam' was my thing, "Ziggy" Bowie my hero. I was even the only guy in my town with the haircut (though not the carrot red colouring!). Therefore every seventh selection is a Bowie track.
Nothing currently playing...
All leejohnson's selections:
With 2 others
30 Mar 2017
With 4 others
27 - 30 Mar 2017