Équinoxe

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Not to be confused with Equinox.
Équinoxe
Studio album by Jean Michel Jarre
Released December 1978
Recorded January 1978 – August 1978
Genre Electronica, new-age, ambient, pop, chill-out
Length 39:09
Label Disques Dreyfus
Producer Jean Michel Jarre
Jean Michel Jarre chronology
Oxygène
(1976)
Équinoxe
(1978)
Magnetic Fields
(1981)
Singles from Équinoxe
  1. "Équinoxe Part 5"
    Released: 29 December 1978
  2. "Équinoxe Part 4"
    Released: July 1979

Équinoxe (English: "equinox") was the second major-label album release by French musician Jean Michel Jarre, released on Disques Dreyfus (with license to Polydor) in December 1978.

The album reflects a day in the life of a human being, from morning to night.[citation needed] Parts 1 to 4 (i.e. side A) and tracks 5 to 8 (side B) segué smoothly from one to the next.

Jarre had developed his sound, employing more dynamic and rhythmic elements, particularly a greater use of sequencing on basslines. Much of this was achieved using custom equipment developed by his collaborator Michel Geiss. Also, it includes sounds of wind, storm and rain, which are usual in France at equinox dates (spring or autumn).

The album reached number 11 on the UK Album Chart[1] and number 126 on the US Billboard 200 chart.[2]

During the 1980s, "Équinoxe Part 4" was used in the opening credits of the TVNZ documentary series Our World.[3]

Release and promotion[edit]

Two singles were released from the album, "Équinoxe Part 5" first, and then "Équinoxe Part 4". The short piece of music at the end of "Équinoxe Part 7" has been played live with different arrangements, including a version for an acoustic street organ, under the title of "Band in the Rain".

The release was followed by a concert on the Place de la Concorde, Paris on 14 July 1979. The concert attracted 1 million people, becoming Jarre's first entry in the Guinness Book of Records for the largest crowd for an outdoor concert.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 3/5 stars[4]
Melody Maker unfavourable[5]

As with Jarre's previous album, reviews for Équinoxe in the UK were unfavourable. Melody Maker scorned the record, saying "it is as slushily, pseudo-galactically crass and vapid as last year's Oxygène. The melodies are trite, harmonies predictable, textures almost determindly hackneyed (even down to artificial 'weather' effects to generate mood). There isn't even much that's danceable."[5] Allmusic said, "As the follow up album to Oxygène, Équinoxe offers the same mesmerizing affect, with rapid spinning sequencer washes and bubbling synthesizer portions all lilting back and forth to stardust scatterings of electronic pastiches. Using more than 13 different types of synthesizers, Jarre combines whirling soundscapes of multi-textured effects, passages, and sometimes suites to culminate interesting electronic atmospheres... So much electronic color is added to every track that it is impossible to concentrate on any particular segment, resulting in waves of synth drowning the ears at high tide."[4]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Équinoxe Part 1" – 2:25
  2. "Équinoxe Part 2" – 5:00
  3. "Équinoxe Part 3" – 5:09
  4. "Équinoxe Part 4" – 6:54
  5. "Équinoxe Part 5" – 3:54
  6. "Équinoxe Part 6" – 3:28
  7. "Équinoxe Part 7" – 7:06
  8. "Équinoxe Part 8" – 4:57

Personnel[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jean Michel Jarre | Artist | Official Charts". United Kingdom: Official Charts Company. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  2. ^ ""Jean Michel Jarre – Équinoxe" Awards at Allmusic". Billboard 200. United States: Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 9 June 2014. 
  3. ^ NZ On Screen - Our World
  4. ^ a b DeGagne, Mike. Jean Michel Jarre – Équinoxe > Review at AllMusic
  5. ^ a b Sigerson, Davitt (2 December 1978). "Review: Jean Michel Jarre – Équinoxe". Melody Maker (London, England: IPC Media): 49. 

External links[edit]