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Equinoxe Jarre Album.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedDecember 1978
RecordedJanuary – August 1978
GenreElectronica, new-age, ambient, chill-out
LabelDisques Dreyfus
ProducerJean Michel Jarre
Jean Michel Jarre chronology
Les Chants Magnétiques
Singles from Équinoxe
  1. "Équinoxe Part 5"
    Released: 29 December 1978
  2. "Équinoxe Part 4"
    Released: July 1979

Équinoxe (English: Equinox) is the fourth studio album by French electronic musician and composer Jean-Michel Jarre, released in December 1978 on the Disques Dreyfus record label, with license to Polydor.

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.[1] The album is presented as two suites of music, each consisting of 4 parts and taking up one side of the vinyl release of the album. The separate tracks on the record smoothly segue into each other to this effect.

The album reached number 11 on the UK Album Chart[2] and number 126 on the US Billboard 200 chart.[3]

A cover version of "Équinoxe Part 5" by the Shadows reached No. 50 on the UK singles chart in August 1980.[4] During the 1980s, "Équinoxe Part 4" was used in the opening credits of the TVNZ documentary series Our World.[5]

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 beginning of "Équinoxe Part 8" 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 a million people, becoming Jarre's first entry in the Guinness Book of Records for the largest crowd for an outdoor concert.[6]

As with Jarre's previous album, Oxygène, the album cover art was provided by Michel Granger.[7]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[8]
Record Mirror2/5 stars[9]

Davitt Sigerson of 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 determinedly hackneyed (even down to artificial 'weather' effects to generate mood). There isn't even much that's danceable."[10] In Record Mirror Steve Gett considered the album to be "very artificial, and as a result quite emotionless ... As far as I was concerned the effect was one of sleep inducement, basically because it seems so lifeless and infinite, never reaching a specific goal but merely drifting on."[9]

A retrospective review by Allmusic commented, "As the follow up album to Oxygène, Équinoxe offers the same mesmerizing effect, 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."[8]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks composed by Jean-Michel Jarre.

Side one

  1. "Équinoxe Part 1" – 2:25
  2. "Équinoxe Part 2" – 5:00
  3. "Équinoxe Part 3" – 5:09
  4. "Équinoxe Part 4" – 6:54

Side two

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




Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[17] Gold 50,000^
France (SNEP)[18] none 1,259,400[19]*
Germany (BVMI)[20] Gold 250,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[21] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[22] Gold 100,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "Interview with Michel Geiss (part 1)". Fairlight Jarre. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Jean Michel Jarre | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart.
  3. ^ a b "Jean Michel Jarre Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  4. ^ "UK Official Chart: Shadows". Official Charts Company. 2019. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  5. ^ NZ On Screen – Our World
  6. ^ http://jeanmicheljarre.com/biography
  7. ^ http://www.granger-michel.com/project/disque-jean-michel-jarre-cover1/
  8. ^ a b DeGagne, Mike. Jean Michel Jarre – Équinoxe > Review at AllMusic
  9. ^ a b Gett, Steve (9 December 1978). "Review: Jean Michel Jarre – Équinoxe". Record Mirror. p. 18.
  10. ^ Sigerson, Davitt (2 December 1978). "Review: Jean Michel Jarre – Équinoxe". Melody Maker. p. 49.
  11. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Jean Michel Jarre – Equinoxe" (in German). Hung Medien.
  12. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Jean Michel Jarre – Equinoxe" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  13. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH.
  14. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Jean Michel Jarre – Equinoxe". Hung Medien.
  15. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Album 1979". Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  16. ^ "Top Albums 1979". Music Week. 22 December 1979. p. 30.
  17. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Jean-Michel Jarre – Equinox". Music Canada.
  18. ^ "French album certifications – Jean-Michel Jarre – Équinoxe" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.
  19. ^ https://www.infodisc.fr/Ventes_Albums_Tout_Temps.php?debut=50
  20. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Jean Michel Jarre; 'Equinoxe')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  21. ^ "Dutch album certifications – JMJ – Equinoxe" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 5 August 2018. Enter Equinoxe in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  22. ^ "British album certifications – Jean Michel Jarre – Equinoxe". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Equinoxe in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]