Music for Supermarkets

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Music for Supermarkets
A photograph of a full shopping cart
Studio album by Jean-Michel Jarre
Released 6 July 1983 (1983-07-06)
Recorded February–May 1983
Genre Electronic
Length 35:49
Label Disques Dreyfus
Producer Jean-Michel Jarre
Jean-Michel Jarre chronology
The Concerts in China
Music for Supermarkets

Music for Supermarkets (Musique pour Supermarché) is a 1983 album of instrumental electronic music by Jean-Michel Jarre. It is notable for having only a single copy pressed, and the subsequent, deliberate destruction of its master plates, effectively making the copy unique.


In 1983, Jean Michel Jarre was asked to compose the background music for the supermarket-themed art exhibition Orrimbe show. Jarre agreed, recording Music for Supermarkets (French: Musique pour Supermarché) between February and May 1983. The exhibition, created by some young artists and friends of Jarre, ran at the Jean-Claude Riedel gallery between 2 and 30 June 1983, and the works of art on display would be auctioned off afterwards. Inspired by this, Jarre decided that the music accompanying the exhibition could be a one-off piece of art as well, and thus Music for Supermarkets would have only a single, unique copy pressed, to be auctioned for charity at Hotel Drouot. After the exhibition had ended, master tapes and plates were destroyed, making this the only existing copy in the world. It instantly became one of the most expensive and collectible albums in history. In the inside cover, 11 polaroid photos show the step-by-step creation of the disc, leaving one slot so that the final owner could add his photo with the album. The album owner was first kept anonymous, but later revealed to be a M. Gerard, who after a car crash woke up to the radio playing Jarre's track "Souvenir of China" (from the Concerts in China album); this album cost him 69,000 francs (10,500 euros).[citation needed]

The music today[edit]

Shortly after its sale, the album was played in its full length on Radio Luxembourg. Jarre launched the album with the words "Piratez moi!" (Pirate me!), and bootlegs of the radio broadcast do exist, although at a very poor quality (the radio station was broadcast on AM).[citation needed] Some of the music, however, has been reworked into subsequent Jarre albums, so the music from the album is not completely lost to the public.[citation needed]

The following tracks were reworked:

  • Music For Supermarkets Part 2: Used in "Fifth Rendez-Vous (Part III)" on "Rendez-vous" (1986).
  • Music For Supermarkets Part 4: Used in "Blah Blah Café" on "Zoolook" (1984).
  • Music For Supermarkets Part 6: Used in the second half of "Diva" on "Zoolook" (1984).
  • Music For Supermarkets Part 7: Used in the beginning and ending noises of "Ethnicolor II" on "Zoolook" (1984).

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Music for Supermarkets Overture"   4:09
2. "Music for Supermarkets Part 1"   2:18
3. "Music for Supermarkets Part 2"   3:29
4. "Music for Supermarkets Part 3"   2:17
5. "Music for Supermarkets Part 4"   3:52
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "Music for Supermarkets Part 5"   5:54
2. "Music for Supermarkets Part 6"   3:59
3. "Music for Supermarkets Part 7"   3:51

The above timing is approximate, calculated from bootleg recordings, as the original record is not available.


See also[edit]