When Jean Michel Jarre’s Oxygène hit the streets in December of 1976, most critics hated it. Punk was raging across the continent. People were showing society the finger, growing funny hair, sticking metal bits into various body parts and wearing the oddest outfits. Still, despite the critics raining all over Jarre’s parade at the time and despite the single-chord faction on both stage and in editorial offices ruling supreme, the album became a monster hit. It is still one of my favorite albums that I am – again – listening to as I am writing this.
It became a cornerstone album of mine one night out at M.L.’s house, after some odd small party, with K.S., C.C. and S.H., the whole L. clan plus, probably, a few others … lounging around on sofas, beds, rugs and wherever else there happened to be enough space to crash. After midnight, on that warm summer night, someone threw this music into a tape deck, switched it to endless repeat and, while the moon was setting and the sun began ever so slowly to rise, we listened to this album for hours on end. My body refused to go to sleep because I wanted to hear this music again. And again.
Those twelve hours or so, the feeling and the music are forever etched into the furthest recesses of my mind and whenever I listen to the six tracks, on repeat, everything comes rushing back, albeit as more of a sensory perception that I think I could still possibly grab today if I just simply turned around.
P.S.: My preferred version of this album is the 1994 MFSL Ultradisc II (UDCD-613). Others might disagree, but it’s the one that to my ears sounds the way this album sounded way back when.