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What came first, the art or the music?


Post Posted Fri Oct 01, 2021 3:40 pm
Richard-Eastham


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I am looking for clarity on the origins of the Oxygene name as different reports suggest different things. Here goes, which one is correct?

A) Michel Granger produced a painting, and it was called Oxygene. JMJ saw this in an exhibition and wanted to use the art as the cover for his new album, at that time untitled, and he therefore named his music after the artwork's title.

B) JMJ had produced a piece of music and had already called it Oxygene at the time he started to look for cover art. He saw the Michel Granger image and wanted to use that. The artwork was untitled at that time but then took on the Oxygene name later.

C) Neither of the above!

Finally, JMJ has spoken in recent interviews about the ecological or environmental themes linked to Oxygene, and that the cover art alludes to this. But do interviews or press releases back in the 1970s say the same? I haven't seen anything to that effect. Not suggesting JMJ is retrospectively giving the music and the art a new theme, but just curious if that ecological angle has been ever present or is a more recent interpretation.
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01.09.93 Manchester / 07.06.97 Manchester / 30.03.08 London / 22.05.09 London / 10.10.10 London / 01.07.11 Monaco / 04.05.16 London / 23.07.16 Macclesfield / 06.10.16 Brighton / 07.10.16 London.
Post Posted Fri Oct 01, 2021 4:12 pm
Dr_Jones


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Granger's work has always been linked to environmentalism and world problems. The cover of the album (the painting itself) is a clear message to that. I don't know how the painting became an album cover, that would be a nice question for Granger if someone wants to interview him :-)

I do know that JMJ called the album Oxygene before Dreyfus wanted to release it, as you can read in this interview:
https://en.jeanmicheljarre.es/interview ... euillerat/
Before his contract was to expire in March 1977, Jarre owed a last recording to the company. He offered Francis to listen to his new album to be called “Oxygène” ; the boss was totally convinced and excited. I think Francis and Hélène listened to a pre-mix of the album, or maybe bits and pieces, I can’t remember well.

All I remember is that during the whole month of November 1976, Francis gathered his staff many times to sit and listen to the album SUPER LOUD in his office … the windows were shaking !
Post Posted Fri Oct 01, 2021 4:48 pm
Richard-Eastham


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This article suggests that the artwork was already called Oxygene and that JMJ then used that name for the music:

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/ ... er-oxygene

It was 1976 and I was having my first major show in Paris. On display was a 30x40cm watercolour called Oxygène and Jean-Michel bought it, telling me he’d love to use it as an album cover. Oxygène was part of a series about the damage being done to our planet. It was quite a violent image for a record sleeve. The only change I made was to the background, making it square to fit the album shape. Jean-Michel and I chose the typography and that was that.

But I've also read it was perhaps the other way around, that the artwork became known as Oxygene because of the music. Who knows?
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01.09.93 Manchester / 07.06.97 Manchester / 30.03.08 London / 22.05.09 London / 10.10.10 London / 01.07.11 Monaco / 04.05.16 London / 23.07.16 Macclesfield / 06.10.16 Brighton / 07.10.16 London.
Post Posted Fri Oct 01, 2021 4:55 pm
Dr_Jones


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Yeah, that is true. Granger himself says this in an interview:

http://vientdemee.blogspot.com/2013/01/ ... rview.html

MF: What is the story about the painting "Oxygene"?

MG: The painting originally was a small aquarelle and was shown at one of my first exhibitions in Paris, at a gallery in 1976 - the same year as the release of Jarre's music. The actual painting is from 1973. Charlotte Rampling bought it and gave it to Jarre, who thought it would be ideal as a cover for his album. He came to visit me and that was the start of it all.
Post Posted Sat Oct 02, 2021 5:16 pm
Richard-Eastham


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Wow! The story gets even more interesting!
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01.09.93 Manchester / 07.06.97 Manchester / 30.03.08 London / 22.05.09 London / 10.10.10 London / 01.07.11 Monaco / 04.05.16 London / 23.07.16 Macclesfield / 06.10.16 Brighton / 07.10.16 London.
Post Posted Mon Nov 08, 2021 4:40 pm
Finaero


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Speaking of the art, this one looks somewhat familiar ;)

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0075990/
Post Posted Tue Nov 09, 2021 4:07 pm
Richard-Eastham


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From 1977 and obviously inspired by Oxygene!
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01.09.93 Manchester / 07.06.97 Manchester / 30.03.08 London / 22.05.09 London / 10.10.10 London / 01.07.11 Monaco / 04.05.16 London / 23.07.16 Macclesfield / 06.10.16 Brighton / 07.10.16 London.







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