French Composer Jean-Michel Jarre's China Tour
"The Concerts in China" - this name is not only a live album, but also a concert tour of an outstanding French composer, multi-instrumentalist, as well as one of the pioneers of electronic music Jean-Michel Jarre! His trip to China 1981 year became innovative, because he brought Western rhythms with him to the Middle Kingdom ... Beijing and Shanghai – two major cities hosting 5 live performances for more than 100 thousand viewers! This tour is also notable for the fact that at that time Jarre used a laser harp for the first time.
Western rhythms in China - how it was
Today, this tour is spoken of as a legendary event in the history of music. Standing in the yard 1981 year, October. Since the untimely death Mao Zedong, a Chinese revolutionary, state, political and party leader of the 20th century, passed 5 years. Three years since the new economic course was introduced. China has been under a gloomy haze of recent events until now... People were full of hopes and doubts, looking into the future. and arrival Jean-Michel Jarre was a kind of holiday against the backdrop of all of the above.
Tour "The Concerts in China" gave thousands of Chinese people the opportunity to forget about their dilemmas for at least a few days and enjoy Western music! For the first time…
Arrival Jarra became special, because in the whole history PRC it was the first visit of a western pop idol! For people it was strange and unusual, because even some 5 years ago, electronic music was banned! Now, please, go ahead and enjoy. And if Jarre's live audience was about 120 thousand people, the broadcast on TV was watched by about half a million Chinese!
"The Concerts in China" It's also a great live album. It includes tracks recorded during performances in Beijing and Shanghai. Within its framework, for the first time, "Night in Shanghai", "Laser Harp", "Arpegiator", "Orient Express", "Souvenir of China". The latter composition became a regular number of Jarre's subsequent live shows, and the old Chinese song "Fishing Junks at Sunset" found a beautiful modern arrangement.
The album was first released on LP and later released on CD. IN 1997 remaster saw the light of day Scott Hull. It is worth noting that "The Concerts in China" significantly different from normal live recordings. At least one important difference is that the record was recorded not within the framework of one live performance, as is usually the case, but in several different cities at once! It is also noteworthy that some of the songs from the disc were written specifically for this tour.
A little about the film
Jarre's tours in the Middle Kingdom also served as the basis for a concert film "Jean-Michel Jarre - Chinese Concerts 1981". He was taken down by Andrew Piddington exclusively for British Central Television. The documentary, which includes speeches and stories about life in China, was broadcast only once in the UK. In the end 80s it came out on cassette.
Why is the record so important these days?
In fact, this album 80s carries a lot of weight these days. In fact, audio-documented performances serve as a kind of audio illustration that again and again takes the listener to China those years...
For example, in a song Souvenir of China we can hear the sound of the camera shutter. This automatically takes us to the eve of Jarre's departure from the country, when a person strives to capture as much as possible of what he sees around ...
- Due to the terrible sound quality, some tracks were re-recorded for release. live album and film. The fact is that the noise of the crowd interrupted the music itself.
- Curiously, during his dazzling shows, Jarra performed all of his tracks from the CD. "Magnetic Fields", but at the same time the audience did not hear the legendary "Oxygene, Pt. 4".
- The tour-inspired record was included in UK top 10, reaching the 6th line! In Portugal, she was in the lead at the first position of the chart.
- Song "Arpegiateur" adequately complemented the soundtrack to the film "Nine and a half weeks". She also sounds in several episodes of the famous American soap opera "Santa Barbara".