Rendez-Vous – Jean‐Michel Jarre – 1986

Album

Album Rendez-Vous by Jean‐Michel Jarre
Album Rendez-Vous by Jean‐Michel Jarre

Rendez-Vous is the eighth studio album by Jean-Michel Jarre, a French composer and pioneer of electronic music. The album was released in 1986 and features six tracks, each titled after a meeting or an appointment. The album art was designed by Michel Granger, who also collaborated with Jarre on his previous albums Oxygène and Équinoxe.

The album showcases Jarre’s mastery of synthesizers, especially the Elka Synthex, which he used to create the laser harp sound on Second Rendez-Vous. The album also contains elements from his earlier work Musique pour Supermarché, which was a one-off album sold at an auction in 1983. Jarre composed the album in about two months, with the intention of performing it live at a massive outdoor concert in Houston, Texas, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the state and the 25th anniversary of NASA.

The last track on the album, Dernier Rendez-Vous (Ron’s Piece), was dedicated to Jarre’s friend Ronald McNair, an astronaut who was supposed to play the saxophone part from the space shuttle Challenger. However, McNair and six other crew members died in the shuttle explosion on January 28, 1986. Jarre decided to keep the track as a tribute to them, and invited Pierre Gossez, a French jazz musician, to play the saxophone instead.

Rendez-Vous was a critical and commercial success, reaching number nine on the UK charts and number 52 on the US charts. It won the award for Instrumental Album of the Year at the Victoires de la Musique in 1986, and was nominated for Best New Age Album at the Grammy Awards in 1987. Jarre performed the album live at two spectacular concerts: Rendez-Vous Houston on April 5, 1986, which attracted 1.5 million people and entered the Guinness World Records as the largest outdoor concert ever; and Rendez-Vous Lyon on October 5, 1986, which marked Pope John Paul II’s visit to Jarre’s hometown and drew 800,000 people.

Rendez-Vous is considered one of Jarre’s most influential and innovative albums, as it showcases his ability to create captivating melodies and atmospheres with electronic instruments. The album also reflects his passion for space exploration and his friendship with McNair, making it a personal and emotional work.

Personnel

  • Jean-Michel Jarre – synthesizers, laser harp, Fairlight CMI, drum machines, sequencers
  • Michel Geiss – synthesizers, engineering
  • David Jarre – voice on “London Kid”
  • Joe Hammer – electronic percussion on “London Kid”
  • Christophe Deschamps – drums on “Fourth Rendez-Vous”
  • Pierre Gossez – saxophone on “Fourth Rendez-Vous”
  • René Joly – guitar on “Fourth Rendez-Vous”
  • Leslie Drayton – trumpet on “Fifth Rendez-Vous (Part II)”
  • Martin Sheen – voice of Ron McNair on “Last Rendez-Vous (Ron’s Piece)”

The different versions published for this album :