August 24

In the musical and cultural stew that was dormitory life on a military base in the mid-1980s, there were few surprises. Everybody listened to rock, hip-hop was surging and the pop music of the day was an (at times) unfortunate necessity of programmed FM radio dominance. Hearing newly released music was easy, but hearing a new style of music was rare.

So, my introduction to electronic music was a treat. Specifically the “new age” stylings of French composer Jean Michel Jarre and his 1978 release Équinoxe:

This record’s origin to The Collection was a bit, er, shady. An older dorm denizen had this record (in mint condition) he wanted to trade for beer money. Seemed reasonable. But when it happened a second time with a few other records in the “ambient” genre I had to ask what was up?

“They belonged to my ex”, he said with a long face.

“Oh, sorry dude”, I said.

He cracked a smile, cracked a beer and said “Let me show you what else I have for you!” I ended up with the seeds of what would eventually become a decent collection of “new age” recordings… all for the price of a few beers.

Happy birthday Jean Michel Jarre!

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