Today’s Track of the Day is Jean Michel Jarre’s “Zoolook,” which comes from his 1984 album of the same name. Jarre, who had studied under Pierre Schaeffer at the famous Groupe de Recherches Musicales, achieved breakout success in 1976 with his home-recorded New Age synth masterpiece Oxygène. On Bastille Day in 1979, he performed selections from that record and its follow-up, Équinoxe, for an audience of over a million people at the Place de la Concord. That concert was the first of many large-scale performances for Jarre, who is now perhaps known as much for the spectacle of his live show as his compositions.
On Zoolook, Jarre made extensive use of the famous Fairlight CMI sampling synthesizer, which can be heard in the lead synth as well as the sampled voices on this track (if you’d like to see a demonstration of the Fairlight, I’d recommend watching Herbie Hancock show it to the kids on Sesame Street here). The record was a relatively poor seller for Jarre, which is a shame because it’s great—Laurie Anderson does vocals on one track, and the whole thing is really a fun and interesting listen.