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© Stephane Cardinale/People Avenue/Corbis
Jean Michel Jarre is the man behind the biggest selling French album ever: Oxygene. Yep, you read that right. Oxygene hit the shelves in 1976, somehow grabbing and holding the attention of record buyers just as punk rock was forever changing what was considered cool.
With its sputtering rhythm machines, synthesized sonorities, pleasant chord progressions and lengthy track listings, Oxygene was the antithesis of punk. It wasn’t angry. There were no lyrics. Yet it flew off of store shelves and continues to do so even to this day.
It introduced the world to the estranged son of a beloved film composer and helped to catapult him to such a position that he could draw more than a million spectators to a single concert.