Les Concerts en Chine

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Les Concerts en Chine
Live album by
Released5 May 1982[1]
RecordedOctober 1981
GenreElectronic, ambient, world
LabelDisques Dreyfus
ProducerJean-Michel Jarre
Jean-Michel Jarre chronology
Les Chants Magnétiques
Les Concerts en Chine
Musique pour Supermarché
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic [2]

Les Concerts en Chine (pronounced [le kɔ̃sɛʁ ɑ̃ ʃin], English title: The Concerts in China) is a live album by Jean-Michel Jarre, recorded in 1981 and released in 1982 on Disques Dreyfus. It was recorded during Jarre's Concerts in China tour of Autumn 1981, which consisted of five Beijing and Shanghai concerts in China; this was the first time a Western pop artist performed in China after the Cultural Revolution.

The album is a balance of previously released tracks by Jarre, new compositions inspired by Chinese culture, and one rearranged traditional Chinese track,[3] "Fishing Junks at Sunset" ("Jonques de pêcheurs au crépuscule").

The album consists mainly of live material, plus ambient sound recordings and one new studio track "Souvenir of China". Other new compositions recorded live include "Nuit à Shanghai", "Harpe Laser", "Arpégiateur" and "Orient Express". "Jonques de pêcheurs au crépuscule" ("Fishing Junks at Sunset") is a new arrangement of a very old traditional Chinese song known as the "Fisherman's Chant at Dusk", which was performed and recorded with The Peking Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra and is often wrongly attributed as being composed by Jean-Michel Jarre, misled by the album inlay.

Several of the tracks are misleadingly titled. The track labelled as "Magnetic Fields Part 1" is merely 30 seconds of table tennis sound effects and has no similarity with the studio track of the same name. "Band in the Rain" is actually part 8 of Équinoxe, and "The Last Rhumba" is part 5 of Magnetic Fields. Opening track "The Overture" is part 1 of Magnetic Fields slowed down.

The album was originally released as a double-disc LP, then as a double-disc CD. There was also a CD release in two separate volumes, with the cover color changed to blue (Vol. 1) and yellow (Vol. 2). In 1997, a one-disc remastered CD was released, made possible by reducing the total running time to 78:17 by reducing the gaps and audience noise between tracks. The remastering was done by Scott Hull at Masterdisk to the 96 kHz, 24 bit standard.[4]

One of the album's original tracks – "Arpégiateur" – was used in the soundtrack of the film 9½ Weeks as well as in several mid-1980s episodes of the American soap opera Santa Barbara.

The album reached #6 in the UK charts[5] #1 in Portugal and #76 in Australia.[6]

Track listing[edit]

First edition (1982)[edit]

Side one
1."L'Ouverture" (The Overture)4:47
2."Arpégiateur" (Arpegiator)6:54
3."Equinoxe 4"7:49
Side two
1."Jonques de pêcheurs au crépuscule" (Fishing Junks at Sunset)9:38
2."L'Orchestre sous la pluie" (Band in the Rain)1:29
3."Equinoxe 7"9:54
Side three
1."Orient Express"4:22
2."Les Chants Magnétiques 1" (Magnetic Fields 1)0:21
3."Les Chants Magnétiques 3" (Magnetic Fields 3)3:48
4."Les Chants Magnétiques 4" (Magnetic Fields 4)6:49
5."Harpe Laser" (Laser Harp)3:35
Side four
1."Nuit à Shanghai" (Night in Shanghai)7:02
2."La dernière rumba" (The Last Rhumba)2:07
3."Les Chants Magnétiques 2" (Magnetic Fields 2)6:30
4."Souvenir de Chine" (Souvenir of China)3:54
Total length:1:18:59

Second edition (1997 remaster)[edit]

1."The Overture"4:47
3."Equinoxe 4"7:39
4."Fishing Junks at Sunset"9:35
5."Band in the Rain"1:23
6."Equinoxe 7"9:52
7."Orient Express"4:21
8."Magnetic Fields 1"0:28
9."Magnetic Fields 3"3:48
10."Magnetic Fields 4"6:43
11."Laser Harp"3:26
12."Night in Shanghai"7:02
13."The Last Rhumba"2:03
14."Magnetic Fields 2"6:19
15."Souvenir of China"4:00
Total length:1:18:17


Additional personnel[edit]

  • Pierre Mourey – musical instrument coordinator
  • Peking Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra – Chinese orchestra on "Fishing Junks at Sunset"
  • Huang Feili – orchestra conductor on "Fishing Junks at Sunset"
  • Mrs. Li Meng, Mr. Wang Zhi – collaborating artists (possibly playing guzhengs) on "Fishing Junks at Sunset"
  • Live recording by : René AMELINE & Patrick AUFOUR with the FLIGHT MOBILE.


Weekly chart performance for Les Concerts en Chine
Chart (1982–2022) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[7] 76
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[8] 115
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[9] 9
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[10] 35
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[11] 46
UK Albums (OCC)[12] 6
UK Album Downloads (OCC)[13] 76


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[14] Gold 100,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Strong, Martin Charles (1995). The Great Rock Discography. p. 428. ISBN 9780862415419.
  2. ^ https://www.allmusic.com/album/r107181
  3. ^ The Fishing Boat Sings Evening (渔舟唱晚) is a famous Guzheng solo piece, whose title is taken from the famous poem "Preface to Tengyu Pavilion" by Wang Bo (poet). There are different opinions on the origin of the music: it is supposedly an adaption from the folk traditional songs “Return", “Shuangban” and "Double Clappers". According to a paper by Jiang Bohai and Jiang Shu of Zhejiang Normal University, these were first combined by Jin Zhunan in 1912 under the title Evening Songs From A Fishing Boat. In turn this version was adapted by Wei Ziyou in 1925. Then in the 1930s, it was adapted yet again by Lou Shuhua and Jin Zhuonan and renamed to its current title. In any case, almost every Chinese is familiar with the melody of this song, because it is the background music of the weather forecast at China Central Television.
  4. ^ "Jean Michel Jarre - The Concerts In China (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.
  5. ^ "Connolly Company".
  6. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 153. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  7. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. Australian Chart Book, St Ives, N.S.W. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  8. ^ "Ultratop.be – Jean-Michel Jarre – Les Concerts en Chine" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  9. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Jean Michel Jarre – The Concerts In China" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  10. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Jean Michel Jarre – The Concerts In China" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  11. ^ "Charts.nz – Jean Michel Jarre – The Concerts In China". Hung Medien. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  12. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  13. ^ "Official Album Downloads Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  14. ^ "British album certifications – Jean Michel Jarre – The Concerts In China". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 13 October 2022.

Further reading[edit]

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