Electronic-Music Pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre Sells Publishing Catalog to BMG

·3 min read

BMG announced early Thursday that it has acquired the entire music publishing back catalog of French electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre.

The deal brings the rights in such groundbreaking albums as “Oxygene” and “Equinoxe” together with Jarre’s writer’s income stream. The company previously acquired the sound recordings of Jarre’s first three albums when it bought noted independent record label Francis Dreyfus Music in 2012.

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Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although for context, according to the announcement, Jarre has racked up 85 million-plus album sales over his career.

Jarre said of his deal with the German-based company, “This partnership with BMG means a lot to me. Hartwig Masuch and the entire team have been part of my family for many years. Moreover, I am pleased that my publishing back catalogue is sheltered here in Europe and that my work will continue to grow in such good hands. Today is a new start allowing me to develop fresh ideas and giving me the means to explore new territories. Together we will thrive.”

BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch said, “Jean-Michel Jarre is not only a groundbreaking pioneer in electronic music, he is a polymath and a shining ambassador for culture and internationalism. Nearly fifty years after ‘Oxygene’ burst upon the world, we are delighted to build on our longstanding relationship to become custodians of his music publishing rights.”

In addition to his 21 studio albums, and holds numerous records for his live concert extravaganzas, which have attracted some of the biggest audiences in human history, including the Paris Bastille Day concert 1979 (1 million people), Houston 1986 (1.3 million), Paris-La Défense 1990 (2.5 million) and Moscow 1997 (3.5 million). Jarre was also the first Western musician to ever perform in China in 1981; he returned in 2004 upon invitation again to play the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square live on national television.

His influence on electronic music is immeasurable, and reflected in many of the artists with whom he has collaborated, which include Moby, Laurie Anderson, Hans Zimmer, Armin van Buuren, Massive Attack’s Robert ‘3D’ Del Naja, Edgar Froese, the Pet Shop Boys, Gary Numan and many more. His latest album, “Amazonia,” the score to an exhibition by legendary photographer Sebastião Salgado, was released in 2021 to pay tribute to the Amazonian Forest, its inhabitants and the ecological threats the region faces. Jarre recently performed his new immersive live project, “Oxymore,” at Radio France’s Hyper Weekend Festival.

He is a longstanding United Nations ambassador and spokesperson for UNESCO and recipient of the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication. In 2021, he was awarded with the rank of Commander of the Légion d’Honneur by President Emmanuel Macron. He is a long-time advocate of creator rights having served as spokesman for international record company lobby group the IFPI and President of CISAC, the international federation of authors’ societies. He currently chairs the Council for Strategy and Innovation at French authors’ society SACEM.

The deal was brokered for Jean-Michel Jarre by Catalogue Associates Limited, assisted and advised by Maximilien Jazani Esq.

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