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Moon Safari is the debut studio album by French electronic music duo Air. It was released on 16 January 1998 by Source and Virgin Records. Moon Safari was re-released on 14 April 2008 to mark the album's 10th anniversary, including a bound book, a DVD documentary about the duo, and an extra CD with live performances and remixes.

Moon Safari
Air - Moon Safari.png
Studio album by
Released16 January 1998 (1998-01-16)
RecordedApril–June 1997
Studio
Genre
Length43:35
Label
Producer
Air chronology
Premiers Symptômes
(1997)
Moon Safari
(1998)
The Virgin Suicides
(2000)
Singles from Moon Safari
  1. "Sexy Boy"
    Released: 9 February 1998
  2. "Kelly Watch the Stars"
    Released: 4 May 1998
  3. "All I Need"
    Released: 9 November 1998

Moon Safari was acclaimed by critics and remains Air's most renowned release. The album is credited with setting the stage for the budding downtempo music style. As of February 2012, it had sold 386,000 copies in the United States.[6]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic     [1]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music     [7]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[8]
The Guardian     [9]
NME8/10[10]
Pitchfork7.9/10[11]
Rolling Stone     [12]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide     [13]
Spin7/10[14]
The Village VoiceA−[15]

Moon Safari was met with general acclaim upon its release. John Mulvey, writing for NME, praised Air's "sensitive but tenacious grasp of melody, a laid-back disposition and a reckless way with a Vocoder that makes them unafraid of sounding like a digital ELO", also noting similarities to Garbage on "Sexy Boy" and Beth Orton on "All I Need".[10] Entertainment Weekly's Ethan Smith felt that though the album occasionally bears excessive resemblance to Everything but the Girl, "Air leaven it all with a welcome dash of Gallic irony."[8] Pitchfork writer Brent DiCrescenzo remarked that the music would befit "minimalist architecture design, shagging up against a tree in a field of sunflowers, waiting in line for 'Space Mountain,' drinking gin upstairs in a 747 (circa 1974), and '60s Swedish industrial documentaries", adding that though the album is "too cheeky" for everyday listening, it is nonetheless romantic.[11]

Rolling Stone's Rob Sheffield was more reserved in his praise, praising the album's stylistic range and the instrumental songs but calling the group "obsessive".[12] (Retrospectively in its album guide, Rolling Stone awarded the album four-and-a-half stars.)[13] Likewise, Spin's Jeff Salamon felt that though the album's pathos is "heartening", the music lacks irony.[14]

AccoladesEdit

Moon Safari was voted as the best album of the year in The Face and in Select. It featured in top 10 lists for magazines such as Spin, Melody Maker, NME and Mojo. On aggregation site Acclaimed Music's list of the most recommended albums of all time, Moon Safari ranks 139th, the highest rank achieved by Air[16] and by a French album in general.[17] Rolling Stone magazine later ranked the album at number 93 on their list of the best albums of the 1990s,[18] while the magazine's French edition ranked it at number 65 on their "100 Greatest French Rock Albums" list.[19] In a retrospective review, John Bush of AllMusic commented that Moon Safari "delivered the emotional power of great dance music even while pushing the barriers of what 'electronica' could or should sound like", and that the album "proved they could also write accessible pop songs like 'Sexy Boy' and 'Kelly Watch the Stars'" while also containing successful experiments with less pop-oriented material.[1] The album was also included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[20]

Track listingEdit

All music is composed by Jean-Benoît Dunckel and Nicolas Godin, except where noted.

No.TitleEnglish translationLength
1."La femme d'argent""The Silver Woman"/"The Money Girl"7:08
2."Sexy Boy" 4:57
3."All I Need" (lyrics: Beth Hirsch) 4:28
4."Kelly Watch the Stars" 3:44
5."Talisman" 4:16
6."Remember" (music: Jean-Jacques Perrey, Dunckel, Godin) 2:34
7."You Make It Easy" (lyrics: Hirsch) 4:00
8."Ce matin là" (music: Dunckel, Godin, Patrick Woodcock)"That Morning"3:38
9."New Star in the Sky (Chanson pour Solal)""Song for Solal"5:38
10."Le voyage de Pénélope""Penelope's Voyage"3:10

10th anniversary special edition (2008)Edit

Bonus disc
No.TitleEnglish translationLength
1."Remember" (D. Whitaker version) 2:25
2."Kelly Watch the Stars" (live on the BBC, 1998) 2:44
3."J'ai dormi sous l'eau" (live on the BBC, 1998)"I Slept Under Water"4:10
4."Sexy Boy" (live on the BBC, 1998) 3:10
5."Kelly Watch the Stars" (Moog Cookbook remix) 5:40
6."Trente millions d'amis" (music: Jack Arel [fr], TV series theme song, live on KCRW radio, 1998)"Thirty Million Friends"4:34
7."You Make It Easy" (live on KCRW, 1998) 4:45
8."Bossa 96" (demo) 4:44
9."Kelly Watch the Stars" (demo) 3:46
10."Sexy Boy" (Sex Kino mix) 6:36

DVD

  • "Eating Sleeping Waiting & Playing" by Mike Mills.
  • Music videos for "Sexy Boy", "Kelly Watch the Stars", "All I Need", and "Le soleil est près de moi" (from the Premiers Symptômes EP).
  • Graphics and storyboards.

PersonnelEdit

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Moon Safari.[21]

AirEdit

  • Nicolas Godin – bass (tracks 1–3, 5–10); tambourine (tracks 1, 2, 6); Minimoog (tracks 1, 3, 6, 9, 10); backing vocals (tracks 1, 8); hand claps (tracks 1, 4, 10); vocals, syrinx, Moog solo (track 2); Korg MS-20 (tracks 2, 10); electric guitar (tracks 2, 6, 8); talk box (tracks 2, 6, 9); acoustic guitar (tracks 3, 7–9); organ, drums, Solina String Ensemble (track 3); vocoder (tracks 4, 6, 9); Moog bass, Casiotone (track 4); glockenspiel (tracks 4, 7); Wurlitzer (track 5); drum machine (tracks 5, 7, 10); Roland String Ensemble (track 6); percussions, Moog Wave, hand rubbing (track 7); harmonica, reverse ride (tracks 7, 8); Rhodes chorus, shaker (track 8); piano (track 10)
  • Jean-Benoît DunckelRhodes (tracks 1–7, 9, 10); Solina String Ensemble (all tracks); organ (tracks 1–3, 6, 7, 10); syrinx, Moog solo (tracks 1, 2, 4, 8); backing vocals (tracks 1, 6, 8); Korg MS-20 (tracks 1, 4–6, 9); hand claps (tracks 1, 4, 10); piano (tracks 1, 4, 7, 9); vocals (track 2); Wurlitzer (tracks 3, 6); Korg MS-20 intro (track 3); vocoder (tracks 4, 6, 9); glockenspiel (track 4); clavinet (tracks 4, 8, 10); Minimoog (tracks 4, 5); Casiotone, hand rubbing (track 7); Rhodes verses (track 8); Mellotron (track 9)

Additional musiciansEdit

  • Eric Regert – organ solo (track 1)
  • Alf – hand claps (track 1)
  • Caroline L. – hand claps (track 1)
  • Marlon – drums (tracks 2, 4, 5)
  • Beth Hirsch – vocals (tracks 3, 7); backing vocals (track 7)
  • P. Woodcock – acoustic guitar (track 3); tuba (track 8)
  • David Whitaker – string arrangement, conducting (tracks 5, 7, 8)
  • Enfants Square Burcq – laughs (track 9)

TechnicalEdit

  • Jean-Benoît Dunckel – production, recording
  • Nicolas Godin – production, recording
  • Stéphane "Alf" Briat – recording, mixing
  • Jérôme Kerner – recording assistance
  • Peter Cobbin – string recording (tracks 5, 7, 8)
  • Jérôme Blondel – mixing assistance
  • Nilesh Patel – mastering

ArtworkEdit

  • Mike Mills – design
  • The Directors Bureau – art production

ChartsEdit

Chart (1998–99) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[22] 24
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[23] 20
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[24] 48
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[25] 27
European Albums (Music & Media)[26] 19
French Albums (SNEP)[27] 21
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[28] 56
Irish Albums (IRMA)[29] 7
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[30] 34
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[31] 13
Scottish Albums (OCC)[32] 7
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[33] 52
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[34] 46
UK Albums (OCC)[35] 6
US Heatseekers Albums (Billboard)[36] 41

Certifications and salesEdit

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[37] Gold 35,000^
Belgium (BEA)[38] Platinum 50,000*
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[39] 2× Platinum 40,000^
France (SNEP)[40] Gold 100,000*
Germany (BVMI)[41] Gold 250,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[42] Gold 50,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[43] Gold 25,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[44] 2× Platinum 600,000^
United States 386,000[6]
Summaries
Worldwide 2,000,000[45]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Strings

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Bush, John. "Moon Safari – Air". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  2. ^ Fitzmaurice, Larry (31 January 2012). "Air". Pitchfork. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
  3. ^ Beaumont, Michael (20 October 2003). "Bent: The Everlasting Blink". PopMatters. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
  4. ^ Schreiber, Ryan (29 February 2000). "Air: The Virgin Suicides". Pitchfork. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  5. ^ "100 Best Albums of the '90s: Air, 'Moon Safari'". Rolling Stone. 27 April 2011. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
  6. ^ a b Mapes, Jillian (4 February 2012). "Air Over 'The Moon' About Film Score Turned Full Album". Billboard. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  7. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8.
  8. ^ a b Smith, Ethan (6 February 1998). "Moon Safari". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  9. ^ Kershaw, Matthew (16 January 1998). "Oxygène junkies". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077.
  10. ^ a b Mulvey, John (17 January 1998). "Air: Moon Safari / Kid Loco: A Grand Love Story". NME. p. 38. Archived from the original on 17 August 2000. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
  11. ^ a b DiCrescenzo, Brent. "Air: Moon Safari". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 20 October 2002. Retrieved 1 November 2009.
  12. ^ a b Sheffield, Rob (7 January 1998). "Air: Moon Safari". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 30 January 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2009.
  13. ^ a b Sheffield, Rob (2004). "Air". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 10–11. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  14. ^ a b Salamon, Jeff (February 1998). "Bugs: Infinite Syndrome / Air: Moon Safari". Spin. Vol. 14 no. 2. p. 108. ISSN 0886-3032. Retrieved 1 November 2015 – via Google Books.
  15. ^ Christgau, Robert (23 February 1999). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  16. ^ "Air". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  17. ^ "Top Albums from France". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved March 7, 2017.
  18. ^ "Air, 'Moon Safari' – 100 Best Albums of the Nineties". Rolling Stone. 27 April 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  19. ^ Magazine Rolling Stone, n°18 of February 2010, ISSN 1764-1071
  20. ^ Dimery, Robert; Lydon, Michael (7 February 2006). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 0-7893-1371-5.
  21. ^ Moon Safari (liner notes). Air. Virgin Records. 1998. 7243 8 44978 2 8.CS1 maint: others (link)
  22. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Air – Moon Safari". Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  23. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Air – Moon Safari" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  24. ^ "Ultratop.be – Air – Moon Safari" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  25. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Air – Moon Safari" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  26. ^ "European Top 100 Albums" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 15 no. 6. 7 February 1998. p. 10. OCLC 29800226. Retrieved 2 August 2019 – via American Radio History.
  27. ^ "Lescharts.com – Air – Moon Safari". Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  28. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Air – Moon Safari" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  29. ^ "Irish-charts.com – Discography Air". Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  30. ^ "Charts.nz – Air – Moon Safari". Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  31. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Air – Moon Safari". Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  32. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  33. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Air – Moon Safari". Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  34. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Air – Moon Safari". Hung Medien. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  35. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  36. ^ "Air Chart History (Heatseekers Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
  37. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2000 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  38. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – albums 2007". Ultratop. Hung Medien. 17 March 2007. Retrieved 30 May 2018.
  39. ^ "Certificeringer" (in Danish). IFPI Denmark. 30 October 2018. Archived from the original on 16 November 2018. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  40. ^ "French album certifications – Air – Moon Safari" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.
  41. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Air; 'Moon Safari')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 29 November 2017.
  42. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Air – Moon Safari" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 6 August 2018. Enter Moon Safari in the "Artiest of titel" box.
  43. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Air; 'Moon Safari')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  44. ^ "British album certifications – Air – Moon Safari". British Phonographic Industry. 22 July 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2017. Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Moon Safari in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  45. ^ "Air expand Moon Safari". Resident Advisor. 5 March 2008. Retrieved 2 September 2019.