Giorgio Moroder in 2007
|Birth name||Giovanni Giorgio Moroder|
|Also known as||Giorgio|
26 April 1940 |
Urtijëi, South Tyrol, Italy
Giovanni Giorgio Moroder (Italian: [dʒoˈvanni ˈdʒɔrdʒo ˈmɔːrodɛr]; born 26 April 1940) is an Italian record producer, songwriter, performer and DJ. Moroder is frequently credited with pioneering synth disco and electronic dance music.
When in Munich in the 1970s, he started his own record label called Oasis Records, which several years later became a subdivision of Casablanca Records. He produced huge hits for Donna Summer during the late-1970s disco era, including "Bad Girls", "Last Dance", "Love to Love You Baby", "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)", "Dim All the Lights", "MacArthur Park", "Hot Stuff", "On the Radio", and "I Feel Love", and is the founder of the former Musicland Studios in Munich, a recording studio used by many renowned artists including Electric Light Orchestra, Led Zeppelin, Queen and Elton John.
Moroder also produced a number of electronic disco hits for the Three Degrees, two albums for Sparks, and a handful of songs on Bonnie Tyler's album Bitterblue as well as her 1985 single "Here She Comes". Moroder also created a score of songs for performers including David Bowie, Kylie Minogue, Irene Cara, Janet Jackson, Madleen Kane, Melissa Manchester, Blondie, Japan, and France Joli.
Life and music career
1950–68: Early life
Moroder was born Giovanni Giorgio Moroder on 26 April 1940 in Urtijëi in South Tyrol, Italy. Moroder's mother called him "Hans-Jörg" (German: ['hansjœʀk mɔ'ʀoːdɐ]), the German version of his first and second names, as while he was growing up they lived in a mixed German-, Italian- and Ladin-speaking environment in South Tyrol in northern Italy, near the Austrian border. At the time in South Tyrol, a process of Italianization was taking place and it would have been unwise or impossible to register a German first name.
1969–2010: Origins up to reemergence
Moroder made his first steps in music in the Scotch-Club in Aachen and then released a few singles under the name "Giorgio" beginning in 1966 after moving to Berlin, singing in Italian, Spanish, English, and German. He came to prominence in 1969, when his recording "Looky Looky", released on Ariola Records, was awarded a gold disc in October 1970. He then began making a name for himself in studios around Germany in the early 1970s. Often collaborating with lyricist Pete Bellotte, Moroder had a number of hits in his own name including "Son of My Father" in 1972, a No. 1 hit in Great Britain for Chicory Tip, before releasing the synthesizer-driven From Here to Eternity, a notable chartbuster in 1977. That same year he co-wrote and produced the seminal Donna Summer hit single I Feel Love. The following year he released "Chase", the theme from the film Midnight Express. "Chase" is often used on the American syndicated late night radio show "Coast to Coast" and was also used as an entrance theme for wrestling's group The Midnight Express. These songs achieved some chart success in the United Kingdom, the United States, and across Europe, and everywhere disco-mania was spreading. The full film score for Midnight Express won him his first Academy Award for Best Original Score in 1979. In 1979 Moroder released his album E=MC². Text on the album's cover stated that it was the "first electronic live-to-digital album." He also released three albums between 1977–1979 under the name Munich Machine.
In 1984, Moroder worked with Philip Oakey of The Human League to make the album Philip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder; which was a UK singles chart hit with "Together in Electric Dreams", title track to the 1984 film Electric Dreams. The same year saw him collaborating with Kajagoogoo frontman Limahl for their worldwide hit "The NeverEnding Story". In 1986, Moroder collaborated with his protégé Harold Faltermeyer (of "Axel F") and lyricist Tom Whitlock to create the score for the film Top Gun (1986) which included Kenny Loggins' hit "Danger Zone" and Berlin's "Take My Breath Away". He also wrote the theme song to the film Over the Top "Meet Me Half Way" which was also performed by Kenny Loggins. In 1987 Moroder produced and co-wrote Falco's song "Body Next to Body".
In the late 1980s, Moroder collaborated with Claudio Zampolli to create the Cizeta-Moroder V16T supercar.
On 20 September 2004 Moroder was honored at the Dance Music Hall of Fame ceremony, held in New York, when he was inducted for his many outstanding achievements and contributions as producer. In 2005, he was given the title of Commendatore by the then President of the Italian Republic, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. On 5 September 2010 Moroder received the Great Order of Merit of the South Tyrol.
Moroder contributed to Daft Punk's 2013 studio album Random Access Memories, admitting that he had been a fan of their song "One More Time" before working with the group. His voice and story is featured on the album's track "Giorgio by Moroder". On the track he states, "My name is Giovanni Giorgio, but everybody calls me Giorgio."
In summer 2013, Giorgio started to DJ, giving his US debut at the Red Bull Music Academy in New York City. He is touring around the globe and playing his classics from the 70s and 80s but also new remixes.
In March 2014, singer Kelis announced a collaboration with Moroder on her Facebook-page. The following month, Moroder released his official remix of Coldplay's "Midnight" from their album Ghost Stories. He also announced that he will work with the French electro-pop producer Madeon and American singer Lana Del Rey.
On 9 June 2014, Adult Swim released a new Hi-NRG Disco single by Moroder (named "Giorgio's Theme"). Moroder also remixed Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga's rendition of "I Can't Give You Anything but Love".
Moroder's newest studio album, Déjà Vu was released on June 12, 2015. It features collaborations with Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears, Sia, Charli XCX, Mikky Ekko, Foxes and Matthew Koma, among others . On 16 January, the collaboration with Kylie Minogue, "Right Here, Right Now", was leaked to the internet ahead of an official release. The song, along with a video teaser, was officially released on 20 January 2015 and on April 18, 2015 reached No.1 on the U.S. Dance charts becoming Moroder's first U.S. Dance Chart-topper in 15 years. In March 2015, Moroder went on to support Minogue during the Australian leg of her Kiss Me Once Tour. Giorgio Moroder and Sia have shared in May 2015 the title track from Giorgio Moroder's forthcoming LP Déjà Vu.
Throughout much of his musical career, Moroder has been involved in soundtrack work for various motion pictures. In 1978, he wrote the Academy Award-winning soundtrack to Midnight Express, which featured one of his best-known pieces, "Chase".
In 1980, he composed and produced two film soundtrack albums: the first for Foxes and the second for American Gigolo. A double album of the Foxes soundtrack was released on the disco label Casablanca Records which includes Donna Summer's hit single "On the Radio", which Moroder both produced and co-wrote. The Foxes soundtrack also contains a song titled Bad Love, written and performed by the singer-actress Cher and produced by Moroder. The American Gigolo soundtrack featured the Moroder-produced Blondie's "Call Me", a US and UK number one hit. All singles from the album also went to number two for five weeks on the disco/dance charts. In 1982 he wrote the soundtrack of the movie Cat People, including the hit single "Cat People (Putting Out Fire)" featuring David Bowie.
In 1983, Moroder produced the soundtrack for the film Scarface. During its initial release, the album was only available in a few countries and strictly through import in the United States. Notable Moroder-produced tracks included "Scarface (Push It to the Limit)" by Paul Engemann, "Rush Rush" by Debbie Harry, and "She's on Fire" by Amy Holland. In 2006, the soundtrack was featured in the game Scarface: The World Is Yours, which is based on the film and also includes some previously-unreleased instrumentals by Moroder.
In 1984, Moroder compiled a new restoration and edit of the silent film Metropolis (1927) and provided it with a contemporary soundtrack. This soundtrack includes seven pop music tracks from Pat Benatar, Jon Anderson, Adam Ant, Billy Squier, Loverboy, Bonnie Tyler and Freddie Mercury. He also integrated the old-fashioned intertitles into the film as subtitles as a means of improving continuity, and he also increased the film's framerate to 24 frames a second. Since the original speed was unknown this choice was controversial. Known as the "Moroder version", it sparked debate among film buffs, with outspoken critics and supporters of the film falling into equal camps.
Moroder also scored other films in the 1970s and 1980s, including Flashdance, The Never Ending Story, Thief of Hearts, Electric Dreams, Cat People and Over the Top. In 2002, he wrote the score for Leni Riefenstahl's final film, Impressionen unter Wasser, a marine documentary.
His score for "Scarface" has been used in the video games Grand Theft Auto III and Scarface: The World Is Yours while Moroder's "From Here to Eternity" and "Chase" were used in the Sony PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 2 game Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories. "Together in Electric Dreams", a collaborative effort of Giorgio Moroder and Philip Oakey (of The Human League) features in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories. More recently he composed, produced and performed the theme music for Google's "Racer".
Sporting events and other media
Moroder wrote the official theme songs, "Reach Out", for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and "Hand in Hand", for the 1988 Seoul Olympics and "Un'estate italiana" for the 1990 Football World Cup. "The Chase" is now also used as the theme bumper-music for the US AM talk radio program Coast to Coast AM. The BBC used Moroder's film soundtrack "Ivory Tower" as theme song during the display of the starting grid during the motor-racing programme Formula 1 Grand Prix, during the late 1980s and the early/mid-1990s. He also composed the song "Forever Friends" for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. During the 1980s, "Chase" was used as the theme song for the Kansas City Comets (an indoor soccer team).
Moroder has won three Academy Awards: Best Original Score for Midnight Express (1978); Best Song for "Flashdance...What a Feeling", from the film Flashdance (1983); and Best Song for "Take My Breath Away", from Top Gun (1986).
Moroder also won two of his three Grammy Awards for "Flashdance": Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or a Television Special and Best Instrumental Composition for the track "Love Theme from Flashdance". The third was won for Best Dance Recording for the song "Carry On".
In 2005, Moroder was named a Commendatore Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana, and in 2010 Bolzano awarded him the Grande Ordine al Merito della Provincia autonoma di Bolzano.
- Donna Summer – "Bad Girls" (1979), "Last Dance" (1978), "Love to Love You Baby" (1975), "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" (1979), "Dim All the Lights" (1979), "MacArthur Park" (1978), "Hot Stuff" (1979), "On the Radio" (1979), "I Feel Love" (1977), "The Wanderer" (1980)
- The Three Degrees – New Dimensions (1978), 3D (1979)
- Sparks – No. 1 in Heaven (1979), "Beat the Clock" (1979)
- Japan – "Life in Tokyo" (1979)
- Blondie – "Call Me" (1980)
- Madleen Kane – "You Can" (1981)
- David Bowie – "Cat People (Putting Out Fire)" (1982)
- Irene Cara – What a Feelin' (1983)
- María Conchita Alonso – "Vamos a Bailar" (1983)
- Freddie Mercury – "Love Kills" (1984)
- Bonnie Tyler – "Here She Comes" (1984)
- Adam Ant – "What's Going On?" (1984)
- Jon Anderson – "Cage Of Freedom" (1984)
- Janet Jackson & Cliff Richard – Two to the Power of Love (1984)
- Philip Oakey – "Together in Electric Dreams" (1984)
- Limahl – "The Never Ending Story" (1984)
- Sigue Sigue Sputnik – "Flaunt It" (1985) – creation of the "Cyberpunk sound"
- Berlin – "Take My Breath Away" (1986)
- Kenny Loggins – "Danger Zone", "Meet Me Halfway" (1986)
- Big Trouble – Big Trouble (1988)
- Pat Benatar – "Here's My Heart"
- Edoardo Bennato
- Daft Punk – "Giorgio by Moroder" (2013)
- Kylie Minogue – "Right Here, Right Now" (2015)
- Sia – "Déjà Vu" (2015)
- Britney Spears - "Tom's Diner" (2015)
- That's Bubblegum - That's Giorgio (1969)
- Giorgio (1970)
- Son of My Father (1972)
- Giorgio's Music (1973)
- Einzelgänger (1975)
- Knights in White Satin (1976)
- From Here to Eternity (1977)
- Love's in You, Love's in Me (1978)
- E=MC² (1979)
- Solitary Men (1983)
- Innovisions (1985)
- Philip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder (1985)
- Déjà Vu (2015)
Sampling and other uses
- The British alternative rock duo Curve covered "I Feel Love" in 1992. The song was later included on the double CD compilation The Way of Curve, released in 2004.
- Bronski Beat have covered "I Feel Love" and "Love to Love You Baby" for their debut album The Age of Consent (1984).
- "On Fire", the second single from rapper Lil Wayne's seventh studio album Rebirth; contains allusions from Amy Holland's song "She's on Fire" and was inspired in its entirety by Scarface.
- "Push It", the second single from rapper Rick Ross' debut album Port of Miami; samples "Scarface (Push It to the Limit)" and the story of the video has a very similar theme to the film Scarface. It was produced by J. R. Rotem.
- His song "Tears" was sampled and used as the basis of the DJ Shadow song "Organ Donor" on his 1996 album Endtroducing...... Canadian hip hop group Swollen Members sampled the song in "Fuel Injected" and "Meltdown". It also appears on the song "Tragedy" by RZA. The main melody and chord progression form the basis of "Marz" by folk musician John Grant and "Only Light" by Australian ska band The Cat Empire.
- Hip hop duo Mobb Deep used a sample from the song "Tony's Theme" in their song G.O.D. Pt. III.
- His Song "E=MC2" was sampled and used for J. Dilla's song of the same title.
- One of his early compositions, "Doo-Bee-Doo-Bee-Doo" from 1969, would be featured for many years in silent sketches on The Benny Hill Show, as part of a medley that also included "Mah Nà Mah Nà", a 4/4 adaptation of Ludwig van Beethoven's "Für Elise", and "Gimme Dat Ding".
- The theme from Midnight Express was sampled by hip-hop duo OutKast for their song "Return of the Gangsta", and by hip-hop producer J Dilla for "Phantom of the Synths", a beat later used by MF DOOM for "Gazzillion Ear" and by Jay Electronica for "Dimethyltryptamine".
- Moroder's opening theme from the film Scarface is sampled by Nas and Mobb Deep for the track "It's Mine".
- "Leopard Tree Dream" from Cat People is sampled by Cannibal Ox in the song "Iron Galaxy."
- "The Legend of Babel" theme From the "metropolis" soundtrack was covered By DJ Dado.
- British electronica musician Little Boots covered "Love Kills", which was written in collaboration with Freddie Mercury.
- "Future Lovers", a song from American recording artist Madonna's 2005 album Confessions on a Dance Floor, has a bass line inspired by Donna Summer's Moroder-produced hit "I Feel Love". Furthermore, Madonna opened her 2006 Confessions Tour with a medley of "Future Lovers" and "I Feel Love". The version of "Live To Tell" Madonna performed on The Confessions Tour heavily samples Moroder's song "Tears".
- Suns of Arqa's album "Technomor" includes the track "Moroder Vibe" which contains elements of "I Feel Love".
- Soundtrack for Google's Racer, a mobile Chrome experiment
- Underworld's 1999 album, Beaucoup Fish, contains a song titled "Shudder/King of Snake" , which contains an interpolation of the bass line from "I Feel Love".
- Santo, Sam and Ed’s Total Football on Fox Sports Australia use a clip of "Looky Looky" for the intro of the segment of the same name.
- Honorific nicknames in popular music
- List of number-one dance hits (United States)
- List of artists who reached number one on the U.S. Dance chart
- Cizeta-Moroder V16T supercar project
- Tobias Rüther (26 April 2010). "Giorgio Moroder zum Siebzigsten: Ich fühle Liebe". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Retrieved 20 May 2012.
- "Giorgio Moroder". laut.de. Retrieved 21 May 2012.
- Jim Poe. "Giorgio Moroder: 10 groundbreaking tunes | Music". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-08-24.
- "He felt love with Donna Summer, now its Deja Vu for Giorgio Moroder - 11/06/2015". Abc.net.au. Retrieved 2015-08-24.
- "GIORGIO MORODER: "I WAS ALWAYS INTERESTED IN THE HITS"" (in 17 December 2014). The Talks. Retrieved 19 April 2015.
- Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 259. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
- Cubarrubia, RJ (3 April 2013). "Giorgio Moroder: Daft Punk's New Album Is 'A Step Forward' for Dance Music" (YouTube video). Rolling Stone. RollingStone.com. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
[...] Thomas and Guy-Manuel, they are perfectionists (4:21 min). They had to do something which is different. Still dance, still electronic; but give that human touch back. (7:40 min)
- "Daft Punk – Giorgio by Moroder (2013) by GiorgioMoroder on SoundCloud – Hear the world's sounds". Soundcloud.com. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "Listen to Giorgio Moroder's US DJ debut at Brooklyn's Output club". The Verge. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "Giorgio Moroder – DJ Set – Live @ Deep Space (New York) by GiorgioMoroder on SoundCloud – Hear the world's sounds". Soundcloud.com. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "2014 Volkswagen Game Day Commercial: Wings". YouTube. 28 January 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "Doo Bee Doo 2014 (feat. Caroline Brooks): Giorgio Moroder: MP3 Downloads". Amazon.com. 29 January 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "Kelis – Timeline Photos". Facebook. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "Coldplay – Midnight (Giorgio Moroder Remix) by GiorgioMoroder on SoundCloud – Hear the world's sounds". Soundcloud.com. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "Giorgio Moroder – Timeline Photos". Facebook. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- Douglas Wolk. "Giorgio Moroder, Dance Music Legend, on Remixing Coldplay's 'Midnight' and 'Crazy' Lana Del Rey". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "Madeon Collabs With Giorgio Moroder". Blog.lessthan3.com. 2 July 2014. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "Giorgio Moroder – Giorgio's Theme (2014) by GiorgioMoroder on SoundCloud – Hear the world's sounds". Soundcloud.com. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- Peters, Mitchell (17 November 2014). "Giorgio Moroder to Release First Studio Album in Over 30 Years". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
- Geslani, Michelle (24 April 2015). "Listen to Britney Spears and Giorgio Moroder’s surprisingly great cover of "Tom’s Diner" — listen". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
- "Giorgio Moroder "Right Here, Right Now" (ft. Kylie Minogue)". Exclaim.ca. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
- Caulfield, Keith (20 January 2015). "Giorgio Moroder & Kylie Minogue Drop Single 'Right Here, Right Now'". Billboard. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
- Fonseca, Nicholas (13 February 2015). "Giorgio Moroder will join Kylie Minogue for her Kiss Me Once tour". Sydneyland. Time Out. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
- "Kylie Minogue teams up with Giorgio Moroder on 'Kiss Me Once' tour - watch". NME. Time Inc. UK. 16 March 2015. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
- "Giorgio Moroder - Déjà vu ft. Sia". YouTube. 2015-05-05. Retrieved 2015-08-24.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974–2003. Record Research. p. 288.
- "New Metropolis Sparks Controversy at Cannes." Variety. 16 May 1984. For an analysis of both sides, with critics mostly supporting Moroder's version, see: Michael Minden and Holger Bachmann. (2002) Fritz Lang's Metropolis: Cinematic Visions of Technology and Fear. Boydell & Brewer. ISBN 1-57113-146-9. "Moroder's reissue...was bound to offend the purists if only because it smacked of such crass commercialism and seemed so evidently calculated to jump the culture barrier." Thomas Elsaesser, p. 124. Most critics agree that the opinion of the film purists aside, Moroder's version was a welcome addition: "Although harshly criticized for its synthesized rock score, Moroder's reconstruction does have the virtue of clarifying a muddled plotline...Moroder's new version provides some illuminating changes in narrative continuity and character motivation, while still preserving the integrity of Lang's extravagant satiric vision." Jurkiewicz, Kenneth. (March 1990). "Using Film in the Humanities Classroom: The Case of Metropolis." The English Journal. 79:3 p 47. For a brief but in-depth analysis of Moroder's restoration, see: Bertellini, Giorgio (Autumn, 1995) "Restoration, Genealogy and Palimpsests". Film History. 7:3 pp. 277–290.
- "Hitler's filmmaker to release new film". BBC. 7 January 2002.
- "Giorgio Moroder – Racer (2013) by GiorgioMoroder". Soundcloud.com. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- "Presidenza della Repubblica". Quirinale.it. 26 May 2005. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- Lil Wayne's 'On Fire' Inspired By 'Scarface,' Producer Dre Says – MTV.com
- "RACER: A Chrome Experiment". Chrome.com. Retrieved 28 July 2014.
- Official Website – Giorgio Moroder
- Giorgio Moroder Soundcloud
- Giorgio Moroder discography at Discogs
- Giorgio Moroder at the Internet Movie Database