|Birth name||Peter John Bellotte|
|Born||28 August 1943|
Barnet, Hertfordshire, England
|Occupation(s)||Songwriter, record producer|
|Associated acts||Giorgio Moroder|
Life and career
Bellotte was born in Barnet, Hertfordshire, now part of North London. He learned guitar in his early teens, and joined a local beat group, the Sinners, as rhythm guitarist, turning professional in 1962. They linked up with singer Linda Laine, and in the early 1960s toured in France and Germany. In Hamburg, they encountered another English band, Bluesology, and Bellotte became friends with their keyboard player, Reg Dwight, later Elton John. Linda Laine and the Sinners released several singles in the UK on the Columbia label in the early and mid-1960s, including "I Can't Stand It" (1963), the B-side of which, "If You Leave Me Now", was written by Bellotte.
Bellotte had become fluent in German, and wanted to become involved in record production. He moved to Munich and became an assistant to Italian musician Giorgio Moroder, who was also working in Germany as pop singer Giorgio. In 1971, Bellotte wrote the English lyrics for Moroder's song, "Nachts scheint die Sonne", which became "Son of My Father", and was recorded in a hit version by British band Chicory Tip. Moroder and Bellotte then started working with American singer Donna Summer, who had married an Austrian actor and lived in Germany, and they wrote and produced several hits in Europe for her, before writing and producing her international breakthrough hit, "Love to Love You Baby", in 1975.
Bellotte and Moroder produced Donna Summer's material through the 1970s and early 1980s, including the international hits "I Feel Love" (written by Bellotte, Moroder and Summer, 1977), and "Hot Stuff" (written by Bellotte with Harold Faltermeyer and Keith Forsey, 1979). According to Steve Kurutz at Allmusic, "the heavily orchestrated, throbbing hit singles produced by Bellotte were the virtual blueprint for disco music". Several of Bellotte's songs with Summer have been recorded by other artists, or have been sampled. His song "Hot Stuff" is in Billboard's All-Time Top 100 Songs and was placed 32nd in Rolling Stone magazine's Best Summer Songs of All Time list.
As well as working with Donna Summer, Bellotte and Moroder wrote and produced Roberta Kelly's 1976 dance hit "Trouble-Maker", and Suzi Lane's 1979 hit "Harmony". He produced, and wrote several tracks on, Elton John's 1979 album Victim of Love. He has also worked with Janet Jackson, Cliff Richard, Shalamar, Tina Turner, Mireille Mathieu, The Three Degrees and Melba Moore.
Bellotte won numerous worldwide music industry awards, including Producer of the Year in the US for 1978 and 1979. However, he felt increasingly marginalized by the "Disco sucks!" movement in the United States, and disliked having to spend time in Los Angeles. He moved back to Britain, and since 1993 has lived at Northchapel in West Sussex.
Bellotte is a leading collector of the writings and art of Mervyn Peake and has written on this subject in various periodicals. In late 2015, his book The Unround Circle was published by Nine Elms Books, consisting of some 22 fictional stories.
In September 2004 Bellotte was honoured at the Dance Music Hall of Fame ceremony, held in New York, where he was inducted for his many outstanding achievements and contributions as producer and songwriter. In 2012, "I Feel Love" was one of only twenty-five historical recordings inducted into the US Library of Congress's National Recording Registry.
- Ancestry.com. England & Wales, Birth Index: 1916–2005 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes. London, England: General Register Office.
- Duncan Hall, "Northchapel-based Pete Bellotte and his literary ambitions", Sussex Life, 10 November 2016. Retrieved 27 April 2020
- "The Sinners featuring Linda Laine & Terry Topping", razrazzle - Basingstoke Music History. Retrieved 27 April 2020
- Ian Shirley, "Rumour Has It...", Record Collector, #504, April 2020, pp.64-67
- Simon Reynolds, "Song from the Future: The Story of Donna Summer and Giorgio Moroder’s “I Feel Love”", Pitchfork, 29 June 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2020
- Steve Kurutz, Biography of Pete Bellotte, Allmusic.com. Retrieved 27 April 2020
- Biography, PeteBellotte.com. Retrieved 27 April 2020
- Review of Elton John, "Victim of Love", Allmusic.com. Retrieved 27 April 2020