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Music / Giorgio Moroder

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We'll always be together, together in Electric Dreams...

Giovanni Giorgio Moroder (born 26 April 1940) is an Italian record producer, songwriter and performer, and the main responsible for giving Disco a more synthesized and electronic sound and helping pushing forward Electronic Music.

He began his career in the mid-60's, releasing under the name Giorgio very cheesy singles, most of them becoming unsuccessful (and, fortunately, largely forgotten). In The '70s, he started to become more successful, especially after Chicory Tip's hit "Son of My Father". He also founded Musicland Studios (in the late-60's), which held recording sessions by people like Led Zeppelin, Queen and Elton John.

His big breakthrough, however, came through two ways: one, through the hiring of Donna Summer to Casablanca Records (and his own subsidiary, Oasis Records), by producing a lot of her music till the 80's. The other way was through an increased use of synthesizers and computer programming. He produced the majority of Donna's hits, including "Love To Love You Baby" and the ground-breaking "I Feel Love". He also helped set the template for longer DJ sets (which became important from House Music to Techno and many other forms of Electronic Music) with his album From Here to Eternity.

He also produced two albums for Sparks, as well as scores and soundtracks for various movies and artists, including Midnight Express (which became the first all-electronic score to win an Academy Award), American Gigolo, Cat People (the song of the same name became one of David Bowie's more popular songs, albeit with a poppier version on Bowie's Let's Dance album), or Scarface (1983). He also helped restore (and wrote a new soundtrack for) Metropolis. Another song which was produced by Giorgio (as well as part of the soundtrack) was the The Neverending Story theme (sung by Limahl).

He also collaborated with Philip Oakey (the lead vocalist of The Human League, who sings the above quote in Electric Dreams), Japan, Nina Hagen, Freddie Mercury, Janet Jackson, Sigue Sigue Sputnik and Daft Punk.

Do not confuse his last name with Mordor. Or Marauder.

Tropes of Giorgio:

  • Badass Boast: "My name is Giovanni Giorgio... but everybody calls me, Giorgio."
    • Say it with us now: 74 is the new 24...
  • Cover Version: "Knights In White Satin" (The Moody Blues), which goes into Epic Rocking territory (a long version split in three continuous parts that occupies the A-side of the album with the same name).
  • Disco: He was one of the leading disco producers in the 1970s, in both its orchestral and electronic variants (in the latter of which he was a Trope Codifier).
  • Electronic Music: He used synthesizers in his bubblegum pop days when he only went by Giorgio, but starting with "I Feel Love", he went all-out.
  • Epic Rocking: Many of the albums he produced in the Munich disco days had one side taken up with a single long song, e.g. Donna Summer's Love To Love You Baby (title track, 16:48), and A Love Trilogy ("Try Me, I Know We Can Make It", 17:57), Munich Machine's self-titled LP ("Get On The Funk Train", 15:45), and Moroder's own Battlestar Galactica ("Evolution", 15:18). Even where he didn't do this, one side would often effectively be a long medley with each track Fading into the Next Song, such as the A-side of Giorgio's Knights In White Satin or Donna Summer's I Remember Yesterday, or the B-side of Munich Machine's self-titled album.
  • Foreign Re-Score: For the US release of The Neverending Story, the classical orchestra soundtrack of Klaus Doldinger was replaced in large parts by a synthesizer-based soundtrack by Moroder, much to the chagrin of director Wolfgang Petersen.
  • Fun with Homophones: The title track of Knights in White Satin is a cover of the song originally known as "Nights in White Satin"; the silent "K" is Moroder's addition.
  • Intercourse with You: "I Wanna Funk With You Tonite" is hardly subtle, especially considering the moaning in the background.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: His theme for TheNeverEndingStory fades in at the beginning and out at the end. It doesn't have a proper start or end because it's just part of... a never-ending story.
  • Love Theme: As a Hollywood composer, he's written quite a number of these, most famously the enormous hit "Take My Breath Away (Love Theme from Top Gun)". His "Love Theme from Flashdance" is also well regarded.
  • Medley: He did this a few times, including the B side of the first Munich Machine album (basically an instrumental medley of other Moroder hits they'd played on), the A side of Battlestar Galactica (disco-fied versions of incidental music from the TV series) and the whole of Forever Dancing (a mixture of remakes of his own greatest hits and other disco classics). The single release of "From Here To Eternity" was actually a medley of "From Here To Eternity" and "Utopia - Me Giorgio".
  • New Sound Album: His early albums were schlager and bubblegum, but Knights in White Satin was his first disco album (under his own name, that is; he'd already written and produced disco albums for Donna Summer and Roberta Kelly) and "From Here To Eternity" was the biggest change, going all-electronic for the first time.
  • Pop-Star Composer: He's done a lot of work in this vein. Among his more notable efforts, he composed the soundtrack for Midnight Express (the first electronic score to win an Oscar), Flashdance (winning his second Oscar for the title song), Scarface, Top Gun ("Take My Breath Away" was another Oscar winner) and the 1984 restoration of Metropolis as well as significant contributions to soundtracks such as The Neverending Story, Superman III and Electric Dreams.
  • Porn Stache: Along with a pair of Cool Shades, his mustache became one of his signature elements. The Novation Morodernova, a special version of the Mininova virtual-analog synthesizer pre-loaded with all kinds of typical Moroder sounds, is covered in outlines of shades and staches. And after Daft Punk brought him back into the limelight, he even regrew his trademark stache.
  • Record Producer: Legendary Electronic, Pop and Disco producer. Donna Summer and Sparks are among his most significant production credits.
    • In an interesting twist, he had his own album E=MC2 mostly produced by his then-protégé Harold Faltermeyer ("with a little help from Giorgio").
  • Self-Referential Track Placement: On the Knights In White Satin album, the song "In The Middle of the Night" appears between the two halves of the title track.
  • Spoken Word in Music:
    • He lists the credits of the album E=MC2 at the end of the song with the same name, concluding with a "Thank you, Albert".
    • He does this in the Daft Punk track "Giorgio By Moroder".