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Far-out sci-fi album art for ELO, Giorgio Moroder, Earth, Wind & Fire and more by Shusei Nagaoka


The cover of Jefferson Starship’s 1976 album ‘Spitfire’ by Shusei Nagaoka.
 
You may not know Japanese artist Shusei Nagaoka by name, but there is no doubt that you have seen his colorful sci-fi art that has graced the covers of albums by Jefferson Starship, ELO, electronic pioneer Giorgio Moroder and Earth, Wind & Fire, just to name a scant few. Nagaoka’s artwork has also appeared in countless publications from Hustler to National Geographic. Nagaoka is probably best known for his album art—one of his most impactful being the cover of the 1977 album by Electric Light Orchestra, Out of the Blue which unless you were living under a rock back in the 1970s you’ve seen. The art for Out of the Blue is highly representative of Nagaoka’s style, artistic vision and use of arresting color schemes. 

Born in Nagasaki in 1936, Nagaoka moved from the city to the island of Iki, thankfully escaping the devastation caused by the atomic bomb that was dropped by the U.S. on his birthplace in 1945. Though he did pursue a formal education for a time at Musashino Art University in Tokyo, the artist would eventually drop out choosing to follow his artistic passion on his own. Nagaoka relocated to Hollywood in 1970 where he quickly established himself as a popular, in-demand artist. In 1976 Nagaoka would be praised for his collaboration with Jefferson Starship designing a strikingly erotic image of a sultry Japanese woman smoking an opium pipe straddling a dragon on the cover of Spitfire. Fans of the graphic designer place his contributions alongside other notable artists that share his sci-fi/psychedelic vibe such as the insanely talented Pedro Bell or the great Neon Park (aka Martin Muller).
 

Artwork for Earth, Wind & Fire’s 1979 album ‘I Am.’
 
A compelling story concerning Nagaoka and his connection to the world of music was his long relationship with Earth, Wind & Fire that produced the profound cover art for the 1977 album All ‘N All; 1979’s I Am; and 1983’s Powerlight. When it came to the concept for the artwork for All ‘N All, the band’s founder Maurice White, who was a deeply spiritual man, had a very specific vision for the cover and inside the gatefold. Tapping into White’s knowledge and love of Egyptology and theology Nagaoka incorporated imagery synonymous with Egypt such as a sphinx, an all-seeing eye, and futuristic pyramids. Inside the gatefold are a series of ten white columns each with a different symbol such as a caduceus, the Star of David and the ancient Egyptian symbol of the Eye of Horus poised peacefully on top. Here’s more from White himself on working with Nagaoka:

“It was a great pleasure working on my album covers with Shusei. Even though we spoke different languages, we shared a vision. His talent and creativity helped make each of our collaborations memorable and helped extend the message in our music into the visual plane of color harmony and symbolic expression.”

There are also a few books about the artist worth picking up such as The Works of Shusei Nagaoka from 1981 and the gorgeously published Androla in Labyrinth published in 1984. Some of the images that follow are NSFW.
 

The cover of “Pleasure Prinicipal’ the 1978 album by George Clinton protégés, Parlet.
 

Giorgio Moroder’s 1979 album ‘E=MC².’
 

ELO’s ‘Out of the Blue’ 1977.
 
More of Shusei Nagaoka’s work after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.02.2017
09:52 am
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Watch P-Orridge, Moog, Moroder, Can and many more in the electronic music documentary ‘Modulations’


 
Iara Lee’s ambitious 1998 documentary Modulations: Cinema for the Ear tries to fit the entire history of electronic music into 73 minutes. It’s a good try, and it’s worth watching for its crazy array of interview subjects, who range from Genesis P-Orridge to Karlheinz Stockhausen, and for its snapshots of 90s dance cultures around the world. From the point of view of a person who studiously avoided glowsticks and pacifiers during this historical moment, it’s interesting to look at these scenes from the remove of two decades: compared to today’s apocalypse culture, the millennium’s end-of-the-world styles seem quaint, fun, almost utopian.

Though there’s a lot of emphasis on contemporary house and techno, Modulations is a survey of the history of electronic music that takes in everything from the Futurists’ noise experiments to jungle. It keeps up a dizzying pace, and doesn’t let you look into any of these artists, movements or scenes too deeply, but what a cast: legendary producers Giorgio Moroder and Teo Macero, musique concrète pioneer Pierre Henry, Robert Moog, members of Can, and John Cage are among the dozens of figures who get screen time. (Yet no Wendy Carlos?) If you want more of this stuff, there’s a CD soundtrack and a book tie-in.
 

 
via Genesis Breyer P-Orridge

Posted by Oliver Hall
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08.21.2015
10:20 am
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Bob Dylan, Giorgio Moroder, Rambo: Three names you’d never thought you’d see together
10.31.2013
02:53 pm
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Not exactly buried in Alexis Petridis’ interview with Giorgio Moroder today at The Guardian—naturally he used all three names in his headline—is this amazing anecdote:

Alexis Petridis: There’s a story that you attempted to collaborate with Bob Dylan, which seems a bit unlikely.

Giorgio Moroder: That’s right. It was actually Sylvester Stallone who asked me to ask him to sing a song for a Rambo movie. So I composed a song. I wanted him to write the lyrics, of course. I went to see him in Malibu, where he had a beautiful house. He listened to it about four times. I’m not sure if he didn’t like the music that much, or if he wasn’t interested because of the nature of the movie, which was totally anti-Russian, anti-communist. I think he didn’t feel like being involved with a movie such as Rambo. It was nice to meet him, and it could have worked, but it didn’t work out.

Christ it’s a shame that never happened!

Read the entire thing at The Guardian.

Thank you Chris Campion of Berlin, Germany!

Posted by Richard Metzger
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10.31.2013
02:53 pm
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Times slows down and worlds collide in this evocative version of Donna Summer’s ‘I Feel Love’
06.28.2013
03:58 am
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Giant waves crash against monumental rocks, Tibetan monks groan into the void, space ships shimmer in their own heat, a building slowly collapses in upon itself as dinosaurs breathe heavily in their sleep, black-garbed nuns descend the cold cathedral steps startling a flurry of bats who ascend into an immense grey sky while below Jesus pulls himself from the cross and does long slow pirouettes, leaving perfect circles of blood on the merciless marble floors: red mandalas the priests mistake for wine and drunkenly sip from like ravenous ravens. Donna Summer’s voice and Giorgio Moroder’s production exude many new evocations in this time-stretched version of “I Feel Love.”

I think Moroder might like this.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell
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06.28.2013
03:58 am
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Listen to Giorgio Moroder’s full DJ set from Deep Space party
05.23.2013
11:39 am
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Earlier this week Giorgio Moroder—who’s now 73 years old and experiencing an unexpected new wave of interest in his work—appeared at François Kevorkian’s “Deep Space” party in Brooklyn where he DJ’d to a full house in Brooklyn. According to reports, this was the first time Moroder has ever DJ’d live in New York.

You can listen to his entire set, below:

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Giorgio Moroder posts rarities and remixes on Soundcloud

Giorgio Moroder’s Extraordinary Records

Giorgio Moroder performs ‘Looky, Looky’ on French TV, 1969

Posted by Tara McGinley
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05.23.2013
11:39 am
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Giorgio Moroder to release 1966-1975 pre-disco compilation called ‘Schlagermoroder’
03.21.2013
01:43 pm
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Via Consequence Of Sound:

Italian disco producer and recent Daft Punk collaborator Giorgio Moroder must have multiple vaults of material just screeching to be heard. Because not only is he uploading hours of rarities on SoundCloud, but he’s now releasing a 51-track (!) compilation cleverly titled, Schlagermoroder (Volume 1: 1966-1975).

As the title insists, the release collects Moroder’s earlier non-disco and film work, specifically tracks like “How Much Longer Will I Have to Wait”, “Doo-Bee-Doo-Bee-Doo”, and “Son of My Father”. If these go over your head, it’s probably because most of it was released under the pseudonyms Giorgio, George, or Snoopy — and were released in various languages over several territories.

The remastered album features liner notes by journalist Michael Heatley and surfaces April 22nd via Repertoire Records. Consult the entire tracklist here

It seems inevitable that this track will be on the compilation. Can you spot the sample? It’s not that hard…

Giorgio “Tears”:
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:

The legendary Giorgio Moroder returns to ‘live’ performance with a dj set in NYC

Giorgio Moroder posts rarities and remixes on Soundcloud

Yummy yummy yummy: Giorgio Moroder posts more rare gems form the 1960s to Soundcloud

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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03.21.2013
01:43 pm
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The legendary Giorgio Moroder returns to ‘live’ performance with a DJ set in NYC

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Giorgio fan art by Kirk Demourelle
 
That’s right, Giorgio is BACK! Back for a one-off dj set, that is, at Fracois Kevorkian’s very highly rated Deep Space party at New York’s Cielo nightclub on the 20th of May this year.

That’s the good news. The bad news is it has already sold out. Not so much of a surprise, really, considering how legendary Giorgio is, and the fact that the club only has a 350 person capacity. Here’s what the Resident Advisor event page tells us:

A historic night of space disco comes as a gift from the heavens thanks to Red Bull Music Academy.

In his first dj appearance ever in New York, disco inventor and cultural icon Giorgio Moroder plays a set of classics. We’ve seen his set list already, and the music he’s selected represents some of the best of his legendary career.

There’s been a bit of anticipation as to what a Giorgio Moroder DJ set might sound like, but my guess is it will consist entirely of his own music, tweaked a bit via a program like Ableton or Serrato. Why? Well, that’s what he did when asked to soundtrack the Fall/Winter show for Louis Vuitton last year. Interestingly, in a short interview on the LV site, Giorgio says he doesn’t gig more often because no-one is asking him. What?! COME ON PROMOTERS! Hussle a few grand together and get Giorgio Moroder into a club or venue near you NOW!

And please Red Bull Music Academy, do a live webscast of this event!

Below, Louis Vuitton Fall/Winter 2012/2013 menswear show, music by Giorgio Moroder:
 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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03.06.2013
08:54 am
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Sparks do ‘When I’m With You’ on a French kids show, 1980
12.12.2012
03:13 pm
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Sparks, the great brothers Mael themselves, performing “When I’m With You” on a French kids show in 1980. Odd that the set shows the duo standing in front of a “sex shop.” The French!

The number, from their underrated Giorgio Moroder and Harold Faltermeyer-produced Terminal Jive album, spent six weeks at the #1 spot, but only in France (The album was largely ignored everywhere else, so Sparks spent a year there promoting the album).
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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12.12.2012
03:13 pm
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Yummy, Yummy, Yummy: Giorgio Moroder posts more rare gems from the 1960s to Soundcloud
10.29.2012
03:00 pm
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This photo was taken in 1979. I have no idea what the hell is going on here, but I’d thought share it anyway.
 
A few weeks ago I blogged about Giorgio Moroder uploading his 70s and early-80s remixed and rare electro tunes to Soundcloud. This week brings an all new Moroder set, showcasing his tunes from the 60s to the early-70s with his versions of songs like “Yummy Yummy Yummy” and “Mah Nà Mah Nà.”

Oh, there’s a song named “Sandy” in the mix there that’s pretty good, too.
 


 

Posted by Tara McGinley
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10.29.2012
03:00 pm
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Giorgio Moroder posts rarities and remixes on Soundcloud
10.19.2012
12:22 pm
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The wonderful WFMU alerted me to Giorgio Moroder uploading some amazing mixes and rarities to Soundcloud. My Friday just got a whole lot funkier...
 

Posted by Tara McGinley
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10.19.2012
12:22 pm
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Giorgio Moroder signs Nile Rodgers’ guitar
05.25.2012
11:43 pm
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The masters meet. What a moment. 

The guy in the background gets it.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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05.25.2012
11:43 pm
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Happy birthday Giorgio Moroder

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The Italian music maestro Giorgio Moroder turns 72 today.

In a career that spans well over forty years, Moroder has a strong claim to being one of the most influential producers ever. His ground-breaking work with Donna Summer brought electronic music to the masses with the smash “I Feel Love” in 1977, while the duo’s earlier collaboration on “Love To Love You Baby” set in stone the template for the extended, orgasmic disco mix. 

Then there are his seminal pop productions for the likes of Blondie, David Bowie, Sparks and the Human League’s Phil Oakey, plus his revolutionary synthesiser scores for Scarface, American Gigolo and Midnight Express (which bagged Moroder an Oscar for Best Score in 1978.)

Often written out of “serious” musical history because of his poppy tendencies, Moroder’s incredible legacy speaks for itself and has defiantly stood the test of time.

Here’s one of my favourite Moroder tracks, the less well-known “Utopia, Me Giorgio” off the album Giorgio from 1977 (here given the extended re-edit treatment by Disco Beard.) 19freakin’77 - that means this track is now 35 years old, and I’ll be damned if it doesn’t sound as fresh now as it did back then:

Giorgio Moroder “Utopia, Me Giorgio (Disco Beard Anniversary Edit)”
 

 
Tip of the hat to World Of Wonder.

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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04.26.2012
11:23 am
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‘Skool Of Rock’ mix: over 60 minutes of fist-pumping Disco-Rock anthems

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OK, enough of the hating between the rockers and the disco-freaks! This ain’t the damn 70s, so why can’t we all just get along? In love, peace and some sweat-drenched bell bottoms? Besides, there is a big crossover between these two supposedly “opposing” genres.

About five or six years ago, at the height of both nu-disco and the Italo revival (and while I was releasing music under the name Trippy Disco), I found myself playing more and more vintage disco records with crashing power-chords and wailing axe solos. Because of the “sell out” accusations that these kind of records attracted at the time (from both camps) it’s a side of disco that’s been neglected, even though I love those sounds. So, I decided to put together an hour’s worth of my favourite disco/rock records, and, lo, the ‘Skool Of Rock’ mix was born.

I decided not to feature anything too “New Wave” or post-punk as the disco influence on those sounds was already very obvious, though I did get to slip in a few acts who would technically be classed as “disco” but who dipped into “rock” now and again (Edwin Starr and Giorgio Moroder, for instance.) And accordingly, there’s also the obligatory disco cash-ins by some of your favourite rock acts (Queen, Bowie, ZZ Top.)  Besides that, there are some real gems here, including the Patrick Cowley remix of Tantra’s “Hills Of Katmandu” which is one the most “fuck yeah!” fist-pumping disco anthems of all time.

So, you might love this mix, you might really hate it, but either way here it is: 
 

 
Tracklist:

ELO “Don’t Bring Me Down (Trippy Disco Re-Edit)”
CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL “Fortunate Son”
ROCKETS “On The Road Again”
EDWIN STARR “The Rock”
CHILLY “For Your Love”
KISS “I Was Made For Lovin’ You”
TANTRA “Hills Of Katmandu (Patrick Cowley Megamix / Automan Edit)”
LED ZEPPELIN “Whole Lotta Love (Acapella)”
MATERIAL “Bustin’ Out”
ZZ TOP “Legs (Metal Mix)”
GIORGIO MORODER “Evolution”
MACHO “Not Tonight (Dimitri From Paris Re-Edit)”
SKATT BROS “Walk The Night (Album Version)”
QUEEN “Another One Bites The Dust”
DAVID BOWIE “Stay”
WINGS “Goodnight Tonight (Trippy Disco Re-Edit)”

You can download the ‘Skool Of Rock’ mix here.

BONUS!

David Bowie performing “Stay”, live on Muzikladen, Bremen 1978:
 

 

 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile
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03.10.2012
07:12 pm
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Giorgio Moroder’s ‘Metropolis’
10.06.2011
05:05 pm
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A new HD presentation of the Giorgio Moroder-scored version of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis will take place at Cinefamily in Los Angeles for ten screenings from October 7th through October 11th:

The legendary rockin’ alternate version of Fritz Lang’s silent sci-fi classic, on the big screen for the first time in almost thirty years! In 1981, electronic music pioneer/three-time Oscar-winning composer Giorgio Moroder began a years-long endeavor to restore Metropolis, the very first attempt since the film’s original 1920s release. During the process, Moroder gave the film a controversial new score, which included pop songs from some of the biggest stars of the early MTV era (Pat Benatar, Billy Squier, Freddie Mercury, Bonnie Tyler, Adam Ant, Jon Anderson and more!) Missing footage was also re-edited back into the film, intertitles were removed and replaced with subtitles, and sound effects/color tinting were added, creating an all new experience, and an all-new film. But for more than a quarter century, Moroder’s Metropolis has remained out of circulation, until now. Utilizing one of the few remaining prints available, Kino Lorber has created a brand-new HD transfer in the best possible quality — just as it was seen in its August 1984 release!

More information at Cinefamily’s website. Tickets are $10, free for members. Kino Lorber are going to release the Moroder version of Metropolis on DVD and Blu-ray by year’s end.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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10.06.2011
05:05 pm
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Giorgio Moroder performs ‘Looky, Looky’ on French TV, 1969
03.01.2011
01:56 pm
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Here’s an amusing clip of Giorgio Moroder and his mega-mustache performing “Looky, Looky” on the French TV show Musicolor back in 1969. I dig the silk scarf. 

 
(via HYST)

Posted by Tara McGinley
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03.01.2011
01:56 pm
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