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.
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.”
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.
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…
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:
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).
The Moody Blues were one of the first groups to integrate classical music with rock (novelty act Bee Bumble and the Stingers beat them to the claim by a few years with Kim Fowley-produced hit, “The Nutrocker,” back in 1962). Initially the group had been approached to record a rock version of Antonín Dvořák’s “New World Symphony,” by their label, Deram, eager for some product for the “stereo high fidelity” market. Instead the group offered Deram their newest compositions, a projected song-cycle titled Days of Future Passed, about the events of a single day, with orchestral music and the sound of the Mellotron woven into the proceedings, and used as links between numbers.
Despite the label’s reputation for cheapness, they agreed.
The first single from the album, “Nights in White Satin,” was released on November 10, 1967. The song’s desperate, yearning lyrics were written by then 19-year-old Moody Blues vocalist Justin Hayward, inspired by a gift of white satin sheets at the end of one love affair and the beginning of another.
“Nights in White Satin,” probably marks the beginning of the prog-rock era. (Keith Emerson’s The Nice would soon follow down the classical-rock path with their first single, “America, 2nd Amendment,” in 1968, which adds an un-credited snatch of Dvořák’s “Symphony No. 9” from New World, to Leonard Bernstein’s “America” from West Side Story.)
“The London Festival Orchestra,” credited on the album, never actually existed as a proper orchestra. It was just what Deram dubbed their in-house session players, although they were actually incorporated under that name. According to Wikipedia, the song uses the “Neapolitan chord.”
“Nights in White Satin” has entered the pop charts on several occasions over the years and been covered hundreds of times (Including a wild disco version by Giorgio Moroder). A Spanish version, “Noches De Seda,” was released at the same time as the original. The Moody Blues went on to sell over 70 million albums and are still together, touring often.
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)”
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:
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)”
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!
Italian electro-futurist disco producer extraordinaire, Giorgio Moroder, now 70, has had his share of hits working with the likes of Donna Summer, Blondie, Sparks, David Bowie, Elton John, and, uh, Leni Riefenstahl (?), but he’s had a few misses as well, like this shockingly crap/brilliantly awful discofied version of The Moody Blues’ classic, “Nights in White Satin” from 1976. Of all the songs to cover in this fashion… I mean, the Moody Blues??? (Moroder’s version is actually titled “Knights in White Satin.”). This is so wrong that it’s right.
I was LOL’ing about this and I mentioned it to Tara, who promptly replied that she had the CD in the car stereo at this very moment. My wife is awesome.