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Giorgio Moroder
Birth name Hansjörg Moroder
Born 26 April 1940 (1940-04-26) (age 69)
Urtijëi (Ortisei), Italy
Genres Dance, Rock, Disco, Pop, Electronic Italo Disco
Occupations Singer, songwriter, producer
Instruments Synthesizers
Years active 1965–present
Website http://www.giorgiomoroder.com

Giorgio (Hansjoerg) Moroder (on record sleeves often only Giorgio) (born on 26 April 1940 in Urtijëi (Ortisei), Italy)[1] is a three-time Oscar-winning and three-time Grammy Award-winning Italian record producer, songwriter and performer. His work with synthesizers during the 1970s and 1980s had a significant influence on new wave, house, techno and electronic music in general.[2] Particularly well known for his work with Donna Summer during the era of disco (including "I Feel Love" and Love to Love You Baby), Moroder is the founder of the former Musicland Studios in Munich, which was used as a recording studio for artists including Electric Light Orchestra, Led Zeppelin, Queen and Elton John. He also founded his own record label, Oasis Records, which later became a subdivision of Casablanca Records.

In addition to his work with Donna Summer, Moroder also produced a number of electronic disco hits for The Three Degrees, two albums for Sparks, and a score of songs for a variety of others including David Bowie, Irene Cara, Madleen Kane, Melissa Manchester, Blondie, Japan, and France Joli.

Contents

History

An Italian of native German mothertongue (from the South Tyrol ethnicity at the border between Italy and Austria), Moroder made his first steps in music bypassing his native country altogether, and making a name for himself in studios around Germany in the early 1970s, although he released small-batch singles simply as "Giorgio" as early as 1966, singing in English, German, and Italian. Often collaborating with lyricist Bellotte, Moroder had a number of hits in his own name including "Son of My Father" in 1972 before releasing the synthesizer-driven From Here to Eternity, a notable chartbuster in 1977, and in the following year releasing "Chase", the theme from the film Midnight Express.. All were hits in the UK, in the U.S. and across Europe, and everywhere the disco-mania was spreading. The full movie score for Midnight Express won him his first Academy Award for best film score in 1978. 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 movie Electric Dreams. In 1986, Moroder collaborated with his protege Harold Faltermeyer (of "Axel F." fame) and lyricist Tom Whitlock to create the score for the film Top Gun (1986), with the most noteworthy hit being Berlin's "Take My Breath Away". "Chase" was also used as an entrance theme for wrestling's group The Midnight Express. In 1987, Moroder produced Falco's song "Body Next to Body".

In 1997, Moroder and Donna Summer won the Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording for the album "Carry On".

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.

Film work

Moroder 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".

In 1984, Moroder compiled a new restoration and edit of the famous silent film Metropolis and provided a contemporary soundtrack to the film. This soundtrack includes pop 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 played the film at a rate of 24 frames per 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.[citation needed]

He also scored other popular films in the 1970s and 1980s including Midnight Express, American Gigolo, Flashdance, The Never Ending Story, Thief of Hearts, Electric Dreams, Cat People, Over the Top and Scarface.

In 2002, he wrote the score for Leni Riefenstahl's final film, Impressionen unter Wasser, a marine documentary.[3]

Video games

His score for "Scarface" has recently regained popularity due to its use in the popular video game Grand Theft Auto III (and Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories). Moroder's "From Here to Eternity" and "Chase" were also 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.

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. Ivory Tower was used for the starting grid line up on Grand Prix in the late 1980's to the early 1990s (a BBC television Formula one program ).

Other

In the late 1980s Moroder collaborated with Claudio Zampolli to create the Cizeta supercar.

Moroder currently resides in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California. He lives with his wife Francisca and his son Alex, who was born in 1989.

Notable collaborations

Partial discography

Year Title
1969 That's Bubblegum - That's Giorgio
1972 Son of My Father
1974 Giorgio's Music
1975 Einzelganger
1976 Knights in White Satin
1977 From Here to Eternity
1978 Love's in You, Love's in Me (Giorgio and Chris)
Midnight Express - Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Music From "Battlestar Galactica" And Other Original Compositions
1979 E=MC²
1980 American Gigolo - Original Soundtrack
1982 Cat People - Original Soundtrack
1983 Solitary Men (with Joe "Bean" Esposito)
Scarface (Music From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
1984 The NeverEnding Story (Giorgio Moroder and Klaus Doldinger)
Metropolis: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
1985 Innovisions
1990 To Be Number One
The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter (Joe Milner and Giorgio Moroder)
1992 Forever Dancing
1998 Moroder and Moroder Art Show (limited to 100 copies)

Sampling and other uses

  • 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 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.
  • His song "The Chase" was partially covered by Daft Punk in their "Live @ Rex Club Paris" performance in 1997.
  • Vitalic made a remix of "The Chase" in 2003.
  • "The Chase" is used as a reoccuring music motif in the Hong Kong neo-noir The Longest Nite.
  • The Chase is also the opening theme music for Coast to Coast AM, and serves as the theme music for independent wrestler Trent Acid.
  • 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".
  • 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 Chase" was the sonic signature for the MISL's Kansas City Comets during the late 1970s and 80's. It was played during live match play when the Comets would move the ball up the field.
  • "The Legend Of Babel" theme From the "metropolis" soundtrack was covered By DJ Dado.
  • "The Chase" is sampled in Dutch DJ, Jesselyn's, track "Flora".
  • British elecronica 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".

See also

References

External links








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