One of the fathers of electronic music has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and he’s not Kraftwerk. Giorgio Moroder is one of those key figures in music history that somehow managed to be simultaneously a colossal commercial success, a complete artistic failure, an unsung hero and a household name.
Moroder’s career is unusually varied. He started out as a record shop owner in Berlin, but soon started releasing his own singles. His style was influenced by the local progressive rock bands, but mixed in elements of disco. His first major hit was Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love.” This song was instrumental in popularizing synth-based dance music, and it spawned a decade of club hits built on similar sounds.
Moroder’s initial success came from his work with Donna Summer. He produced her albums Bad Girls and The Wanderer, among others. In the late 70s Moroder moved to New York City and began working with other artists like Blondie and David Bowie .
What makes Giorgio Moroder one of the most important electronic music producers in history?
Giorgio Moroder was a pioneer, an innovator and a leading force in electronic music for over 40 years. His music has been used in films for decades, won him 3 Academy Awards, had huge number 1 hits and he is still very much active to this day.
His synth sounds from the 80’s are still being used by producers all over the world today, even though they are more than 30 years old! The technology might have moved on but it’s very easy to recognize those famous squelchy sounds that were made popular by Donna Summer and others.
You’ve probably heard his music. You may not even realize it. His contributions to music have been so subtle and profound that they have influenced nearly every musician working today. The man is Giorgio Moroder, and the music he’s made over the past 40 years has provided a blueprint for modern electronic music.
I had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Moroder play at this year’s Coachella festival (which I wrote about in a previous post). He was one of the highlights of my weekend and showed that even at 74 years old, he’s still a master of his craft.
But what is it about Giorgio Moroder that warrants such praise? How does one man revolutionize music twice? Where does a person get such ideas? Many people know the name and recognize his work, but few understand why he matters in the greater scope of popular music.
When Giorgio was 17, he moved from Italy to Germany to pursue his dream of becoming a musician. His early years were spent playing small clubs and recording cheesy pop tunes as part of an act called Sonique. But as time went on, Giorgio felt more comfortable behind the scenes than out in front of an audience; he started writing songs for others to perform and producing other
Giorgio Moroder is a man of many talents: composer, producer, singer and DJ. He has worked with some of the greatest artists in the music industry including Donna Summer, Blondie, David Bowie and many more. His songs are timeless and have been sampled by numerous artists since their release.
Giorgio Moroder was born on 26th April 1940 in Urtijëi (South Tyrol), Italy. While Giorgio was still a child his family moved to the town of Ortisei (South Tyrol), where he began to learn the guitar at age 14. In 1964 he moved to Berlin where he began to work as a studio musician for artists such as Caterina Valente, Patty Pravo and Udo Jürgens. The German singer Udo Jürgens would later go on to become one of his best friends. He also wrote songs for other bands such as the Kinks and The Who.
In 1966 Giorgio Moroder got his first record deal with Ariola Records and released two singles “Looky Looky” and “I’m Yours”. Both singles were successful but it didn’t last long as Giorgio was soon dropped by Ariola Records because they thought he wasn’t
For those of you who are not familiar with Giorgio, I will give a little background. He is an Italian record producer and songwriter. Mostly known for his work in disco and electronic music.
In the 1970s Giorgio Moroder was in Munich and he started producing albums with Donna Summer, who then became one of his most famous collaborators. He also collaborated with other artists such as David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Blondie, Japan, Sparks, and many more!
In 1978 he won his first Oscar for Best Original Score in the movie Midnight Express.
In the 1980s he produced the score for Flashdance, Top Gun, American Gigilo, Cat People and Scarface.
He had four
Giorgio Moroder is a legend, but he’s not the kind of legend you hear about in your standard music history textbooks. He isn’t a household name like Elvis Presley or Bob Dylan. He doesn’t have a signature look like David Bowie or Madonna. He didn’t introduce the world to an entirely new genre like The Beatles or Miles Davis. What he did do was help bring electronic music out of the underground and into the charts where it eventually became one of the most dominant genres of the past twenty years.
The iconic theme from Midnight Express
If, for some strange reason, you’ve never heard of Giorgio Moroder, don’t worry, you’ve heard his music. He composed soundtracks for films such as Midnight Express, Scarface and Flashdance (he also won an Oscar for his work on Midnight Express). His songs have been sampled by everyone from Daft Punk to Kanye West, who also featured Giorgio on his latest album Yeezus. But perhaps his biggest musical contribution came in 1979 when he teamed up with Donna Summer and helped create a song that would forever alter the course of dance music: I Feel Love.
It was groundbreaking in every sense
Giorgio Moroder was born on the 26th April 1940 in Ortisei, Val Gardena, Italy. His parents owned a restaurant and he spent his early life growing up here. Giorgio showed an interest in music from an early age, but his father did not approve of this choice, however this did not stop the young boy spending time at the local radio station. At the age of 10 he learnt to play the piano and by 14 was playing in clubs (although not officially allowed to be there).
After leaving school Giorgio spent a short time as a ski instructor and then joined the army, during this time he continued to develop his musical talents. After finishing his military service he moved to Berlin where he developed his skills as a producer. His big break came with Donna Summer’s hit Love To Love You Baby (1975). He went on to produce other hits for her including I Feel Love (1977) and Bad Girls (1979).
However it is for his solo work that Giorgio is most remembered, especially his soundtrack for Midnight Express (1978), which won the Oscar for best soundtrack. He also produced The Chase from Midnight Express which became a No. 1 hit in 1978. The following year saw another movie soundtrack success with American Gig