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Girogio Moroder turns 80!


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Today is the 80th birthday of music producer/composer Giorgio Moroder.  A lot of people probably associate him with disco, although his work was really pioneering in that it ultimately led to not just the use of synth in disco but to the mutation of the genre into synthpop and electronic dance music.

So why am I mentioning Moroder on the TCM boards?  Well, Moroder won three Oscars for his music: one for Original Score, and two for Original Song.  The first was for the score to Midnight Express, presented by the ever-hot Raquel Welch and an embarrassingly drunk Dean Martin:

The two original songs were the title song to Flashdance, and the song "Take My Breath Away" from Top Gun.  Another of Moroder's original scores was for the stylishly early-80s movie American Gigolo, which spawned the Blondie song "Call Me".

What's your favorite Moroder movie music, or is Moroder's type of music not your style?

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2 hours ago, Fedya said:

What's your favorite Moroder movie music, or is Moroder's type of music not your style?

The one time he got his name above the title:

R-512951-1284915268.jpeg.jpg  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkdwUgd6iMA

And even though it was trying to "Americanize" the movie, he added a cool synth-fantasy vibe to The Neverending Story (1984).  The same YEAR.   👍

And Electric Dreams, the same year as THAT.

v1.bTsxMTYxNDcxMDtqOzE4NDA0OzEyMDA7NjY2O   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEc8z5aP4B0  (That's Giorgio as the radio manager, btw.)

2 hours ago, Fedya said:

A lot of people probably associate him with disco, although his work was really pioneering in that it ultimately led to not just the use of synth in disco but to the mutation of the genre into synthpop and electronic dance music.

Disco started out as basically the smooth black soul-funk of groups like The Commodores, trying to go "elegant" with backup string-sections in the mid-70's, before Moroder attached a Euro-techno beat to Donna Summer and invented the genre.  To this day, no song more creepily captures the hellish seven-deadly-sins Studio 54 vibe of the real disco era than when a period movie (can't recall if Looking for Mr. Goodbar used it?) puts Moroder's arrangement of Summer's "I Feel Love" on the soundtrack.  

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I've always liked Moroder's haunting end theme for "Midnight Express." The film starred the late Brad Davis as the real-life American smuggler Billy Hayes, who escaped from a harsh Turkish prison in 1975.

 

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 Moroder's instrumental "Chase" from "Midnight Express" was used for years as the opening theme music for Art Bell's late night/early morning radio program "Coast to Coast AM." The syndicated show focused on UFOs, time travel and the paranormal during the 1990s and early 2000s.

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I've always been a fan of the haunting score from the 1982 version of Cat People. The David Bowie-sung theme song is better in its opening moments than when it becomes a full-out rock track, but it was memorably re-used in Inglourious Basterds (2009).

 

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2 hours ago, jakeem said:

Moroder's instrumental "Chase" from "Midnight Express" was used for years as the opening theme music for Art Bell's late night/early morning radio program "Coast to Coast AM."

It's still being used  as the show opener! :)

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Except that somebody else is hosting the show now since Art Bell died two years ago.

I was listening to ORF's (Austria) news yesterday since I try to keep up my German by listening to a news program every day, and their report on Moroder's 80th birthday actually started with The Neverending Story, a song I didn't realize he had produced.  A shamefully forgotten movie.

Apparently he also wrote Kenny Loggins' "Meet Me Halfway" from Cannon Films' Over the Top too.  :o

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Wow, I didn't see that one coming!  80 years!!

Here he is in a magazine endorsement, with his Roland modular system:

http://moviecollectoroh.com/pics_to_hotlink_on_TCM/Giorgio Moroder 1b.jpg

 

The shot here was prior to the Roland modular synth - a big improvement over his first one - a Moog - which was reportedly very unstable and difficult.

Giorgio%20Moroder%201a.jpeg

 

An early album cover 😁

http://moviecollectoroh.com/pics_to_hotlink_on_TCM/Giorgio%20Moroder%201c.jpeg

 

A more recent pic.

http://moviecollectoroh.com/pics_to_hotlink_on_TCM/Giorgio%20Moroder%209b.jpeg
 

http://moviecollectoroh.com/pics_to_hotlink_on_TCM/Giorgio%20Moroder%207b.jpeg

 

With a tribute band at a music fest in the Netherlands.

 

Once he got going in his music career, he admittedly preferred being a producer using his own creative ideas and instincts, over being a musician.  He hired other people more specialized than himself to carry  out the performances under his direction.  This can clearly be seen in the Metropolis DVD extras as he is the shown conducting the classical musicians for parts of the score. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaVp1cFERUY\

 

Arthur Barrow - a multi-instrumentalist who became a right-hand man playing keyboards for Moroder, can be heard playing the synthesizer parts here.  He is also the one who plays for most of the 1980s movie soundtracks.

Arthur Barrow relates a story in a speech:

https://youtu.be/OQkyMVfmPgo?t=1237

 

Finally here is part 2 of a BBC story on Giogio Moroder.  (Part 1 is no longer publicly unavailable, but that is okay, this is the better of the two parts)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2VpXyishtE

 

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Just now, spence said:

I reckon' to quote both COP & CLINT, somebody already touched on this pt but MORODER won the Best 0iginal Score Oscar for '78's MIDNIOGHT EXPRESS

& without looking it up-(that's cheating) believe he also won for l980's FAME?

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19 hours ago, spence said:

& without looking it up-(that's cheating) believe he also won for l980's FAME?

Nnnnno.  😑  Michael Gore.  Might have wanted to look that one up.

22 hours ago, MovieCollectorOH said:

This can clearly be seen in the Metropolis DVD extras as he is the shown conducting the classical musicians for parts of the score. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaVp1cFERUY\

In fact, restoring Metropolis was largely his idea, as a labor of love, back when film restoration and nitrate-rescue was still just a NEW concept in 1984.

(Real restorationists today still howl at the idea of colorizing clouds or replacing the dialogue intercards with subtitles, but darnit, they worked, for their time.)

On 4/26/2020 at 11:21 AM, jakeem said:

 Moroder's instrumental "Chase" from "Midnight Express" was used for years as the opening theme music for Art Bell's late night/early morning radio program "Coast to Coast AM." The syndicated show focused on UFOs, time travel and the paranormal during the 1990s and early 2000s.

Note that it was co-arranged by Harold Faltermeier, who would go on to carve his OWN niche in iconic 80's movie synth-music:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qx2gvHjNhQ0

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