Giovanni Giorgio Moroder (Italian: dʒoˈvanni ˈdʒordʒo ˈmɔːroder, born 26 April 1940 in Urtijëi) is an Italian record producer, songwriter, performer and DJ. Moroder is frequently credited with pioneering synth disco and electronic dance music.
When in Munich in the 1970s, he started his own record label called Oasis Records, which several years later became a subdivision of Casablanca Records. He produced huge hits for Donna Summer during the late-1970s disco era, including "Bad Girls", "Last Dance", "Love to Love You Baby", "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)", "Dim All the Lights", "MacArthur Park", "Hot Stuff", "On the Radio", and "I Feel Love", and is the founder of the former Musicland Studios in Munich, a recording studio used by many renowned artists including Electric Light Orchestra, Led Zeppelin, Queen and Elton John.
Moroder also produced a number of electronic disco hits for The Three Degrees, two albums for Sparks, a handful of songs on Bonnie Tyler's album Bitterblue as well as her 1985 single "Here She Comes". Moroder also created a score of songs for performers including David Bowie, Kylie Minogue, Irene Cara, Madleen Kane, Melissa Manchester, Blondie, Japan, and France Joli.
He has stated that his most proud work was Berlin's "Take My Breath Away".
Life and music career:
1950-68: Early life:
Moroder was born Giovanni Giorgio Moroder on 26 April 1940 in Urtijëi in South Tyrol, Italy. Moroder's mother took to calling him "Hansjörg", a common German version of his first and second names, as they lived growing up in a mixed German, Italian and Ladin speaking environment in South Tyrol in northern Italy, near the Austrian border. (German: 'hansjœʀk mɔ'ʀoːdɐ).
1969-2010: Origins up to Reemergence:
Moroder made his first steps in music in the Scotch-Club in Aachen and then released a few singles under the name "Giorgio" beginning in 1966 after moving to Berlin, singing in Italian, Spanish, English, and German. He came to prominence in 1969, when his recording "Looky Looky", released on Ariola Records, was awarded a gold disc in October 1970. He then began making a name for himself in studios around Germany in the early 1970s. Often collaborating with lyricist Pete Bellotte, Moroder had a number of hits in his own name including "Son of My Father" in 1972, a No. 1 hit in Great Britain for Chicory Tip, before releasing the synthesizer-driven From Here to Eternity, a notable chartbuster in 1977. That same year he co-wrote and produced the seminal Donna Summer hit single I Feel Love. The following year he released "Chase", the theme from the film Midnight Express. "Chase" is often used on the American syndicated late night radio show "Coast to Coast" and was also used as an entrance theme for wrestling's group The Midnight Express. These songs achieved some chart success in the United Kingdom, the United States, and across Europe, and everywhere disco-mania was spreading. The full film score for Midnight Express won him his first Academy Award for Best Original Score in 1979. 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 film Electric Dreams. The same year saw him collaborating with Kajagoogoo frontman Limahl for their worldwide hit "The NeverEnding Story". In 1986, Moroder collaborated with his protégé Harold Faltermeyer (of "Axel F") and lyricist Tom Whitlock to create the score for the film Top Gun (1986) which included Kenny Loggins' hit "Danger Zone" and Berlin's "Take My Breath Away". He also wrote the theme song to the film Over the Top "Meet Me Half Way" which was also performed by Kenny Loggins. In 1987 Moroder produced and co-wrote Falco's song "Body Next to Body".
In the late 1980s, Moroder collaborated with Claudio Zampolli to create the Cizeta-Moroder V16T supercar.
In 1997 Moroder and Donna Summer won the Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording for the song "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. On 5 September 2010 Moroder received the Great Order of Merit of the South Tyrol.
Moroder contributed to Daft Punk's 2013 studio album Random Access Memories, admitting that he had been a fan of their song "One More Time" before working with the group. His voice and story is featured on the album's track "Giorgio by Moroder". On the track he states, "My name is Giovanni Giorgio, but everybody calls me Giorgio."
In summer 2013, Giorgio started to DJ, giving his US debut at the Red Bull Music Academy in New York City. He is touring around the globe and playing his classics from the 70s and 80s but also new remixes.
In 2014, Giorgio Moroder reworked an old classic from the 60s called "Doo Bee Doo" (2014 version), which was used in the Volkswagen 2014 Super Bowl commercial entitled "Wings".
In March 2014, singer Kelis announced a collaboration with Moroder on her Facebook-page. The following month, Moroder released his official remix of Coldplay's "Midnight" from their album Ghost Stories. He also announced that he will work with the French electro-pop producer Madeon and American singer Lana Del Rey.
On 9 June 2014, Adult Swim released a new Hi-NRG Disco single by Moroder (named "Giorgio's Theme"). Moroder also remixed Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga's rendition of "I Can't Give You Anything but Love".
Moroder's newest studio album, Déjà Vu was released on June 12th, 2015. It features collaborations with Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears, Sia, Charli XCX, Mikky Ekko, Foxes and Matthew Koma, among others . On 16 January, the collaboration with Kylie Minogue, "Right Here, Right Now", was leaked to the internet ahead of an official release. The song, along with a video teaser, was officially released on 20 January 2015. In March 2015, Moroder went on to support Minogue during the Australian leg of her Kiss Me Once Tour. Giorgio Moroder and Sia have shared in May 2015 the title track from Giorgio Moroder's forthcoming LP Déjà Vu.
Throughout much of his musical career, Moroder has been involved in soundtrack work for various motion pictures. In 1978, he wrote the Academy Award-winning soundtrack to Midnight Express, which featured one of his best-known pieces, "Chase".
In 1980, he composed and produced two film soundtrack albums: the first for Foxes and the second for American Gigolo. A double album of the Foxes soundtrack was released on the disco label Casablanca Records which includes Donna Summer's hit single "On the Radio", which Moroder both produced and co-wrote. The Foxes soundtrack also contains a song titled Bad Love, written and performed by the singer-actress Cher and produced by Moroder. The American Gigolo soundtrack featured the Moroder-produced Blondie's "Call Me", a US and UK number one hit. All singles from the album also went to number two for five weeks on the disco/dance charts. In 1982 he wrote the soundtrack of the movie Cat People, including the hit single "Cat People (Putting Out Fire)" featuring David Bowie.
In 1983, Moroder produced the soundtrack for the film Scarface. During its initial release, the album was only available in a few countries and strictly through import in the United States. Notable Moroder-produced tracks included "Scarface (Push It to the Limit)" by Paul Engemann, "Rush Rush" by Debbie Harry, and "She's on Fire" by Amy Holland. In 2006, the soundtrack was featured in the game Scarface: The World Is Yours, which is based on the film and also includes some previously-unreleased instrumentals by Moroder.
In 1984, Moroder compiled a new restoration and edit of the silent film Metropolis (1927) and provided it with a contemporary soundtrack. This soundtrack includes seven pop music 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 increased the film's framerate to 24 frames a 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.
Moroder also scored other films in the 1970s and 1980s, including Flashdance, The Never Ending Story, Thief of Hearts, Electric Dreams, Cat People and Over the Top. In 2002, he wrote the score for Leni Riefenstahl's final film, Impressionen unter Wasser, a marine documentary.
His score for "Scarface" has been used in the video games Grand Theft Auto III and Scarface: The World Is Yours while Moroder's "From Here to Eternity" and "Chase" were 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. More recently he composed, produced and performed the theme music for Google's "Racer".
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. The BBC used Moroder's film soundtrack "Ivory Tower" as theme song during the display of the starting grid during the motor-racing programme Formula 1 Grand Prix, during the late 1980s and the early/mid-1990s. He also composed the song "Forever Friends" for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. During the 1980s, "Chase" was used as the theme song for the Kansas City Comets (an indoor soccer team).
Moroder has 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". The third was won for Best Dance Recording for the song "Carry On".
In 2005, Moroder was named a Commendatore Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana, and in 2010 Bolzano awarded him the Grande Ordine al Merito della Provincia autonoma di Bolzano.
In 2011, he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Soundtrack Academy.
In 2014, Giorgio Moroder won his fourth Grammy Award for Daft Punk's Random Access Memories (Album of the Year).
Donna Summer - "Bad Girls" (1979), "Last Dance" (1978), "Love to Love You Baby" (1975), "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" (1979), "Dim All the Lights" (1979), "MacArthur Park" (1978), "Hot Stuff" (1979), "On the Radio" (1979), "I Feel Love" (1977), "The Wanderer" (1980),
The Three Degrees - New Dimensions (1978), 3D (1979),
Sparks - No. 1 In Heaven (1979),
Japan - "Life in Tokyo" (1979),
Blondie - "Call Me" (1980),
Madleen Kane - "You Can" (1981),
David Bowie - "Cat People (Putting Out Fire)" (1982),
Irene Cara - What a Feelin' (1983),
María Conchita Alonso - "Vamos a Bailar" (1983),
Freddie Mercury - "Love Kills" (1984),
Bonnie Tyler - "Here She Comes" (1984),
Adam Ant - "What's Going On?" (1984),
Jon Anderson - "Cage Of Freedom" (1984),
Janet Jackson & Cliff Richard - Two to the Power of Love (1984),
Philip Oakey - "Together in Electric Dreams" (1984),
Limahl - "The Never Ending Story" (1984),
Sigue Sigue Sputnik - "Flaunt It" (1985) - creation of the "Cyberpunk sound",
Berlin - "Take My Breath Away" (1986),
Kenny Loggins - "Danger Zone", "Meet Me Halfway" (1986),
Big Trouble - Big Trouble (1988),
Pat Benatar - "Here's My Heart",
Daft Punk - "Giorgio by Moroder" (2013),
Kylie Minogue - "Right Here, Right Now" (2015),
Sia - "Déjà Vu" (2015),
Britney Spears - "Tom's Diner" (2015)
Text from this biography licensed under creative commons license