I’m officially excited.
Granted, I was late in listening, but I took some time to check out Dean Delray’s podcast “Let There Be Talk” this morning.
While I would LOVE to make a general commentary about the podcast in general, I’m going to save that for a later, yet-to-be-determined date. Instead, let’s talk about the final two minutes of the podcast. More specifically, there was news that Giorgio Moroder is coming into the studio to work with Duran Duran for a portion of the next album.
I can’t even begin to explain how thrilled I was to hear this bullet point regarding the new album! Just hearing John speak his name in reference to being in the studio with him nearly blew my mind. I thought for sure this was going to be “just one of those things” that doesn’t end up happening.
So, who is Giorgio Moroder? Known as one of the founders of disco, Moroder is not only a producer, but a songwriter, performer and DJ. While he’s perhaps best known for his work in the disco and electronic dance music genre, it would be a mistake to pigeonhole his career in that way. He has worked with everyone from Donna Summer to Daft Punk, scored films such as Scarface, and written specific tracks like “Take My Breath Away” from Top Gun. His career is comprehensive. As I said earlier on Twitter, with all of the seriousness in the world, “Mark Ronson cut his teeth on Moroder’s albums.”
Let’s look at a few songs over the course of his career, just to get a taste!
First up is Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love”. If you can’t hear what is to later become new wave music in the first 30 seconds, you should stop the video, go back, and listen again. You’ll hear Nick Rhodes whispering to you.
Okay, maybe not really Nick Rhodes, but the influence is right there…makes my hair stand up on end, and I don’t mean like an astronaut, either.
Next is “Call Me” by Blondie. Released in 1980, it was the main song from “American Gigolo”, co-written by Blondie and Giorgio Moroder.
Moroder’s influence touches even the great David Bowie, as evidenced by “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)”, 1981. This is just the audio track, but worth the listen for sure.
My daughter would have my head if I didn’t include “Flashdance”. Giorgio is credited as the music writer for the iconic song, lyrics and performance by Irene Cara.
Did you know he wrote “Danger Zone”? I didn’t!
My youngest (a huge Freddie Mercury/Queen fan) would be thrilled to know I’m using one of her favorites in today’s blog because it was co-written by Giorgio Moroder in 1984. While the song is probably on the other side of “different”…it’s also the reason I like it.
Moroder has worked with everyone, including Elton John, producing “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” on the 1993 Duets album. Still true to the original written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, it’s amped up for 1993, courtesy of Moroder and Ru Paul, who sings with Elton. The video is cute, too.
I know I’ve shown you a lot from earlier in his career, so how about a few more recent offerings? In 2013, he collaborated with Daft Punk, performing a spoken-word monologue “Giorgio by Moroder”, for their album Random Access Memories. I ADORE this piece. The music is perfect, and to hear Giorgio speak of his own history – it’s superb.
In 2015, Giorgio released his own album, Deja Vu, collaborating (such a buzzword of the 2000’s, don’t you think?) with a variety of artists such as Sia, Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears, Charli XCX and others. Here’s the title track with Sia. I chose this one because he’s in the video. Maybe you’ll recognize him.
That is quite a bit of video watching and listening for one day! Maybe not “just a few”, but well worth the time. As you’re listening, the signature “Moroder” sound is there throughout, but each song stands up on its own. Giorgio has evolved over the years without losing the qualities that make his music unique. Duran Duran has done the same, evolving, without reinventing the wheel. It’s exciting to know that these two juggernauts—Duran Duran and Giorgio Moroder—will finally share studio space. I can’t wait to hear the results!