Giorgio Moroder Week – more Summer than Donna

The late nod to a summer in the UK was surely down to this short season, dedicated to the art of Giorgio…

To think Western culture peaked in 1984…

It’s bright and rather pleasant in London right now. And I’m going to take all the credit.

In August I attempted to prop up the ‘British summer’ with an impromptu week of classics from the legend who should top everyone’s list of favourite Italians. Giorgio Moroder. The ‘tache, the glasses the disco, the cool. Since 2013 he’s been touring his classics around the world, while releasing Déjà Vu, his17th studio album of collaborations (Britney, SIa, Kylie, Foxes…).  Which shamefully I am not being paid a cent to promote.

Giorgio Moroder Deja Vu
Sad face.

No, this was totally selfless. I don’t even like the summer that much. It was the modern equivalent of a sun dance to the arch-producer and King of Electro-Synth. And… It worked! Look outside, it worked! I know right, my X-Men powers grow! And I’m not even a major fun of the sun. But before the weather front they’re affectionately calling ‘Beast’ brings snow to Northern Europe next week there’s just time to smugly collect it all together and bask in the collective glow of Moroder’s back catalogue.

A sun dance to the King of Electro-Synth

As usual, this was goverened by my complete music snobbery although considering that covers New Romantic, New Wave, Punk and Electro-Synth you’d barely notice it. And as usual with these things, there were some unexpected findings.

If there were any rules it was to maximise the 12″ singles, and cross the gamut of genres. Sadly, Donna Summer’s MacArthur Park didn’t make the cut. But what is staggering is the consistency in collaborations as diverse as Bowie, Sparks, Berlin and Mercury. While his self-proclaimed finest hour may be that film tune with Berlin, it’s notably lacking the strong ‘style’ that runs through much of Moroder’s work. Daft Punk were right to pay the ultimate tribute.

A strong start and a quite unbelievable song. It’s almost bigger than disco itself. When I go on Event Horizon disks, this would probably make my top five. “First up. 1977. I. Feel. Love. 12″. A great start, but it’s only going to get better…”

“Blondie were nowt but a disco band. Call Me. Version Discotheque – #SemaineMoroder” – oddly that attracted some criticism, but it wasn’t sarcastic. Cnce I had a Love AKA the Disco Song and its variants proved the point in 1975.

If 2015’s done anything, it’s confirmed that Sparks are my band. Saw them a couple of weeks ago. Extraordinary. Incredible that, as someone pointed out recently, they’ve successfully changed their styles as much as Bowie since surfacing around the same time but earned barely a slice of his renown. And they didn’t even give in to a decade long slump. During the glorious disco period that produced their second biggest song, there was one man they had to turn to. “Giorgio Moroder week continues – for most, 2 Sparks albums would be a career peak. The Number One Song in Heaven.”

“Moroder and Mercury – Love Kills in its originally intended Metropolis enhancing form.” One of my earliest albums was The Freddie Mercury album. I think it even affected my vocal range (pitch perfect to my ear), but I went years without realising the origins of this haunting song. I still haven’t seen this re-scored Metropolis. I will.

“Moroder week bursts into New Wave with the Life in Tokyo Maxi.” this song wraps itself around your mind. The Moroder rhythm is familiar rather than pastiche. If anything it proves how capable Moroder was of escaping disco and spearheading the extraordiary sonic adventures of the 1980s. Yes, sonic adventures.

You may be getting a pattern by now, but it’s a brilliant one – and then a dip back to film where he broke it. I mean, the videos far better than the film…

#MoroderWeek pelts on to Moroder’s film scores and his self-confessed finest hour 29 years ago.

While in film mode, I can’t remember at all what was rocking the streets of London on 8th August (roadworks?) but it prompted me to say this: “Perfect for the streets of London tonight. Moroder makes Scarface…”

“Moroder and Bowie. With an odd video that manages to give away nothing about Schrader’s 80s Cat People. At all.” It was hard keeping this under my cat-skin stove pipe hat. More recently used to brilliant effect by Quentin Tarantino in 2009’s Inglorious Basterds of course – that precious list of songs he has and will use in films: Prime heist material if you ask me.

Right up to the present, and while the radio waves have been full of Déjà Vu this summer, it’s hard to find the charm in it. “Modern Moroder – forgoing Sia for Britney… Complete with sound glasses.”

Actually wait, as of right now – there’s a lyric video (warning: it’s flashy, very flashing light flashy)! And features a horrifically scary version of Tron-Moroder. Outstanding.

And then came the end, so quickly, the work done. And a great cameo for Top of the Pops that mashes two Moroder tracks together, From Here to Eternity that’s huge but no favourite of mine and then more Donna Summer, because why not? . “An extended end to #MoroderWeek #tache. TOTP, Stewpot &… Edmonds- “It’s number one in the discos in the States”…

A great help to the resurgence, much as the backlash to the excellent Random Access Memories was swift. An album that ran through the history of dance music saved one of its biggest honours for the main man. “Replacing Parkinson with Daft Punk was a wise choice. Moroder by Giorgio. #Moroderweek

Clearly, there was only one place this could end. The single edit’s even better than the 12″ – extraordinary. And while it’s inevitably the one video where the video preview won’t work, as I right it comes on the radio – surely proving that it’s part of the reason why the sun’s still shining…

“And so #MoroderWeek ends. And is there a better pop song? To think Western culture peaked in 1984.”

To more Moroder…

7 thoughts on “Giorgio Moroder Week – more Summer than Donna

Add yours

  1. Blimey, breaking news: On Ken Bruce’s Tracks of My Years – Nick Rhodes of ‘the’ Duran Duran just proclaimed “I feel Love” the start of modern music. Hard to disagree.


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