Giovanni Giorgio Moroder’s contribution to electronic and disco music knows no bounds. With a career spanning over decades, the Italian recorder, producer, songwriter, and DJ pioneered synth disco with massive hits for the disco age of the 70’s. This is your chance to watch and hear the living legend at Johnnie Walker The Journey on 12th December at Mehboob studio, Mumbai!
The virtuoso’s discography is a colourful and extensive one, having worked with almost every major hitmaker in the past 40 years. From producing multiple hits for the queen of disco, Donna Summer and scoring soundtracks for big Hollywood movies like Scarface and Top Gun, to making music for the great David Bowie and making a 2015 album filled with massive collaborations, Moroder has made his much-deserved mark in the contemporary music industry.
Accustomed to winning prestigious awards – (3 Oscars, 4 Grammys and 5 Golden Globes, a Lifetime Achievement Award) and the title Commendatore Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana, the accolades are a testament to his abundant talent and pursuits.
As the Italian disco-wizard will be busting out the best beats at Johnnie Walker The Journey this year, The Sherp has made it his business to compile a curated list of Giorgio Moroder hits you absolutely must listen to, if you haven’t already.
1. Love to Love You Baby – Donna Summer (produced by Giorgio Moroder)
As one of the first ever disco tracks to be released on extended form, Love to Love You Baby was a force to reckon with. Back in 1975, when Donna Summer approached Moroder with the lyrics of ‘Love to Love You Baby’, he decided to turn it into a full disco track. Since the lyrics were a bit on the explicit side, Donna Summer decided to record a demo and give it to another artist to perform. But Giorgio, on hearing her vocal tonality and her ability to sound sensuous, decided Donna should be the one to release it, under her name. He convinced her, recorded the track, and the rest is history!
2. I Wanna Rock You (Luca Cassini Dub) – Giorgio Moroder
You may recognize this tune from the get go, with its supremely catchy tagline ‘I Wanna Rock You’ and infectious blend of disco, rock, and R&B. The tune is from Moroder’s legendary 1979 album E=MC², that was the world’s first digital record, as he had planned it to be. 1979 was the official year of Albert Einstein, so in a way to commemorate the scientist and Moroder’s own pursuits in the world of Disco, he named the album E=MC². The album showed great promise in its day, prompting many other disco artists to follow the same path of evolving house music.
3. I Feel Love – Donna Summer (produced by Giorgio Moroder)
Giorgio and Donna teamed up once again, to produce what would come to be known as one of the world’s most incredible and hypnotic disco tunes. Disco recording before I Feel Love, backed by acoustic orchestras that proved to be quite the task in putting together. However, Moroder employed the use of repetitive and synthesized backing vocals with a Moog synthesizer, which turned out to be a breakthrough in disco music production. Due to its futuristic production, the song became extremely popular at high energy venues, capturing the true spirit of what disco was all about.
“We wanted to conclude with a futuristic song….and I decided that it had to be done with a synthesizer.” – Giorgio Moroder
4. Call Me – Blondie (produced by Giorgio Moroder)
This may come as a shock to many of you pop-rock fans of the 80’s, but the disco maestro was actually the man behind Blondie’s hit single Call Me. With the advent of the 80’s, disco was seeing numbered days, with artists and pop musicians searching for alternate and singular sounds that eventually gave birth to 80’s pop/rock/punk. Even though this is essentially an 80’s rock anthem, Giorgio in his production made sure to leave whiffs of his signature disco elements i.e. inconspicuous synths and an underlying disco melody.
The song became an instant chart-topper by staying number one on Billboard Hot 100 for six straight weeks. You impressed yet?
5. Together in Electric Dreams – Philip Oakey and Giorgio Moroder
Here’s another groundbreaking tune from the genius of electronic disco. With Philip Oakey on vocals, this song was one of those 80’s pop anthems that didn’t get the immediate attention needed, but most definitely gained popularity as years went by. The track is essentially about a computer falling in love and having ‘electric dreams’, which is something reflective of 80’s pop music and pop culture. The catchy, hip and happy single has been layered and synthesized enough for it to sound as computer generated as possible.
6. Take My Breath Away – Berlin (produced by Giorgio Moroder)
Take My Breath Away is one of those love songs that wrap you in its nostalgic spell of ‘all things Top Gun and Tom Cruise’. But did you know, the iconic pop tune was written, composed and produced by none other than Mr. Moroder for the band Berlin? Apart from winning a Best Original Song Grammy and a Best Original Song Golden Globe for the track, Moroder has often proclaimed that this song (out of all the hits he’s had in his career) is among ones he’s most ‘proud of’.
7. Bad Girls – Donna Summer (produced by Giorgio Moroder)
This summertime groove, is the casual vacation track you’ll love to listen to while sitting by the beach and sipping on a Pina Colada. To say the song was a huge hit, would be an understatement especially since the accolades just kept on rolling in. It won two American Music Awards and was nominated for two Grammys in 1980. In addition to that Bad Girls remained on the Hot 100 Chart for five consecutive weeks and sold over two million copies in just the US.
8. Giorgio by Moroder – Daft Punk
Although this song isn’t a production of Giorgio himself, it is a testament to his music and the great influence he has had on the new-age disco giants Daft Punk. Moroder, as a self-proclaimed fan of the group, contributed heavily to their album Random Access Memories, so much so that the talented Frenchmen dedicated a whole tune to him. On the track Giorgio by Moroder, the talented 75 year old lent commentary about the start of his career and how he came to be known as Giorgio Moroder. The song itself is very reminiscent of Giorgio’s disco-era music, so it seems more than fitting that Daft Punk would pay him this tribute!
9. Déjà vu – Giorgio Moroder ft Sia
Déjà Vu, is Moroder’s latest album, a record he has produced after a hiatus of two and half decades. The album that was released earlier this year, features some amazing contributing vocals of contemporary pop-icons and starlets including, Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue, Kelis, Charli XCX and the ever elusive Sia. The title track Déjà Vu is a gorgeous rendition of contemporary synth and 70’s disco featuring Sia on vocals, and if you haven’t already listened to it, you must. This instant!
This December 12 and 13, catch the synth wizard in action at Johnnie Walker The Journey. Stop everything you’re doing and get your tickets now!