German producer and songwriter Giorgio Moroder was born in 1940 in the town of Urtijëi, Italy. He’s an Oscar winner and Grammy winner who had a massive influence on everything from disco to house to techno, making synthesizers sing during the 70s and 80s. Well known for his work with Donna Summer, Moroder is the founder of the former Musicland Studios in Munich, and founded his own record label Oasis, which later became a subdivision of Casablanca Records. Moroder has won three Academy Awards: Best Original Score for Midnight Express (1978); Best Song “Flashdance…What a Feeling”, from the film Flashdance (1983); and Best Song “Take My Breath Away” from the film Top Gun (1986)
Moroder had a number of hits in his own name including “Son of My Father” in 1972:
I think it would be stupid for us to try and tell people who are dancing in a discotheque about the problems of the world. That is the very thing they have come away to avoid. – Giorgio Moroder
Moroder was introduced to fellow aspiring musician Pete Bellotte, with whom he formed a production partnership; in collaboration with singer Donna Summer, the duo was to become one of the most powerful forces in ’70s-era dance music, their success beginning with the release of 1974’s Lady of the Night. Summer’s Love to Love You Baby followed in 1975; the title track (almost 17 minutes long) was an international hit.
In 1977 Moroder released From Here to Eternity. Here is the title track:
Written by Donna Summer and produced by Moroder and Bellotte, “I Feel Love” is a classic and landmark disco record (from the 1977 album I Remember Yesterday). As Jason Ankeny writes:
sleek, pulsating, and sensual, its signature galloping bass line and sequencer-driven rhythm established the sonic blueprint for virtually all of the dance music to follow in its wake. “I Feel Love” heralded a massive shift from the lushly orchestral disco records popular during the middle of the decade toward a harder-edged, electronic approach
It is at least 10 times more difficult to get a good synthesiser sound than on an acoustic instrument. – Giorgio Moroder
The full movie score for Midnight Express won him his first Academy Award for best film score in 1978. Here is the classic song from that film: Chase
In 1979 Moroder released his album E=MC² (with help from Harold Faltermeyer). Summer’s double-LP Bad Girls was also released that year, becoming a hit and featuring hit singles like Hot Stuff and the title track Bad Girls.
In 1983, singer Irene Cara co-wrote Flashdance…What A Feeling with Moroder and Keith Forsey. Cara penned the lyrics to the song with Forsey while riding in a car in New York heading to the studio to record it. Cara admitted later that she was initially reluctant to work with Giorgio Moroder because she had no wish to invite further comparisons with Moroder’s most famous client, Donna Summer, but it paid off, as the result was a record that topped the charts around the world and garnered numerous accolades for Cara.
In 1986, Moroder collaborated Harold Faltermeyer to create the score for Top Gun; Berlin’s Take My Breath Away became a hit.
Look, I tell you something very important. Too many of these writers in the music papers, they are misunderstanding everything. The disco sound, you must see, is not art or anything so serious. Disco is music for dancing, and I know that the people will always want to dance. – Giorgio Moroder
Moroder currently resides in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, California, with his wife and son.