I like Giorgio Moroder’s music, because he is (among other things) the king of cheese-synthesizer funk.* Air, Daft Punk, and Todd Terje owe much of their sound to him. When he wants you to dance, you dance. When he wants you to dream, you dream. Design meets desired result. As the music becomes trance-like, the analog feel — that spare, melodic and beat-driven use of primitive electronics — anchors it in a way I can only call Moroder-esque. His best stuff takes you to a discotheque on the moon.
Moroder’s move from the 70s to the 80s is audible. Gradually the humans leave the recording booth and the programming “takes over.” Pulsating techno pop digitizes disco pop. As this list may imply, he had a good run of about ten years before he started to sound like every other keyb dweeb he inspired.
-American Gigolo (“Call Me”, “Night Drive”)
-Cat People (“Leopard Tree Dream”, “The Myth”)
-The Neverending Story (theme song)
-Metropolis (“The Legend of Babel”)
-Top Gun (“Take My Breath Away”)
The Studio Albums
-Son of My Father (title track)
-Munich Machine (“In Love With Love”)
-From Here to Eternity (“First Hand Experience in Second Hand Love”)
-E=MC2 (“Baby Blue”)
Years after they splashed down in Britain as a U.S. Jap-cabaret band (fronted by a castrato), Sparks hooked up with Moroder for two albums, No. 1 in Heaven and Terminal Jive. They are the band at its funniest and most tuneful.
For many people, Donna Summer balances Moroder. She warms a cold thing. If you think she could use a bit less sweetening and Moroder could use some more, you will enjoy these titles.
-“Try Me, I Know We Can Make It”
-Four Seasons of Love
-“I Feel Love” (a Moog classic)
*And because I am old-school. When I hear a Tom Petty song I think of the Byrds and want to hear them instead.