Italian Giorgio Moroder’s career started out in the mid-60s as a recording artist in his own right. During the following decade, he became noted as a songwriter and producer via a partnership with Pete Bellotte. A song of theirs called Son Of My Father (previously a B-side for one of Moroder’s own singles) was covered by Chicory Tip and went to #1. They wrote for a number of other acts but it was their work with queen of disco Donna Summer that proved their most popular; they produced (and often co-wrote with Summer herself) a string of hits in the second half of the 70s. Concurrently, Moroder continued his own career as a recording artist and also produced albums for established acts like Sparks and The Three Degrees. The latter group had reinvented themselves as a disco act in the last couple of years of the 1970s, their New Dimensions and 3D albums being amongst the finest the genre had to offer. By the 1980s though, disco was in decline and it was Moroder himself who needed reinvention.
This he did through the movies. His soundtrack for the hit Brad Davis movie Midnight Express in 1978 had won him an Academy Award for Best Original Score, and throughout the 1980s he was in demand to contribute to the soundtracks for some of the decade’s biggest films. Among the most ambitious of these was his re-scoring of the classic 1927 movie ‘Metropolis’, which he did with pop songs mostly co-written with Bellotte and performed by such names as Pat Benatar, Adam Ant and Billy Squier. Three of the tracks from the album were released as singles in the UK: Freddie Mercury’s Love Kills, Jon Anderson’s Cage Of Freedom, and Here She Comes by Bonnie Tyler. Below are the other UK singles written and/or produced by Moroder throughout the 1980s which appeared on film soundtracks:
‘American Gigolo’ (1980)
Moroder produced and wrote (co-writing on a couple of selections) this film’s soundtrack. The singles from it were Cheryl Barnes’s Love And Passion, his own Night Drive, Blondie’s Call Me (#1 in the UK and the US), and The Seduction (Love Theme) by The James Last Band. Last, who died earlier this year, had a remarkable 65 charting albums in the UK between 1967 and 2011, but just one hit single – this one.
‘Cat People’ (1982)
The soundtrack was entirely written and produced by Moroder, with the exception of the lyrics to its only single, Cat People (Putting Out Fire), which were supplied by David Bowie (who sang them).
‘D.C. Cab’ (1983)
This film was later issued in the UK under the title ‘Street Fleet’. Perhaps no one had told MCA Records in time, because the US title is given on the label of Shalamar’s single from the soundtrack, Deadline USA. (The UK name was printed on the sleeve.) Only some of the songs on the soundtrack were Moroder’s, among them Irene Cara’s The Dream (Hold On To Your Dream) which had featured on her own album, What A Feelin’. Cara also has an acting role in the film.
Moroder produced the main theme song, Cara’s hit Flashdance…What A Feeling, and co-wrote it with Cara and another of his regular song writing collaborators, Keith Forsey. The song was also featured on Cara’s studio album mentioned above, What A Feelin’, and was the third biggest selling single of the year in the US. As for the rest of the soundtrack album: not all the songs were Moroder’s this time. He was not involved in the movie’s other big hit, Maniac by Michael Sembello, for example.
Mostly Moroder’s own work, with a couple of obscure exceptions. The singles featured on this album (Donna Summer’s On The Radio and Janis Ian’s Fly Too High) were not recorded specifically for the soundtrack and appeared on other albums.
‘Electric Dreams’ (1984)
Variously produced, although three Moroder tracks on which he also performed were released as singles: The Duel, Now You’re Mine (with Helen Terry), and Together In Electric Dreams with Philip Oakey. The success of the latter inspired a whole album of Oakey/Moroder colaborations, from which today’s featured title was taken.
‘The NeverEnding Story’ (1984)
A soundtrack album of two halves: Side 1 by Moroder, which featured Limahl’s hit single Never Ending Story, and Side 2 by Klaus Doldinger.
‘Over The Top’ (1987)
Produced by Moroder, with three singles: Sammy Hagar’s Winner Takes It All, Kenny Loggins’s Meet Me Half Way, and Bill Medley’s cover of He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.
Moroder produced and wrote or co-wrote the songs on this soundtrack, which featured singles from Paul Engemann (Scarface (Push It To The Limit)) and Debbie Harry, this time without Blondie (Rush Rush).
‘Superman III’ (1983)
Moroder’s contributions to the soundtrack for this movie could be found on Side 2 only the accompanying album. No single was featured.
‘Top Gun’ (1986)
Some of the tracks on this album were written and produced by Harold Faltermeyer, who had been responsible for the soundtrack to the movie ‘Thief Of Hearts’, the theme song to which Moroder had co-written and produced for Melissa Manchester. The two most famous songs from the ‘Top Gun’ soundtrack were Moroder’s: Berlin’s Take My Breath Away and Kenny Loggins’s Danger Zone.
NEW SINGLES on sale from Aug. 12
TEARS FOR FEARS Mad World (Mercury IDEA3)
The GLOVE (Robert Smith) Like An Animal (Wonderland SHE3)
MADNESS Wings Of A Dove (Stiff BUY181)
BANANARAMA Do Not Disturb (London NANA9)
Philip OAKEY and Giorgio MORODER Be My Lover Now (Virgin VS800)
Sal SOLO Heartbeat (MCA MCA977)
THEN JERICO (Mark Shaw) Big Sweep (Immaculate TJ1)