Interview: Giorgio Moroder on Daft Punk, Disco 2014 and the Future

By Scott T. Sterling

His recent collaboration with Daft Punk for the duo’s GRAMMY-sweeping Random Access Memories introduced Giorgio Moroder to a new generation. But for a good chunk of time between the mid-‘70s well into the 1980s, he was the Pharrell Williams of his time. Well, sort of.

Producing timeless dance-floor classics like “I Feel Love” and “Love to Love You Baby” with the late disco legend, Donna Summer, Moroder became a veritable hit generator, connecting with a wide range of artists to crank out songs that still radiate on radio airwaves and dance floors around the world.

While steadily making solo albums like 1977’s From Here to Eternity, Moroder began cementing his legend with movie soundtracks, earning his first Academy Award in 1978 for the haunting synthesizer soundtrack for 1978 movie, Midnight Express, best known for the instrumental single, “Chase.”

Hollywood continued to tap Moroder for his magic touch, as he produced the soundtracks to such big screen hits as Scarface, American Gigolo (where he connected with Blondie for “Call Me”), Flashdance (which earned the producer even more Academy Awards, including Best Song for Irene Cara’s “Flashdance…What a Feeling” as well as his first two GRAMMYs) and Top Gun, which boasted his work on both Berlin’s Academy Award-winning “Take My Breath Away” and Kenny Loggins’ “Danger Zone.

(Ironically, Moroder’s third GRAMMY win, which was the first-ever Best Dance Recording prize in 1998 for Donna Summer collaboration “Carry On,” bested Daft Punk’s early single, “Da Funk“).

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