Sunday, April 26, 2020

Synths of the Father: Giorgio Moroder 80

I took a week off to break for a minute, but I'm back to start to close out April, beginning with this little screed in honor of a pioneering legend thankfully still with us.
He is turning 80 today, and is responsible in many ways for the foundations of what we now call Electronic Dance Music.
Born in 1940, beginning in the mid-1970s our hero really began to push the envelope into territories that no one had yet investigated.
Responsible as any single figure for the integration of the arpeggiating sequencer into dance music, he codified a series of concepts that are now taken for granted as the basis of EDM.
Once he hooked up with disco diva Donna Summer around 1976, things really began to get stratospherically sweaty out in the clubs.
Their first big hit together completely changed the game -- 16 minutes of orgasmic moaning over one of the funkiest grooves in human history -- and their second did nothing short of altering the very DNA of music itself.
Those two tracks -- Love to Love You, Baby and I Feel Love -- essentially form the alpha/omega moment of disco, which eventually evolved into what we know today as modern dance music.
Since that explosion, Giorgio Moroder has collaborated with a zillion seminal artists, made a zillion iconic tracks and scored some of your favorite movies.
In 1979, he paved the roads we travel upon when he recorded the very first LP made direct-to-digital.
In a supreme twist of elegant irony, this record has never been reissued in the digital era, because the tapes are thought lost.
It's been re-released several times, sourced from battered and scratchpoppy vinyl, and the consensus is that every reissue of it has been a disgraceful play for quick cash.
Not to fear, though... I think I've got something that will fill the void, and do this recording the justice it has deserved for over 40 years.
As usual, the fans do it best, and in this case the iteration one fan in particular constructed in 2011 really hits the mark in terms of a Deluxe Edition of this most formative and historic album.
Sourced from pristine Japanese vinyl, he filled it in with all the relevant bonus tracks and added another, longer jam from the same time, to which I have appended three more long ones to make a supreme Ultimate Edition of it.
Giorgio Moroder
Ultimate Edition+

01 Baby Blue
02 What a Night
03 If You Weren't Afraid
04 I Wanna Rock You
05 In My Wildest Dreams
06 E=MC²
07 Baby Blue (1985 remix)
08 Baby Blue (single remix)
09 What a Night (promo short version)
10 If You Weren't Afraid (single version)
11 I Wanna Rock You (single version)
12 Valley of the Dolls
13 Battlestar Galactica medley
14 Evolution
15 Chase (extended)

Total time: 1:46:12
disc break goes after Track 11

Tracks 01-06 taken from the 1979 Japanese "E=MC²" Casablanca LP
Track 07 taken from the 1996 "Giorgio Moroder & Co. Greatest Hits" Dig It International CD
Track 08 taken from 1979 German "Baby Blue" 7" single on Oasis
Tracks 09-11 reworked to match the original 1979 single versions on Casablanca and Oasis
Track 12 taken from the 1985 "From Here to Eternity And Back" Casablanca LP; originally on the "Foxes" OST, 1980
Tracks 13 taken from 2010 "Movie Themes Go Disco!" Boutique CD; originally on the "Music from 'Battlestar Galactica' and Other Original Compositions" LP, 1979
Track 14 taken from the 2001 "E=MC²" Repertoire CD; originally on the "Music from 'Battlestar Galactica' and Other Original Compositions" LP, 1979 
Track 15 taken from the 1978 Canadian 12" single on Casablanca

2011 ultimate fan edition of the 1979 Casablanca LP 
the music has mostly never been issued in the digital era from the master tapes, which are thought to be lost
expanded by EN, April 2020
I shall return in a few days to end April by directing some heavy traffic, unless civilization ends before then, which is a distinct possibility these days as we know.
Today, however, is dedicated to the Maestro Mr. Moroder and his handy vocoder, as well as all the other gear he introduced into the mainstream that we take for granted today as the foundation of the million flavors of EDM. Long may he groovenoodle!--J.

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