Giorgio (Hansjoerg) Moroder (on record sleeves often only Giorgio) (born 26 April 1940, Ortisei, Italy) is an Italian record producer, songwriter and performer. His work with synthesizers during the 1970s and 1980s had a significant influence on new wave, house, techno and electronic music in general. Particularly well known for his work with Donna Summer during the era of disco (including “I Feel Love” and Love to Love You Baby), Moroder is the founder of the former Musicland Studios in Munich, which was used as a recording studio for artists including Electric Light Orchestra, Led Zeppelin, Queen and Elton John. He also founded his own record label, Oasis Records, which later became a subdivision of Casablanca Records.
In addition to his work with Donna Summer, Moroder also produced a number of electronic disco hits for The Three Degrees, two albums for Sparks, and a score of songs for a variety of others including David Bowie, Irene Cara, Madleen Kane, Melissa Manchester, Blondie, Japan, and France Joli.
An Italian composer from South Tyrol, Moroder made his first steps in music bypassing his native country altogether, and making a name for himself in studios around Germany in the early 1970s, although he released small-batch singles simply as “Giorgio” as early as 1966, singing in Italian, English and German. He first came to prominence in 1969, when his recording “Looky Looky”, released on Ariola Records, sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc in October 1970. Often collaborating with lyricist Pete Bellotte, Moroder had a number of hits in his own name including “Son of My Father” in 1972 before releasing the synthesizer-driven From Here to Eternity, a notable chartbuster in 1977, and in the following year releasing “Chase”, the theme from the film Midnight Express. All were hits in the UK, in the U.S. and across Europe, and everywhere the disco-mania was spreading. The full movie score for Midnight Express won him his first Academy Award for best film score in 1978. In 1979 Moroder released his album E=MC². Text on the album’s cover stated that it was the “first electronic live-to-digital album.” He also released three albums between 1977-1979 under the name Munich Machine.
In 1984, Moroder worked with Philip Oakey of The Human League to make the album Philip Oakey & Giorgio Moroder; which was a UK singles chart hit with “Together in Electric Dreams”, title track to the 1984 movie Electric Dreams. In 1986, Moroder collaborated with his protege Harold Faltermeyer (of “Axel F.” fame) and lyricist Tom Whitlock to create the score for the film Top Gun (1986), with the most noteworthy hit being Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away”. “Chase” was also used as an entrance theme for wrestling’s group The Midnight Express. In 1987, Moroder produced Falco’s song “Body Next to Body”.
In 1997, Moroder and Donna Summer won the Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording for the song “Carry On”.
On 20 September 2004 Moroder was honored at the Dance Music Hall of Fame ceremony, held in New York, when he was inducted for his many outstanding achievements and contributions as producer. In 2005, he was given the title of Commendatore by the then President of the Italian Republic, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi.