A blog about the things I find accidentally on Spotify while looking for something else

Thursday, 5 December 2013

From Here to Eternity - Giorgio Moroder

I'm guessing loads of people know about this album already, but it's my blog, so, you know, deal with it.  Up until this point the only Moroder stuff I was aware of under his own name was the infamous Electric Dreams collab with Phil Oakey-Dokey, and that thing with Freddie Mercury doing guest shouty opera vocals over a film that didn't want them.  This 1977 album, however, is classic-era Moroder, very much a continuation of his work with Donna Summer, and prefiguring what he would soon get up to with Sparks.  Indeed, Moroder's Teutonic non-singer's singing voice is uncannily similar to the one Russell Mael would employ on their recordings together, although whatever weird-ass accent Russell Mael is singing in remains undetermined.
   The album kicks off with the hit 'From Here to Eternity' and it's obvious that Moroder has been giving the newly-released Trans-Europe Express by Kraftwerk a bit of a spin.  What also quickly become obvious, however, is that this album predicts the musical future of now more accurately than the Kraftsers managed to.  Obviously, they are massively important and influential and legendary and velodrome-filling, but whereas they sing about trains, German Expressionist halls of mirrors and showroom dummies, Moroder goes on about love and all that soppy stuff, at one point even covering (although radically transforming) the old country heartbreak standard, 'I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone'.  Often this is done in a disco-robot voice, and the album feels uncannily contemporary.
   Because this is where we are now with pop music, with heartfelt explosions of emotion only seeming 'real' if drenched in autotune.  Pop stars now are singing cyborgs.  Even someone playing towards left-field like Frank Ocean uses it extensively.  Not because he needs it - I understand he can hold a note without wavering very well - but because it seems the right thing to do at this point.  Maybe because our emotional lives are conducted via our devices to the point they almost seem part of us, and autotune is shorthand for this.  Anyway, this is what From Here to Eternity by Giorgio Moroder made me think of, so there you go.

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1 comment:

  1. Found your blog accidentally while looking for something else.
    As far as I know "My Other Voice" (on Sparks´ "N1IH") is a vocal duet (or duel..) between Giorgio and Russell, with Giorgio on the vocoder... (choose your weapons)

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