Generally speaking, a decade’s aesthetic character isn’t fully realized until it’s over and being considered in retrospect. With the release of Paul Schrader’s American Gigolo (1980), however, the 80s caricature was comprehensively articulated in both look and sound at the very start of the decade by two Italians named Giorgio (G. Armani’s threads responsible for the former, G. Moroder’s score for the latter). When the film began like a freight train with Blondie’s Moroder-produced “Call Me,” the 1970s were officially over and the decade of excess had begun.
It would be difficult to overstate 79-year-old Giorgio Moroder’s synth-laden influence—not just on dance, electronic, and pop music, but on the sound of film as a whole. Here is a selection of the Father of Disco’s best work, from experimental solo material to some of modern cinema’s most treasured songs.