Soundtrack Of My Life: Giorgio Moroder

Italian dance pioneer and Rihanna obsessive

This interview was originally published in a July 2015 print issue of NME

The first song I remember hearing

Paul Anka – ‘Diana’

“I was probably 14, and that song really got me into music. I started to play guitar, and I started to sing because that song is very easy to sing. So that was my first one, and after 50 years, I met Paul Anka, which was quite emotional.”



The first song I fell in love with

Elvis Presley – ‘Be-Bop-A-Lula’

“This is the second song I sang in English lyrics when I started to perform in little coffee shops in Italy. I think it was good when I played it, but that was more than 50 years ago! Also at that time I was listening to a lot of R&B – I don’t know if it was called R&B at that time – but there was a group called The Platters with a song ‘Only You’. That one was probably the best of the group’s singles.”

The first album I ever bought

Elvis Presley – ‘Elvis’

“If I have to think about the songs, there was one great single: ‘Jailhouse Rock’. That was a huge influence, and ‘Blue Suede Shoes’, and all the big hits of Elvis.”


The song that made me want to be in a band

Bill Haley – ‘Rock Around the Clock’

“Of course, that one song I absolutely loved. Oh, that was so huge at the time. It was an easy song to sing with and uptempo which I always like. (sings) ‘One, two, three o’clock four o’clock rock!’ And trying to play that solo with the guitar was an easy one as at that time I was just learning. We would do the pop songs of that time and then when I became more professional we’d play some of The Beatles’ songs, and obviously there are so many which I love. ‘Yesterday’ was probably the one I liked the most and the one that influenced me the most.”

The song that makes me want to dance

Donna Summer – ‘Hot Stuff’

“It has a little bit of rock. I am the worst dancer. I don’t really like to dance, and I think to dance you have to dance a lot, and you have to learn. Usually I don’t go to discos.”


The song I do at karaoke

The Real Ritchie Valens – ‘La Bamba’

“Karaoke is very difficult for me because I don’t remember lyrics. But I like ‘La Bamba’, you know, with some fake Spanish lyrics. Is karaoke still in? I don’t hear anything about karaoke anymore, but I’m not a great singer at karaoke either.”


The song I can’t get out of my head

Rihanna feat. Calvin Harris – ‘We Found Love’

“The tracks are so good. They’re very similar and have such small variation, which makes them very interesting, and the melody which Rihanna sings is a good melody.”

The song I wish I’d written

The Rolling Stones – ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’

“Those were the golden days of music; The Beatles were of course dominating, what, six or seven years, and every song was very special. I like the songs of today too, it’s just that those were the most influential songs. My manager was talking to [The Rolling Stones] asking if I wanted to produce them, then nothing happened. But I met them several times; I used to have a studio in Munich, and they were performing there, so sometimes we were hanging out a little bit. They were nice, very nice. The whole crew was absolutely great, especially Ian [Stewart] who was the sixth Rolling Stone. He played on some of the tracks.”

The song I want played at my funeral

Frédéric Chopin’s ‘Funeral March’

“Nice, very solemn, very bleak. Or then something happening like [sings ‘What A Feeling’ by Irene Cara] that will work too (laughs).”


The song that reminds me of disco

Gloria Gaynor – ‘I Will Survive’

“Great lyrics, a great melody, a great rhythm. Let’s say it’s more R&B than the songs I did with Donna [Summer], and then later on I worked with her and she’s an absolutely great lady.”


The song that made me want to work with robots

Daft Punk – ‘One More Time’

“A great melody, technically very innovative stuff, and they did a great kind of sampling, so yeah that was a kind of electronic song which had a lot of new stuff. When they called me and asked if I wanted to put out a record with them I immediately said yes.”