American Gigolo 1980
While this soundtrack is arguably most notable for introducing Middle America to Blondie, there is also some interesting incidental music written by legendary producer Giorgio Moroder and performed by Harold Faltermeyer and Keith Forsey — the latter of which may be familiar to some as percussionist for the German prog/art rock collective Amon Düül. There is likewise a vocal contribution from actress/vocalist Cheryl Barnes on “Love and Passion.” The album’s pervading heavily manufactured and synthetically generated atmosphere is convincing in its aural depiction of the shallow decadence portrayed on the screen. It took almost two decades before American Gigolo was issued on CD in North America. The primary impetus for the release was the “extended version” of Blondie‘s “Call Me,” which was unavailable on any Blondie album and was too long — at over eight minutes — to fit onto a single. The song was co-composed by Debbie Harry and Moroder specifically for this project, becoming the second chart-topper for the band, ultimately staying at number one for six weeks in March of 1980. The film’s writer/director Paul Schrader — whose lengthy list of cinematic endeavors include Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ, and The Mosquito Coast — is credited on the soundtrack as Moroder‘s collaborator on the up-tempo “Love and Passion.” Vocalist Cheryl Barnes — who may be best-remembered for her role in Milos Forman‘s Hair as “Hud’s girlfriend” — contributes vocals to the mostly forgettable track. The other six instrumentals blend a noir ambience with the utility of background music. The most notable is “Hello Mr. W.A.M” — whose initials stand for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart — which contains some interesting observations on his Concerto for Clarinet in A Major. Each work contains strong themes that take on lives of their own. This is not surprising given the heady talent behind the compositions and performances. Consumers of movie music will find as much — if not more — to enjoy here than those who are simply looking for “Call Me.”
The Giorgio Moroder instrumental “The Seduction (Love Theme)” was also recorded by German bandleader James Last as a saxophone tune featuring David Sanborn(uncredited).
In 1979, Moroder had won an Academy Award for Original Music Score for his soundtrack to Midnight Express. At the same ceremony, Donna Summer’s “Last Dance“, produced by Moroder from the soundtrack to Thank God It’s Friday, won an Academy Award for best song (as well as a Golden Globe). Following the success of American Gigolo and Blondie’s “Call Me” in 1980, Moroder went on to compose and produce for several more soundtracks throughout the 1980s. These included Cat People – including David Bowie‘s hit single “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)” (1982), Flashdance – including Irene Cara‘s “Flashdance… What a Feeling” (1983), Scarface – including Debbie Harry’s “Rush Rush” (1983), Metropolis and Freddie Mercury‘s “Love Kills” (1984) and Top Gun including Berlin‘s “Take My Breath Away” (1986).
American Gigolo Trailer 1980
Track Listing :
- “Call Me (Theme from American Gigolo)” (Giorgio Moroder, Deborah Harry) – 8:05
- “Love and Passion” (Giorgio Moroder, Paul Schrader) – 5:51
- Vocals by Cheryl Barnes
- “Night Drive” – 3:54
- “Hello Mr. W.A.M. (Finale)” – 4:36
- Based on the second movement of the clarinet concerto K. 622 in A Major by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
- “The Apartment” – 4:31
- “Palm Springs Drive” – 3:25
- “Night Drive (Reprise)” – 2:52
- “The Seduction (Love Theme)” – 3:13
- Giorgio Moroder – producer
- Harold Faltermeyer – arranger, keyboards
- Keith Forsey – drums, percussion
- Blondie – performance of “Call Me”
- Cheryl Barnes – vocals
- Mixed and mastered at Allen Zentz Recording.