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TimeOut Blog
  The History of Italo Disco (I) Date: 03/01/2009  
Italo Disco refers to an entire genre of dance music that evolved mysteriously and very quickly during the early 80's in Italy and other parts of Europe.

Italo Disco music was and still is considered to be quite futuristic and spacey in regards to the massive effects created with the first generation of true synthesizers, drum machines, and vocoders.

27 years later, Italo Disco music is experiencing a major renaissance in which deejay's all over the world are spinning the original classics in much delight while others are making brand new music that sounds more like it was made in 1982.

Compilations also pay tribute to the masterpieces. But what defines masterpieces? Is it musical charts? Is it standing the test of time? Or is it the songs that have become cherished at one point or another in the last 27 years? You decide! There is no true history of italo disco that replicates how it all evolved, however, we are about to tell you italo disco through our eyes and those of many other fans of the genre!

So.. it's 2009 and deejays, clubbers, and electro fans of all ages are now looking to hear the original stuff that started it all. Forget about disco, Synth-Pop, and New Wave maybe they were factors in the evolution of modern dance music, but it was more than the + 10,000 Italo Disco artists who truly fused the arpeggio synth-hooks, electro beats, and chic 12" cover art for the very first time.

It's now clear that many Italo Disco songs influenced the Chicago House scene, Acid House, Techno and other early forms of Dance and Trance music. Much of todays most lush electro music is clearly attributed directly to Italo Disco.

The History Of Italo Disco

1975-1977: Emerging from Val Gardena, Italy, Mr. Giorgio Moroder begins to experiment on a new toy in the music world: an electronic synthesizer. He starts to create loops and synth-hooks using basic equipment from Moog and Korg.

"The Chase" and the rest of the score for the 1978 film, Midnight Express made a permanent marking in the ears of young Italians who would later go on to create their own Electronic music, eventually to be known as 'Italo Disco' .

Just a year or so earlier in 1976 , it was the beginning of John Carpenter's illustrious career as a moviemaker and composer of electronic music using excessive use of droids and drum machines. The original motion picture soundtrack to "Assault On Precinct 13" would go on to become a major influence for many Italians who realized the power of a drum machine, as heard in the opening theme of the movie.

Around the same time, an Italian music group by the name of Goblin emerges and begins creating electronic-themed soundtracks for all of Dario Argento's Italian horror films, setting up another major influence for early Italo Disco artists. Some of the more memorable and early scores were for the movies "Deep Red" and "Suspiria" (1976 and 1978, respectively). Goblin's scores and Argento's style would cause many other Italian movie directors to use electronic elements in their Giallo and horror-styled films - thus starting a new era for electronic music (the first being disco several years earlier). Eventually the dark sound of these scores would fuse with disco music and we'd reach Italo Disco.

But first 1977-78, Giorgio Moroder's first full LP was released "From Here To Eternity", featuring the self-titled first single that became an instant success, was what started everything!

This would go down as a pioneer album that would forever change electronic music. Less than a year later, "Chase" was released, becoming Giorgio's biggest hit ever, once again strenghtening his appeal as a leader in the electronic department. Nearly simultaneously, Italian producer, Jean-Marc Cerrone releases a series of albums the most famous being, "Supernature" and "Love In C Minor".

Simply outstanding work using a synthesizer would make Mr. Cerrone, a native of France become another major influence for all Italo Disco music to follow. Soon after Moroder and Cerrone hit the airwaves, the rest was history. Lucrethia & The Azoto 14,008 releases the "Dance Skinsation LP" to help jumpstart the Vedette Records label - leading the way for Italians to produce disco music. In 1978, La Bionda emerges with one of the songs many consider to be Italo Disco's very first song: "One For You, One For Me".
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