lit80s

In 1984, famed disco producer Giorgio Moroder got it into his head that Fritz Lang’s silent 1927 masterpiece Metropolis needed to be restored with colored tint, a new edit, and heck, a new soundtrack filled with the hottest pop and rock artists of the day.  And who else to produce that soundtrack than, say, Giorgio Moroder?

With a line-up including Pat Benatar, Jon Anderson, Adam Ant, Bonnie Tyler, Billy Squier and, er, Loverboy, all produced by Moroder, the Metropolis soundtrack could have been a train wreck for the ages.  Strangely enough though, it’s a pretty compelling listen, as Moroder pushes these artists into new places, while they return the favor for the sequencer-obsessed Italian.  The best-known and probably best song on the set was Queen frontman Freddie Mercury’s “Love Kills,” (download) which was released as a single and video to promote the reissued movie.  Continuing the electronic experimentation Queen dabbled with on The Works, released that same year, “Love Kills” would have sat nicely on that album right next to “Radio Ga Ga.”

While it was a little more than a footnote to Queen and ’80s pop history, “Love Kills” has its admirers out there, especially UK synth-darling Little Boots.  Though she was born the year it was released (gah!!), she covers the song pretty faithfully  (download) on her Illuminations EP,  released here in the States just last week.

As for the remainder of the Metropolis soundtrack, it’s still available digitally, even though the Moroder edit of the movie has been unavailable since a laserdisc and VHS release in the ’80s.  That’s too bad – I remember when it was released, I was a 15-year old without a car and the only place it was showing was a trendy art theater across town, which may as well have been a thousand miles away.  Maybe some day …

“Love Kills” peaked at #69 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and at #44 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play Chart in 1984.

Get Freddie Mercury music at Amazon or on Freddie Mercury