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Together in Electric Dreams: Giorgio Moroder & Phil Oakey

Anyone who was around in the 1980s will remember it as a decade of innovative new wave, synthesiser and electronic music, personified by bands such as the Human League. The synth-pop band, formed in Sheffield, signed to Virgin Records in 1979 and dominated the charts for the next ten years.

They enjoyed massive success with their 1981 album, Dare, which was number one in the UK, Canada, New Zealand and Sweden. Firmly establishing them as international best-selling artists, it also made the top five in Australia, France and the United States and charted in Germany, Italy, Holland and Norway.

Giorgio Moroder & Phil Oakey

Lead singer, songwriter and record producer, Philip Oakey, was jointly responsible for one of the most iconic songs of the '80s, Together in Electric Dreams, which still sounds fresh today.

He teamed up with Italian record producer, DJ and songwriter Giorgio Moroder to produce a studio album of electronic music in 1985 - called simply, 'Philip Oakey and Giorgio Moroder'.

 

Electric Dreams: The movie

The collaborative album was recorded as the soundtrack for a film called Electric Dreams, and Together in Electric Dreams was released as a single, peaking at number three in the UK singles chart.

At the time, Moroder was Oakey's idol, as the Italian was credited with pioneering Italian electronic dance and disco music and had produced singles for the legendary Donna Summer, including the mega-hits, I Feel Love, Love to Love You Baby, MacArthur Park and Hot Stuff.

The film, Electric Dreams, was a sci-fi comedy set in San Francisco, California, with the plot revolving around an unusual love triangle between a man, a woman and a personal computer! Lenny Von Dohlen starred as architect Miles Harding, who found his neighbour, cellist Madeline Robistat (Virginia Madsen) extremely attractive.

However, Lenny's computer, Edgar, voiced by Bud Cort, also develops an attraction for Madeline and decides to sabotage Lenny's chances. The computer has a mind of its own and single-handedly starts to destroy Lenny's life, cancelling his credit cards and registering him as being "armed and dangerous".

The competition to win Madeline's heart begins in earnest!

 

Soundtrack album

Steve Barron, the producer of the film Electric Dreams, had directed music videos in the early 1980s, including the Human League's Don't You Want Me in 1981 - a chart-topping hit in the UK and America. The film was his biggest project to date.

He enlisted Moroder to co-write the soundtrack after his earlier success in writing the soundtrack for the film, Flashdance. It was Barron who suggested including Oakey in the project, having worked with him before.

The album was so successful (not least because of the high-profile artists involved) that it became more famous than the film. It was a hit in its own right, overshadowing the movie.

Together in Electric Dreams became a worldwide hit single. This prompted Oakey to admit afterwards that it had taken only ten minutes to record the track. He found it ironic that it was a mega-hit, as some of the material he produced for Human League had taken a year to write, yet it didn't achieve the same global recognition.

Following the success of the collaborative single, the Human League began performing their own version of Together in Electric Dreams live, although it was considerably different from the Moroder version and featured prominent female backing vocals.

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