July 30, 2014

Experience the Synth Pop Version of 'Metropolis' Featuring Freddie Mercury & Pat Benatar

MetropolisSome pretty exciting things were happening at the Cannes Film Festival in the 80s, but in 1984, Oscar-winning composer and synth disco pioneer Giorgio Moroder revealed his own version of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. New edits, sound effects, and colorization weren't the only changes made to the "Moroder Version" of the 1927 sci-fi classic, but the composer also controversially just so happened to added a synth pop soundtrack featuring music by Freddie Mercury, Pat Benatar, and Loverboy. If that's not the definition of pure epicness, I don't know what is, and if you haven't experienced it, you must -- now.

Metropolislike The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, is one of the most iconic films from the German Expressionist movement, clearly influencing the work of filmmakers like Alfred Hitchcock and Tim Burton with the highly stylized set design of its distopian world. Fritz Lang was surely ahead of his time when Metropolis was released, evidenced specifically by the film's visual effects -- it was quite a sight to behold back in 1927!

So, when Moroder released his restored version, full of the synthesizer-heavy musical stylings of 80s pop rock heavyweights Pat Benatar, Jon Anderson, Adam Ant, Billy Squier, Loverboy, Bonnie Tyler and Freddie Mercury, the clash, as some would describe it, of musical and visual aesthetics and style brought about some major controversy from critics. This could be due to the fact that Metropolis is an absolute chef-d'oeuvre of cinematic genius, whereas synth pop from the 80s is -- not. One aged like fine wine, the other like milk left out on the counter. (However, I can definitely get down with some Benatar and Mercury/Queen jams -- in fact, Queen isn't included in the aged milk thing.)

At any rate, Moroder's version is absolutely glorious, in my opinion at least. I'm sure some purists would cringe at the thought of anything being added to such a work of art like Metropolis, let alone a bunch of electropop grooves (even though Fritz Lang's version of the film hasn't existed for years). And I can see their point on a purely contextual level, since I'm not exactly sure how this style of music adds to the film's very overt statement on class warfare. On an entertainment level, though, it's a jolly good time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Us29EZ30nTc

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11 Comments

It's not the music I mind, I think it's a great idea. It's that the version of Metropolis he scored is the hacked-to-all-hell version, and not the complete masterpiece that was unavailable until a few years ago. For the US release, Hollywood re-cut the film, rewrote the title cards to invent a completely new plot, and THAT's the version most people have seen.

I'd take a million complete Metropolis's over Moroder's version, no matter how innovative the music is.

July 30, 2014 at 11:00PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Marcelo

You know, Queen used "Metropolis" for their music video for "Radio Gaga."

July 31, 2014 at 12:27AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Daniel

I saw Queen in 1980 on their "Game" tour but I really disliked most of their 80's synth phase. And I actually didn't dislike the genre in general. It was just not a great switch for the band, IMO. That said, the above is a poor match because the emotions of the music don't match the emotions of Lang's visuals.
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On the other hand, in the mid-80's, when I was working at a giant consumer electronics store, I ended up experimenting Disney's "Fantasia" with an unedited audio feed from Cream's "Disraeli Gears" on a home entertainment system and it went much better. Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" worked well too.

July 31, 2014 at 1:41AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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DLD

The Moroder version was the first version of Metropolis that I experienced and those images and music just etched their way into my brain....so much so, that I've owned the soundtrack for many years…

Man, I gotta give that thing a listen! ;o)

July 31, 2014 at 2:31PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Scot

this film was also scored by Detroit techno legend Jeff Mills. It's worth checking out.

July 31, 2014 at 3:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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MIkeL

It's fun...
I preferred the restored version with the original music sold by Citerion collection.

It's not really colored it's more like a tone like sipia or a green or a tone if you like but it's fun.

One time i buy a film made on the life of Jack London the American writer and he was the first war prisoner by the Japan and the DVD was not very good and i improve it's quality and i put on a sipia tone and increase the contrast to have a more interesting experience to watch.

One ting i like to do one day it's Ben Hur and re edit the film more tight just for me ! or you take all the Tintin cartoon and reedit it in a new story...or with Johny Quest

I buy this week THE BIG HEAT, Fritz Lang's most celebrated American film a film noir !

July 31, 2014 at 5:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Pierre Samuel Rioux

So you're slamming synthpop, possibly the only original new genre of music to evolve within the last 50 years, but you're fine with Moroder's hack job of Lang's masterpiece? Perhaps you should go to the MET and try your luck at repainting any of the original paintings on display...

August 1, 2014 at 2:00AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Spy Black

I should point out that I meant ONE of the only original new genre of music to evolve within the last 50 years...

August 1, 2014 at 2:02AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Spy Black

This version was the only way I could make it thru the film. I've tried with the original version a half dozen times but it's like Benadryl ( I blame the score and title cards). When I got to this version I was totally enthralled with the film. It's amazing how the format as.
On a side note I don't know what Spy Black's problem is, I was really open to Fresco Jesus's interpretation... art is just not for everyone.

August 1, 2014 at 1:49PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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"On a side note I don’t know what Spy Black’s problem is..."

If someone started repainting your artwork, how would you feel about it?

August 2, 2014 at 3:02PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Spy Black

…to me it's a masterpiece slaughtered

August 10, 2014 at 6:45PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Gun