Experience the Synth Pop Version of 'Metropolis' Featuring Freddie Mercury & Pat Benatar
Some 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.
Metropolis, like 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.