Tribute albums are infinitely more interesting when the artists performing the songs take them in a new direction. The nature of tributes generally dictates that acolytes of the original artist will appear on a tribute album, and sometimes they remain too faithful. (See: Rancid performing The Clash’s “Cheat” on the Burning London tribute.) By this same logic, the concept of country rocker Shooter Jennings covering disco originator Giorgio Moroder is bizarre enough to be an early contender for album of the year.
According to Rolling Stone, the upcoming Countach (for Giorgio) “mixes fiddles, synthesizers and hard rock guitars into the same genre-bending package, tipping its hat to the famed Italian producer who helped shape the sounds of the ’70s and ’80s.” (The album is meant to serve as a companion piece to Jennings’ 2014 EP, Don’t Wait Up (For George), a tribute to the late George Jones.) And if the son of Waylon Jennings playing the theme from Midnight Express isn’t weird enough, the record includes guest appearances from Brandi Carlile, video game developer Richard Garriott de Cayeux, and Marilyn Manson performing a cover of David Bowie’s “Cat People (Putting Out Fire),” which Moroder co-wrote and produced for Paul Schrader’s 1982 film.
Moroder has had a bit of a career resurgence lately, thanks in part to the synth-heavy soundtracks featured in ’80s-influenced films like Drive, Blue Ruin, and Cold In July. The musician also appeared on Daft Punk’s Grammy Award winning Random Access Memories in 2013, and released Déjà Vu, his first album in 15 years, in 2015.
Countach (For Giorgio) will be initially released on vinyl on February 26, featuring artwork that resembles the coolest Trapper Keeper you never had in grade school: Stallone’s truck from Over The Top, Maverick’s F-14, and the luck dragon from The NeverEnding Story are all featured alongside a badass panther in pink Wayfarers. For you youngbloods out there, this is exactly what the ’80s looked like, and Giorgio Moroder is exactly what the ’80s sounded like.
Countach (For Giorgio) releases in digital, cassette, 8-track, and CD formats on March 11, and the vinyl is available for pre-order here.
Countach (For Giorgio)
03 “From Here To Eternity”
04 “I’m Left You’re Right She’s Gone”
05 “Born To Die” (Feat. Steve Young)
06 “Chase” (Feat. Richard Garriott de Cayeux)
07 “Love Kills”
08 “The Neverending Story” (Feat. Brandi Carlile)
09 “Cat People” (Feat. Marilyn Manson)