I'm in the Moog for love, or, songs of the synthesizer

(I have heard Moog pronounced as both “moo g” and as “Moh g” so please humor me)
Gimme some of your favorite songs that feature a synthesizer or synthesizers. Here’s a few of mine:

  1. “96 Tears” - ? and the Mysterions
  2. “Califonia Sun” - Riverias
  3. “Fire” - The Crazy World of Arthur Brown
  4. “Runaway” - Del Shannon (does anybody know if the keyboard player is using a pitch control on this song?)
  5. “Autobahn” - Kraftwerk
  6. “Trans Europe Express” Kraftwerk
  7. “Spacelab” - Kraftwerk
  8. “Here is the News” - Electric Light Orchestra
  9. “Across the Border” - Electric Light Orchestra
  10. “Whip It” - Devo
  11. “X Offender” - Blondie

Many more, of course.

Feel free to pile on…

Pretty much all my favorite songs feature synths!

  1. VNV Nation Standing, Beloved, Forsaken
  2. Depeche Mode Black Celebration, Enjoy the Silence, To Have and To Hold
  3. Mesh I Can’t Imagine How It Hurts, Trust You, I Fall Over
  4. Anything Box 65 Million Miles, Come Away, An Ending
  5. Color Theory April’s Bonfire
  6. When in Rome The Promise --old and cheesy, but I still love it!
    …and so on.


Are you sure you’re talking about the Moog synth and not just synths in general?

“Fire” is a Hammond B3 Organ, and numbers 1, 2 4 are Farfisa organs. Since ? and the Mysterians is considered to be “the ultimate garage band” it’s highly unlikely that they could have afforded a Moog at the time. Also, they didn’t become popularly used until the late 60s, so that leaves out Del Shannon.

If you want some good Moog playing, check out Emmerson, Lake and Palmer. I’ll vote for my fave Moog song:

Karn Evil 9 - ELP

You really can’t talk about the Moog synthesizer without mentioning Switched On Bach by Wendy (Walter) Carlos. Monumental in its impact and impressive thirty years later.

In terms of original compositions for the Moog, I don’t think the work of either Syrinx or John Mills-Cockell (say in Long Lost Relatives) has ever been bettered.

“I Feel Love” By Donna Summers was one of, if not the first one they used a moog drum machine for. If I remember correctly- no cites.

Ever hear of the band The Moog Cookbook? They released two albums in the mid to late nineties, all Moog-ed out covers of rock and roll songs. Their first album was all covers of alternative rock songs (circa 1996), and the second one was of classic rock songs. You haven’t heard “Sweet Home Alabama” until you’ve heard it done entirely with Moog synthesizers!

Ha. I myself was going to bring up the Moog Cookbook, but was beat to it. I’ll just second that and recommend that y’all download “Kelly Watch the Stars” by them. It’s a remix of a song by Air (a really cool French electronica duo).

I’ll also recommend “Playboy After Dark” by Imperial Drag.

Much of Air’s stuff features the Moog synthesizer (and Mini Moog), not just the songs that were remixed by Moog Cookbook.

Check out Moon Safari and Premiers Symptomes. I love this kinda stuff.

Also, Moogworld for streaming Moog music.

Fingolfin’s Favorite Synth Albums

Steve Winwood- Arc of a Diver
Gary Wright- Dream Weaver
Kraftwerk- Trans Europa Express
Pink Floyd- Wish You Were Here


Volume Two is on heavy rotation in my life lately. Need to get One. Listen with speakers or better headphones or the shortcuts she took (ie: playing with the tape speed) are more annoying with cheap headphones. She did a fabulous job layering the notes considering she was using a monophonic synth and a homemade 8-track deck. (Though when you are talking about wizards like Carlos and Moog, “homemade” is synonymous with “cutting edge.”)

Thanks for the link, Narrad. It has earned a permanent place between my ears.

When Runaway was recorded Bob Moog was still making Theremins. Of course, he’s STILL making theremins, but he his first synth was a couple years in the future when it was recorded.]

During one of Billy Joel’s Masterclass sessions at Princeton University in (?)1994, someone asked him about “Root Beer Rag,” which is on his 1974 album _Streetlife Serenade." He played it and then exclaimed over suddenly remembering why he wrote it – because he had just gotten his first Moog and was writing songs to fit it in. He then imitated the Moog sound and said something along the lines of “If you listen, you can hear that stupid little Moog synthesizer just . . . pissing all over it. Wah, wah, wah.” :smiley:

Don’t think there’s a more memorable synth riff than the one in the Eurythmics’s “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).”

Less well known by equally as catchy is the Art of Noise’s “Close (To the Edit)”.

From the movie The Excorist the Bells, something the bells ala Moog.

Got it on cassette somewhere - Tubular Bells ?

‘Moog’ is pronounced to rhyme with ‘vogue’, and not as if it’s a cow’s ‘moo’ with ‘g’ on the end.

‘Hot butter’ by Popcorn was a track specifically written to show off the capabilities of the Moog synth, and in the late 60s it became a hit in many countries. It’s a very catchy tune, still worth a listen, and has probably been covered more than other overtly ‘synth’ instrumental track. More or less anyone who has ever bought a home synth has had a go at picking out the tune. Of the zillion cover versions, Kraftwerk’s revamp is well worth hearing.

‘Tubular Bells’ by Mike Oldfield, of which a short section of the opening riff was used in ‘The Exorcist’, does feature a variety of synths, Moog and others, but Oldfield was / is first and foremost a guitarist.

‘Switched on Bach’ by Carlos is still probably the definitive Moog ‘work out’, but I much prefer the original 1970s version to ‘Switched on Bach 2000’ which I thought was regress, not progress.

Now you’ve done it. I had to search the whole house for it but now I’m listening to my “Best of Moog” CD. It includes several bizarre items including the music from the DisneyLand Electrical Parade and a Moog version of “Foggy Mountian Breakdown.” (Best known as the chase music from Bonnie & Clyde. I believe it also has the earlier mentioned “Popcorn” (I found it in my car case and don’t know where the jewel case is.) This CD makes my husband scream in agony. I may have to find those Moog Cookbook CDs to load up the CD changer for our next 9-hour drive to Las Vegas. Heh heh.

ELO’s “Here is the News” is also one of my favorites. Didn’t the Doors also use a lot of Moog?

IIRC, the band was Hott Butter and the song was “Popcorn”, as it sounded like popcorn popping.

I’m surprised no one’s mentioned Dick Hyman yet, especially The Minotaur and his cover of Give it up or Turn it Loose.

… adapted from “Baroque Hoedown” by Jean Jacques Perrey. His “The Savers” was also modified into the theme song for the game show “Jokers’ Wild”.

For a good intro – may I recommend Essential Perrey & Kingsley ? Moog Indigo is next in my list…

And if you like Jacques – meet the granddaddy of electronic music – Raymond Scott

In addition to Wendy Carlos, Syrinx, and John Mills-Cockell as noted above, this thread has also reminded me of some wonderful synthesizer music from Synergy (Larry Fast), Tomita, and Mike Quatro. Has anyone here ever heard of them?

In 1970 or maybe 1971 Columbia Records released an album “realized and semi-conducted by Andrew Kazdin and Thomas Z. Shepard”, cutely titled
Everything You Always Wanted to Hear on the Moog
*But Were Afraid to Ask For *

The title was a takeoff on Dr. David Ruben’s popular book
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex
*But Were Afraid to Ask *

It had a synthesized Ravel’s Bolero, which already had a naughty reputation as sex music, so that was how they made a concept album of it. They even synthesized crowd applause noise at the end. They filled out the album with other Spanish-style tunes by French composers like Bizet and Chabrier. Like The Well-Tempered Synthesizer, it was an attempt to cash in on the success of Switched-On Bach. I mentioned it because Columbia Records wanted you to buy synthesized music to make love to. (With your London Doll, presumably.)

All moog discussions must start with Wendy Carlos and immediately include Keith Emerson.