Raised in the Eighties, Shooter Jennings spent his childhood surrounded by the classic country music of his parents — outlaw couple Waylon Jennings and Jessi Colter — as well as the futuristic synth-pop that dominated the Reagan Era’s radio hits and movie soundtracks. Those two genres form an unlikely union on his upcoming release, which finds the sunglassed singer paying tribute to disco king Giorgio Moroder.
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 shaped the sounds of the Seventies and Eighties. Due out in late February on vinyl, with other formats to follow in March, it serves as a companion piece to Don’t Wait Up (for George), Jennings’ 2014 EP inspired by the work of country crooner George Jones. With guest appearances by Brandi Carlile, shock rocker Marilyn Manson and video game designer Richard Garriott, Countach is perhaps the most adventurous album from Jennings, an artist who’s always done his best work on the far fringes of pop culture.
Although he never became as easily recognized as the artists with whom he worked, Moroder created some of the 20th century’s biggest hits, teaming up with Donna Summers for a string of disco classics before writing and producing the pop soundtracks to Top Gun, Flashdance and The NeverEnding Story. From Blondie’s “Call Me” to Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away,” his work was unmistakeable, filled with super-sized pop hooks, keyboards and the pulse of electronic drums. Countach‘s trippy, cartoonish cover art references many of those projects, from a depiction of The NeverEnding Story‘s luck dragon — shown flying high above a Top Gun fighter plane with a machine gun in its hands — to a sketch of a Jennifer Beals look-alike, dressed up in Flashdance-worthy dance clothes. Also tossed into the mix are a hissing panther wearing Wayfarers, an old-school IBM computer, several rows of piano keys and Sylvester Stallone’s truck from Over the Top (whose soundtrack was also helmed by Moroder).
Jennings, who first announced the Countach project in 2014, kicks off another year’s worth of tour dates on January 16th at the Viper Room in West Hollywood.
Here’s the track list for Countach (for Giorgio), available now for pre-order.
3. “From Here to Eternity”
4. “I’m Left You’re Right She’s Gone”
5. “Born to Die” (featuring Steve Young)
6. “Chase” (featuring Richard Garriott de Cayeux)
7. “Love Kills”
8. “The Neverending Story” (featuring Brandi Carlile)
9. “Cat People” (featuring Marilyn Manson)