While this soundtrack is arguably most notable for introducing Middle America to Blondie, there is also some interesting incidental music written by legendary producer Giorgio Moroder and performed by Harold Faltermeyer and Keith Forsey -- the latter of which may be familiar to some as percussionist for the German prog/art rock collective Amon Düül. There is likewise a vocal contribution from actress/vocalist Cheryl Barnes on "Love and Passion." The album's pervading heavily manufactured and synthetically generated atmosphere is convincing in its aural depiction of the shallow decadence portrayed on the screen. It took almost two decades before American Gigolo was issued on CD in North America. The primary impetus for the release was the "extended version" of Blondie's "Call Me," which was unavailable on any Blondie album and was too long -- at over eight minutes -- to fit onto a single. The song was co-composed by Debbie Harry and Moroder specifically for this project, becoming the second chart-topper for the band, ultimately staying at number one for six weeks in March of 1980. The film's writer/director Paul Schrader -- whose lengthy list of cinematic endeavors include Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ, and The Mosquito Coast -- is credited on the soundtrack as Moroder's collaborator on the up-tempo "Love and Passion." Vocalist Cheryl Barnes -- who may be best-remembered for her role in Milos Forman's Hair as "Hud's girlfriend" -- contributes vocals to the mostly forgettable track. The other six instrumentals blend a noir ambience with the utility of background music. The most notable is "Hello Mr. W.A.M" -- whose initials stand for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart -- which contains some interesting observations on his Concerto for Clarinet in A Major. Each work contains strong themes that take on lives of their own. This is not surprising given the heady talent behind the compositions and performances. Consumers of movie music will find as much -- if not more -- to enjoy here than those who are simply looking for "Call Me."
AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer