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Harold Faltermeyer

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Biography

Although best known for his mid-'80s instrumental smash "Axel F.," Harold Faltermeyer was also a notable producer and session player. His career began with work as an arranger on Giorgio Moroder's soundtrack to the 1978 film Midnight Express, the first in a long series of film-related projects; from there, Faltermeyer moved on to play synthesizer on Donna Summer's 1979 classic Bad Girls before reuniting with Moroder to co-produce Sparks' Terminal Jive. His breakthrough came in 1984 when he worked on the smash feature comedy Beverly Hills Cop; Faltermeyer's instrumental theme "Axel F." became an unexpected pop hit, and he was soon contracted to work on movies including the 1986 blockbusters Top Gun and The Running Man. In 1990, he also co-produced the Pet Shop Boys' Behavior album, but as the decade progressed -- and his signature synth pop sound fell out of commercial favor -- Faltermeyer's profile began to diminish. He then primarily involved himself in composing German film scores and in other productions from his studio in Munich, until deciding to return to Hollywood film scoring near the end of the 2000s. Faltermeyer reappeared on the Hollywood scene when chosen by director Kevin Smith to compose the soundtrack to the Bruce Willis action comedy Cop Out, released in February 2010. ~ Jason Ankeny
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