Various Artists - 1985 Rocky IV Soundtrack

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ARTIST: Various Artists
ALBUM: Rocky IV Soundtrack
LABEL: Scotti Bros
SERIAL: SZ 40203 (LP), 72392-75240-2 (CD)
YEAR: 1985
CD REISSUE: 2006, Volcano, 2876759892

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Featured Artists: Survivor * John Cafferty * Kenny Loggins and Gladys Knight * Vince DiCola * James Brown * Robert Tepper * Go West * Touch

TRACK LISTING: 01 Burning Heart - Survivor * 02 Heart's On Fire - John Cafferty * 03 Double Or Nothing - Kenny Loggins & Gladys Knight * 04 Eye Of The Tiger - Survivor * 05 War - Vince DiCola * 06 Living In America - James Brown * 07 No Easy Way Out - Robert Tepper * 08 One Way Street - Go West * 09 The Sweetest Victory - Touch * 10 Training Montage - Vince DiCola

Background

The inexplicable re-release of this soundtrack just recently was a real diamond in the rough. It is a gleaming example of an era when almost every film had an AOR backing.

'Rocky IV' is more than a good example. It had the task of following 'Rocky III' which boasted 'Eye Of The Tiger' to its name. A hard act to follow. But Sylvester Stallone (who wrote and directed the film) assembled a first rate selection of AOR, and piddling MOR, to go hand in hand with the over the top dramatics of such a film.

The Songs

The movies anthem 'Burning Heart' by Survivor could be the soundtrack to the entire 80's. Classic lyrics about 'East vs West' and the same sort of sturdy beat found on 'Eye Of The Tiger' sum it up. Survivor were at the top of the AOR heap at the time and seemed tailor made to crank out these era defining anthems. Check out the 'Moment Of Truth' off the Karate Kid for more proof.

Amazingly they are outdone on just the second song, John Cafferty's 'Hearts On Fire'. I defy anyone to find a more classic soundtrack cut than this. Written by Vince DiCola and another soundtrack luminary, Joe Esposito (Karate Kid, Up The Creek, Staying Alive), among others, the whole sense of tension is ready made for Rocky's triumph in Moscow. DiCola's exceptional keyboard work and the mass chanted chorus make this worthy of purchase alone. Stupendous.

Kenny Loggins and Gladys Knight's 'Double Or Nothing' loses the bet, going nowhere with a soft MOR duet.

'Eye Of The Tiger' makes a reappearance, while DiCola's instrumental 'War' displays his unmatched skill for situation based pieces of synthesizer madness.

James Brown contributes 'Living In America' the biggest hit off the album. Robert Tepper adds the title cut to his 1986 debut 'No Easy Way Out', a perfect fit for the scene where Rocky speeds down the freeway, thinking of the past following Apollo Creeds death. Good song.

Go West's 'One Way Street' is the softer side of AOR, but passable. A mystery arrives with the mammoth anthem of Touch's 'The Sweetest Victory'. They don't seem to be related to Mark Mangold's Touch in any form, but I could be wrong. The song is impeccable otherwise.

DiCola's 'Training Montage' ends it off, purveying a real sense of such an activity! This piece was created for a montage of any sporting event. The synths are on the verge of awe inspiring.

In Summary

The soundtrack was a blockbuster, selling over four million copies, proving the 80's publics greater taste! Every song reflects the nature of the movie, Balboa overcoming monster Drago, against all odds.

Listening to it you can visualise the film. A sign of success. A beast of a collection, it is worth the bother of hunting down.


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