Bill Conti’s score to Rocky is most remembered for the main title, “Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky)”, and for a good reason: essentially, when you break each of the tracks on this album down into their core elements, it is easy to hear that “Gonna Fly Now” serves as the foundation for every single (non-vocal) track on this album.
While, yes, all of these tracks are based around “Gonna Fly Now”, Bill Conti does a nice job with individualizing each track enough to make them stand out on their own merits. For example, “Philadelphia Morning” contains the main theme played mellowly on a piano, while “Butkus” is a bit of a jazzy rendition of the same theme. “Alone in the Ring” is also played on the piano, but it is weighted with contemplation and hope, and “The Final Bell” is, in my opinion, one of the best victory songs of all time. There’s not much more to say…I’ve pretty much said it all. Literally every single instrumental track follows along those same lines.
Though you might think that hearing “Gonna Fly Now” over and over again, albeit in different variations, would be boring, Bill Conti manages to keep it somewhat fresh throughout, supplying a decent score to one of the most beloved sports movies of all time. Despite that, though, it’s the lack of completely original material from track to track – as well as the fact that, at only 32 minutes long, it is a depressingly short score – that prevents Rocky from getting a higher rating from me.
Rating: 3.5 (out of 5)
- “Gonna Fly Now (Theme from Rocky)” (vocals: DeEtta Little/Nelson Pigford) – 2:48
- “Philadelphia Morning” – 2:22
- “Going the Distance” – 2:39
- “Reflections” – 3:19
- “Marines’ Hymn/Yankee Doodle” – 1:44
- “Take You Back (Street Corner Song from Rocky)” (vocals: Valentine) – 1:49
- “First Date” – 1:53
- “You Take My Heart Away” (vocals: DeEtta Little/Nelson Pigford) – 4:46
- “Fanfare for Rocky” – 2:35
- “Butkus” – 2:12
- “Alone in the Ring” – 1:10
- “The Final Bell” – 1:56
- “Rocky’s Reward” – 2:02
Total Length: app. 32 min.