Bill Conti

Rocky III

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Like the movie it accompanies, the soundtrack to Rocky III is a pure '80s throwback, and that's not necessarily a compliment. At only ten tracks, the album still manages to seem padded. Let's face it, once you've heard the pop chestnut "Eye of the Tiger," which has aged surprisingly well (that opening guitar sting remains potent after all these years), there's really no reason to keep listening. If you do, however, you'll be treated to the unique sound of not just one, but three songs from Sly Stallone's lesser-known brother Frank. An actor as well as a crooner, Frankie contributes two versions of a little ditty called "Take You Back" and the truly hilarious (unintentionally so, of course) disco/pop number "Pushin." Chock-full of howlers like "Keep on pushin/don't give up the fight," the song sounds like a long-lost collaboration between the Bee Gees and the Village People. Considerably less amusing are the album's instrumental tunes, composed by Bill Conti; with the exception of the requisite rendition of Rocky's theme song "Gonna Fly Now, each of these tracks is painfully generic. Conti could have just recorded white noise in place of songs like "Decision" and the pointlessly long "Conquest," and no one would have known the difference. It's difficult to imagine anyone actually wanting to purchase Rocky III, but the CD does make a good gag gift if you have a friend who finds this kind of thing amusing. Just make sure you have a real present waiting in the wings.

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