Various Artists

Rocky Balboa: The Best of Rocky

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The soundtrack for Rocky Balboa, the sixth and final installment in Sylvester Stallone's seemingly endless boxing epic, eschews the usual mixture of new score and hip mainstream acts for a museum of old cues and acts that were once mainstream. By turning Rocky Balboa into a "greatest-hits" collection, Stallone has preserved the American icon in amber without injecting any botox into him, despite the unnecessary inclusion of "panic buttons" like "It's a Fight" by Three 6 Mafia and a remix by John X and Natalie Wilde of composer Bill Conti's timeless "Gonna Fly Now" theme. That means that for better or for worse, the listener gets an Italian Stallion jukebox stocked with '80s nuggets from Survivor, Robert Tepper, John Cafferty, and James Brown, as well as all of the key themes from the baton of Conti. Luckily, there are no tracks from Stallone's lesser brother, Frank, who peppered the soundtrack to Rocky III with some truly dreadful disco/lounge abominations, but that didn't stop the producers from inserting Conti's equally detestable "Can't Stop the Fire" from Rocky V, which should have been replaced with Vince DiCola's "Training Montage" from Rocky IV. Fans who grew up with the films and are looking for a blast of nostalgia will have their nose broken (in a good, metaphorical kind of way) by this audio companion, while listeners who somehow managed to avoid getting on the Rocky train will wonder what all of the fuss was about.

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