Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Stallone soundtrack pump up/round up.

The joys and awesomeness of movie montage music have been extolled many a time here on Illcon. From the awesome Blood Bros mix-tapes to Cobra's in-house work out mix, we all know how hard they rule as well as the obvious mental and physical benefits that can be attained from listening to such down right manly, life affirming and brutally cool tunes.
Now, your probably wondering what all this is leading to? Well, as a sucker for soundtracks in general I routinely go through my collection and realised that out of everything I have, there is one actor who seems to have dominance over the rest of my OST shelf, that one man is Mr Sylvester Stallone.

On closer inspection I realised that he also seems to have the most relevance when it comes to pump up montages ( as well as more often than not having soundtracks that are far more entertaining than the actual films they correspond to). I mean, Rocky is the main culprit when it comes down to it. In fact, the first 4 Rocky films possess enough sweaty working out set to awesome rock music footage to power a small country. Eye of The Tiger, case in point. The ruling Kingpin of montage riffary. So in the Illcon spirit of educated the uneducated, I have pulled out my personal picks of the Stallone OST library for you good people to enjoy, kick back, work out and be cool to.

Starting of with the undisputed king of pump up soundtracks, Rocky IV. The first Rocky film I ever saw also possesses the best of the series music. Of course Eye of The Tiger is here, but so is No Easy Way Out, Sweetest Victory and Hearts On Fire. Not to mention Vince Dicola's two instrumental ass-kickers. Pure montage fury. I'm also pretty sure the film has more montages per reel than any other film.

I don't think anyone knew where Stallone was going with this film, I am pretty sure he didn't either but he made damn sure the soundtrack was solid. Ignore the stinkers from his brother Frank and the limp effort by Kenny Loggins, just focus on Sammy Hagar's timeless Winner Takes It All. Asia's Gypsy Soul, Larry Greene's Take It Higher and Giorgio Moroder's instrumental The Fight. Need a soundtrack for your next Tuesday arm wrestling meet up? Here you go.

Can a buddy cop movie go wrong? Even with Kurt Russell involved? I am afraid so. Case in point, Tango & Cash. Despite a pretty okay chemistry between the Kurtster and Stallone, Robert Z'dar swinging his giant chin around and some pretty sweet cowboy boots with a gun hidden in the heel, this was a surprisingly lumpen affair. The same can't be said of the classy score courtesy of the main man Harold Faltermeyer though. Combining the upbeat, streetwise sounds of his Beverly Hills Cop score alongside the more brooding work he cultivated on The Running Man, Mr Faltermeyer pulls another winner out the bag.

Believe it or not, this was originally what Beverly Hills Cop was going to be like. After being pushed off the project, Stallone vowed he would make the film he intended. The result was Cobra. Awesome for being so lame on so many levels. The soundtrack is worthwhile for Jean Beauvoir;s Feel The Heat, Gary Wright's lost classic Hold On To Your Vision and the instrumental efforts by Sylvester Levay. Perfect music to soundtrack some rogue policing.

You decide to make a movie about Billy Dee Williams and Stallone chasing a crazed, European bomber as he blows up innocent people. Who would you get to soundtrack it? How about organ destroying, keyboard pioneer Keith Emerson? Superb idea. Emerson crafted a pretty solid score with this one. In a very similar way to Lalo Schiffrin approaching his work on Dirty Harry from a jazz background, Emerson approached Nighthawks with a head full of prog keyboard noodling and worked unhindered until it was complete.

There is no security

All this awesomeness has made me wonder when the montage actually came into use? I remember Rocky from being a kid but did such a thing exist in the 60's or 70's?


Radish said...

I'm gonna have to disagree with you on Tango and Cash. That movie is super solid. Possibly the highest ratio of one-liners to actual dialog in film history.

Shelby Cobras said...

Ditto Cobra. "So lame on so many levels"?
Are you trolling?

Nothing Left Inside said...

Not trolling in the slightest. Don't get me wrong, Its an 80's action staple and I expect a certain level of lame from most of my movies. i watch it pretty regular as well.
Tango & Cash has always been one I never got on with, despite containing so many awesome things.

Perpetual Strife said...

Over the Top and Cobra are two amazing exhibits in ass kicking.

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