Composer Bill Conti's iconic score for Sylvester Stallone's tale of over-the-hill Philadelphia boxer Rocky Balboa ranks as one of the most memorable and instantly recognizable pieces of film music ever applied to celluloid. The first Rocky is still the best, with classic cues like "Going the Distance," "Fanfare for Rocky," the "Final Bell" and "Gonna Fly Now" – the latter was actually a hit single – eschewing the myriad of questionable AOR songs that would end up cluttering future installments.
There’s always been a wonderful, symphonic bombast that’s gone with the heroes of space operas, probably no more notably then when John Williams re-launched the old-school sound of the Big Hollywood Orchestra with 1977’s STAR WARS. Yet as he made a new generation of sci-fi fans imagine they were Luke Skywalker, Han Solo or Princess Leia Organa, there was a group of earthbound heroes with names like Alan Shepard, John Glenn and Gus Grissom who needed to get their Hollywood due, not to mention the swirling strings and brass that would come with it. The composer who would help elevate them to icon status would be Bill Conti, whose main theme for 1983’s THE RIGHT STUFF became the soundtrack equivalent of “Entrance of the Gladiators” – music that defined pride, bravery and duty with no small measure of rousing excitement. Here that patriotic vibe is played under a slow-motion shot of astronauts marching towards the fearsome wonder of space itself, a classic cinema image that would be riffed on in every film from RESERVOIR DOGS to ARMAGEDDON.
The rare sequel that improves upon its predecessor, Rocky II expands on the uplifting approach exemplified by Bill Conti's immortal "Gonna Fly Now" to create a score that's both more cohesive and more emotional. Writer/director/star Sylvester Stallone affords Conti a wider emotional berth this time around, allowing for poignant, melancholy themes like "Vigil" alongside fist-pumping anthems like the climactic "Overture" – as before, Conti employs little more than solo piano, a small string ensemble, and a potent brass section, and it's to the composer's enormous credit that he can forge such larger-than-life music from relatively few instrumental elements. "Gonna Fly Now" even reappears, this time with a children's choir in tow, and sounds better than ever. Not even Frank Stallone's "Two Kinds of Love" can torpedo this one.
The arena rock band behind one of the fastest-selling debut albums in history, Boston was essentially the vehicle of guitarist and studio wizard Tom Scholz, born March 10, 1947 in Toledo, Ohio. A rock fan throughout his teen years, he began writing songs while earning a master's degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology…
Jean Michel Jarre, son of film composer Maurice Jarre, is one of the true pioneers of electronic music. Oxygène is one of the original e-music albums. It has withstood the test of time and the evolution of digital electronica…
Les Contes du Singe Fou (roughly translated, Tales of the Mad Monkey) is a progressive rock album by Clearlight, released in 1976 on Isadora Records in France. Returning again to France, Clearlight turned to conceptual space rock with science fiction lyrics. (The lyrics do not have anything to do with a mad monkey, however.) Les Contes du Singe Fou is the only Clearlight album in which vocals and lyrics play a significant role. In reverse of the previous album, the title is in French, but all lyrics are in English. This is not apparent from the cover, which contains no song titles on the outside. English Lyrics with French translations are printed on the cover's gatefold. Musically, the album contains psychedelic, new age, and jazz fusion elements.
A band made of pieces from Z-66 and Los Bravos (Zee + Bra), featuring who became later one of the most known jazz guitarist of Spain: Joan Bibiloni. In fact, Zebra can be considered the band of Joan Bibiloni. Their only record is a remarkable one and it has a good recording quality for that time. It has a fine mix of more poppy themes and very interesting progressive ones, specially a cover of the song "Imagine" of John Lennon, that seems to be made by Yes themselves. Guitars in this record remind those of Steve Howe and also the vocal works are also in that direction.
James Taylor had scored eight Top 40 hits by the fall of 1976 when Warner Brothers marked the end of his contract with this compilation. One of those hits, the Top Ten gold single “Mockingbird,” a duet with his wife Carly Simon, was on Elektra Records, part of the Warner family of labels and presumably available, but it was left off.