“ROCKY BALBOA” SOUNDTRACK
In July, 2006 composer Bill Conti made his Rocky comeback when he began sessions at Capitol Studios in Hollywood to record the soundtrack for Rocky Balboa.
Conti conducted a 44-piece orchestra, with strings and brass recorded separately, through the forty-minutes of underscore. As with all the previous Rocky films that he’s scored, Conti performed the piano himself. On the last day of recording, six singers were employed to lend their vocal skills, performing the Oscar-nominated “Gonna Fly Now”, as well as a few cues that required their services.
Thematically, Conti is using the original themes from the previous Rocky scores that he had done. He did write one new theme, representing the character of Marie (Geraldine Hughes), who as a child had been supported by Rocky in the original film (portrayed by Jodi Letizia). During a guitar session with Tim May performing, synth programmer and arranger Ashley Irwin would give Conti notes from the control room as to the performance.
In addition to the score, there will be songs in the film, including some new ones written specifically for the picture by Diane Warren, as well as Frank Stallone.
In August, 2006 it was announced that pop singer Natasha Bedingfield was hand selected by Sylvester Stallone to perform the theme song for the film. Titled “Still Here”, the song was written by Diane Warren and features in scenes where Rocky reflects on his past.
“Sly went up to Natasha at a party in Los Angeles and personally asked her to get involved. He had heard her debut album and loved her voice,” says a source to the UK’s Sun. “Natasha was completely shocked. She found it hard to believe that a legend like Sly had heard of her. But he even asked to have his photo taken with her.
“It was a genuine offer — and she had signed a proper recording contract within days.” Although Bedingfield’s rendition was originally intended to be featured prominently in the film, it was ultimately dropped from the score. The song is still listed in the closing credits, and also appears on the UK version of the album “Rocky Balboa: The Best of Rocky”.
Once the soundtrack was released, fans were surprised that no traditional soundtrack had been created. Instead, a CD called “Rocky Balboa – The Best of Rocky” was released, featuring a collection of the best songs from the entire franchise.