A complete departure from all the previous Rocky soundtracks, Rocky 5’s musical ensemble includes tracks from artists as varied as M.C. Hammer, Elton John, Rob Base, Snap, Joey B. Ellis and of course the indispensible Bill Conti.

This film’s 11-track album captures the essence of the Rocky movie and the music of the 1990’s with a good deal of hip-hop and rap, although only four of the songs on the soundtrack are actually used in Rocky 5.

Interspersed between these contemporary tunes are smatterings of Bill Conti’s original Rocky themes such as “Mickey” and “Gonna Fly Now”, as well as an updated 90’s version of Frank Stallone’s classic “Take You Back”.


Perhaps the most surprising track on the album is Elton John’s “Measure of a Man”, which is reserved for the end credits, sung over a series of black and white still photos covering the entire Rocky series up through Rocky V.  The lyrics to this song truly vocalize Rocky’s plight and when teamed with Elton’s performance, “Measure of a Man” closes Rocky V in style.

Elton John actually had no part in the composition of the track, a departure from his usual method of musical production. The song’s music and lyrics were written by composer Alan Menken who won an Academy Award for Best Song with “Colors of the Wind” from Walt Disney’s Pocahontas. In 1991, “Measure of a Man” received a Golden Raspberry nomination for Worst Original Song. Menken worked as a composer on films as far removed from Rocky as could be such as Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Little Mermaid”. Interestingly, in the years since Rocky 5, the song is considered by many to be one of the best parts of the movie.


These battered hand are all you own
This broken heart has turned to stone
Go hang your glory on the wall
There comes a time when castles fall

And all that’s left is shifting in the sand
You’re out of time, you’re out of place
Look at your face, that’s the measure of a man

This coat that fits you like a glove
These dirty streets you learned to love
So welcome back my long lost friend
You’ve been to hell and back again

God alone knows how you crossed that span
Back on the beat, back to the start
Trust in your heart, that’s the measure of a man

It’s the fire in the eyes, the lines on the hand
It’s the things you understand
Permanent ties from which you once ran
That’s the measure of a man

You’ve come full circle, now you’re home
Without the gold, without the chrome
And this is where you’ve always been
You had to lose so you could win

And rise above your troubles while you can
Now you can love, now you can lose
Now you can choose, that’s the measure of a man