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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Music That Matters: Top 50 Movie Symphonies (#36 The Final Bell by Bill Conti)

Now we are coming to the meat of the countdown. For the rest of the way, all of the upcoming songs are simply sensational. At #36, the following tune is probably the most important song of the first Rocky movie. And you'll be surprised when I tell you it's not Go The Distance or Gonna Fly Now. Bill Conti came up in the clutch with an amazing theme of all themes to end the decisive battle between Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed titled "The Final Bell". Without an great tune to end the movie, the movie would have suffered. Thank the lord that "The Final Bell" was as great as it needed to be, or the end of the fight would have been as exciting as the end of a WNBA playoff game. You probably don't have this tune on your ipod, but after hearing it again down below, you'll realize how much you need to own it. The song is so amazing that I even have goosebumps as I'm writing about it.

Think about the impact of the Rocky ending and how the music played a huge role in sustaining the emotion you were feeling after having watched an epic boxing match! The final bell sounds as Apollo and Rocky hug in the middle of the ring, both beaten down and feeling sso much pain after a brutal fight. Apollo tells Rocky there will be no rematch, to which Rocky replies he doesn't want one. While this conversation is going on, the opening piano notes of The Final Bell are played, then BOOM! the song picks up tempo as the media and ring crews of each boxer storm the ring. While we already know that Apollo was going to get the decision and keep the gold, there was still a glimmer of hope that Rocky might win since sports movies during that era usually ended with the hero winning. Although just the fact that Rocky has gone the distance with the greatest boxer in the world is a victory unto itself. As the music continues to fascinate the audience, a bloody Rocky with one eye completely shut is being interviewed. Although he's trying to be a gentleman and answer the questions, his mind can only concentrate on seeing the love of his life, Adrian. He screams for her while she is making her best effort to get from the backstage area to the ring. With help from Paulie, she enters through the bottom rope and greets her man. The first thing Rocky does is ask her what happened to her hat. She is full of emotion and expresses that she loves Rocky but ignores his question about the expensive hat he bought for her. Rocky says I love you as the song hits the climax and we go to the credits. Simply amazing! And a total disgrace that Bill Conti lost the Oscar to Paul Williams and Barbra Streisand for A Star Is Born! It's been thirty years and it's safe to say that the music from Rocky had more staying power.
Ladies and gentlemen... The Final Bell

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