Ludwig Göransson

" Creed is Rocky'TASTIC "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the regular release

Rocky was the baby of Sylvester Stallone, cared for carefully by composer Bill Conti. For Creed, a movie about the son of Apollo Creed, Bill Conti wasn't asked to babysit anymore. Somewhat strange considering he himself still scored the recent (well recent in a way) Rocky movie of 2006. But somehow the eye fell on composer and relatively newcomer Ludwig Göransson instead. A composer who himself worked on the short films of director Ryan Coogler (which explains why Göransson was brought on board). Anyway, I'm always for new and upcoming blood, as long as they pay tribute to the work that came before it. ESPECIALLY if it builds on already known characters. But what Ludwig Göransson has done with the subject matter here is nothing short of amazing.

What distracts is the dialogue, let's make sure we're clear on that. Dialogue has no business on a soundtrack, never has and never will. What has business is the ideas of Göransson. The opening track might give you a wrong indication, from "Adonis" those fears are long gone. It's here where the main theme is introduced softly, but the tone of it (and especially the piano version and brass performance at the end) gives you all the reason to not be fearsome anymore. This main theme is heard a lot, whether in soft versions ("First Date" or "Moving in with Rocky"), interspersed with more modern soundscape ("Grip", "Breathe (Interlude)". But all that makes way for the first full explosion of Rocky grandeur (with the synthesised Rocky signature included) in "Front Street Gym", a first highlight because the power of this cue is in the development, followed by the equally powerful "Sporino Fight".

Truthfully, the more ambient cues like "Shed You (Interlude") are an aquired taste, especailly if their put before wonderful tracks as "Rocky is Sick" (the main theme of Conti on piano) and "If I Fight, You Fight (Training Montage)" (with Göransson's own Gonna Fly Now vocal version of his own main theme) as most explosive moment. It's amazing even this is brought on board, as an ode to Conti's music, but what's even more amazing is that Conti's own Gonna Fly Now moment soars in "You're a Creed", alongside the equally powerful main theme of Göransson. It's like 2 champions are battling one another for the one and only Rocky theme. Either way, it's how odes need to be. Respect the ones that raised them, but bring your own talent to the ring.

The suspense, build up and soaring music of "Conlan Fight" (complete with powerful percussion rhythms) is one of the most powerful cues of the score, enough to give this work of Ludwig Göransson a big thumbs up. I've been pleasantly surprised by the number of inspired scores that are coming out this year, and Creed surely is one of the best. It's an ode to the original Rocky sound, a pure homage but still with it's own identity (after all it goes about Creed's son and not about Rocky). It's huge and the powerful versions pass by one after the other. The occasional eclectic cues might please one more than the other, and the dialogue is brief but bothersome. But there is nothing and I mean nothing else that could distract you from becoming another big fan of this score, not if you cradle the original ones and are open for something equally powerful. Fantastic work Mr. Ludwig Göransson.

Track Listing

1. Juvy (2.20)
2. Adonis (2.28)
3. Meeting Rocky * (4.02)
4. Conlan (Redemption) (1.28)
5. Grip (Interlude) (2.06)
6. First Date (2.31)
7. Moving in with Rocky (1.20)
8. Breathe (Interlude) (2.27)
9. Front Street Gym * (3.21) Excellent track
10. The Sporino Fight (4.34)
11. Shed You (Interlude) (2.41)
12. I Got You * (1.02)
13. Rocky is Sick (2.17)
14. Caught in the Shadow (1.21)
15. If I Fight, You Fight (Training Montage) * (4.54) Excellent track
16. Boxing Shorts (1.44)
17. Conlan Fight * (6.38) Excellent track
18. You're a Creed (4.26) Excellent track
19. You Can See the Whole Town from Here (2.11)
20. End Credits - Creed (3.08)
21. Creed Suite * (2.36)

* Contains dialogue

Total Length: 59.35
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 3 votes - average 4.67/5)

Released by

WaterTower WTM39745 (regular release 2015)

Conducted by

Pete Anthony

Orchestrations by

Erik Arvinder, Jeff Atmajian & Henri Wilkinson