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 Posted:   May 26, 2014 - 9:24 PM   
 By:   The Mutant   (Member)

I was just in Hope B.C. today - the actual town from First Blood. Listened to the score the whole time. Was pretty rad.

 
 Posted:   May 26, 2014 - 9:30 PM   
 By:   WillGoldNewtonBarryGrusin   (Member)

I love the score. I love the song. And I think the lyrics are not bad at all.

 
 
 Posted:   May 27, 2014 - 1:03 AM   
 By:   Clark Wayne   (Member)

Not so much the lyrics as the vocals that're the problem-Mr Hill has more than a hint of strangulated hernia in his delivery.

 
 Posted:   May 27, 2014 - 10:39 AM   
 By:   Sean Nethery   (Member)

First Blood is a great instrumental theme but it's not a great vocal melody.

I think this is a key point, and good on you for making it, Jehannum!

Beyond all the factors mentioned, you can tell by how the lyrics come together that it really wasn't written as a song to be sung. ("I tell ya" is a good example of the lyricist trying to shoe horn something in there to fit the melodic line.)

For me it is at best a guilty pleasure (I find it is somehow unaccountably missing from my iPod, though I've got all the rest of Intrada's expanded score there). But my wife and I have had plenty of laughs over the years from lines like "it's a real war right outside your front door" "It's a long road, and it's hard as hell." So I can't hate it.

 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2014 - 5:38 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

I haven't softened my view on the pop song version of "Theme from First Blood"--or have I? I have always thought the "Pop Orchestra" rendition of the piece is absolutely wonderful. I would have loved to have heard that playing on the local "Beautiful Music" station ("WLYF...Life, 101.5 FM") circa 1982.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2014 - 5:41 AM   
 By:   (Member)   (Member)

I haven't softened my view on the pop song version of "Theme from First Blood"--or have I? I have always thought the "Pop Orchestra" rendition of the piece is absolutely wonderful. I would have loved to have heard that playing on the local "Beautiful Music" station ("WLYF...Life, 101.5 FM") circa 1982.


What's going on, are you weakening?
This song is a torture.

 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2014 - 5:50 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

What's going on, are you weakening?
This song is a torture.


The *lyrics*, yes, but the theme itself is both haunting, sad *and* powerfully triumphant, as in the finale of "I'll Stay" from Rambo III, beginning around 8:04 into that track, when Rambo's theme swells into that magnificent finish (8:36 of same track).

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2014 - 6:29 AM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

A friend of mine say something interesting years ago, film music, the compositions are a cut above the typical pop chart stuff, but when there are lyric's, it's another story.

 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2014 - 6:40 AM   
 By:   Jim Phelps   (Member)

A friend of mine say something interesting years ago, film music, the compositions are a cut above the typical pop chart stuff, but when there are lyric's, it's another story.

Exactly. However, take corporate greed, lesser talents, a large crowbar and one gets "The Lyrics to First Blood."

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2014 - 2:15 PM   
 By:   Simon Gomersall   (Member)

I'm surprised no-one else has pointed this out, in all the discussions regarding "It's a Long Road": the sung version was arranged by (the late, great) Marty Paich - and it's the only time on the original First Blood album the three-note hook, which became the "Rambo" theme in the second film, appears.

Do you suppose (as I do), that Marty Paich actually came up with that motif, which Goldsmith subsequently incorporated and extended into his theme for Rambo: First Blood Part II? It wouldn't surprise me at all, I'll tell ya...

Cheers

SG

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2014 - 2:17 PM   
 By:   Simon Gomersall   (Member)

DP

SG

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2014 - 6:20 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

I think a lot of people in bad neighborhoods could relate to the line THERE IS A REAL WAR RIGHT OUTSIDE YOUR DOOR, I remember there once was a dead man right outside the door.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 25, 2014 - 6:48 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

Forgive me, I haven't read this thread -- yet -- but as soon as I saw the heading I had to weigh in with my two cents:

What did you expect? With the exception of Raksin/Mercer's LAURA, practically EVERY theme has been ruined by having lyrics tacked on to it. Okay, not "ruined," exactly. It's like the story an author once shared with me, that, when a friend said to him the movie version had "ruined your book," the author demurred. "They may have ruined their movie," he told his friend, "But they can't ruin the novel. That's always going to remain exactly as I wrote it."

I admit I'm over-stating the case with my initial generalization. There have been many fine songs crafted from movie tunes over the years. My personal preference, however, is to spend as much time as possible with the original instrumental version -- and that goes with songs adapted from classical themes as well. And this is because, simply, even the best lyrics, once they're in your head -- as the fellow above just said -- can be a distraction. It takes something universal - the language of music - and weighs it down with the concrete and the specific. I think there's a direct emotional connection between the listener and music which transcends words, and with effort I can zone in on that by ignoring my memory of the lyrics. But it does take effort, sometimes.

Of course there are exceptions. Who would want to live in a world without "Moon River" or "The Days of Wine and Roses"? (Note: Mercer again.) And the fact is that two of my favorite early Rozsa scores for Korda are filled with great themes first introduced as songs.

Happy listening, ladies and gentlemen...

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 4, 2014 - 1:18 AM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

PS:

I forgot to add, in my two cents, the fact that Maurice Jarre always found it galling that whenever a recording of "Lara's Theme" from (of course) DR. ZHIVAGO was played, he received royalties, naturally, but, whenever a purely instrumental performance of the theme was released under the title, "Lara's Theme/Somewhere My Love," he had to split the money fifty-fifty with Paul Francis Webster, even though not a word of the lyric was to be heard.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 4, 2014 - 1:22 AM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

PPS:

Dear Great Escape,

You do realize, I trust, that you're probably the first person in film music history to declare that Tiomkin's song for HIGH NOON did nothing for the picture?

PNJ

 
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