Venerable vinyl soundtrack label Mondo is preparing a reconfigured release of one of 2015's best soundtrack efforts: Ludwig Göransson's score to Creed.
Co-written and directed by Ryan Coogler (who wrote and directed the harrowing biopic Fruitvale Station and is working on co-writing and directing Black Panther for Marvel Studios), Creed is a stunning update and continuation of the Rocky series--this time told through the eyes of Adonis Johnson, the out-of-wedlock son of former heavyweight champion Apollo Creed (portrayed by Carl Weathers in the first four Rocky films).
Donnie was born after Creed was killed in the ring by the fearsome Soviet Ivan Drago, and rejects a life of privilege (courtesy of Creed's widow, played by Phylicia Rashad) to find his own path as a boxer. Ultimately, he seeks the guidance of his father's rival-turned-friend, Rocky Balboa (in an Oscar-nominated turn by the character's creator, Sylvester Stallone). But as their bond deepens and Creed gets the kind of once-in-a-lifetime shot at the title that Balboa did 40 years ago, both men have to come to terms with challenges--for Donnie, it's living up to his father's legacy; for Rocky, it's facing his own mortality and relearning that even the greatest fighters need someone to lean on.
Perhaps the best film in the series since Rocky (even better than the solid underdog victory of Rocky Balboa in 2006), Creed echoes its predecessor while turning some of the conventions of the first film on its head, giving chances for stars Michael B. Jordan, Tessa Thompson (as Donnie's love interest) and Stallone to deliver some truly impactful performances that resonate regardless of how many films in the series you've seen.
Of course, music is a make-or-break prospect for the Rocky franchise, which spawned four Top 10 hits, including Bill Conti's orchestral main theme "Gonna Fly Now" and Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger," which both hit No. 1. Göransson, a Swedish-born composer who'd worked with Coogler on Fruitvale Station, was an offbeat choice known for incidental music to the cult TV series Community and productions with that show's star, Donald Glover (rapping as Childish Gambino), as well as the sisterly rock trio HAIM. But his bold, aspirational score hit all the notes you expect a Rocky film to hit, representing Creed's uphill victories and ultimately culminating alongside Conti's classic original themes.
Released on CD by Warner's WaterTower Music label alongside the film's release, Göransson has now supervised a "composer's cut" 2LP set, limited to 1,000 copies and pressed on red, white and blue vinyl to match the famous Creed boxing trunks. While it removes the two interludes taken from R&B songs written for Thompson's female lead, it also adds four previously unreleased score tracks, and removes the passages of dialogue between Jordan and Stallone that were present on several cues.
"I'm so excited to finally have my score for Creed on my favorite format," Göransson said in a statement. "I'm also excited to share this new version with only the instrumental score for the true film score fans."
Pre-orders will begin on Mondo's site February 8!
Ludwig Göransson, Creed: Original Motion Picture Score (Composer's Cut) (originally released as WaterTower Music WTM-39745, 2015 - reissued WaterTower Music/Mondo, 2017)
- Your Daddy Died in the Ring *
- Meeting Rocky **
- Conlan (Redemption)
- First Date
- Moving In with Rocky
- Front Street Gym **
- Pre-Fight *
- The Sporino Fight
- Liverpool *
- I Got You **
- Rocky Falls *
- Rocky is Sick
- Caught in the Shadow
- If I Fight, You Fight (Training Montage) **
- Boxing Shorts
- Conlan Fight **
- You're a Creed
- You Can See the Whole Town from Here
- End Credits - Creed
- Creed Suite
* previously unreleased
** dialogue removed from original soundtrack