Ten Songs from 2015 that you should be listening to: #3 Grip and #4 Grip (Interlude) from Creed

CRD205_000084.tifFull disclosure – as of this writing, I have not seen Creed. But, my brother has. In fact, as soon as he saw it, he bought the soundtrack AND the score – for these two tracks specifically.

I don’t know where in the movie these songs show up. I don’t know why they are called “Grip”. I don’t even know if Creed aka Johnny Storm aka Wallace wins his fight. All I know is that I can power through an extra two or three reps when these songs pop up in my workout playlist.

Both versions were written by Ludwig Göransson. The R&B version, with vocals by Tessa Thompson1, starts out with a great lyric (“I might give a little / But you can take it all / I might try to run / But just to make you follow“) over a driving beat. Göransson’s euro-smooth-soul-pop-electronic sound is perfect here (and is great for Tessa’s voice). The track almost sounds like something from Zero 7’s Simple Things.

The second track, taken from the Creed Original Motion Picture Score, keeps the driving beat, but replaces Tessa’s lyrics with a humming and synthesizer take on the lyrics.

Tessa Thompson – Grip

Ludwig Göransson – Grip (Interlude)

My Favorite Scores: Batman (1989)

Batman Poster

While I loved what Christopher Nolan has done with Batman series, I still hold a special place in my heart for the 1989 Tim Burton movie. His Batman kicked off a new re-interest in comic-book inspired movies and television shows – some great (Batman: The Animated Series), some good (The Flash, 1990’s version) and some bad (the 1990 Captain America movie).

My favorite parts of Burton’s movie are when we get to see Batman without the mask; in other words, when we can see Bruce Wayne in his true persona, without the airs he puts on to fool the general public. There are three scenes that really capture those moments:

  1. Bruce checking the tapes [watch here] – A great back-to-back view of the duality of Bruce Wayne
  2. Bruce hanging upside down [here, at the 16:45 min mark]– Ok, so maybe he’s taking the bat thing a little too seriously
  3. Bruce in Crime Alley – I’ll be the first to admit that this scene has one gigantic flaw: Batman, the worlds greatest detective, doesn’t realize that Vicky Vale is following him. However, if you can ignore that, then this is a great scene. There’s no talking, but plenty of emoting, as Bruce Wayne (played by Michael Keaton) looks tortured over this parents death, and the life that he’s adopted as a result. As stated on sputnukmusic.com:

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My Favorite Scores: Carlito’s Way

Carlito's Way

Last week, I blogged on the Rocky Original Motion Picture Score. That post got me thinking about how the most iconic scenes from my favorite movies are bolstered by their musical scores. Over the next few months, I’ll share a few thoughts on some of my favorite scores. First up: Carlito’s Way.

Carlito’s Way is a 1993 crime drama directed by Brian DePalma and starting Al Pacino. The three sentence summary: Carlito Brigante is an incarcerated drug dealer just freed on a technicality. Vowing to go straight, Carlito finds himself in situations where his sense of honor and loyalty pull him into law-breaking activities. Those decisions play out with dire consequences – with him ultimately losing his life, though not before he can get Gail, and his unborn child, off to safety.

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My Favorite Albums: Rocky Original Motion Picture Score

I’m a big fan of the original compositions that color movies. Of the thirty-plus score albums I own, none is as special to me as Bill Conti’s Rocky Original Motion Picture Score.

I listened to this album non-stop during the summer of 1998. I was living in Columbus, OH, working as a college intern at a technology company. Though a series of mistakes and mis-steps, I was facing cross-roads in my college career. Nothing as serious as dropping out (never that)… but I was struggling with my grades (too much Alpha and not enough studying).

So I took 7 months off (the summer, plus the fall 1998 semester) and I worked as an engineering intern. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. I got focused and afterwards, went back to school and pulled my GPA up to respectable numbers.

It wasn’t always easy. My Mercury Topaz died on me, so I walked to and from work every day. I was trying to save as much as I could, so I lived in a crappy studio apartment – which wasn’t too bad, except that the apartment sat on top of a dive bar, so my place always smelled like stale beer.
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