Last Christmas holidays I set out to transcribe and recreate Bill Conti’s original 1976 Hollywood recording of Gonna Fly Now, from the movie Rocky. This epic project involved very detailed scoring and the cooperation of several like-minded collaborators with perfectionistic flair who bought into the vision (or just went along with it).
There have been some great alternate versions of Gonna Fly Now, but also some duds. Maynard Ferguson’s will forever be immortal in trumpet circles and shines as one of the best, while at the other end of the scale the later Rocky movies substituted brass and strings for keyboards, with a blatantly unmusical copy/paste edit to extend its length. But the original 1976 Hollywood recording was fresh and has a special energy all of its own, that I think we’ve been able to emulate and perhaps even extend the Bandbub way.
The score and recording were as true to the original as we could be. Real trumpets, real trombones, and real violins. Exact note-for-note copies of most parts, including a brilliantly authentic guitar solo, carefully constructed harmony vocals, and guys from across the planet playing the charts that I wrote. Everyone who contributed to this bought into its authenticity, and we put each person’s perfectionistic streak to good use: transcriptions and scoring, performance, much critique, many suggestions, online and offline mixing. It was a whole lot of fun, and each of us marveled as this epic project progressed.
Featuring performances and other talents of the Bandhub Rocky Orchestra (“BRO”):
- Gary (satchmo67): trumpets
- Jimmy (jimmididr): piano, saw synthesizer, offline mixing, post-production video editing
- Juan (sabapc): guitar solo, vocals, online Bandhub mixing
- Claire (MzMieux): vocals, inspiration
- Hernan (HernanGordon): bass
- Yoann (yodrums): drums
- Joey (jfigg70): shakers
- Lou (LouDeAngelis): congas and tambourine
- Andrew (mayesbone): trombones
- Mandy (mandyvln): violins
My sincere thanks to everyone who contributed to this. I am very, very proud of what we achieved together.
- Gonna Fly Now (Rocky) Bandhub collab video.
- Gonna Fly Now (Rocky) Post-production video.
- Gonna Fly Now (Rocky) Post-production audio mix.
- Gonna Fly Now (Rocky) full score and parts. Includes charts for trumpets, trombones, violins, piano, saw synthesizer, harp, guitar, bass, drums, congas, tambourine, and vocals.
Transcribed by me and free for you to use.
What do you think? Please leave a comment and let me know.