Friday, February 12, 2016

"Far From Over" by Frank Stallone

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  1549
Date:  07/30/1983
Debut:  69
Peak:  10
Weeks:  16
Genre:  Rock, Soundtrack



Pop Bits:  The Sylvester Stallone-directed Staying Alive, the sequel to the 1977 film Saturday Night Fever, was much maligned by critics, but audiences made it a respectable hit. The film's soundtrack, which brought back the Bee Gees, reached #6, but it was a far cry from the Grammy-winning landmark soundtrack to the original film. It got off to a shaky start when the Bee Gee's failed to recapture the magic of the original movie's music with "The Woman in Me" (#24). This next single did much better in promoting the soundtrack. Co-written and performed by Sylvester Stallone's brother, Frank, the tune surpassed the Bee Gees' attempt and just barely made it into the Top 10. Although it seemed that Frank came out of nowhere to assist his brother on the film, he already had a music career going and even hit the Pop chart in 1980 with a remake of Joni Mitchell's "Case of You" (reaching #67). But the nepotism, the song, and the MTV video ended up with Frank becoming the butt of many jokes (most famously on SNL). This hit should have been a springboard for Frank's music career. Instead, it became his one and only Top 10/Top 40 entry.

ReduxReview:  Was the skewering of this song and Frank valid? Maybe. Was it fair? Not really. Although it did make for some great jokes (the SNL synchronized swimming skit in particular), I don't think the song got its due thanks to the brotherly effect. If anyone else had sung the song, it probably still would have been a hit and might have been taken more seriously. It also might have disappeared into the 80s background soon after. However, all the fuss with Frank and such has kept the song alive for many years. So, I'm not sure which would have been better. Regardless, what gets missed is that it's actually a good song. It tries a little too hard to be exciting in an "Eye of the Tiger" kind of way and is a bit theatrical in the mid-section, but I've always liked it. For me, it was the only good thing to come out of a truly horrible movie. C'mon - show Frank some love and crank it up.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Although it seemed Frank just popped up out of nowhere doing songs for his brother's film, he actually had been composing music and songs for Sylvester's films ever since the original Rocky. Frank also appeared in the film singing in the opening segment. Frank would also do the occasional acting gigs including the two Rocky sequels and Staying Alive. Arguably, his best role came in the 1987 film Barfly where he played the bartender who spars with patron Mickey Rourke. 2) Frank was in a band in the early 70s called Valentine. Another member of the group went on to fame and fortune as half of Hall & Oates - John Oates. The connection almost got Hall & Oates a track on the original soundtrack to Rocky. They were to lend their song "Grounds for Separation" to the film, but because it was going to take too long to get the movie done and the soundtrack out, they declined used of the song (most likely they wanted to tie it in with their latest album, which was ready to go). The song appeared on their fourth album, Daryl Hall & John Oates.

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