Year Released: 1985
Notable Songs: “Burning Heart”, “Living In America”, “Heart’s on Fire”, “No Easy Way Out”
Album MVP: ALL FOUR OF THEM!
Why I Loved It: This certainly wasn’t the best of the Rocky movies, but the soundtrack for Rocky IV kicked major ass. The unconquerable essence that is Rocky Balboa is perfectly epitomized with Survivor’s “Burning Heart”—one of the era’s most heralded sports anthems and focal gym jam during training sessions. For real, man – put this shit on and I’m ready for fight errrrrbody. “Living in America” by James Brown is the poster for the debauchery, lavishness and pure pretentiousness that symbolized 80’s music. “No Easy Way Out” and “Heart’s on Fire” are classics even is most people don’t know the artists who sang them, and “Eye of the Tiger” is on this album as well because Rocky III couldn’t contain its awesomeness. “Training Montage” is a brilliant piece of music. In all, this soundtrack is an endless assemblage of cheesy 80’s action pop that’ll never stop being enjoyable. Love it!
Commercial Success: This album was one of the more commercially successful movie soundtracks of the 80s, reaching No. 10 on the Billboard Top 200. Rocky IV produced a pair of top four singles, with Survivor’s “Burning Heart” leading the way by peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and finishing 1986 ranked eighth on the year-end Billboard chart. “Living in America” by James Brown skyrocketed to number-four on the Billboard Hot 100 and stayed on the charts for 11 weeks. It was Brown’s last Billboard charting hit and a good one — Brown won a Grammy for Best male R&B Vocal Performance on it. Robbert Tepper’s “No Easy Way Out” peaked at No. 22 on the Billboard Hot 100 while “Heart’s on Fire” by John Cafferty had a cup of coffee there and maxed out at No. 76.
Fun Facts: Per Entertainment Weekly, Rocky IV remained the highest-grossing sports movie, outlasting Field of Dreams, Major League, and White Men Can’t Jump — for nearly 15 years. Despite not ending the Cold War, The Waterboy with Adam Sandler finally took the box-office belt from Rocky IV, though the fourquel remains the No. 3 biggest sports movie of the last 40 years when adjusted for inflation. The first two films on that list: Rocky and Rocky III.
56. Prince – 1999