American composer, keyboardist and arranger
best known for his work on the "The Transformers:
The Movie," "Staying Alive" and "Rocky IV" soundtracks.
DiCola also pioneered the use of sequencers on his
soundtrack recording for "Rocky IV,"
one of the first to exploit the Fairlight CMI
and Synclavier II computers' sequencing capabilities.
Hello again to my fans here at TDRS music! I recently completed a joint project with a buddy of mine, Michael Fleischman, and we have been anxious for people to hear it.
We worked on this project off and on for about 18 months. The music offered in this new collection is a bit different from my normal film, progressive rock, jam band and pop/rock material,
although there are elements of those styles sprinkled throughout the collection. This project came about when my friend Mike approached me about taking some of his musical "sketches" and
arranging and producing them utilizing some of the elements I've used in the past on some of my own original material. Consequently, what started out as an archival project for Mike's
personal collection gradually morphed into a collaborative effort that Mike and I both felt should be made available to the music-buying audience. Most of the melodies here are Mike's,
with my focus being more on the arrangements and production of the material. This offered me a welcome opportunity to move into some areas of production I had never explored previously.
A major element that appears quite often throughout this collection is the use of what can best be described as "musical noise." The stylistic labeling of music these days seems to have
gotten more varied and even confusing at times, but I would best describe this music as instrumental ambient progressive. It's definitely a musical journey -- one we very much enjoyed
taking and hope that our listeners will enjoy as well. Happy listening! -- Vince (April 22, 2012)
This is Vince's original score music that's never been available before.
Released by Intrada, from their website:
Label: Intrada MAF 7109
Time = 32:38
At last! World premiere of original score from mega-hit fourth installment of wildly popular ROCKY saga, starring Sylvester Stallone as iconic boxer, with Talia Shire, Burt Young, Carl Weathers -- and formidable Russian opponent Dolph Lundgren. Original album featured songs plus two excerpts from score. Intrada release offers entire score by Vince DiCola, including his arrangement of classic "Theme from ROCKY" by Bill Conti. Unleashed at last is rich score, initially for keyboards, ultimately for large orchestra. Many highlights include haunting piano/cello theme for "Apollo's Death and Funeral," powerful "Up the Mountain" sequence, dynamic "Training Montage," powerhouse "War," epic "Knockout" for full orchestra. Intrada presents score in crisp, punchy stereo mixed directly from original 24-track digital masters courtesy of Sony. Vivid artwork courtesy of MGM, enthusiastic liner notes by Daniel Schweiger. Finally, biggest gap in Rocky soundtrack series is delivered! Vince DiCola composes, produces. Jeremy Lubbock orchestrates, conducts.
01. Theme From ROCKY 2:58
02. Gym 2:06
03. Paulie’s Robot 0:42
04. Anniversary 1:42
05. Drago Suite 2:15
06. Apollo’s Death And Funeral 2:58
07. Stairs 0:59
08. Rocky And Son 2:01
09. Training Montage 5:10
10. Up The Mountain 1:51
11. Pre-Fight 2:06
12. Drago’s Entrance 1:02
13. War 4:39
14. Knockout 0:34
15. Victory 0:53
This is a new song I wrote with my good friend Rick Livingstone. The song is entitled "Bound and Gagged" and was composed with the upcoming "Transformers" film sequel in mind.
The song is currently up for consideration for this project so I wanted to get the word out. Enjoy!
-- Vince (2009)
"Bound and Gagged"
Vince DiCola / featuring Rick Livingstone
© 2009 Music by Vince DiCola / Lyrics by Rick Livingstone
Produced by Vince DiCola & Kenny Meriedeth
Rick Livingstone: Lead vocal
Vince DiCola: All keyboards, orchestration and programming
Kenny Meriedeth: Guitars
Special thanks to both Rick and Kenny for going above and beyond, as always.
The DPI material was taken from the same sessions as our "Pity the Rich" suite
entitled "Focus (Now's the Time)." The same basic approach was used in both
cases: Try and keep the free and adventurous spirit and energy of our
original recordings and not come away with something that sounds overly
produced or "sweetened." The main difference between the 2 releases is that
a conscientious decision was made to keep the DPI material as a trio only --
no guitar or vocals. Once again, this represents a different "side" of
whatever it is each of us has been "known for" in our individual careers,
and that by itself is of great value. We went into Travis's studio with no
preconceived compositional ideas whatsoever, and our only goal was to have
FUN. That we did, and I feel that aspect is well-represented on the final
Thanks to Doane and Paul for playing their butts off and joining me on this joyful musical escapade! I look forward to our next journey together, whatever that might be. (As previously mentioned, we still have material to draw from out of our original recordings, so stay tuned for future releases.)
A big "Thank you" must go to Travis Dickerson once again for all his support, enthusiasm and great musical sensibility. Travis's multiple contributions played a major role in this project and we're all grateful. One last important mention: I want to personally thank Travis and another good friend of mine named Mike Kelley, both of whom continue to challenge me to "let my hair down" and explore different aspects of my personal musical expression. Making music is an ongoing learning process, not only where the music itself is concerned, but in trying to challenge ourselves to push the envelope and get in touch with aspects of our personal creative expression we might not even know existed.
It's all about the journey, and I am happy and proud to present this musical journey for your listening pleasure. Enjoy! -- Vince (September 2006)
Vince DiCola: keyboards
Vincent Kendall: vocals
Paul Ill: bass
Reeves Gabrels: guitars
Doane Perry: drums
About a year and a half ago I went into Travis's studio with my good friend
(drummer) Doane Perry and a fantastic bass player named Paul Ill. With
Travis at the helm, we recorded some tracks that I was fully intending to
use as a basis for a new instrumental solo project. The idea from the start
was to go in without any preconceived ideas and lay down some fun "jam band"
tracks that I would later edit in my own studio at home.
As I began sifting through all the material we had recorded, it was presenting itself more as a band project than a solo presentation. Doane and Paul were very receptive to the band idea, and while Doane was out on the road with Jethro Tull, Paul and I took the tracks from the first piece we had recorded during these sessions and built a foundation with future guitar and vocal tracks in mind. Almost from the beginning Paul had two of his friends in mind for this project, a singer named Vincent Kendall and a guitar player named Reeves Gabrels (David Bowie, Tin Machine). Both Vincent and Reeves took the material to new and interesting places musically. We have completed our first suite, which clocks in at just over 42 minutes in length. (And we have a lot of material waiting in the wings; we recorded enough core material to easily fill up at least 2 more CDs.)
This represents a fairly radical departure stylistically from anything else I've ever been involved with (which is just one of the reasons I'm happy I did it). The overall color is a bit darker compared to most of my previous work, and the freedom in the performances is a welcome change to the very thought-out and compositional approach I'm used to. The music definitely has some roots in some of the progressive rock styles each band member has always been attracted to, though the music's a bit difficult to define beyond that. The following bands have been mentioned as comparisons by those who've heard some of our music: King Crimson, ELP, Miles Davis, the Doors and Radiohead. Yet it's different enough from all those bands to be considered unique in its own right (at least in our humble opinions!).
For those familiar with my movie work and other music of that nature, I'm offering fair warning here: This is a pretty extreme departure. It's all about taking journeys, and I've really enjoyed this particular journey so far. Of course we hope others will enjoy it as well. I am honored to work with all these talented individuals, and we're hoping for an opportunity to perform this material live at some point. Here are some clips from our first long suite entitled "Focus (Now's the Time)" / track mixed by Travis Dickerson. -- Vince Download only.
As I mentioned on some TF fan sites recently, I had prepared a new version
of the TF theme to be featured as part of my performance at this year's
OTFCC, which took place a few weeks ago in Chicago. I am currently
working with my partner Kenny Meriedeth to "spruce up" this track, and we plan to
feature an excerpt from it here once a mix we're happy with is ready. Stay tuned. -- Vince (2009)
As promised, we now have audio samples of some new work I've been involved with. The following clips are from my new solo CD, "Falling Off a Clef." The CD will be available here shortly.
THREAD, PHD8-96, Laughing Gull, 1995/6
Review from Northern Lights, 1997:
Let me say right from the start that this is an essential album! It's a long time ago that I was equally blown away by an album. The music is a mixture of catchy pop melody lines, complex arrangements in a more progressive style and with a huge AOR production. Each time I listen to the album I find new things that just amaze me. Parallells could be made to stuff like Mr Mister, Toto, Bill Champlin and still that doesn't quite say it all. The brains behind the band is keyboard maestro Vince DiCola (Storming Heaven) together with drummer Doane Perry (Jethro Tull, Storming Heaven). This album was put together after the Storming Heaven album and from what I have heard the tracks were to some extent rejects from the SH project but it just has to be due to the direction and definitely not quality. That's for sure! They brought in singer Ellis Hall (Tower Of Power) who possesses a rich and powerful voice and the guy sure can use it. He is phrasing like a god and the backing vocal arrangements are just unbelievable. There are only seven tracks on the CD but it still clocks in at 47:12, mostly due to the last track' s ("Rainbow Suite") 14:49! There is not a bad track on the album -- and it's honestly a very long time since I could say that! It's a cliche used too often in reviews but these guys really deserve to be huge. - Lennart Hedenstrom, July '97 (Northern Lights/Sweden)
New: Now available for download only, Vince's long lost piano solo CD.
VINCE DiCOLA - "In-VINCE-ible!" Damn Swell Garage Records
Review from Midwest Beat, 1997:
Interestingly enough, you might have heard Vince DiCola's music and not known it. He composed the music for all of "Transformers: The Movie" and some of "Rocky IV" and "Stayin' Alive," the less-than-successful sequel to "Saturday Night Fever."
What you might find even more interesting about DiCola is his sound. This disc is culled from several years' worth of recordings, yet a distinctive DiCola Sound permeates regardless of the year, project or players involved. To define that sound is always a difficult thing to do; I'll just say that it's very keyboard heavy, with a twist. There are two sections to "In-VINCE-ible!," one instrumental and one vocal. Some of the songs, in the vocal section especially, sound like they would fit rather comfortably on a WNUA playlist. However, just when you think you know where the song is going, it takes an unexpected twist, raising the eyebrows and perking up the ears in the process.
DiCola is an incredible keyboard player. When he attacks some of the more technically demanding sections of his songs, the precision with which he plays is amazing. The notes themselves, as well as the spaces between them, are bright and clear. The melodies and motifs that DiCola works with are by turns engaging, pleasant and sometimes quite challenging, in a good way, to listen to.
The instrumental section holds some of the true gems of the collection, particularly the piano solo pieces. "Montauk Moon" (from his "Piano Solos" release) is a beautiful, thoughtful piece that will enable you to get inside of DiCola's heart. As far as his digit dexterity, some of the more technically impressive pieces, such as "Concerto," illustrate his ability to take several right and left turns during a single composition, all the while holding fast to a theme, which the listener may hang his hat on and get it blown off all at the same time.
The best songs on the disc's second section feature the vocal styling of Ellis Hall, who has such remarkable vocal control that it seems elastic at times. Along with Doane Perry, drummer with British rock legends Jethro Tull, DiCola and Hall formed the band Thread, which released their debut a few years ago. "Hands of Kindness," from that disc, is included on this collection. Another standout Hall vocal performance is the hook-laden "Just Hangin On."
One of the most intriguing songs is the closing track, "Far From Over," from the "Stayin' Alive" film. Co-written with Frank Stallone, it's recorded here with a new, very intense vocal by Dick Reincke and it seems more sparse than the version I remember. Reincke's voice, although not as pliable as Hall's, provides a solidity to the song that takes it beyond a mere soundtrack song to a mediocre film.
There is nothing on this collection that approaches mediocrity from any direction. It's all excellent. Fans of keyboard-oriented music will love this collection. Listen to this and let the DiCola Sound work on you. In this age of assembly-line music, this is one of the most truly substantive discs you're likely to hear. -- Ben Likens / Midwest Beat Magazine, July 2001 issue, "CD Spins" section