Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor

THIS DAY IN MUSIC……………………………………on July 31st of 1982 Survivor’s “Eye Of The Tiger” sat atop both the Billboard Hot 100 and the Cashbox Best Sellers chart. The song, which was commissioned by actor Sylvester Stallone for the theme for the movie Rocky III, which was the biggest movie of 1982, would receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song and go on to sell over five million copies. The first two Rocky movies used a very popular orchestral theme written by Bill Conti. That song, “Gonna Fly Now,” was a #1 hit in 1977. Says Peterik: “We didn’t want to do anything like that. Stallone, in his first conversation to us, he made it real clear he wanted to distance himself from that first song. To him, it was great, but he wanted something to get to the youth market, the cutting edge. Looking back at age 53, it’s hilarious to think I was once part of the cutting edge. We attempted to steer clear of the ‘Gonna Fly Now’ thing.” Jim Peterik explained in an interview how Survivor wrote the song: “Frankie (Sullivan) came in with the lines, ‘Back on the street, doin’ time, taking chances.’ I loved those lines immediately and suggested, ‘Rising up, back on the street, did my time, took my chances’ to make it fit with the story line and to make the rhythm of the words fit the music I was hearing in my head. That was certainly the lyrical spark that got the song started. The next two hours flew by in a flash as we jammed, cassette recorder running nonstop to catch anything good we did for future reference, and at the end of the day, the music was about 80% complete and the lyric about 30%. Over the next few days, I worked hard on the lyrics, remembering pieces of movie dialogue like, ‘Went the distance,’ referring to the central phrase of the first Rocky movie.” Sylvester Stallone loved this song. When he heard the demo, he told the group it was exactly what he was looking for, but requested a mix with louder drums and asked if they could write a new third verse instead of repeating the first as they had done. The group did what Stallone suggested – they went about modifying the first verse and remixed the song. The movie tune also reached #1 in the UK and according to Billboard, this was the #1 song of 1982.