“Eye Of The Tiger” by Survivor (1982)

There are a few songs I go to when I need an adrenaline boost. I might need this boost when I’m exercising and need to Jedi mind trick myself to finish that last mile. I might need this boost the morning before I’m about to go into a big meeting, in order to fight away the clouds of uncertainty and self-doubt that circle my brain constantly.

Usually, I turn to hip-hop for those adrenaline boosts. Songs by Jay or  Kendrick or Kanye will usually do the trick. In the not-hip hop world, there are a handful of Michael Jackson songs (“Jam”, to name one–hell, almost the entire first side of Dangerous) that fill that role on occasion. And then there’s “Eye Of The Tiger”. Hell, if it works for Rocky Balboa, it works for me. And considering how often you hear “Eye” at sporting events, or blasting from someone else’s headphones at the gym, it works for a lot of other people, too.

Anyway, I’d be surprised if you were reading this and not incredibly familiar with “Eye Of The Tiger”, but here’s some facts. It was the theme song to Rocky III (which is the one that introduced the world to Mr. T as Clubber Lang) and spent weeks at #1 on the charts. It was also Survivor’s first big hit. It clearly inspired Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”. Wikipedia says that Sylvester Stallone originally wanted to use Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust” for Rocky III’s theme and was turned down. I have to say that I wonder if, before getting a hold of Survivor, who were definitely not a big-time band pre-“Tiger”, Stallone might have also approached Journey, whose Escape album had just completed a year of American chart domination. Survivor singer Dave Bickler’s vocal range is rather similar to Steve Perry’s, and “Eye Of The Tiger” has an anthemic appeal not unlike “Don’t Stop Believin'”. 

Whether they were the second option or the third option, Survivor used the opportunity to their advantage. Everyone won with this one. Well, except for Clubber Lang.

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