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Survivor - Eye Of The Tiger



This was the theme song to Rocky III, which was the biggest movie of 1982. Tony Scotti was the president of Survivor's record label, and he played Sylvester Stallone some tracks from the previous Survivor album, Premonition. Stallone thought the sound, writing style and street appeal could fit in his new movie, so he called called Jim Peterik and Frankie Sullivan, who were Survivor's primary songwriters, and left messages on their answering machines. When we spoke with Peterik, he said, "Answering machines were still something of a novelty back then and to see that blinking light was a thrill. When I pressed the playback button I heard, "Hey, yo, Jim, that's a nice message you got there. This is Sylvester Stallone.' It was too thick to be really him, but it was him. That's really the way he talks."


Jim Peterik explained: "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. Suggestions from an actor are usually not what bands are looking for when creating a song, but Stallone knew what he was doing. Jim Peterik said, "Stallone has a good ear for a hook. Just listen to his dialogues - he wrote those scripts. He came up with 'Eye Of The Tiger' for that script and those hook phrases like 'I'm going to knock you into tomorrow.' All that stuff is Stallone, he's a genius with dialogue. Songs are nothing more than dialogue set to music as far as I'm concerned."


Lyrics


Rising up, back on the street Did my time, took my chances Went the distance, now I'm back on my feet Just a man and his will to survive So many times it happens too fast You trade your passion for glory Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past You must fight just to keep them alive It's the eye of the tiger It's the thrill of the fight Rising up to the challenge of our rival And the last known survivor Stalks his prey in the night And he's watching us all with the eye of the tiger Face to face, out in the heat Hanging tough, staying hungry They stack the odds still we take to the street For the kill with the skill to survive It's the eye of the tiger It's the thrill of the fight Rising up to the challenge of our rival And the last known survivor Stalks his prey in the night And he's watching us all with the eye of the tiger Rising up, straight to the top Had the guts, got the glory Went the distance, now I'm not gonna stop Just a man and his will to survive It's the eye of the tiger It's the thrill of the fight Rising up to the challenge of our rival And the last known survivor Stalks his prey in the night And he's watching us all with the eye of the tiger The eye of the tiger The eye of the tiger The eye of the tiger The eye of the tiger


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