On this day in 1982: Survivor started a six week run at #1 on the U.S. singles chart with ‘Eye Of The Tiger’, taken from the film ‘Rocky III’. Also #1 in the U.K. Survivor won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Performance for the song.
The song was released as a single from their third album of the same name and was also the theme song for the film Rocky III, which was released a day before the single. The song was written by Survivor guitarist Frankie Sullivan and keyboardist Jim Peterik, and it was recorded at the request of Rocky III star, writer, and director Sylvester Stallone, after Queen denied him permission to use “Another One Bites the Dust”, the song Stallone intended as the Rocky III theme. The version of the song that appears in the film is the demo version of the song. The film version also contained tiger growls, which did not appear on the album version. It features original Survivor singer Dave Bickler on lead vocals.
It gained tremendous MTV and radio airplay and topped charts worldwide during 1982. In the United States, it held #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six consecutive weeks (the band’s only song to top the chart) and was the #2 single of 1982, behind ‘Physical’ by Olivia Newton John. It spent fifteen consecutive weeks in the top ten, the second-longest run of 1982, behind ‘Hurts So Good’ by John Cougar (which was prevented from reaching the top of the Hot 100 by “Eye of the Tiger”). This top ten run is tied with the aforementioned “Another One Bites the Dust” as well as “Physical” as the longest run in the top ten for a number one song during the entire 1980s decade. The band won an award for “Best Rock Performance by Duo or Group With Vocal” at the 25th Annual Grammy Awards.
Here’s the full Top 10 on the U.S. singles chart from this day back in 1982:
1 4 EYE OF THE TIGER –•– Survivor (Scotti Brothers)-8 (1 week at #1) (1)
2 2 ROSANNA –•– Toto (Columbia)-15 (2)
3 3 HURTS SO GOOD –•– John Cougar (Riva)-14 (3)
4 6 HOLD ME –•– Fleetwood Mac (Warner Brothers)-6 (4)
5 5 LET IT WHIP –•– The Dazz Band (Motown)-14 (5)
6 11 ABRACADABRA –•– The Steve Miller Band (Capitol)-9 (6)
7 1 DON’T YOU WANT ME –•– The Human League (A&M)-21 (1)
8 8 TAINTED LOVE –•– Soft Cell (Sire)-28 (8)
9 9 ONLY THE LONELY –•– The Motels (Capitol)-14 (9)
10 12 KEEP THE FIRE BURNIN’ –•– REO Speedwagon (Epic)-7 (10)