Eye of the Tiger

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"Eye of the Tiger"
Single by Survivor
from the album Rocky III Original Soundtrack and Eye of the Tiger
B-side "Take You on a Saturday"
Released May 29, 1982
Format 7"
Recorded 1982
Genre Hard rock[1]
Length 4:06 (Album version)
3:45 (Single version)
3:23 (Original movie version)
Label EMI, Scotti Brothers
Writer(s) Frankie Sullivan, Jim Peterik
Producer(s) Frankie Sullivan
Certification 2× Platinum (RIAA)
Survivor singles chronology
"Summer Nights"
(1982)
"Eye of the Tiger"
(1982)
"American Heartbeat"
(1982)
Music sample

"Eye of the Tiger" is a song by American rock band Survivor. It was released in the spring of 1982 as a single from their third album Eye of the Tiger. It was written at the request of actor Sylvester Stallone, who was unable to get permission for Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust".[2] The song was to be the theme song for the movie Rocky III, in which Stallone was playing the main role. The movie version of the song is different from the album version because it features tiger growls.

It gained tremendous MTV and radio airplay and topped charts worldwide during 1982. In the United States, it held #1 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart for six consecutive weeks and was the #2 single of 1982, behind Olivia Newton-John's "Physical". It is memorable for its guitar riff and anthemic chorus.

This song is also the title song to the movie of the same name.[3]

It was certified platinum in August 1982 by the RIAA, signifying sales of 2 million vinyl copies. The song had sold over 3 million in digital downloads in the United States alone by March 2012.[4] It was voted VH1's 63rd greatest hard rock song.[5] Combined sales of original vinyl release and digital downloads total over 9 million copies, making "Eye of the Tiger" one of the best-selling singles of all time.[6][7][8]

Background[edit]

In an interview with Songfacts, co-writer Jim Peterik, who shared writing credit with Frankie Sullivan, explained the song's title.

At first, we wondered if calling it 'Eye of the Tiger' was too obvious. The initial draft of the song, we started with 'It's the eye of the tiger, it's the thrill of the fight, rising up to the spirit of our rival, and the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night, and it all comes down to survival.' We were going to call the song 'Survival'. In the rhyme scheme, you can tell we had set up 'rival' to rhyme with 'survival'. At the end of the day, we said, 'Are we nuts?' That hook is so strong, and 'rival' doesn't have to be a perfect rhyme with the word 'tiger'. We made the right choice and went with 'Eye of the Tiger'.[9]

Charts and sales[edit]