Song: “Eye Of The Tiger” by Survivor
Reached #1: July 24, 1982 (their first, 6 weeks)
Sylvester Stallone was sure he had found the perfect theme song for Rocky III. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get the rights to “Another One Bites The Dust”, so he turned to Survivor and asked them to write a song for the movie.
This is one of those “What If?” moments. Would Rocky III have worked out nearly as well with “Another One Bites The Dust” as Rocky’s theme? I think we can say “probably not”. And would we ever have heard of Survivor without “Eye Of The Tiger”? Maybe, but not to the extent that we did – there was really nothing in their first two albums that gave any indication that they’d break out on their own.
And if you consider that their two biggest hits are Rocky soundtrack cuts (“Burning Heart” hit #2 off the Rocky IV soundtrack), there’s really no doubt that Sylvester Stallone’s interest made Survivor.
Which makes the band’s squabbling in the early ‘90s almost comical – for a short time, there were two touring Survivor acts. Jim Peterik led one, and Jimi Jamison sang lead for another (that one as “Jimi Jamison’s Survivor” to avoid the lawsuits that happened anyway). Such a big fight for such a comparatively small issue…
They all finally made up, and while Peterik later left Survivor, the rest of the band is back together and working on an album. Hmmm…. isn’t there a new Rocky movie in the pipeline?
Tomorrow, the first #1 for an act that ended far too soon…
Other songs that reached #1 on July 24:
1971 – “Indian Reservation (The Lament Of The Cherokee Reservation Indian)” by the Raiders (their first, 1 week)
1976 – “Kiss And Say Goodbye” by the Manhattans (their first, 2 weeks)
1993 – “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by UB40 (their second, 7 weeks)
1999 – “Wild Wild West” by Will Smith feat. Dru Hill & Kool Mo Dee (his second, 1 week)
2004 – “Confessions Part II” by Usher (his sixth, 2 weeks)