After denied rights to use "Another One Bites the Dust" for Rocky III, Sylvester Stallone hired Survivor to write an original song instead, which turned out to be "Eye Of The Tiger". http://www.guitarworld.com/interview-guitarist-jim-peterik-talks-tiger-and-new-pride-lions-album-immortal
This year marks the 30th anniversary of “Eye of The Tiger." What’s the origin of that song?
I came home from shopping one day and heard a message on the answering machine from Sylvester Stallone. At first, I thought it was a joke, but I called the number and sure enough, Stallone answered. He told me that he loved the band and had heard “Poor Man’s Son” and “Take You On A Saturday” from our Premonition album and wanted that same kind of “street” sound for his new movie, Rocky III.
He sent us a video montage of the movie and Frankie (Sullivan) and I watched it together. There were scenes of Rocky getting a little “soft” (doing the Visa card commercials) and Mr. T “rising up” with his Mohawk. It was electric. The temp music they used to accompany the montage was “Another One Bites The Dust” by Queen. I remember asking Stallone why he just didn’t use that song for the movie and he said it was because they couldn’t get the publishing rights for it. At that point I just said, “Thank you, Queen!” [laughs]
I had my Les Paul and a small amp that we had set up in the kitchen. I turned down the sound and just started playing the little intro [mimics the intro], just feeling that pulse. Then I added to it when I saw the punches being thrown, trying to score the chords in time with the punches. We couldn’t get any farther because we didn’t have the whole movie.
Fortunately, we were able to get a copy of the finished movie with the promise that we’d send it right back the next day. At that point, we had become totally enamored in the movie and when I heard that phrase: “Hey Rocky, you’re losing the eye of the tiger” I remember turning to Frankie and saying, “Well, there’s the name of our song!” Once we had the title, the challenge became telling the story.
Four days later we gathered the troops, went into the Chicago Recording Company and recorded it. Frankie and I both wanted that big John Bonham type of drum sound and I’ll never forget the feeling and the way our drummer, Marc Droubay, captured it. As soon as he hit that beat I said, “Oh shit, this is going to be HUGE!” And there was the sound of Survivor. It was just magic!
What’s your greatest memory of your days with Survivor?
Some of the more subtle moments are my favorites. When “Eye of the Tiger” was first starting to zoom up the charts, we were out on the road with REO Speedwagon. I remember it was late in the afternoon and I went into a restaurant to get something to eat. While I was there, somebody played "Eye Of The Tiger" on the jukebox. There was a little girl there with her family. She must have been around 4 years old or so. When the song started playing, she immediately got up from her family, started spinning around and said, “Mommy! Daddy! That’s MY song! They’re playing MY song! Out of the mouth of babes. You can’t fool them and you can’t hide from them. They either love it or they don’t, and they loved it.