Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” and Eight 80’s Songs That Explain Movies

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Rock Legends To Play in Jamaica; Break Out the Montage Scenes

When eighties mega band Survivor rock out Moon Palace Jamaica Grande in Ocho Rios on February 25, one song will stand above all others that night. And four chords into that song, everybody in Jamaica will know what’s coming!

With its unmistakable guitar riff and equally recognizable chorus, “Eye of the Tiger” has become one of the most popular songs in music and movie history. It was a smash hit in 1982 and helped Rocky III, the movie it was written for, become among the biggest movies that year.

More than 35 years later, the song still causes bouts of temporary shadowboxing among even the most meek of us. Though no other song from the era rises up to challenge its rival, Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” is far from the only eighties hit that explains the plot of a movie while taking you through a campy video montage.

We’re not sure what it is about the eighties, but as Survivor, Cheap Trick and other classic rock bands show, it was a decade where the modern montages and soundtracks were practically invented, in spirit if not reality.

“Burning Heart”, Rocky IV, Survivor

Hollywood sequels have taught us that if you are successful once, might as well try again. That formula worked for Survivor and the Rocky franchise as they paired up for a second time in Rocky IV with “Burning Heart.” If “Eye of the Tiger” closely relayed the theme of Rocky III, then “Burning Heart” was like an audio picture book on the main plot premise.

“You’re the Best”, Karate Kid, Joe Esposito

So maybe you don’t exactly dance to Joe Esposito’s “You’re the Best” from the Karate Kid, but it sure is inspirational. Ralph Macchio single-footedly chopped down Cobra Kai to this song.

“Best That You Can Do”, Arthur, Christopher Cross

Rest in peace Dudley Moore, but man did you play a good inebriated millionaire in Arthur. The only thing better was Christopher Cross’ song that told of the diminutive Arthur’s life and fling with Liza Minnelli when they got caught between the moon and New York City.

 “Hearts on Fire”, Rocky IV, John Cafferty

Better known for the soundtrack of Eddie and the Cruisers, John Cafferty got in on the Rocky IV montage action with “Hearts on Fire.” This is the song that played as Rocky was training in a barn in Siberia, including lifting Paulie in that wagon repeatedly.

“Up the Creek”, Up the Creek, Cheap Trick

Grammy-winning artists Cheap Trick – also scheduled to play this spring in the Caribbean at Moon Palace Cancun on March 17 & 18 – contributed to this “genre” with “Up the Creek,” from the movie of the same name starring Tim Matheson and other Animal House alumni.

“No Easy Way Out”, Rocky IV, Robert Tepper

If you’re counting at home, that’s three explanatory montage songs in one movie, Rocky IV. Come to think of it, we are not sure there was actually dialogue in this movie; it might have just been one montage after another with a couple of fights thrown in for good measure.

“Hard to Say I’m Sorry”, Summer Lovers, Chicago

Think Basic Instinct of the 1980s, Summer Lovers starred a youthful Daryl Hannah and Peter Gallagher as a recently graduated couple on vacation in Greece who become entangled in a love triangle with a French maiden. Come to think of it, maybe it was the Threesome of the 1980s. Eventually, there is a lot of apologizing – when isn’t there when we are talking threesomes! And that’s where Chicago’s “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” comes into play with Peter Cetera belting out his mea culpa masterpiece.

“A View to a Kill”, A View to a Kill, Duran Duran

“Bon. Simon Le Bon,” sa­­­ys the Duran Duran singer toward the end of their music video for their James Bond themed song, “A View to a Kill.” Sure, all James Bond theme songs by their very nature explain the movie they belong to, but we could not keep them from this list. Not after they rocked Moon Palace Cancun at the end of 2016.