Monday, March 2, 2020

Musical Monday - Eye of the Tiger by Survivor

#1 on the Billboard Hot 100: July 24, 1982 through August 28, 1982.
#1 on the Cash Box Top 100: July 31, 1982 through August 21, 1982.
#1 on the U.K. Chart: September 4, 1982 through September 25, 1982.

I've noted before how many songs appear on this list that were driven to the forefront of popular culture as a result of their association with movies. By the middle of 1982, there had already been two songs reach number one that were tied to movies - Chariots of Fire and Fame. In addition, Open Arms by Journey received a substantial boost as a result of appearing on the soundtrack to the movie Heavy Metal, and the Rogers & Hammerstein song Happy Talk from the play and movie South Pacific hit the top of the charts in the U.K. Eye of the Tiger was, of course, the theme song from Rocky III, and the association with that movie launched the song to the top of all three of the charts that I track as part of the 1980s Project.

One of the more unexpected developments of doing the 1980s Project has been the realization as to just how much popular music was influenced by movies and television during the era. I would have expected such movie-related dominance in an earlier era, such as the 1940s or 1950s, when movie musicals dominated the film industry and songs drawn from those were routinely the top selling songs of the era. Musical stars such as Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra were movie stars as well, and the crossover between popular movies and popular music was obvious. By the 1980s, the movie musical was, for the most part, a moribund genre, and yet numerous movie-related songs continued to dominate the charts. I don't know what that says about popular culture, but it is interesting.

I couldn't let this video go by without pointing out the most obvious piece of weirdness within it. The video starts off with the members of the band walking around on the street all clad in leather jackets, looking like a gang of sorts. Well, all of them wearing leather jackets except for the keyboard player, who apparently thought that an unbuttoned blue dress shirt could serve as a reasonable substitute. He looks completely out of place, like he walking in from a completely different band that was doing a completely different video shoot. He's also kind of an awkward guy, and that compounds the discordant nature of his outfit. On the other hand, he's one of the songwriters for this song, and appears to be the source of a substantial portion of the writing talent in the band, so he can be forgiven for looking like he doesn't belong.

Previous Musical Monday: Hurt So Good by John Cougar
Subsequent Musical Monday: Come On Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners

Previous #1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Don't You Want Me by the Human League
Subsequent #1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Abracadabra by the Steve Miller Band

Previous #1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Hurt So Good by John Cougar
Subsequent #1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Abracadabra by the Steve Miller Band

Previous #1 on the U.K. Chart: Come On Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners
Subsequent #1 on the U.K. Chart: Pass the Dutchie by Musical Youth

List of #1 Singles from the Billboard Hot 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles from the Cash Box Top 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles on the U.K. Chart for 1980-1989

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