‘Eye of the Tiger’ by rock band Survivor 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”. The song was to be the theme song for the movie Rocky III, in which Stallone was again playing the title role.
The song gained tremendous MTV and radio airplay and topped charts worldwide during 1982. In the United States, it held #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for six consecutive weeks and was the No. 2 single of 1982, behind Olivia Newton-John’s “Physical”.
The song was nominated for the 1982 Academy Award for Best Original Song, the only Oscar nomination for Rocky III. It lost to “Up Where We Belong” from An Officer and a Gentleman. It was also nominated for the 1983 Grammy Award for Song of the Year, but lost to the Willie Nelson hit “Always on My Mind”.
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’. – Wikipedia