Survivor – Eye of the Tiger: #870 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Survivor - Eye of the Tiger

Why is Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger on my best 1,000 albums ever list?

Curl up your smile and take your time, take your chances.

What does Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?

If you’re of a certain time and age – and perhaps even if you’re not – you’re likely to curl up a little bit of a smile when you hear the title track, “Eye of the Tiger.”

It’s an iconic song because it’s tied to an iconic character (Rocky Balboa, of course, played by Sylvester Stallone) in an iconic film franchise (that being the Rocky movies). But it’s more than that, too, right? It’s not a half bad stand in for, “Google and/or Alexa, play me a song that can stand in for all music that was produced in the year 1982.”

“Eye of the Tiger” is a little bit cheesy but in a way that works for it. Improbable but it’s true. Like the Rocky films, it’s gritty and it’s about digging deep and doing your best, no matter what it takes. It’s the fantasia of Americana pull yourself up by your bootstraps and anything is possible, and it’s a fun fantasy to buy into, especially over popcorn in a movie theater when you’re a little kid and people are literally yelling at the screen, “Yeah, get ‘em, Rock!

It’s all of that and it’s also catchy and kind or rocks like hell at the same time. Curl up your smile all you like, I say, because I will as well. While digging the hell out of “Eye of the Tiger.”

The rest of the album doesn’t quite reach those heights but absolutely has the same intensity and vibe. And I realized what’s great about it too and why it works is because the band Survivor takes what they’re doing with a deadly seriousness. There’s zero irony or shtick about this act. And that helps it to be awesome. Think about that while rocking out to the epic power ballad, “I’m Not That Man Anymore.”

And “Feels Like Love” should have been the theme song to at least eight 1980s movies that take place at a high school or around a wrestling tournament or at a blue collar manufacturing plant (or all three). It’s the world’s loss, but we are in the black due to mere existence of “Feels Like Love.”

So we rejoice. We rejoice.

Slightly random but, hell, that’s what spaces like this are for: there’s a song on Eye of the Tiger called “Ever Since the World Began,” which via Spotify is the second most popular song on the album. It’s not my favorite – it’s a power ballad that leans into the ballad-y side in a way that doesn’t quite work for me. But I mention because the song title has been stuck in my head for some time recently.

Not because of Survivor though. It’s because of The Doors’ “Maggie McGill,” off Morrison Hotel, and the amazing line, “I’ve been singing the BLUES… ever since the world began.”

I didn’t own the album Eye of the Tiger when I was a kid, but I did own the Rocky III soundtrack. On vinyl!

It includes (other) iconic Rocky franchise songs such as Bill Conti’s incredible “Gonna Fly Now.”

If you need to get motivated, I suggest you throw that on, catch some chickens, run 17.5 miles through some relatively mean streets at 3:30 a.m. after eating a raw egg, and then finish up by running up the stairs in front of a museum. And then you will be Guaranteed to Succeed.

You’re welcome in advance.

And then it includes several songs by Frank Stallone that no one ever nears to hear again. Okay, here’s “Pushin’.”

Some stats & info about Survivor – Eye of the Tiger

Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger on Spotify

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.