Before making a final decision on Rocky III’s theme song, Sylvester Stallone originally had other musical plans in mind.

One direction was to use the hit song “Another One Bites the Dust” by Queen. Another option was Joe Esposito‘s recording of “You’re the Best” which was recorded especially for Rocky 3 but ended up not being used. Interestingly, the director of the original Rocky, John Alvidsen liked “You’re the Best” to such a degree that the song was ultimately used in the karate championship montage scene in The Karate Kid (1984).

“Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor

Then, another tune suddenly took the lead . . .

“Eye of the Tiger”, Stallone’s ultimate choice for the signature theme, was the title cut of Survivor’s third album.  “Eye of the Tiger” was Number One on the Billboard charts in 1982, selling more than two and a half million copies in America alone. It also hit the top position in England, Canada, South Africa, Australia, Norway, Sweden and Greece, reaching the Top Five in France, Italy, Finland and Denmark. In addition, the song won Survivor a Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance, captured an Academy Award nomination for Best Song and received a host of other accolades from the music and entertainment industries.

Frank Stallone lent his hand yet again as the lyricist for the rousing workout theme – “Pushin'”.  Stallone performed the song during Rocky’s initial training in the ritzy gym.  The music for “Pushin'” was written by Bill Conti.