Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘Rocky 3’s Theme Song Was Nearly Performed By Queen

‘Rocky 3’s Theme Song Was Nearly Performed By Queen

Rocky III is widely recognized for using Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”, as its theme. However, Stallone wanted a Queen song originally. In the sequel, Rocky (played by Sylvester Stallone) faces off against one of the franchise’s most iconic opponents, Clubber Lang (portrayed by Mr. T). During his heavyweight champion reign, Rocky faces a tough challenge from the merciless Lang. To overcome this, Rocky seeks help from his former rival, Apollo Creed. Rocky III received mixed reviews but was a huge box-office success. Paired with 1982’s First Blood, Rocky III put Stallone at the top of the action heap.

Though not as acclaimed as the original, Rocky III is just as iconic. It introduced Mr. T as Clubber Lang and featured Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” which has become synonymous with the Rocky series. This song not only contributed to the movie’s success at the box office but also propelled the band to fame. However, “Eye of the Tiger” was not the initial choice for the Rocky III theme, with a Queen standard being the first choice.

While “Eye of the Tiger” from Rocky III is undoubtedly tailor-made for the film, it’s interesting to note that the original theme selection was Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust.” It’s tough to imagine an already-established hit leading off Rocky III like “Eye of the Tiger” does. “Another One Bites the Dust”, is a terrific song, but it’s not as driven as Survivor’s anthem to never giving up is. However, one Balboa superfan made a special cut of the opening featuring the song, which sort of lines up.

According to Society of Rock, the producers of Rocky III couldn’t secure the Queen hit as the theme song. At the time, Queen was pretty stingy with allowing their music to be used in films. Of course, Wayne’s World‘s famous “Bohemian Rhapsody” sequence eventually broke them dam with that policy.

“Another One Bites the Dust” is a funky song with a smooth and poppy sound. Its lyrics exude self-assurance and boastfulness rather than motivation. On the other hand, “Eye of the Tiger” was specifically written for the film. This makes it more impactful as audiences had no prior connection to the song. This tailor-made anthem perfectly captures the essence of Rocky III. Today, when people think of Rocky Balboa’s enduring legacy, the catchy chorus of “Eye of the Tiger” is one of the first things that comes to mind.