Sunday, February 19, 2017

"The Moment of Truth" by Survivor

Song#:  1946
Date:  06/16/1984
Debut:  79
Peak:  63
Weeks:  7
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Following their big 1982 #1 hit "Eye of the Tiger," which served as the theme from the Sylvester Stallone film Rocky III, Survivor seemed to struggle. Their follow-up album failed to produce any hits and therefore couldn't even get close to gold-level sales. In addition, their lead singer, Dave Bickler, developed vocal nodes and needed surgery. Unwilling to wait out Bickler's recovery, the band decided to move on and replaced him with singer Jim Jamison. The band's first recording with the new lineup was this song that was written for the film The Karate Kid. The tune would serve as the first single from the soundtrack. Although the film was a big box office hit, the song did not catch on and it fell short of expectations peaking in the lower half of the Pop chart. It was another disappointment for the band. Luckily, things would turn around for them later in the year with their next LP.

ReduxReview:  For a couple of seconds at the beginning of this song I thought it was some kind of Casio wedding theme. But then the synths kicked in and it moved into a typical 80s pop movie theme. Frankly, it's pretty awful. It tries so hard to be exciting and inspirational that it falls flat. About every lyrical cliché about taking chances and seizing the day is used and it all sounds forced and manufactured. Even the music is so sports-themey that you can practically hear a leg sweep or slam dunk with every "peeshew" synth punch. Ugh. It probably served its purpose in the film, but on its own it just doesn't stand up. I can't fully blame Survivor on this one as they didn't write it. They actually wrote a fantastic movie theme with "Eye of the Tiger." Listen to that classic and then listen to this one. Huge difference. One is inspiring, the other is insipid. 

ReduxRating:  2/10

Trivia:  Another song chosen for the film and soundtrack was "You're the Best" by Joe "Bean" Esposito. Written by Bill Conti and Allee Willis, the song was originally written for Rocky III. However, Stallone nixed the tune in favor of Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger." It was then a candidate for the soundtrack to Flashdance, but once again it was cut and replaced by Michael Sembello's "Maniac." (Incidentally, Esposito did get a song on the Flashdance soundtrack. "Lady Lady Lady" was released as a single and got to #36 AC/#86 Pop.) Finally, the director of The Karate Kid, John Avildsen (who also directed the original Rocky), remember the song and wanted it for the film.


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