We all know that Survivor are behind “Eye of the Tiger,” the greatest get-psyched jam of all time. But, when my wife bought my brother Survivor’s Greatest Hits as a gag gift for Christmas (and I subsequently stole), I made a shocking discovery. “Hearts on Fire,” the get-psyched jam at the molten core of Rocky IV, wasn’t on it.
It was a $7 Walgreens CD, so it wasn’t out of the question that it would only have one hit on it. But I checked, and it’s shocking, but true: Survivor didn’t do that song. Some dude named John Cafferty does it.
It’s no “Tiger,” but non Survivor get-psyched jam gets the job done, aside from a surprisingly nervous prog rock keyboard intro.
I knew that not-Survivor Get-psyched Jam #2 wasn’t actually a Survivor song, but it’s funny how many little coincidental nodes it hits with Survivor.
“You’re the Best Around” by Joe Esposito is a montage soundtrack to Karate Kid. Karate Kid director John Avildsen also helmed the first (and obviously best) Rocky movie, which makes a lot of sense when you think about it. But also, Joe Esposito—in response to a very astute inquiry about why the song includes the line “history repeats itself”—claims that “Best” was originally supposed to be in Rocky III and lost out to “Tiger.” Stallone had total fascist control over the franchise by then, but like a good fascist, Stallone made those fucking trains run on fucking time: “Best” is pretty good, but it’s nothing compared to “Tiger.”
Get-psyched Jam #3 is admittedly a little dollar store compared to one and two.
It’s from the BMX movie RAD, a movie I was surprised to see was directed by Hal Needham. (Needham was a stunt-man who buddied up to Burt Reynolds and ended up directing Smokey and the Bandit and Cannonball Run.) Fun fact: I’m pretty sure that the chorus “There’s a thunder in your heart, and every move is like lightning” is an accidentally accurate description of what it feels like to have a stroke.
Get-psyched Jam #4 has a higher profile, but there’s a lot of cheese you have to sift through to get to the killer chorus.
I know this is a weird thing for you to hear, because you’re reading Misterbulger.com and the dude who writes this blog has seen every movie ever, but I’ve actually never seen the movie St. Elmo’s Fire. Judging from its Wikipedia page, the movie seems like it’s way too much of a melodramatic brat pack bummer to warrant a get-psyched jam. Anybody want to clue me in to this?
Get Psyched Jam #5 is from a movie I have not only seen, but have been genuinely puzzled by for years.
Admittedly, this is not a completely successful get-psyched jam. It splits the difference a little too much between Psychedelic Furs and Survivor, and while the lyrics are killer throughout (dude’s on the brink of suicide, but still believes in himself!) the chorus doesn’t hit half as hard as it should and the instrumentation is way too New Wave on a budget. But when it’s played underneath a scene like this, I fucking dare you not to get psyched. That’s fucking Frances from Pee Wee’s Big Adventure starting a rally with a poorly edited three pointer, man.