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Merle Haggard vs Survivor could be country music's feel bad hit of the summer

Merle Survivor
(Image credit: Bill McClintock / YouTube)

It's possible, just possible, that you lot might be getting tired of us lot wanging on about the genius of online mash-up maestro Bill McClintock.

You may, perhaps, have checked out his Slipknot vs The Spice Girls banger or that Motley Crue vs Motown one or perhaps, his Metallica vs Huey Lewis creation and thought, 'Nah, not for me.' And fair enough, you do you. There may, perhaps, come a day where the subversive magic of welding together Prince and Slayer, or Van Halen and Hank Williams, bores us too. But that day is not today, friends.

To mark the 40th anniversary of Survivor's AOR classic Eye Of The Tiger emerging as the knock-out highpoint of the Rocky III soundtrack, Big Bad Bill, as no-one calls him, has already blended it with The Whispers' Rock Steady and Jimi Hendrix's version of Bob Dylan's All Along The Watchtower to fashion the funkiest version of the song you're ever likely to hear. 

But yer man clearly wasn't finished there. Oh no. For now we have Eye Of The Tiger: The Tear-Jerker, fashioned by splicing together the chart-topping Survivor smash with Merle Haggard's Goodbye Comes Hard for Me from 1972's It's Not Love (But It's Not Bad).

Purists will be outraged, naturally - well, a tad miffed, at least - but we reckon McClintock has done a splendid job of tapping into the thinly-veiled vulnerability at the core of Survivor's empowering underdog anthem.

Go on, have a listen, you know you want to...

Rocky lll opened in US cinemas on May 28, 1982, and when Eye Of The Tiger was released as a single, it went on to top the US Billboard chart for six weeks, later topping the UK charts for a further four weeks. 

And to think it never would have existed at all had Queen let Sylvester Stallone use Another One Bites The Dust for the film as he originally wished...

Paul Brannigan
Paul Brannigan

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.