Hi there! And thanks for checking out I Know That Song! Weekday mornings at 7:10. Keep track of the songs all week to figure out the common theme. If you can name it Friday you can win Free Lunch at Jersey Mikes. ~Stacey & Mike
John Avidsen, director of the original Rocky, made The Karate Kid, and it went on to become a huge hit, one of the biggest movies of 1984, but the Karate Kid‘s first sequel did even better.
Coming out in the summer of 1986, The Karate Kid, Part II earned $115 million at the domestic box office, $25 million more than the first movie had made. Today’s song was written for that sequel.
The big theme from Part II was this song, a ballad that this former Chicago member recorded immediately after leaving the band. What you may not know is that today’s song was rejected by the Rocky franchise. Today’s singer had submitted this song for the soundtrack of the 1985 smash Rocky IV, and the producers had rejected it. A few weeks later, today’s song found its way to the Karate Kid people and found its home!
While in the band Chicago, today’s artist had wanted to do something like what Phil Collins had done with Genesis: splitting his time evenly between his main band and his solo career.
Well, the rest of Chicago weren’t on board with it. They told today’s singer that he was out of the band if he didn’t keep up with the group’s touring responsibilities. So he left Chicago and while it was not an amicable parting, that didn't seem to affect his solo success because today’s kicked off a successful run for him.
Three days after The Karate Kid, Part II opened in theaters, he released his first solo album, which eventually went platinum.
Today’s song earned nominations for an Academy Award for Best Original Song and a Golden Globe in the category of Best Original Song. It was also nominated for a Grammy Award in 1987 for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Male Artist and went on to win an ASCAP Award for Most Performed Songs from a Motion Picture AND a BMI Film & TV Award for Most Performed Song from a Film!
It also peaked at number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1986 and stayed there for two weeks. It also spent five weeks on top of the adult contemporary chart. And Billboard ranked it as number fourteen on the Top Pop Singles of 1986! Jeez!