Cover Versions

When the Going Gets Tough the Tough Get Going

When the Going Gets Tough the Tough Get Going

Song: When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going
Artists: Boyzone
Original artist: Billy Ocean


This was the theme song for the 1985 film, Jewel of the Nile (a sequel to Romancing the
Stone), which starred Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. Indeed, for
the video of the track the three American stars pretended to be the backing singers for
the man who co-wrote When the Going Gets Tough – Billy Ocean.


The song enjoyed international success, reaching No 1 in the UK and No 2 in America
where it was kept off the top spot by Whitney Houston’s How Will I Know? To date it is
Ocean’s only chart-topper in the UK. Its video was initially banded by BBC’s Top of the
Pops because the American stars were not members of the Musicians’ Union which
meant that DeVito’s saxophone mime was not allowed. Crazy, or what?
I believe that the combination of Ocean’s version and the one by Irish boy band
Boyzone which followed 14 years later can lay serious claims to having the biggest
number of supporting stars. The Boyzone version was recorded for the Comic Relief
charity TV broadcast and its video included Graham Norton, Jo Brand, Phill Jupitus, Mel
Smith, Davina McCall, Harry Hill, snooker’s Jimmy White,  James Dreyfus and Ulrika Jonsson
among others.
It also reached No 1 in the UK charts.
The song was favoured by Boyzone for the group’s charity appearances given it also
featured when they appeared at the Prince’s Trust Party in the Park concert in 1999.


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