Flashback 30 years ago to 26 February 1986. Billy Ocean’s hit “When the Going Gets Tough (The Tough Get Going)” was  at the top of the charts in the UK.

In the 80s movie adventure Jewel of the Nile, Joan turns to Jack and says,

“When the going gets tough, the tough well, I don’t know what the tough do.”

Billy Ocean, inspired by the phrase above, co-wrote with Mutt Lange “ When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going”. The track was featured on the Jewel of the Nile soundtrack, back in the days when producers commissioned original work for movies instead of recycling old hits.

Billy Ocean

Billy Ocean, born Leslie Charles in Trinidad, came to the UK as a young boy and blessed us with his music with hits in the 1970s and 80s.

He showed a lot of love with his music in the 80s and the US and UK loved him back with Ocean’s 1980s hits including: Caribbean Queen (for which Billy won a Grammy for best R&B Vocal), followed by Loverboy, and Suddenly, When the Tough Get Going, There’ll Be Sad Songs to Make You Cry, and Get Out of My Dreams and Into My Car.

To date, he’s sold over 30 million records and is still performing his classics and new works. Dates for 2016 UK Shows can be booked here. What a legend!

Music Video Banned in UK

The music video featured Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito and Michael Douglass, the stars of Jewel of the Nile, as backup singers. It was  banned in the UK because the stars were not members of the Musicians Union. The ban did little to deter success because, despite of that, it still reached number one. After all, Billy Ocean is tough.

When the Going Gets Tough, YOU are Tough!

Thirty years ago today this hit was hogging the airwaves of British radio. Fitting it would be at the top of the charts in February, because for some, February is tough! The month where you celebrate love under social obligation or are reminded that you may well end up alone and start to contemplate whether to adopt a few stray cats. If Valentine’s day isn’t enough of a heartache, people are starting to falter in their new year’s resolutions. The weather doesn’t help with grey skies and cold spells. Ugh, February! Where is spring?!


As Billy would say, “When the Going Gets Tough, The Tough Gets Going”. Whether an 80s child or a fan of the 80s, hold tight to this mantra and carry on. You’re tough!