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When Seconds Count

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Album Review

After 1984's Vital Signs netted Survivor three Top 20 singles, the bandmembers knew that they would have to come up with something of equal or greater value upon their next release. Released in 1986, When Seconds Count gave the group its last Top 40 hit with the synth-driven "Is This Love" in November of that year. Only Jimi Jamison, Frankie Sullivan, and Jim Peterik made up the band at this point, and a handful of session musicians were hired in order to complete the album. The result was a harder, more streamlined approach to their music, shedding Survivor of their past pop/rock sound for the most part. Other than "Is This Love," cuts like "Man Against the World" and "How Much Love" sound the firmest, with the band focusing more on melody and on appealing song structures. Although Survivor opted for the more aggressive pop/rock avenue, the material on When Seconds Count doesn't exactly comply with the group's chosen formula, unlike the smoother-sounding Vital Signs or even 1983's Caught in the Game. The better tracks on When Seconds Count can be heard on Survivor hits packages.


Formed: 1978 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Survivor's brand of melodic, hard, album-oriented rock netted the group several hits during the 1980s, including two smash themes from Rocky films, but never quite matched the success or consistency of contemporaries like Foreigner. Survivor was founded in 1978 by guitarist/keyboardist Jim Peterik (formerly the lead singer of the Ides of March) with guitarist Frankie Sullivan; the two recruited lead singer Dave Bickler and recorded a self-titled debut album as a trio with studio musicians Dennis...
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When Seconds Count, Survivor
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