9 Songs

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Customer Reviews

5 out of 5

100 Ratings

Classic AOR at its best!

Kev6,

It's hard to wonder at times why Survivor was never held in a high of a regard as bands like Journey and Foreigner. A quick listen to this album might surprise you. While the band clearly headed in a more radio friendly direction with Jamison, this album is solid from top to bottom. Hits 'I Can't Hold Back' and 'High on You' (although one of the bands weaker songs). "The Serach is Over' is a classic, while 'Broken Promises' might be the best song on this album, with Frankie Sullivan's hard driving rifts. First Night, Everlasting and I see You in Everyone are all ear pleasing as well. This album is recomened for anyone with a heartbeat in 1985.

epitome of melodic rock

ou5150,

There is nothing quite like Vital Signs, really. Journey is a great band; Styx, Foreigner and Toto sold tons more records but there is this "singularity" that we call "vital signs." The piano blends with power chords, wailing solos, a zepplinesque-drum beat and the unmistakable tenor of singer jamison and "vital signs" lift you up. From the first crystal clear arpeggios of "i cant hold back" to the last notes of "i see you in everyone" it is all good. I am a Van Halen fan, and I can't say the same thing for any of their albums. The stars aligned in 1984 and Chicago piano-man Jim Peterik gave the rock world a masterpiece. A pure 40+ minute pounding, melodic delight. Also check out the band's "Premonition" for an album-length "Eye of the Tiger" experience.

About Survivor

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 Johnson on bass and Gary Smith on drums. Their places were taken by permanent members Stephen Ellis and Marc Droubay, respectively.

The group's big break came in 1982 when Sylvester Stallone commissioned the band to write the theme to Rocky III; the result, "Eye of the Tiger," was an instant hit with its bombastic opening riff and anthemic chorus. It spent six weeks at number one on the Billboard charts and pushed the accompanying album of the same name over the one million sales mark. Bickler quit in 1983 due to medical reasons and was replaced by former Cobra singer Jimi Jamison. The shakeup gave the band a kick-start, and they had two Top Ten hits in 1985 with "High on You" and "The Search Is Over." The band's theme from Rocky IV, "Burning Heart," provided their second biggest hit in 1986, but their fortunes slid downhill from there; by the end of the year, Jamison, Peterik, and Sullivan were the only remaining members, and Survivor finally disbanded in 1989.

Bickler, Sullivan, Ellis, and Droubay returned to the studio as Survivor in 1997, and Jamison returned to the lineup as well in 2000. Aside from touring, Survivor released the studio album Reach in 2006, but Jamison left the band soon after. He was replaced by Robin McAuley, who spent several years with the band. By 2011, however, Jamison was a member of the band again -- alongside Sullivan, Droubay, Billy Ozzello, and Walter Tolentino -- and two years after that, Bickler was back in the fold as well. Although the band visited the studio and recorded several times during the 2010s, nothing appeared before the sudden death of Jamison from a heart attack in August 2014. ~ Steve Huey

  • ORIGIN
    Chicago, IL
  • FORMED
    1978

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