||From the Vault...
© Scotti Brothers Records
Year of Release: 1980
Somewhere In America
Can't Getcha Offa My Mind
Let It Be Now
As Soon As Love
Love Has Got Me
Whole Town's Talkin'
Nothing Can Shake Me
(From Your Love)
Whatever It Takes
Survivor related sites:
The album that started it all, SURVIVOR -- Led by Jim Peterik, formerly of The Ides Of March. But it was the vocals of Dave Bickler (the first lead
singer) that stood out for the band. In years that followed, Bickler would be replaced by Jami Jamison. Bickler would return as vocalist. Afterwards,
both Bickler and Jamison would be in the band together, sharing lead vocals on the Survivor hits that made them both famous.
The band's self-titled debut emerged in 1980, with Peterik (guitar, vocals), Bicker (vocals, keyboards), Frankie Sullivan (guitar), Dennis Keith Johnson
(bass), and Gary Smith (drums). The album produced two radio hits: "Somewhere In America," and "Rebel Girl."
The style of what would be called "1980s Hair Rock Band" just may have been started with some of the tracks here. The guitar-driven rockers such as
"Let It Be Now" is noticed here. Likewise, "As Soon As Love Finds Me" has the later years of the band Kiss, most noticeably on the vocals,
as well as the musical style. In the beginning of "Youngblood" fans of Survivor will notice a familiar guitar intro that would later be more
famous in what would be their signature song, "Eye Of The Tiger." The 1980s Rock continues with another track found on the album, "Freelance."
Another band that Survivor has been often compared to, is Journey (with Steve Perry). On that note, "Can't Getcha Offa My Mind" does have that
resemblance, as this track you could probably envision Journey recording this.
Great and Powerful Rock Music correctly defines the following tracks: "Whole Town's Talkin'," "20/20," and "Whatever It Takes."
Jim Peterik gets the lead vocals on "Love Has Got Me." Again, another good track in the Survivor mold. Ballads have always been a factor in
Survivor's music -- and "Nothing Can Shake Me (From Your Love)" starts out as a ballad, then turns into another great rock force.
Survivor's debut is definitely a great album, and a powerhouse source of Rock. Interesting notes learned about this album: Jim Peterik, Frankie Sullivan and
Gary Smith wrote "Rockin' Into The Night." This song was originally recorded for the Survivor album, but was rejected for being "too Southern."
The song was then given to the band .38 Special, who recorded it, and would become the title track of their third album. Survivor's version of this song would
later be released on Ultimate Survivor, a greatest hits compilation. (Jim Peterik would co-write another song
for .38 Special, "Hold On Loosely," which was recorded on the band's fourth album, Wild-Eyed Southern Boys.)
Another note to mention, was the answer to the question, "Who is on the front cover of Survivor's debut album?" For many years I had thought it was a young
Kim Basinger, who would become a well-known actress. In fact, she was NOT on the cover, but the resemblance was very convincing. The model on the cover was Vicki
As mentioned in previous Survivor reviews, they are one of my favorite bands. THey would be my favorite band of the 1980s, next to U2. Where most Greatest
Hits/Best Ofs are fine for some bands and artists, having their original albums is a must for Survivor. (This is most true for those who are die-hard fans of a
group/artist.) The only case to include the Greatest Hits/Best Ofs is unreleased tracks. This is the case of "Rockin' Into The Night" on their Ultimate
Survivor compilation. (Not sure if Survivor recorded "Hang On Loosely," that would be interesting to hear also.)
Survivor still continues to tour. Their most recent studio album was Reach, released in 2006, with Jimi Jamison on lead vocals. Later that year, the
band's new lead singer became Robin McAuley. He remained the band's singer until 2011, when Jimi Jamison returned again. In 2013, Dave Bickler also returned,
as Jamison stayed in the band, having two singers.
They have been rumoured to release another new album since 2012, which has yet to happen.
As of the review date for this review, (08/23/ - 08/30, 2014), the current lineup include both Jimi Jamison and Dave Bickler on lead vocals. Jim Peterik left the
group in 1996, to reform The Ides Of March. Their current keyboardist/vocalist is Walter Tolentino. Frankie Sullivan still remains the band's guitar player, as he
would be the only orginal member, since the band started. His son, Ryan, is the band's current drummer. Billy Ozzello is the band's current bassist.
UPDATE: September 1, 2014: It is of great sadness to report that Jimi Jamison, lead singer of Survivor, passed away at his home in Memphis, Tennessee. The cause of death
was from a hemorrhagic brain stroke, with ‘acute methamphetamine intoxication contributing.’ An autopsy report also confirmed he had cardiovascular disease, which led to a
90% blockage of each coronary artery. He was 63 years old.
His career was most famous with the band Survivor. However, his first band was with Cobra (1983), before joining Survivor (1984), replacing lead singer Dave Bickler.
His studio albums with Survivor were: Vital Signs (1984), When Seconds Count (1986), Too Hot To Sleep (1988), and Reach (2006). His solo career
included 6 albums. He also provided background vocals for Krokus and Joe Walsh. Survivor has continued, with Dave Bickler as main lead singer.
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