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Formed in the cold Chicago winter of 1977, the original Survivor lineup consisted of Frankie Sullivan, Jim Peterik, Dave Bickler, Dennis Johnson, and Gary Smith. By the end of 1978, Survivor was signed to a record deal with Scotti Bros. Records. Under the patronage of John Kolodner, then head of A&R for Atlantic Records, Survivor went into the studio to cut their first album, Survivor. This record, released in 1980 with the single "Somewhere in America," did moderately well and started to build a loyal base of fans.
After touring for 8 months, the band went back into the studio, this time with the addition of Marc Droubay (drums) and Stephen Ellis (bass). The result of those sessions, Premonition, is considered by many fans to be their favorite Survivor record. The album was released in 1981 with the singles "Poor Mans Son" and "Summer Nights." This record improved on the first album's success, although it was still not the big breakout the band was looking for - that was to come with the 1982 release of Eye of the Tiger
This records title song expressly written for the opening scenes of the Sylvester Stallone movie, Rocky Three brought the band national attention. "Eye of the Tiger." spent seven weeks at the #1 spot on the U.S. charts. The song won a Grammy, Oscar nomination and was voted "Best New Song" by the Peoples Choice Awards. The band toured extensively playing in sheds and stadiums all over the country for the next eight months.
1983 found Survivor back in the studio at work on Caught in the Game. Release of this title track continued their successful string of hit singles. It was at this time, however, that Dave Bickler decided to leave the band. He was replaced by Jim Jamison on lead vocals. Soon after Survivor launched its fifth album, Vital Signs . This 1984 release achieved multi-platinum status with the hit single "Can't Hold Back," a song that reached the top ten pop charts and made #1 on the album rock charts. This was followed by "High on You," another top ten hit, and "The Search is Over," which reached #2 on the hot 100.
The next ten months found Survivor once again on tour, both across the U.S. and around the world. Despite a hectic schedule, the band was still able to take time out to record "Burning Heart," the title track for another Stallone sequel, Rocky IV. The song went all the way to #2 on the hot 100 charts, propelling the soundtrack album to multi-platinum status. It was 1987 before Survivor had time to stop and make another record. When Seconds Count launched another top ten single - "Is This Love?" which stayed at the #9 spot for almost a month.
In 1988 Survivor released its seventh album, Too Hot to Sleep. Although not the huge commercial success of some of their other efforts, it is still considered by many critics and fans alike to be one of Survivor's best. This album included the singles "Across the Miles" and "Didn't Know It was Love."
In 1989 Survivor released its first greatest hits package. This led to the release in 1993 of a second and more complete greatest hits package, which included some re-mixes of earlier material and two new cuts written especially for this CD. This also included the return of Dave Bickler on lead vocals, as by this time Jim Jamison had left the band to pursue a solo career. The singles "You Know Who You Are" and "Hungry Years" marked a return to the collaboration that first propelled Survivor to national attention. Since then, Survivor has been extensively touring and recording in the U.S. and abroad.
The music business is a high-stress roller coaster ride and sometimes you lose people on the curves. When Dave Bickler and Jim Peterik both left the group, Survivor reached out to bring in more talent. Jim Jamison returned on lead vocals, Chris Grove signed up for keyboards and guitars, and bass guitarist Randy Riley found a place in the lineup.
This marks the start of another new and exciting chapter in the history of Survivor, which is now back in the recording studio. And the bands legion of loyal fans can take heart that the music of Survivor is still filled with passion and the "Unmistakable Fire" of Survivor burns stronger than ever ...
Survivor Song List
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