Great Rock Albums of 1984: Survivor- Vital Signs

Back in 1984, Survivor, in my mind were a band who were only known for the “Eye of the Tiger” album compliments of the film, “Rocky 3.” For some reason totally unexplainable to me, their 1983 album, “Caught in the Game,” never made itself known to me. However, from what I have heard about it, people said at the time that it was proof that the only reason Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” album was successful was on account of Sylvester Stallone and they weren’t up to much without that. Then in 1984, they recorded the “Vital Signs” album and any talk of this band needing Rocky to succeed was silenced.

Survivor did make a change when recording the album. Out went lead singer David Bickler and in to take over the mike duties was Jimi Jamison. From my recollection of history, Jimi gave the band the lift they needed to make “Vital Signs” a successful album. His vocals on all of the songs are solid and versatile. He can sing ballads like “The Search is Over” and rockers like “Popular Girl” without breaking a sweat. In the eyes of song writers Frankie Sullivan and Jim Peterik, he was a god send.

On that subject, the two men I’ve just mentioned are very good song writers and just as good musicians. Together, with the rhythm section of Stephan Ellis and Marc Droubay, they make a good band and therefore a cool album. You can’t fault four singles and the thing is, I like them all. Was I on drugs at the time? Probably but I do like the first four songs on the album, which were the singles. Even thirty years plus on, I can’t decide which I like better between “I Can’t Hold Back” and “High on You.” However, I wouldn’t call the other tracks filler. “Broken Promises” steers the album to more hard rock waters after the very well done progressive rock of the first four songs. There is a good guitar solo on it. Then, probably the hardest song on the album, “Popular Girl,” for me is the hidden gem. If a metal band covered this song or if Survivor hadn’t held back, it would have the potential to be mind blowing. The next track, “Everlasting” is a cool power ballad with a great metal like guitar solo intro and some noticeably cool drumming. Great stuff.

Track Listing:

  1. I Can’t Hold Back
  2. High on You
  3. First Night
  4. The Search is Over
  5. Broken Promises
  6. Popular Girl
  7. Everlasting
  8. It’s the Singer, Not the Song
  9. I See You in Everyone

Survivor

Jimi Jamison- lead vocals

Frankie Sullivan- guitar, vocals

Jim Peterik- guitar, bass, keyboards, vocals

Stephan Ellis- bass

Marc Droubay- drums

You get two songs because I can’t decide which one I like more

Survivor silenced their critics in 1984 with Vital Signs and proved they could make good music on their own without the assistance of Mr Stallone. Proof that the album is so good is in the fact that even though it has a more progressive rock sound, a metal head like me likes it.

Next post: Big Country- Steel Town

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to: https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Roll-Children-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1609763556/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1503940272&sr=8-8&keywords=michael+d+lefevre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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6 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1984: Survivor- Vital Signs”

  1. Love this album! This was the first CD I ever bought so it will hold a special place. And you are correct, “Popular Girl” is a gem. One of my favorites. I actually thought their next two were really good as well. I never liked the stuff before Jamison other than “Eye of the Tiger” and “Poor Man’s Son”. His vocals were stellar. I miss hearing new music from him.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Another excellent selection and great review. Peterik & Sullivan wrote some amazing songs, for Survivor as well as other artists, and the late Jimi Jamison had one of those magnificent voices that brought life to everything he sang. You might remember that I covered “High On You” a couple of years ago in a post about the number of melodic hooks jam-packed into that song:
    https://kamertunesblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/10/high-on-you-more-hooks-than-a-tackle-box/

    Can’t wait for your next post. It’s one of the most important albums of my life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very true on many counts and I think that sometimes Sullivan and Peterik don’t get the respect they deserve as song writers. I remember that post now, there were some good hooks and that’s why I like it so much. As for the next post, well, that puts me under a bit of pressure then, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nope, the only survivor song I know is “Eye…”… mind you, pretty awesome song tho.

    Like

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