Archive for Sylvester Stallone

Great Rock Albums of 1984: Survivor- Vital Signs

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2017 by 80smetalman

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


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

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Great Rock Albums of 1982: Survivor- Eye of the Tiger

Posted in 1980s, films, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2015 by 80smetalman


A joke that made the rounds back in the early 80s was that Survivor was the band that Sylvester Stallone discovered. Rumour had it that the actor liked this band so much that he insisted they played on the soundtrack for “Rocky III.” The extent of the truth in that theory is rather fuzzy in my recollection but Survivor’s contribution to the soundtrack to the film led to them having one of the best known singles in 1982 and opened the eyes of many to the album of the same name.


The album “Eye of the Tiger” proves that Survivor were just too good to be a one hit wonder. There are just too many good songs on this album. Keeping with the 1982 tradition, the album opens with the big single, which has one of the most memorable intros in rock history. Like it or not, the opening to the title track is one that you can’t get out of your head. Now for the rest of the album, which tries to be progressive hard rock throughout. The second track and third track are a bit more keyboard oriented but I still like “Hesitation Dance.” Then things rock out more with “The One That Really Matters.” It has a crunching guitar intro and the song goes more hard rock. Next comes, “I’m Not That Man Anymore” and that gets my vote for best guitar solo on the album. Trust me, that solo cooks! “Children of the Night” is the ballad on the album and it’s not bad.  The penultimate track is also their second biggest single, “American Heartbeat.” It didn’t get to number one like the title track but had to settle for number seventeen. I thought that was fair enough because it’s not as good. The closer is a bit of a funny one. “Silver Girl” starts sort of hard but then goes very progressive, almost space rock in the middle to come back in harder at the end. Even after all these years, I can’t really say how effective that is. Still, I can’t agree with whatever critic stated that the rest of the album didn’t live up to the title cut. There are some good tracks on this album, if you can get Rocky out of your head.

Track Listing:

1. Eye of the Tiger

2. Feels Like Love

3. Hesitation Dance

4. The One That Really Matters

5. I’m Not That Man Anymore

6. Children of the Night

7. Ever Since the World Began

8. American Heartbeat

9. Silver Girl



Dave Bickler- lead vocals

Frankie Sullivan- lead, rhythm, acoustic guitars, backing vocals

Jim Peterik- keyboards, rhythm guitars, backing vocals

Stephen Ellis- bass

Marc Droubay- drums

Even if Sly Stallone did sort of discover Survivor, who cares? After all, he did the music world a favour by doing so. This album is proof of that.

Next post: Robert Plant- Pictures at 11

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