Vital Signs


Scotti Brothers Records, 1984



Survivor has always been one of those groups that I wished had more popular exposure -- before, during and after their heyday in the 1980s. With only one #1 hit ("Eye Of The Tiger," 1982), and many radio favorite hits, finding their original albums on CD is like looking inside a treasure chest, hoping to find them.

In the late 1990s, I was fortunate to see Survivor twice at one of the local carnival festivals. Jim Peterik, keyboardist for Survivor, was walking amongst the crowd, saying hello to everyone, and was walking towards my direction. I brought up the courage to talk to him, and asked him why the original Survivor album catalogue was not released on CD. He said they weren't in America, but they are in Japan. (Survivor is very popular in that country.) So, the only other way was to keep looking in the record stores for either used CDs, and/or imports. Likewise, browsing through the ads in record magazines like Goldmine if they were available. To this day, many of their original albums are not on CD, yet if you look really hard in your local record stores, and magazine ads, that treasure chest can be found.

When I did find Vital Signs on CD, it was one of the few (at that time) that was regularly available on CD. Featuring four radio airplay favorites ("I Can't Hold Back," "High On You," "The Search Is Over" and "Broken Promises"), this album, likewise other albums by this band, truly defines Survivor exceptional, and from an era of the 1980s that symbolized pop-rock.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Many of the popular songs from this release, such as "I Can't Hold Back" and "High On You" could be compared to the likes of the 1980s Jefferson Starship. "First Night" can be compared to Journey, with its soft introduction, and then kicks into an upbeat rock style.

Survivor is also best known for recording some of the most beautiful ballads of the 1980s. "The Search Is Over" is one of those great tunes. Often having a ballad sound like Journey, I always felt that Survivor was better than Journey, yet Survivor never did get the recognition they deserved than Journey did. Of the four radio airplay favorites, "Broken Promises" is one of my favorites. It's never tiring, and in my opinion the best song from this album.

"Popular Girl" has the keyboard intro almost similar to another Survivor favorite of mine, found on their Caught In The Game release, "Jackie Don't." "Popular Girl" is one of those lost album tracks; it's another great rock tune by Survivor overlooked. Another "lost album track" is the medium-tempo'd "Everlasting."This one can be compared to Journey again, where it could also be a ballad, with a more upbeat rock sound, as heard in Journey.

Actually, the remaining tunes can also be classified as "lost album tracks" overlooked, which are truly enjoyable. "It's The Singer Not The Song" can be compared to (again) to the likes of both Jefferson Starship and Journey, with its upbeat rock sound. "I See You In Everyone" is another medium upbeat song, and it is easily recognized as another good Survivor tune.

Survivor is a great band. If you can find their original albums (not counting "greatest hits" packages), you will agree that their und defined the Rock of the Eighties. Survivor is still performing today, and I still await for mew material. (Jim Peterik announced to the audience both times I saw them that they were working on a new album, which has yet to be released.) Unfortunately, Peterik has left Survivor to reform another band he was in, The Ides Of March. The Ides Of March's original albums claimed to be lost. They re-recorded their most popular hits and released two IdeologyCDs. Given time, their original albums will be found and updated to today's CD technology. (Another band where their original album masters were lost, were The Amazing Rhythm Aces. Recently, Collectors Choice Music located the original masters, and reissued their original albums on CD.)

Survivor's Vital Signs is an excellent album. I have yet to hear a Survivor song or album that is less-than-average. Discover the Rock of the Eighties -- Survivor!

Rating: A

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© 2002 Eric E5S16 and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Scotti Brothers Records, and is used for informational purposes only.