From those who brought us big melodies during the late 70’s Hard-Rock scene, there’s SURVIVOR…

- The Early Years –

Founded during the winter of 1977, in Chicago, SURVIVOR was initially composed of Frankie Sullivan, Jim Peterik, Dave Bickler, Dennis Johnson, and Gary Smith. In late 1978, the band got a record deal with Scotti Bros. Records. With help from John Kalodner (who was A&R Executive of Atlantic Records), the band entered in studio to record their first and self-titled release. Thanks to this first effort and the fantastic single Somewhere In America, it brought to SURVIVOR a loyal legion of fans.

Eight months later, it was time to go back in studio for the second chapter, Premonition. It also marked the leaving of Dennis Johnson and Gary Smith, replaced by drummer Marc Droubay and bass player Stephen Ellis.

- The Success! –

In 1982, SURVIVOR showed that it was a talented band: Sylvester Stallone offered the opportunity to produce a soundtrack for his famous movie Rocky III … And you know what happened afterwards: bombastic song Eye Of The Tiger became a huge Rock hit, the world over.
The result was incredible: seven weeks on the top at number one in the American charts; an Oscar and eight months on tour in USA …

The studio called them again, in 1983. SURVIVOR recorded their last opus, Caught In The Game, with Dave Bickler as lead singer. Caught In The Game was less successful than its predecessor … and then some time later, the band explained to media that Dave Bickler wouldn’t be able to continue the adventure, due to health problems. Some wondered about Dave’s leaving whether he was fired due to lack of success with their fourth release … Who knows the truth ?

- AOR or the way-to-sound-really-sweet-and-melodic! -

After some recorded demos, the band decided to recruit a new singer: it was Jimi Jamison, ex-TARGET and ex-COBRA. This line-up produced a fifth opus titled Vital Signs. This is what we could call the “keyboard SURVIVOR era”. Their Hard-Rock disappeared slowly to become AOR/Pop-Rock…

Thanks to this new musical orientation, SURVIVOR got good scores with tracks like I Can’t Hold Back - which reached a top ten place in American Pop-AOR charts but also topped the Rock charts -, High On You and The Search Is Over.

The ten next months were used to play on stage, both in USA and overseas. It was also used to produce a new soundtrack, Burning Heart, dedicated to new movie Rocky IV.

In 1987, SURVIVOR recorded their sixth release, When Seconds Count. And again, it proved to be another success, more precisely thanks to song Is This Love which reached the charts (ninth place).

- Come back to their roots! -

In 1988, SURVIVOR went back a little to their roots, offering a solid Hard-Rock piece with some US typical melodies and a lot of guest musicians. The team became a trio, composed of Jimi Jamison, Frankie Sullivan and Jim Peterik. But, at the same time, it this album, Too Hot To Sleep put an end to the gold era. It was the last album, before…

- An eighth and last release… -

Before a come back, in 2006, via the eighth release called Reach. Reach was described by guitar player, Frankie Sullivan, as more of a “one-band-project-album” than a real SURVIVOR opus. The team was composed, for the event, of Jimi Jamison, Frankie Sullivan, Marc Droubay and “newbies” Chris Grove and Barry Dunaway.

- A long road in the desert! –

I remember that, in 2007, Frankie Sullivan – who decided to replace Jimi Jamison by Robin McAuley as lead singer - talked about a new SURVIVOR release. I was so excited, it was the dawn of a new era! I really waited for two years, reading the “same music, same old song” from Frankie Sullivan… SURVIVOR wasn’t absent on stage, playing in USA, with new team. But, the band was absent from the studio…

Finally, at the beginning of 2012, SURVIVOR fired Robin McAuley and replaced him by the man that Robin McAuley had replaced some years ago. I mean Jimi Jamison! Strange situation…