Formed in 1978, Survivor is a classic American rock band from Chicago, Illinois. Similar acts include Molly Hatchet, Boston, and Pride of Lions. The band’s style resembles the late 70s mainstream rock that flooded radio stations. The original members include Jim Peterik, Gary Smith, and Dennis Keith. They later added Frankie Sullivan and singer Dave Bickler. Together, they formed the dynamic ensemble that helped popularize arena rock.
In 1979, Survivor hooked up with Atlantic Records and dropped their debut self-titled album. Upon its release, the record fell flat receiving no recognition. The group toured for a while then returned to the studio for their next project. In 1981, Stephan Ellis and Marc Droubay replaced Johnson and Smith. The same year, the group moved on from their past record and released, Premonition. To the bands approval, the music began to connect with fans. Their first single “Poor Man’s Son” reached a respectable spot on American billboard charts.
One year later, legendary actor Sylvester Stallone asked the group to record a song for his new movie. Survivor agreed to create a song for Rocky III and returned to the studio. A short time later, they recorded “Eye of the Tiger” for the film and released it as a single. The song became a huge commercial success reaching No. 1 on rock charts worldwide. It also garnered critical acclaim winning one Grammy award and receiving a nomination for an Academy Award. Later that year, the band released their album of the same name continuing the group’s success.
In 1983, the band followed their hit record with Caught in the Game. The album didn’t do well with critics or fans. Other than their low showing on billboard charts, the band received little recognition for their work. Later that year, Bickler underwent health issues and Jimi Jamison replaced the singer.
The band spent the rest of the 1980s recording and releasing new music. After Survivor released “The Moment of Truth” for the classic movie Karate Kid, they produced their first music with Jamison. The result became one off their most popular albums, Vital Signs. Over time the record went gold and provided Survivor with the success to continue. One last attempt to transcend the band into the 1990s failed with the release of Too Hot to Sleep, which featured new members Mickey Curry and Bill Syniar. Instead, Survivor settled with a Greatest Hits album.
The group went through the 1990s battling legal issues and forming a skeleton crew of a band, including a return by Bickler. After trying several reunions the band finally came together and in 2007 played on Dancing with the Stars. Since, Survivor continues to perform with former members and their children.
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