Survivor's roots go back to the late seventies when they were formed by guitarist Frankie Sullivan, ex- Mariah and keyboard player/vocalist Jim Peterik, ex-Ides of March, and who also featured on Chase's "Pure Music" as a vocalist, as well as being credited with songwriting credits on Mariah's sole album in 1973, although he wasn't an active playing member of that great, unknown band. Keyboard player/vocalist Dave Bickler, drummer Gary  Smith and bassist Dennis Johnson, also ex-Chase, were the other members of the band and who appeared on Survivor's debut self-titled album in 1979. Smith and Johnson left after the first album and formed Software with jazz rock sax player Mark Colby in 1981. Marc Droubay and Stephan Ellis replaced Smith and Johnson respectively. This line-up stayed more or less stable and recorded a few more albums, including 1982's "Eye of the Tiger", the title track of which was to become the famous theme for the "Rocky 3" movie, and, ultimately, Survivor's claim to fame and a massive worldwide hit. Bickler left after 1983's "Caught in the Game" and was replaced by ex-Cobra vocalist Jimi Jamison, whose vocals added an almost soulful dimension to the band. The resulting album, "Vital Signs", enjoyed a six month residency on the Billboard album charts. Another one of their numbers," Burning Heart", was used as the theme to the following Rocky movie, "Rocky 4". A few more albums were released before the band, now down to the nucleus of Jamison, Peterik and Sullivan, split in the late eighties. Which brings us as close as dammit to the present day: Jamison revived the band last year or thereabouts, and this new album features new members Klay Schroedel on drums, Hal Butler on keyboards and background vocals and Chris Adamson on guitars and background vocals. There was apparently bad blood between Sullivan and Jamison, but that's supposedly been resolved and they're apparently now talking about collaborating once again, although this can't be confirmed at this time. "Empires" is actually a pretty good album and Jamison is sounding better than ever. He's also chosen a really competent bunch of guys to back him. 
Question: Name the famous Survivor hit that was used as the theme for the movie "Rocky 3" 
Answer: "Eye of the Tiger". 

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Biography by Steve Huey
Survivor's brand of melodic, hard AOR netted the group several hits through the '80s, including two smash themes from Rocky films, but never quite matched the success or consistency of contemporaries like Foreigner. Survivor was founded in 1978 by guitarist/keyboardist Jim Peterik, formerly the lead singer of the Ides of March, and guitarist Frankie Sullivan; the two recruited lead singer Dave Bickler and recorded a self-titled debut album as a trio with studio musicians Dennis Johnson on bass and Gary Smith on drums. Their places were taken by permanent members Stephen Ellis and Marc Doubray, respectively. The group's big break came in 1982 when Sylvester Stallone commissioned them to write the theme to Rocky III; the result, "Eye of the Tiger," was an instant hit with its bombastic opening riff and anthemic chorus. It spent six weeks at number one on the Billboard charts and pushed the accompanying album of the same name over the one million sales mark. Bickler quit in 1983 due to medical reasons and was replaced by former Cobra singer Jimi Jamison. The shakeup gave the band a kickstart, and they had two Top Ten hits in 1985 with "High On You" and "The Search Is Over." The band's theme from Rocky IV, "Burning Heart," provided their second biggest hit in 1986, but their fortunes slid downhill from there; by the end of the year, Jamison, Peterik, and Sullivan were the only remaining members, and Survivor finally disbanded in 1989. Bickler, Sullivan, Ellis and Doubray returned to the studio as Survivor in 1997; Jamison later returned to the lineup as well. 


Jimi Jamison
Jim Peterik
Dave Bickler
Mickey Curry
Marc Droubay
Stephan Ellis
Peter John Vettese
Frankie Sullivan
Bill Syniar

Honeymoon Suite
Lou Gramm
The Ides of March
Jimi Jamison
Night Ranger
Glass Tiger
The Babys
Mr. Mister

If you have any contribution to make to this band or something to add, email me - Japie Marais.


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Survivor - 1979 - Survivor - 3/5

Survivor - 1981 - Premonition - 3/5

Survivor - 1982 - Eye of the Tiger - 3.5/5

Survivor - 1983 - Caught in the Game - 2.5/5

Survivor - 1984 - Vital Signs - 3/5

Survivor - 1986 - When Seconds Count - 2/5

Survivor - 1988 - Too Hot to Sleep - 2/5

Survivor - 2000 - Empires - 3.5/5

Survivor - 2006 - Reach - 3.5/5



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