It’s Survivor members, Frankie Sullivan (guitars, vocals) and Jimi Jamison (lead vocals), that keep the signature Survivor sound that the world fell in love with, alive and touring!
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Survivor was formed in the cold Chicago winter of 1977 by Frankie Sullivan and Jim Peterik. By the end of 1978, Survivor was signed to a record deal with Scotti Bros. Records. Under patronage of John Kalodner, then head of A&R for Atlantic Records, Survivor went into the studio to cut their first self-titled album. This record, released in 1980 with the single “Somewhere in America,” did moderately well and started to build a loyal base of fans.
After touring for 8 months, the band went back into the studio. The result of those sessions, ”Premonition”, is considered by many fans to be their favorite Survivor record. The album was released in 1981 with singles, “Poor Man’s Son” and “Summer Nights”. This record improved on the first album’s success, although still not the big breakout the band was looking for – that was to come with the 1982 release of “Eye of The Tiger”. The title song for this record was expressly written for Rocky III, which brought the band national attention. “Eye of The Tiger” spent seven weeks at the #1 spot on the U.S. charts. The song won a Grammy, an Oscar nomination and was voted ‘Best New Song” by the Peoples Choice Awards. Immediately following the record, the band toured extensively performing in sheds and stadiums.
1983 found Survivor back in the studio at work on “Caught in the Game” which received critical acclaim and AOR airplay. It was after this that Dave Bickler, vocalist since 1978, decided to leave the band and was replaced by Jimi Jamison in 1984. Survivor’s next album, “Vital Signs” was released and achieved multi-platinum status with a string of hit singles that kept Survivor on the charts for over 40 weeks in 1984 and ’85. It was their established AOR airplay and Billboard Top 20 hits; “ I Can’t Hold Back”, “High on You” and “The Search is Over” which reached #2 on the hot 100, that kept Survivor at the top of the record and concert business.
While the band continued to tour worldwide, they managed to take time out to record “Burning Heart”, the title track for Rocky IV. The song went all the way to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, propelling the sound track album to multi-platinum status. It was 1987 before Survivor had time to stop and make another record. “When Seconds Count” that contained yet another top ten single, “Is This Love”, which stayed in the top 10 for several weeks.
In 1988 Survivor released their seventh album, “Too Hot To Sleep”. Although not the huge commercial success of some of their other efforts, it is still considered by many critics and fans alike to be one of Survivor’s best. This album showed how the band could really rock at it’s hardest. Shortly after this release, the group decided to pursue various solo projects. Frankie continued in the studio writing and recording with many different artists, most recently with Eddie Money for his 1999 release, “Ready Eddie”, in which Frankie produced as well as wrote and performed. Jimi, while touring and recording with his own band, was tapped to sing the theme song “I’m Always Here” for the hit TV show “Baywatch”.
Today, Frankie Sullivan and Jimi Jamison continue Survivor’s tradition of touring, writing and recording. After several Greatest Hits packages have been released worldwide, there is now a great Survivor record currently in the making
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