Wednesday, February 29, 2012

You Were Robbed – Survivor

"You Were Robbed" features artists and bands that should have gotten much more recognition and fame than they did. Check them out now...better late than never!

How in the world can I be crying that 80s AOR giants Survivor were ever robbed? The band enjoyed phenomenal success with two distinct Rocky soundtrack classics, and their completely non-Rocky album “Vital Signs” (1984) is considered one of the finest melodic rock records of all time. The band even “survived” a change in lead singers (from “Eye of The Tiger’s” Dave Bickler to “Burning Heart’s” Jimi Jamison). 1986’s “When Seconds Count” stayed true to the band’s synergistic mix of guitars and keyboards, and squeezed out a couple more hits. In 1988, the band released a markedly harder record called “Too Hot To Sleep”, and this marks when the band was robbed. “Too Hot To Sleep” stalled at #187 on the US charts and inexplicably failed to generate much interest at radio.

It defies the imagination why this record was ignored to the extent that it was – it contained a masterful mix of Survivor standards fans would expect and a lot more riffy crunch to capitalize on the glam/hairband style so popular at the time. The first single, “Didn’t Know It Was Love” deserved to be just as huge as past hits like “Is This Love” or “Can’t Hold Back”.

Here it is, in all its late 80s glory:

Another fan favorite is the keyboard-driven “Desperate Dreams”:

The harder-edged material comes in the form of tracks like “Here Comes Desire”, “Burning Bridges”, and “She’s A Star” – while more guitar driven, the band never strayed from catchy melodies and big arena-ready choruses. And towards the back half, “Tell Me I’m The One” and “Can’t Give It Up” are just blistering hot pieces of rock.

“Too Hot To Sleep” contained requisite tender moments as well, such as the sparse but beautiful ballad, “Across The Miles”.

“Too Hot To Sleep” should have revitalized Survivor and further cemented their status as kings of melodic rock. It is the Survivor album that best balanced Sullivan’s guitars and Peterik’s keyboards. And who knows? If the album did better, fans might have been treated to more AOR gems in the 90s.

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