Thursday, May 19, 2016

"Caught in the Game" by Survivor

Song#:  1658
Date:  10/22/1983
Debut:  95
Peak:  77
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  After getting a bit of attention with their first two albums, Survivor had a major break through when their contribution to the Rocky III soundtrack, "Eye of the Tiger," became a #1 smash. Their third album, titled after the hit, vaulted to #2 and became a platinum seller. Expectations were high for their follow-up as the band readied their new album Caught in the Game. This first single introduced the album, but not everyone was welcoming. The song performed okay at Rock reaching #16, but it faltered quickly at Pop and fell off the chart just over a month after it debuted. This was not good news. To make matters worse, no other single or song from the album was able to reach the Rock or Pop charts. With little support, the album tanked at a lowly #82 - a far cry from their previous #2 hit - and it had people questioning if the band could do anything nearly as popular as their signature tune.

ReduxReview:  These guys had to know that chances were slim they could repeat the results of "Eye of the Tiger," but they really did need a solid catchy tune that would keep the ball rolling for them. Unfortunately, this was not the song. It's not a bad album opener, but this has about zero going for it as a single. The sound is a bit more guitar-heavy than their previous outings, but I don't think that mattered. It's just a weak song to introduce the album. These guys were more than capable of writing some good, commercial rock fare, but this song and album were a stumble. Perhaps they were pushed to get this out and that along with Dave Bickler's health issues (see below) had them scrambling to produce product. Whatever it was, it resulted in what is arguably their weakest album of the decade.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  The bad news continued for the band when lead singer Dave Bickler developed nodules on his vocal fold. He had to have surgery done to remove the nodules and that left the band without a singer. There would be no tour to support the Caught in the Game album, which certainly played a part in its lack of sales. With additional vocal rest required for Bickler, the band sought out a new vocalist so they could move forward. Jimi Jameson was hired and he would help lead the band into a new era of popularity. Bickler would end up returning to the band in 1993 and stay until 2000. He would also do another short stint with them in 2014 following the death of Jimi Jamison. Bickler would stay on until March of 2016.


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