Wednesday, June 6, 2018

"First Night" by Survivor

Song#:  2426
Date:  08/17/1985
Debut:  76
Peak:  53
Weeks:  9
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  Survivor's fifth album Vital Signs certainly breathed new life into the band. The LP already boasted three Top 20 hits including two Top 10's when this fourth single was released. Unfortunately, the song couldn't make it into the upper reaches of the chart like the others stalling just shy of the halfway point. The results didn't matter too much as the album had already been certified platinum two months prior to the song's release.

ReduxReview:  This was a worthy follow up to their #4 hit "The Search Is Over" and it should have made the Top 40. However, it had two things working against it. First, it wasn't quite as memorable as their previous three hits and second, the album had been out for a while and it was running on tired legs. I doubt that the band or their label expected three big hits from the LP, so a fourth was stretching it anyway. They probably should have stopped at three, but this certainly wasn't a bad attempt at another hit.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  The roots of Survivor trace back to a late 60s Chicago band called The Jamestown Massacre. Future Survivor lead singer Dave Bickler was a member. They secured got a contract in 1972 with Warner and issued out a single titled "Summer Sun." While it was a local hit, on the national Pop chart it was a minor blip reaching #90. Around this time the band was also doing studio work for a local ad agency. Bickler became friendly with another guy working on the sessions, Jim Peterik, who had grabbed a #2 hit in 1970 with his former band The Ides of March. After the Jamestown failed to hit it big, three members left, including Bickler. The remaining members changed their name to Mariah and hired in new musicians including guitarist Frankie Sullivan. Mariah got signed to United Artists and issued a debut album in 1975 that didn't get a lot of attention. In 1978, Peterik was encouraged to start a new band and was introduced to Sullivan. They hit it off and the pair began to look for other members. Peterik remembered Bickler from the jingle work and asked him to join. Thus, Survivor was born. While members came and went over the years, Sullivan is the only original member to constantly remain with the band throughout its career.



  1. I saw Survivor live around 2001 with Styx and REO Speedwagon. Their catalog of hits was impressive all played back-to-back. And they're a fantastic live band.

    1. I missed out on seeing Survivor back in the day. I think they played our local fair one year then, but didn't get tickets. They are excellent musicians.

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