Thursday, October 3, 2019

"Is This Love" by Survivor

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2910
Date:  10/25/1986
Debut:  74
Peak:  9
Weeks:  19
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  The band's fifth album, Vital Signs, was their first with new lead singer Jimi Jameson. It proved to be a million-selling success thanks to three Top 20 hits including the #4 power ballad "The Search Is Over." After a soundtrack detour with the #2 hit "Burning Heart" from Rocky IV, the band got back in the studio to record their next album, When Seconds Count. They basically stayed on the commercial rock course they established with Vital Signs with members Frankie Sullivan and Jim Peterik writing the songs (with a few assists from Jameson) and Ron Nevison producing. The formula worked well for this first single as it became their fifth Pop Top 10. It didn't do quite as well at Rock where it only managed a #27 showing. It also got on the AC chart at #25. While it wasn't a massive hit, it was a solid way to get the album kicked off. Unfortunately, it would be the last time Survivor would be in the Pop Top 40.

ReduxReview:  While their music was always riding the thin line between pop and rock, this tune was probably their most commercial pop effort - and it was a solid one. It had nice melodies, a hooky chorus, cool bridge, and quality Heart-ish production courtesy of Nevison (see below). The key change for the final chorus was a nice touch as well. It deservedly became a hit, but it came at a bit of a cost. Rock radio was beginning to ignore the band and their more mainstream sound (this song did better at AC!) and the lack of support there played into album sales and performance of their next singles. Still, this was a terrific single and it's one that doesn't get played any longer, which is too bad.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  This was Ron Nevison's third album with Survivor. In addition to Vital Signs and When Seconds Count, Nevison co-produced the band's 1979 self-titled debut album. The 80s was a a great decade for Nevison. In addition to working with Survivor, he also helmed Heart's two comeback albums, Heart and Bad Animals, along with producing hits for artists like Jefferson Starship, Ozzy Osbourne, Kiss, Chicago, Europe, and Damn Yankees. He began his career as an engineer working on classic albums like The Who's Quadrophenia  and Tommy, and Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti. He began to move over to the producer's chair with Thin Lizzy's 1974 album Nightlife. His first taste of success as a producer came in 1977 when he produced The Babys' Broken Heart, which spawned their first hit, the #13 "Isn't It Time."



  1. 9/10 for me, glad to see you really like this song a lot, I always felt this was one of Survivor's best songs yet it appears to be one of their least appreciated singles, at least their final Top 40 hit ended up being one of their best songs.