Survivor – Survivor [1979]

Country USA          Style AOR

Rating 82/100

Band Members
Dave Bickler – Vocals,Keyboards, Dennis Johnson – Bass,Synthesizer, Frankie Sullivan – Guitar,Vocals, Gary Smith – Drums,Percussion, Jim Peterik – Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals

01. Somewhere In America (5:13), 02. Can’t Getcha Offa My Mind (3:00), 03. Let It Be Now (3:39), 04. As Soon As Love Finds Me (2:52), 05. Youngblood (3:31), 06. Love Has Got Me (3:38), 07. Whole Town’s Talkin’ (3:32), 08. 20/20 (3:23), 09. Freelance (3:37), 10. Nothing Can Shake Me (From Your Love) (4:09), 11. Whatever It Takes (3:46)


This is the self titled debut album by melodic rock/AOR group Survivor originally released in 1979, reissued in 2010 by “Rock Candy Records”. This early line up of “Survivor” features founders Jim Peterik on keyboards and Frankie Sullivan on guitars, original lead singer Dave Bickler and the ryhtm section of bassist Dennis Keth Johnson and drummer Gary Smith.

“Survivor” is probably the most guitar driven album in the band’s catalogue, essentially bringing to front a mixture of `70s hard rock/rock’n’roll and adult oriented rock (which would better define their later works). The album opens on “Somewhere in America” which perfectly follows the approach mentioned above and the same applies to the following four tracks. “Survivor” is loaded with some serious hard/heavy rock attack on this debut, still we are treated to a glimpse of what the future of rock would hold in the `80s. That’s `track 7′, “The whole town’s talking”, an authentic AOR gem at its own right perfectly indicative of the approach “Survivor” would follow on their later releases. Equally impressive is the pomp-rocker “Whatever it takes” which closes the album.

It has to be mentioned also that Bickler, is easily at the top of his game technically with a vocal range and tone that perfectly fit that king of songwriting, clearly leading the band through most of the songs on “Survivor”. The “Rock Candy” reissue features a bonus track in “Rebel Girl” while the re-mastering works miracles, perfectly reviving this rock classic.

Nikiforos V. Skoumas

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Survivor - Survivor [1979], 8.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
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