Albums of the ’80s: Vital Signs

Sadly, this past weekend ’80s Nation has lost another great talent – Survivor’s Jimi Jamison. He passed away Sunday, August 31, from a heart attack, at the age of 63. He was one of the great rock voices of the ’80s.

Before Jamison joined the band, Survivor was already enjoying success with the mega-smash hit “Eye of the Tiger” behind lead singer Dave Bickler. However, Bickler developed polyps on his vocal cords, and had to leave the band to take care of that. Over recent years, Bickler could be heard singing on the hilarious “Real Men of Genius” (or “Real American Hero” pre-9/11) Bud Light commercials, such as Mr Silent Killer Gas Passer and Mr. Grocery Store Cart Wrangler.

So, Survivor was lucky enough to get Jimi Jamison to replace Dave Bickler. As good as the band was, I believe Jamison made the band even better. And his first album with Survivor – Vital Signs – is one of my all-time favorite albums. If I remember correctly, I got the Vital Signs cassette at the same time as REO Speedwagon’s Wheels Are Turnin’ cassette. As much as I love Wheels Are Turnin’, I love Vital Signs even more.

In honor of Jimi Jamison, let’s listen to one of my all-time favorite albums – Vital Signs.

1. “I Can’t Hold Back”

The song that leads off the album was also the first single that was released off of the album. This made me fall in love with Survivor all over again. I can still listen to this song over and over today.
This song was also the best part of the 2009 Kevin James film, Paul Blart: Mall Cop.

2. “High on You”

Usually, after a song has been playing on the radio and MTV for a while, I feel relieved when a new single is finally released by the artist. “High On You” was Survivor’s follow-up to “I Can’t Hold Back.” But I was still loving the first song, so I didn’t enjoy this one as much. I still like it, though. And it does bring nostalgia to me when I hear it these days.

3. “First Night”

I love how this starts off as a great ballad, and then the guitar and drums kick in, and it becomes a great rock song.

4. “The Search Is Over”

This was Survivor’s third single released from the album, and went on to become a #4 hit. This is an outstanding love song.

5. “Broken Promises”

We close out side 1 of the tape with a pretty good song.

Ok, now flip the tape over and press play.

6. “Popular Girl”

There is no video for this, but the writing and delivery of this song really helps you visualize your own video in your head.

7. “Everlasting”

Awesome ballad.

8. “It’s the Singer, Not the Song”

“I Can’t Hold Back”, this song, and the next song are my three favorites of the album. This is a great, upbeat rock song.

9. “I See You in Everyone”

And we finish the album strongly. In the ’80s, albums generally had 10 songs on them – 5 on each side. In the case of this album, quality was way better than quantity. This is another song I love. There is a lot of passion and feeling in this.

Well, that wraps up the Vital Signs album. Are there any other fans of this album out there? If you had never heard this album before, please let me know what you think.

R.I.P. Jimi Jamison

The man behind the music

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3 thoughts on “Albums of the ’80s: Vital Signs”

  1. “High On You” has been an Adult Contemporary staple for so long that I usually switch the channel when I hear it. It’s a good song, but I’d rather hear the rest of the album. Thanks for giving me the chance!

    1. Oh no problem! It’s one of my favorites. Yeah, “High On You” is good, but it’s probably my least favorite on the album. Mainly because it’s been so overplayed over the years, even though they have a lot of other better songs.

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