Deep Tracks: Survivor – Hesitation Dance

Hesitation Dance (1982)

Music first on this one. I clearly remember walking into the small audio store in the American shopping complex in Frankfurt, Germany with the express purpose of buying the Eye of the Tiger cassette. I had just heard the title song on the AT 40 countdown and fell in love with it. Little did I that the cassette would totally blow me away and Survivor would become one of my favorite bands – of all time. The song from this cassette that I could not get out of my mind – and that I listened to ten times in a row – was this one, “Hesitation Dance.” Guitarist Frankie Sullivan gets plenty of credit for being a master of the rhythm guitar and this song is an excellent example of this. From the very first time I listened to this song, I could not get the powerful, driving chords out of my head. It is still one of my favorite songs by Survivor and I play it for friends who do not know much about the band of think that are just another pop rock band who navigated their way through the ‘80s with moderate success. This song captures their power and it has one of Sullivan’s many excellent guitar solos. Just because many of their hits did not have long solos does not mean he cannot play them – he clearly can. I really like how the song’s beat matches the lyrical idea of ‘dancing’ as relationships begin. Just when the speaker thinks he has the girl committed to their relationship, she backs off and delays things. It sounds to me like he has had enough and is ready to move one, “Hesitation dance? / You got me in a stone cold trance / Hesitation dance / Go out and find another fool for game of chance.”

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