The 20 Day Album challenge continues. Today’s pick is Survivor’s Vital Signs.
I first discovered Survivor, along with most people, with the release of “Eye of the Tiger”. That song was my favorite at the time. Then Vital Signs came out, which helped me see that Survivor was much more than one song, and became one of my all-time favorite bands. I was blown away when “I Can’t Hold Back” was released as the first single. I still love that song every time I hear it. This was the first album featuring the lead singer Jimi Jamison. His voice blew me away.
There are only 9 songs on this album, and every single one of them are great. Two of my favorite songs on the album were not released as singles – “It’s the Singer, Not the Song” and “I See You in Everyone”.
Here is the album on Spotify:
And if you’d like to get this album on Amazon, you can click on the album cover below:
Welcome back to this week’s Top 40 Countdown!!! If you missed the previous songs, you can go ahead and check out songs 40-31 and 30-21. I hope you’re enjoying this trip down Memory Lane this week. We have a great mix of songs today, including a Long Distance Dedication. So, let’s Return to the week ending November 27, 1982, and move on with the coutndown!
In 1980, Billy Joel started to reinvent himself from Piano Man to Rock Star, with his Glass Houses album. The trend continues here with this song from his Nylon Curtain album. And we have all felt pressure, so we can relate to this song.
The Bee Gees did not record as much music in the ’80s as they did in the ’70s. However, they were still very active, writing songs for other artists, including this one. Dionne Warwick’s career did not end with Solid Gold. She hit the top 10 with this song.
I absolutely love this song! Stephen Stills sings lead on this one, and he co-wrote it with Rick Curtis and Michael Curtis. David Crosby did not rejoin the band until the Daylight Again album was under way, so his vocals were not featured on the album version of this song. Timothy B. Schmit of the Eagles and Art Garfunkel provide backing vocals. So you still have great music and harmonies.
An awesome, yet overlooked song by Survivor. Of course, it can be understandable since it was featured on the Eye of the Tiger album. Not too many songs could survive competing against that title track. This Dave Bickler era of Survivor provided a lot of great songs, including this one.
This is perhaps my favorite Pat Benatar song. Unfortunately, at one point I had a roommate who was a guitarist, and he pointed out how awful the guitar solo is in this song. Now, it sticks out like a sore thumb to me. But, I still love the song. Benatar is one of the greatest rock vocalists of all time.
In the early ’80s, country-crossover hits were quite the rage. Here is another one. The song became Sylvia’s signature song and got her nominated for a Grammy award in 1983 for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. It also helped her take home the Academy of Country Music (ACM) award for Top Female Vocalist of 1982. She never had another crossover hit after this, but she still had plenty of more hits on the Country charts.
Meh. I’m not a huge Supertramp fan. It doesn’t help that one time, somebody stole my Journey Evolution cd out of the case, and replaced it with Supertramp’s Greatest Hits. I may forgive, but I do not forget.
This song reached number one on Billboard’s Hot R&B Singles chart, where it stayed for a record ten weeks before being replaced by Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney’s duet, “The Girl Is Mine”. Personally, I think he should have held that Jackson/McCartney crapfest out of the #1 spot. This was also the first single since his exit from his long-term record label Motown earlier in the year,
I live and breathe the ’80s every day. But, sometimes even I need a jumpstart to kick my ’80s love into high gear. And I got that this past weekend when I saw my favorite group, Rubix Kube, in concert. Not only is the playlist awesome, and different, each time I see them, but they are extremely talented musicians. And if that is not enough, just being in the same venue with tons of people, who share the same love and passion for the most rad decade, is enough to totally rejuvenate you and get you on an ’80s high.
So Casey, Please play one of Rubix Kube’s signature songs, their cover of The Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star” for all my awesome fellow ’80s fans.
Welcome back to a new podcast episode! This week is another 80s crossover event from the 80s League! This month’s topic is 80s Movie Villains. Robert and Paul go through some of their favorite/most hated 80s movie villains. Paul also broke down and watched last year’s Ghostbusters movie. Come hear the exclusive review in this show. There is a new Play This, Not That, featuring Survivor. We had a Remember That Song winner, so there is a new one this week.
We would love to hear who some of your favorite 80s villains are. Please comment below, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Opening Segment of this 80s Crossover Event
Check out these sites that are participating this month:
Welcome back as we wrap up this week’s countdown. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31, 30-21, and 20-11. If you are in the U.S., I hope this countdown has provided a little escape from the election day craziness. This has been a great week of music. For those of us who grew up around the time of this countdown, we were so lucky to enjoy some great music. Now let’s Return to the week ending November 10, 1984, and wrap up this countdown.
Earlier in the countdown, we had a song by Tommy Shaw in the wake of the band Styx falling apart. Now we have the former Styx frontman, Dennis DeYoung with his solo effort. This is an outstanding song, that would peak right here at #10.
Thanks to producer, David Foster, we were right in the middle of Chicago’s renaissance. I do get slightly annoyed that most people only know of Chicago from their power ballads, even though they have some incredible rock songs. But, with a song like this, I can totally see why. This is one of my favorites by them. I love that both Peter Cetera and Bill Champlin sing on this. I love both of their voices. Great combination!
David Bowie (still can’t believe he is gone) was still making an impact on the music world at this point. This song was off of his Tonight album, which was his follow-up to the mega-successful Let’s Dance album. This song was launched with a 21-minute short film, Jazzin’ for Blue Jean. The film won the 1985 Grammy Award for “Best Video, Short form” (Later renamed “Best Music Video”), which would be Bowie’s only competitive Grammy Award during his career. He was nominated for several, but this was his only win, in addition to his Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.
This song is from Tina Turner’s huge comeback album, Private Dancer. This song was originally recorded and released in 1981 by Spider, a band from New York City with one of the co-writers, Holly Knight, as a member. Of course Tina had the most successful version. The song won Tina Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female, one of four Grammys awarded to Turner in that ceremony.
There weren’t too many acts as big in the ’80s as Hall & Oates.This was their lead single from their 1984 album Big Bam Boom. It would be their last #1 hit. The song was also their 14th straight top 40 hit since 1980.
Before we continue, let’s see what was topping some of the other charts this week in 1984:
While Prince was a megastar performer himself, he also wrote music covered by other artists. This was one of them. Prince wrote this song, and it was on his debut album. It was also covered by The Pointer Sisters on their 1982 album, So Excited!.
Then Chaka Kahn took over, and this song would start a big comeback for her. Melle Mel (from Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five) did the rapping. And Stevie Wonder is on the harmonica.
This was Wham!’s big breakthrough hit. It became their first American and UK number-one hit. To be honest, I really hated this song when it first came out. I like it now because of its nostalgic value. It should also be noted that while it was at the top of the charts for two weeks, it prevented the next song from becoming a #1 hit…
Yes, perhaps Prince’s signature song, this never hit #1 (still can’t believe he is gone). That doesn’t change anything though. This is an iconic song of the decade. For a lot of people, when you mention the ’80s, one of the first images that come to mind is the cover of the Purple Rain soundtrack and movie poster. And if you listened to our Prince episode of the Return to the ’80s podcast, you would know that there is a Journey connection here. After recording the song, Prince phoned Jonathan Cain from Journey asking him to hear it, worried it might be too similar to “Faithfully“, a Journey single composed by Cain which had recently been in the charts. Cain reassured Prince telling him the songs only shared the same four chords. Prince was extremely sensitive to Copyright infringement. It’s good to see he put his money where his mouth was, and was careful himself.
This was one of Stevie Wonder’s most commercially successful hits. It was featured in the Gene Wilder (still can’t believe he’s gone) movie The Woman in Red. The ballad won both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award for Best Original Song. It was also nominated for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, Song of the Year and Best Pop Instrumental Performance at the Grammy Awards.
I always loved Billy Ocean’s voice. This is a good one. It won Ocean the 1985 Grammy Award for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, making him the first British artist to win in that category.
Well that wraps up this week’s Countdown. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have. Did you have any favorites or least favorites? Let’s do another one of these in the coming weeks. In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.
Welcome back as we continue this week’s countdown! If you missed the first 10 songs, you can go ahead and check out songs 40-31. My addiction to MTV was still in full force this week. There are some classics here today. So, let’s Return to the week ending November 10, 1984, and move on with the countdown.
Sammy’s signature song. This is a classic song and classic video. In 1994, Sammy was interviewed on the show In the Studio, and said this about the song:
“I was in a rent-a-car that wouldn’t go much faster than 55 miles an hour. I was on my way back from Africa. I did a safari for three months throughout Africa. A really great vacation after Three Lock Box. I was traveling for 24 hours, I got to New York City, changed planes, Albany, New York. Got in a rent-a-car. Had a place in Lake Placid at the time, a little log cabin, I used to go there and write with my little boy. Aaron, at that time, went to North Country school when I was on tour. I would go there and see him. It was a really cool getaway. But it took two and a half hours to drive there from Albany. And I was driving from Albany, New York at 2:00 in the morning, burnt from all the travel. Cop stopped me for doing 62 on a four lane road when there was no one else in sight. Then the guy gave me a ticket. I was doing 62. And he said, ‘We give tickets around here for over-60.’ and I said, ‘I can’t drive 55.’ I grabbed a paper and a pen, and I swear the guy was writing the ticket and I was writing the lyrics. I got to Lake Placid, I had a guitar set-up there. And I wrote that song there on the spot. Burnt.”
Another great song! This was the theme for the film, Teachers. I really need to get back and revisit this movie. I remember enjoying it at the time. And check out this cast: Nick Nolte, JoBeth Williams, Ralph Macchio, Richard Mulligan, Laura Dern, Crispin Glover, and Morgan Freeman.
Yet another classic song. This was one of Duran Duran’s biggest hits, reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. The video was pretty cool too. It had a post-apocalyptic feel too it, like the Mad Max movies. The video should have been good. It cost over one million British Pounds to make, which was a staggering amount for a music video at that time.
This was the fifth and final single released from the Sports album. All the previous singles from the album was severely overplayed. This song was one of my favorites from the album, and I don’t ever remember hearing it on the radio! This was Heuy Lewis and the News’ commentary on the Vietnam War.
Originally a #1 R&B hit in 1959 by Phil Phillips. The Honeydrippers were formed by former Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant. The band also included fellow former Led Zeppelin member Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, and other friends and well-known studio musicians. They scored a big hit with this song, peaking at #3. The band released only one recording, an EP titled The Honeydrippers: Volume One. With the EP’s success, Plant stated that a full album would be recorded, but it never was.
This title track to New Edition’s second album, was their big breakthrough. It would peak at #4 on the Hot 100. They were trying really hard to be the new edition of The Jackson 5. They did have some pretty decent music, including this song.
I didn’t remember this song at all. It was released off of elton John’s Breaking Hearts album, which featured the song “Sad Songs (Say So Much)“. This may be blasphemous on this page, but I much prefer Elton John’s ’70s music to his ’80s music. He does have some really good ’80s songs. But a lot, like this song, are just middle-of-the-road.
Well that wraps up today’s list of songs. What do you think, now that we are halfway through? Any favorites? The countdown is just going to keep getting better. Come back tomorrow as we continue the countdown.
Hi Everybody! Welcome back to this week’s Top 40 Countdown. Today, we will cover songs 20-11. If you missed the previous songs, you can go back and check out songs 40-31, 30-21. and 20-11.
I don’t know about you, but I think this has been a fantastic week of music so far. And I’m sure you will all enjoy the top 10 this week! Once again, if you want to listen to the song, just click on the song title. Now let’s Return to the week ending September 25, 1982, and wrap up the countdown.
This song was the lead single off of Donna Summer’s self-titled 1982 album. The album was produced by Quincy Jones, and Jones and Rod Temperton who wrote Micahel Jackson’s “Rock with You”, were also the writers on this song.
A great song associated with a great movie – Fast Times at Ridgemont High. This was the highest-charting single of Browne’s career, topping out at #7. It would also be his last Top 10 single. But, what a way to go out!
We now arrive at the debut of Men at Work. This was their first hit, off of their debut album, Business as Usual. This song was inspired by Colin Hay having been hounded by bill collectors prior to making it big.
Now, time for som Prog Rock. I love this song. It really brings me back to the early ’80s. The heart of the band was Alan Parsons (duh) and Eric Woolfson. Other than that, they brought in session musicians. Before they started the band, Alan Parsons was an assistant engineer for the Beatles’ last two albums, Abbey Road and Let It Be, and in 1973 he engineered Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Not too shabby!
Perhaps best known for her 1978 hit, “Don’t Cry Out Loud”, this song was Melissa Manchester’s biggest hit. It peaked right here at #5 this week. It earned Manchester the Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for the year 1982, besting nominated performances by superstars Linda Ronstadt and Olivia Newton-John as well as Juice Newton and Laura Branigan. Quite a feat. Another cool fact about this song is that two members from the band Toto played on this song – Steve Lukather (guitar) and Jeff Porcaro (drums).
This began my love of the band Survivor. “Eye of the Tiger” was easily my favorite song at the time. As much as I love Rocky III, this song made it even better.
It’s so crazy that Survivor is one of my all-time favorite bands, and Jimi Jamison, the band’s lead singer through most of the ’80s, had followed me on Twitter before he died. And what’s just as amazing is that Survivor’s original lead singer (who also performed this song), Dave Bickler, also follows me. Aaaand we have interacted!
So we interacted, AND he is recording new music! 12 year old me would have never thought that this would happen.
This was Chicago’s big comeback. They had not had a hit since 1978’s “No Tell Lover”. The Chicago 16 album was Chicago’s first album with Warner Bros. Records, and their first with legendary producer, David Foster. They changed their sound, and became commercially successful again.
Before we get to the top 2 songs of the week, let’s check out what was topping some of the other charts this week:
We already heard one song in this top 10 from John Cougar. Now it’s time for a little ditty about Jack & Diane. This was Cougar’s biggest hit, topping the chart for 4 weeks. John said that the clapping in this song wasn’t supposed to be included in the finished song. It was recorded with the clapping in order to help keep tempo and then it was to be removed. However, he realized the song did not work without it.
We finish the countdown with The Steve Miller Band, which may be great news to some. However, The Steve Miller Band is one of those bands that I can’t quite warm up to. Being a rock fan, I guess I’m supposed to like them. But, I can only enjoy their songs for about a minute before I lose interest. This song isn’t horrible though, so it definitely does not ruin a great week of music.
Well that wraps up this week’s countdown. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have. I know these countdowns are popular, so I will try to do them more often. Hopefully, it won’t be long before we see the next one.
In the meantime, Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.
As much as I obviously love to return to the ’80s, there is just something amazing about technology these days.
You see, when Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” came out, it instantly became my favorite song. And Survivor became one of my favorite bands. They have so many great songs, many of which a lot of people may not have heard before – which is a travesty.
Fast forward to today. The world is a much smaller place, and we are able to more easily connect with our heroes of days past. For example, I received a private message (PM as the kids say) from Jim Peterik, a founding member of Survivor! Well, maybe it was an intern, or a robot. But, I’ll pretend it was from Jim personally.
He is still out there putting out music. And he shared with me a new song he has released – “We All Bleed Red.” I loved it, immediately. Even though I post lyrics daily on this site, I’m generally more of a music guy than a lyrics guy. So, I loved the music – especially the guitar. The vocals aren’t bad, but I would love to have heard Jimi Jamison or Dave Bickler (both former Survivor lead singers) belt this one out. After listening more closely the second time, I was really listening to the lyrics, and they really moved me. With all the violence and hatred throughout the world today, this song sends a great message. Apparently Peterik wrote this in response to the Orlando nightclub shooting. But, it covers everything that is going on.
We’re all cut from the same cloth
Just shaped in different forms
We lose our way
When we try to play God
No one but our maker
Can even up the odds
It’s a night of a million questions
As our outrage takes control
We;re stripped of our humanity
And forced into a role
Here is the video. Check it out and let me know what you think.
Today, Robert concludes his Survivor Deep Tracks series. What a great 2 week run by this awesome band!
Ready for the Real Thing (1983)
This song from the Caught in the Game album begins with several flourishes and then settles down into a steady beat and consistent rhythm guitar. The music screams Survivor when Peterick’s keyboards pick up and lead into the chorus. This is another song about regret and a realization that things could have been different, “”This one track mind won’t leave you behind / Why punish me with memories / If only now I could turn back the pages / I played some games that I lived to regret.” I this song though, the speaker has trouble moving on because he realizes it was all his fault, “I only wish I had gone through those changes years before we met / This time I’m ready for the real thing / Last time I couldn’t be true / This time I’m ready for the real thing too.” We are left not knowing if he was successful. Does he get her back? I have not idea, but I do know that I really like this song. Whenever it comes on I take out my favorite air guitar and imagine myself on stage, playing and singing my heart out (I can only dream).
If I haven’t convinced you after ten great deep tracks by Survivor, I probably never will. If you have only listened to the hits, while they are great, do yourself a favor and keep going. Take the time to work your way through an entire album by Survivor. I promise you will not regret it.