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Survivor – Ultimate Survivor 
By Zane Ewton

Sylvester Stallone’s favorite band has released a career-spanning ultimate collection.  18 of the greatest hits from this late 70’s to 80’s rock and roll band.

This all begs one question.  Who is Survivor?  They are best known for creating the football stadium and Rocky anthem, “Eye of the Tiger.”  Survivor may not be the most logical choice for a greatest hits album, but the corporate machine threw us this compilation to build anticipation for the new Survivor release, their first since 1988.

Survivor was a band that falls comfortable between the likes of Journey and REO Speedwagon.  They were a good middle-of-the-road band and this compilation doesn’t disappoint those intentions.  Each track is fairly mindless, cheesy and the perfect time capsule item for what the early 80’s arena rock scene was.

“Eye of the Tiger” was Survivor’s biggest hit.  The band was asked to write a song for Rocky III.  The movie’s star thought the band had a great sound and wanted them to do the theme song for the movie.  That arrangement went so well that Survivor was tapped to write the theme song for the sequel, Rocky IV.  Survivor obliged with the track “Burning Heart”, also found on this compilation.

The rest of this album is full of mid-tempo, keyboard driven, and inspiring love songs.  The kind of songs the DJ would play at your junior high dance.  “Eye of the Tiger” is the most aggressive song in the Survivor catalog.  This band specialized in music to make the girls think the band was a bunch of good guys, which they probably were.

This album is definitely a good snapshot of the early eighties.  Pictures in the liner notes are good for a few laughs.  Imagine if your accountant and his buddies grew mullets and started a band, complete with tight pants and sexy guitar-playing faces.

Several songs on this album are very reminiscent of other songs that are more recognizable.  Survivor definitely took a liking to what Eddie Van Halen was doing with synthesizers.  Later in their career, Survivor turned the amps up and did some pretty good, rocking songs that you probably have never heard.

The bottom line on this Ultimate Survivor is, unless you were there in the front row for the ’83 tour, you should probably save your money.

CD Info 

Survivor – Ultimate Survivor
Label: BMG Heritage
Eye Of The Tiger
Poor Man's Son
I Can't Hold Back
Is This Love
Search Is Over, The
Burning Heart
First Night
Across The Miles
High On You
Man Against The World
Desperate Dreams
American Heartbeat
Caught In The Game
Didn't Know It Was Love
Rebel Girl
Summer Nights
Somewhere In America
Rockin' Into The Night - (previously unreleased)
Listen to samples and Purchase this CD online

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