‘Eye of the Tiger’ singers at The Fred

Thu, 04/26/2007 - 3:47pm
By: The Citizen

Eye of the Tiger singers at The Fred

This weekend, audiences at The Frederick Brown, Jr. Amphitheater will continue to groove to the sounds of annual concert series with Survivor. Best known as the band behind the hit song “Eye of the Tiger,” a song synonymous with the “Rocky” movies, Survivor will take stage Friday, April 27 and Saturday, April 28 as part of the 2007 concert series.

Survivor was formed in the cold Chicago winter of 1977 by Frankie Sullivan and Jim Peterik. By the end of 1978, Survivor was signed to a record deal with Scotti Bros. Records. Under patronage of John Kalodner, then head of A&R for Atlantic Records, Survivor went into the studio to cut their first self-titled album. This record, released in 1980 with the single “Somewhere in America,” did moderately well and started to build a loyal base of fans.

After touring for 8 months, the band went back into the studio. The result of those sessions, “Premonition,” is considered by many fans to be their favorite Survivor record. This record improved on the first album’s success, although still not the big breakout the band was looking for – that was to come with the 1982 release of “Eye of the Tiger.”

The title song for this record was expressly written for “Rocky III,” which brought the band national attention. “Eye of The Tiger” spent seven weeks at the #1 spot on the U.S. charts. The song won a Grammy, an Oscarnomination and was voted “Best New Song” at the People’s Choice Awards. Immediately following the record, the band toured extensively performing in sheds and stadiums.

Since then, Survivor has produced numerous albums including critically acclaimed “Caught In The Game,” and “Vital Signs,” which achieved multi-Platinum status.

During this time, Dave Bickler, vocalist since 1978, decided to leave the band and was replaced by Jimi Jamison in 1984.

While the band continued to tour worldwide, they managed to take time out to record “Burning Heart”, the title track for “Rocky IV.” The song went all the way to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, propelling the soundtrack album to multi-Platinum status. It was 1987 before Survivor had time to stop and make another record. “When Seconds Count” contained yet another Top Ten single, “Is This Love,” which stayed in the Top 10 for several weeks.

In 1988 Survivor released their seventh album, “Too Hot To Sleep,” shortly after which, the group decided to pursue various solo projects. Sullivan continued in the studio writing and recording with many different artists, most recently with Eddie Money for his 1999 release, “Ready Eddie,” in which Sullivan produced as well as wrote and performed.

Fast forward to 2006, when former McAuley Schenker Group frontman Robin McAuley replaced Jim Jamison as the new lead vocalist for Survivor. The band had crossed paths with McAuley here and there over the years, but it was finally the right time for them to join forces.

“When we made the decision to replace Jamison, I had no idea what we would do,” remembered Sullivan. “Then it hit me, Robin McAuley! Is he available? How can he possibly be available? Well, the short answer, he was available, we gave him the songs of a set list we would perform, he came to the Windy City and blew our socks off!”

“So we embark on a totally new Survivor,” said Sullivan. “One that for the first time in many years is based on music and performing. Robin loves the fans and is no doubt one of the best front men I have ever known! I guess it's the luck of two Irishmen, McAuley and Sullivan, finally taking its place in time and where it belongs, making music and making fans happy!”

Tickets for the performances are $48 for reserved seats and $32 for lawn seats and can be purchased at the box office or through Ticketmaster. For more information, please visit www.amphitheater.org or call 770-631-0630.

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