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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » Survivor - 1983 Caught In The Game
Survivor - 1983 Caught In The Game

ARTIST: Survivor
ALBUM: Caught In The Game
LABEL: Scotti Bros
YEAR: 1983
CD REISSUE: 2001, Volcano Records (USA), 61422-32188-2 * 2010, Rock Candy Records, CANDY087


LINEUP: Dave Bickler - vocals * Frankie Sullivan - guitars * Jim Peterik - keyboards * Stephan Ellis - bass * Marc Droubay - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Caught In The Game * 02 Jackie Don't Go * 03 I Never Stopped Loving You * 04 It Doesn't Have To Be This Way * 05 Ready For The Real Thing * 06 Half Life * 07 What Do You Really Think? * 08 Slander * 09 Santa Ana Winds


Well .. here's another AOR band who can virtually book a space in the G-DAZE hall of fame. Probably considered as one of the major influences by many aspiring bands who followed on in their tradition. As we all know, Survivor are famous for that 1982 #1 smash hit 'Eye Of The Tiger' and since that time, the band and 'that song' are synonomous with each other. However, most fans will know that their career did not start and stop with that one song. They released many albums, and had success with a number of tracks. Perhaps the rarest album of theirs to get was this one 'Caught In The Game' released one year after 'Eye Of The Tiger' (the album). I recall seeing or hearing very little of this platter for many years, and wondered whether this album actually existed. You must realise that prior to the Internet, the printed media were only into mainstream acts, of which Survivor did not fit.

The Songs
Anyway, this one was perhaps my favourite Dave Bickler era album. This album really shows what promise they had before Jimi Jamison joined the following year. The sound becomes less heavy handed, and moves in the direction of radio friendly AOR. Commercial polish is evident on all the nine tracks. None more so than the title track 'Caught In The Game' and the melodic gallop that is 'It Doesn't Have To Be This Way'. Then of course there's 'Jackie Don't Go', which was the track the band Intruder were accused of ripping off when they did 'Hearts On The Loose' from their 'Dangerous Nights' album. The similarity is amazing! Copy or coincidence? Jim Peterik's keyboards work overtime on 'Half Life', very much like an AOR version of the Alan Parsons Project. The final track 'Santa Ana Winds' has that epic quality to it: a slow build, piano laced intro, and then it works up a sweat into soaring guitar solos.

In Summary
For many years this album remained right at the top of collectors list due to it's rarity, until it got a Japanese re-release on Pony Canyon in March 1999. Great stuff, and it now means one more album is off the wanted list, the CD thankfully now readily available!

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#1 | jeffrey343 on January 01 1970 01:00:00
Great album that I was fortunate to get in 1985 on cassette and then in 2002 on CD. It's been one that I've played as much as just about anything over the years, and I never tire of it. All of Survivor's releases through 'Too Hot To Sleep' are great, but I find myself visiting this one the most. It's got more of an edge than the next two with Jamison, until THTS reclaims some of the spunk of this one. 'Santa Ana Winds' is indeed an epic song. I'm not a 'real' piano player, but I made sure to teach myself that intro.
#2 | sabace on March 19 2006 13:51:53
survivors best in my opinion due to the fact its produced by frankie sullivan and his guitar is really outstanding!
#3 | sabace on June 22 2008 16:00:56
thanks for the video!
#4 | JuniorNB on August 18 2008 13:39:59
Great album, and the beginning of one of my favorite trios of sucessive albums, along with Vital Signs and When Seconds Count.

#5 | Eric on January 29 2009 20:55:42
With 'Premonition' this is my favorite Survivor album due to it's poppy sound. Great radio rock and the title track did get a lot of airplay in my area. Perhaps it was released too soon after the monster hit 'Eye Of the Tiger'?hmm!
#6 | dangerzone on January 29 2009 21:57:57
I don't feel this album is poppy at all. If anything it was rather heavier than 'Eye Of the Tiger' and the albums that followed.
#7 | Eric on January 29 2009 22:00:35
Wrong choice of word here- I should have just stopped at radio rock-lol!
#8 | dangerzone on February 22 2012 07:42:20
'Half Life' is a masterpiece. The guitar work from Sullivan is incredible. This still rates as one of my favorite AOR albums ever.
#9 | super80boy on February 16 2014 00:34:55
Although this album didn't get much acclaim or generate popular charting radio singles, it's a consistently high caliber AOR effort. Really like the keyboard intro in the passionate 'Jackie Don't Go'. The title track, 'It Doesn't Have To Be This Way' and 'Half Life' are all top cuts!
#10 | code4 on October 23 2015 17:04:01
Loaded with great songs. I always think of it as Survivor's Isolation (Toto) for some reason. Probably something about the slick hi-tech sound being a little similar
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