A Great Album, Then and Now
Jim Kelsey | 10/05/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was in high school when "Vital Signs" was released. It, along with "Chicago 17," became my favorite albums of 1984. I instantly became a Chicago fan, buying as many of their albums that were available (and I could afford), but for some reason, "Vital Signs" is the only Survivor album in my collection.
"Vital Signs" was Survivor's fourth studio release and their most successful. The album spawned four hit singles: "I Can't Hold Back" (#13 U.S.), "High on You" (#8 U.S.), "The Search Is Over" (#4 U.S.), and "First Night" (#53 U.S.). It also featured new lead singer Jimi Jamison, who would stay with them until the group broke up in the late 1980's. If you are familiar with any of these hits, the rest of the album is more of the same - there really isn't a bad song on it. The album is replete with great melodies, instrumentals and solos. The only letdown is that there are nine tracks on the CD, instead of the usual ten (same as LP).
What drew me to the music then and draws me in now is the excellent balance between keys and guitar. Neither one dominates over the other and both serve to fill in counter-melodies when the lead vocal is absent. The drummer also knows how to create interest by changing his patterns and putting in accents to add emphasis to a melodic line.
Having rated this album at five stars, I really can't pinpoint why I didn't buy any more of their music. The only rationale I can come up with is that they're not Chicago or Toto or Journey or Asia...you get the picture. I guess I spent my money elsewhere, though I did buy this one on CD. If you like '80's music, this album presents some of the best of that era. You won't be disappointed."