This sophisticated melodic US rock band was put together by guitarists Jim Peterik (formerly of the Ides Of March) and Frankie Sullivan in 1978. Recruiting vocalist Dave Bickler, they recorded their self-titled debut as a three-piece. This featured a potpourri of ideas that had no definite direction or style. They expanded the band to a quintet in 1981, with the addition of Marc Doubray (drums) and Stephen Ellis (bass). From this point on, the band were comparable in approach to the AOR rock styles of Styx, Foreigner and Journey, but never achieved the same degree of recognition or success. Their first short-lived flirtation with glory came with the song 'Eye Of The Tiger', used as the theme to the Rocky III movie. The single, with its heavy drumbeat and rousing chorus, became a worldwide number 1 hit in 1982, and is still a staple of FM radio and various advertising campaigns. Unfortunately, the rest of the songs on the album of the same name were patchy in comparison. Nevertheless, the work succeeded on the strength of the title cut, peaking at numbers 2 and 12 on the US and UK album charts, respectively.
Caught In The Game, released the following year, was a more satisfying album. It adopted a heavier approach and featured a more up-front guitar sound from Sullivan, but did not find favour with the record-buying public. Bickler was fired at this stage and replaced by ex-Cobra vocalist Jimi Jamison, whose vocals added an extra, almost soulful dimension to the band. The resulting Vital Signs gave the band their second breakthrough. It enjoyed a six-month residency on the Billboard album chart, reaching number 16 as its highest position, and spawned two Top 10 hits with 'High On You' and 'The Search Is Over'. They recorded 'Burning Heart' (essentially a re-tread of 'Eye Of The Tiger') as the theme song to Rocky IV in 1986 and achieved another international hit, reaching number 5 on the UK singles chart. Surprisingly, the song was not included on When Seconds Count, which pursued a heavier direction once more. The band had contracted to a three-piece nucleus of Jamison, Sullivan and Peterik at this juncture and used session musicians to finish the album. Too Hot To Sleep was probably the most consistent and strongest album of the band's career, featuring a collection of commercially minded, hard rock anthems. The album made little commercial impact and they finally disbanded in 1989. Bickler, Sullivan, Ellis and Doubray reunited in 1997, and were later joined by Jamison.
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