Humanities › Literature Top Survivor Songs of the '80s Share Flipboard Email Print Literature Best Sellers Best Selling Authors Best Seller Reviews Book Clubs & Classes Classic Literature Plays & Drama Poetry Quotations Shakespeare Short Stories Children's Books By Steve Peake Updated November 05, 2019 Never a bastion of coolness, mainstream rockers Survivor burst onto the early-'80s rock music scene with the aid of a Sylvester Stallone Rocky sequel (1982's Rocky III), making the group seem even more like a pop music commodity. But at heart, the band produced genuine, straightforward, and uniquely '80s rock songs grounded in a solid sense of craft. Relying on high, smooth lead vocals and a penchant for ballads, Survivor nonetheless never surrendered a soaring arena rock flourish and crunchy guitar base that made it's pop sheen more palatable. Here's a chronological look at the very best Survivor songs of the '80s. 01 of 06 "Eye of the Tiger" Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images Boasting a brilliant, iconic power-chord riff and a wonderfully bombastic vocal performance from original lead singer Dave Bickler, the tune has held a consistent place in pop culture for the more than three decades of its existence, ranging from its association with one of cinema's most well-known screen characters to a memorable 2004 Starbuck's TV pitch. 02 of 06 "I Can't Hold Back" Album Cover Image Courtesy of Volcano I've always held the opinion that this combination power ballad/muscular rocker stands not only as Survivor's best overall effort but also as one of the finest straight-ahead musical moments of the '80s. Building from a beautifully arpeggiated acoustic guitar opening, the track explodes into hard rock glory and then tops it all off with one of the most inspiring choruses of the decade. Lead singer Jimi Jamison had been brought into the band for the recording of 1984's Vital Signs, and though his style was not vastly different from Bickler's, he injected the right kind of limitless passion for pulling this number off with flair. 03 of 06 "High on You" Ebet Roberts/Redferns/Getty Images Built upon the somewhat precarious metaphor of chemical intoxication as applied to matters of the heart, this synth-driven '80s classic nonetheless overflows with pop/rock majesty. As the first of three Top 10 hits in 1985 for the band, the tune revels in Survivor's peak moment of supremacy, unabashedly tossing out a big, punchy chorus and watching it stick to music fans' ears everywhere. There aren't many bands who can get away with a line like "Talkin' to myself, runnin' in the heat, beggin' for your touch in the middle of the street." 04 of 06 "The Search Is Over" Album Cover Image Courtesy of Volcano That Survivor felt comfortable enough at its peak to cross over completely into adult contemporary and soft rock fare demonstrates unequivocally just how lofty the band's apex was during the mid-'80s. Even so, the pervasive electric piano strains of this somewhat uncharacteristically emasculated Survivor track didn't alienate too many fans. The song's No. 4 performance on the pop charts proved that. 05 of 06 "Burning Heart" Movie Poster Courtesy of MGM/UA Although this 1985 movie soundtrack song suffers from hewing too closely to the plot of Rocky IV - the Sylvester Stallone, Cold War-themed sequel it accompanied. It's still another spirited rock anthem with catchy hooks galore (pardon the pugilist pun there). If nothing else, it sustained the momentum built by the release of the Top 20 album Vital Signs in 1984 and the string of hits it produced the following year. In this way, despite its somewhat redundant nature both musically and thematically, this track celebrates the Survivor formula of fist-pumping guitars and ear-candy melodies. Such attributes vaulted it to No. 2 on the pop charts. 06 of 06 "Is This Love" Album Cover Image Courtesy of Volcano Survivor's last Top 10 hit appeared on When Seconds Count, the band's much-anticipated follow-up to Vital Signs, but the death knell for such mainstream pop/rock groups had already begun to sound by 1986, with the rise of hair metal. Nonetheless, this synth-fueled, typically romantic take on infatuation certainly has its charms, benefiting most from Jamison's utterly committed vocals. Peterik and Sullivan, Survivor's founding members who penned almost all of the band's hits, are underrated songwriters, but this song provides clear evidence that they may have at this point become a bit too attached to a well-established formula.