On August 31st 2014 AOR vocalist Jimi Jamison died following a heart attack. He was 63 years old.
Best known as vocalist for Survivor, Jamison possessed one of the finest voices within the melodic rock scene. His range, although similar to previous Survivor vocalist Dave Bickler (singer of the band’s biggest hit ‘Eye of the Tiger’) was superior; his soaring tones second only to Journey’s Steve Perry for a pure AOR sound. Jamison recorded vocals for the band’s second biggest hit ‘Burning Heart’ (from Rocky IV) and for three Survivor albums in the 1980s: ‘Vital Signs’, ‘When Seconds Count’ and the harder sounding ‘Too Hot To Sleep’ – each one vital for any respectable melodic rock album collection. A further Survivor album, ‘Reach’, was released eight years later to critical praise but lesser commercial success.
Prior to joining Survivor, Jamison had already recorded in the 1970s and 80s respectively with bands Target and Cobra. Neither had a huge breakthrough, but both showed Jamison to be a superb vocalist. During the 1990s and beyond Jamison embarked on an on/off solo career, spawning the classic AOR track ‘I’m Always Here’ (the theme from Baywatch). His post Survivor work yielded four well respected solo releases and two further collaborations: one with former bandmate Jim Peterik and another with sometime Toto vocalist Bobby Kimball. While some of these album releases missed out on the huge media coverage and chart success of his Survivor years, each one was well received within the melodic rock community, cementing his place as a legend.
His death comes just before Survivor were due to make their first visit to the UK.
His career is celebrated in clips below.