The Day Sir Paul McCartney Viscously Punched Eddie Vedder In The Face: The Day Sir Paul McCartney Viscously Punched Eddie Vedder In The Face No, it's not folklore, this happened in rock and roll history. Paul McCartney…

Classic Rock News

.38 Special - Rockin' on the Riverfront 8-11-2017

The intertwined history of Survivor and .38 Special is a crazy piece in the story of rock and roll.  Did you know that “Rockin’ Into The Night” was originally a Survivor song?  It was supposed to be part of their first album, but their producer, Ron Nevison, felt that the song wasn’t right for the album.  “Rockin’ Into The Night” had a more southern bluesy quality than the rest of the album.  Despite it not making the album, Survivor played it often at their live shows. Survivor’s first album (1979) did not have the hit they were hoping for.

Survivor had recently signed a record deal with a subsidiary of Atlantic.  John Kalodner was their A&R rep.  John also oversaw .38 Special.  Survivor’s producer gave a rough mix of “Rockin’ Into the Night” to Kalodner after he decided not to use it on Survivor’s album.  .38 Special recorded the song, using it as a template.  They changed a few lyrics, polished it, and made “Rockin’ Into The Night” a last-minute addition to their third album.

Jim Peterik said of this chain of events, “We were sitting there thinking, ‘It would have been nice if it had been us,’ but I didn’t personally begrudge .38 Special because the money was landing in my pocket.” (UltimateClassic Rock) Jim’s bandmate and co-writer, Frankie Sullivan, felt differently.  Frankie looked at the situation as Survivor’s loss was .38 Special’s gain.

Jim Peterik Helped Write More Hits for .38 Special

John Kalodner launched a lot of major band careers including Aerosmith and Genesis.  About a year after “Rocking Into The Night” became a hit, he had Jim Peterik write songs with .38 Special.  Together, Jim Peterik and .38 Special wrote “Hold On Loosely” and “Caught Up In You.”  Jim was still a member of Survivor, but he had a side gig as a songwriter for another band.  Other members of Survivor did not exactly love this, understandably.

Before .38 Special recorded “Rockin’ Into The Night,” Survivor often played the song at their live shows, usually as an encore.  After .38 Special released “Rockin’ Into The Night,” Survivor stopped playing the song since it was now a .38 Special hit… and although the song was on .38 Special’s third album, the song was their first big hit.  Their southern rock style was supported by a lot of radio stations and MTV.

.38 Special would go on to make the charts with 14 total Hot 100 hits in the ’80s. 

Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” was a MASSIVE hit.  Survivor had seven songs that went into the Top 20 on the charts.  Survivor had more jams than you might remember.  I tacked some videos onto this.  I’ll bet you sing along with more than one song.  You can also check out my classic rock song stories for “I Can’t Drive 55” HERE and “Here Comes The Sun” HERE.

Survivor’s Biggest Songs

  • "Burning Heart"

  • "The Search Is Over"

  • "High On You"

  • "Is This Love"

  • "I Can't Hold Back"

  • "Eye Of The Tiger"

  • "Rockin' Into The Night" - .38 Special

  • "Hold On Loosely" - .38 Special

  • "Caught Up In You" - .38 Special