- Released: September 25, 2001
- Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
Record Collector (magazine) - p.884 stars out of 5
-- "[T]he eights songs within are a scintillating set of AOR corkers, 'Cherry Nights' showcasing slashing guitars over rolling percussion waves..."
Survivor: Dave Bickler (vocals); Frankie Sullivan (vocals, guitar); Jim Peterik (vocals, keyboards); Stephen Ellis (bass); Marc Drouby (drums).
Recorded at Rumbo Recorders, Los Angeles, California.
Caught in the Game had Survivor focusing on a harder rock & roll sound, with greater emphasis stemming from the guitar and percussion, but this new formula didn't fare well commercially and the band failed to put any of the album's songs onto the charts. With Frankie Sullivan finally expressing himself with his guitar playing, the album does manage to establish a vibrant and dominant punch through most of the cuts, but because of this, there's a shortage of musical flow and melodic consistency that becomes apparent after the first few tracks. Efforts such as "What Do You Really Think" and "I Never Stopped Loving You" are Survivor's best examples of their straight-ahead rock fair, but they're canceled out by non-abrasive fillers like "Slander" and "Santa Ana Winds," which have the band playing well below their capacity. After this album, Survivor replaced vocalist Dave Bickler with the more inspired-sounding Jimi Jamison. The album that followed, 1984's Vital Signs, had the band playing clean-cut radio-friendly rock, and two of the three singles released from the album made it into the Top Ten. Survivor encountered further success with their new vocalist and their future albums had more of a congenial pop/rock flair to them, which was apparent even on the releases that didn't net the band any charted singles. None of Caught in the Game's tracks appear on Survivor's most thorough hits package entitled Fire in Your Eyes: Greatest Hits, an essential 18-track compilation released in 2001. ~ Mike DeGagne