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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"Don't Stop Believin'"

Journey - Don't Stop Believin' (1981)

If you asked me to name my least favorite genre of music in the last 200 or so years, I would tell you Arena Rock. If you asked me to name my least favorite band of all time, Journey would be right up there.

Newly added keyboard player Jonathan Cain brought the idea of this song with him when he joined the band in 1980. The first 15 seconds are nothing but him, and remain one of the better known keyboard openings to any rock song ever. It was the first track off of their hugely selling hit album Escape. Steve Perry's vocals are high, earnest, don't really have a lot of complexity, (he memorably rhymes anywhere with anywhere) and can be sung by almost every single female between the ages of 11 (thank you Glee) and 70 (40 years old when the song came out). The guitar work is fun on Rock Band, I will grant them that. The arpeggiated wail that starts softly at 0:51 and grows to 1:04 is almost as well known as the keyboard opening; and the solo at 3:05 is equally well known. I just wish he had played more than just the same progression we've heard dozens of times in this song already sung by Perry. The song is at least 5 minutes shorter than I remember. I must be confusing it with a Boston song in my head.

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