Don’t Stop Believing (as made famous by Journey)

“Don’t Stop Believin'” is a song by American rock band Journey, originally released as the second single from their seventh album Escape (1981). It became a number 9 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 on its original release. In the United Kingdom, the song was not a Top 40 hit on its original release; however, it reached number 6 in 2009.

While a majority of songs have a refrain that is repeated several times throughout the song, the true chorus to “Don’t Stop Believin'” (as well as first mention of its title) is not heard until the end of the song, with only 0:50 left. The song’s writers designated the musically similar sections before the chorus as the “pre-chorus.”[6] The song’s structure is:

Introduction (instrumental) (0:00–0:17)
Verse 1 (0:17–0:49)
Instrumental (0:49–1:05)
Verse 2 (half-length) (1:05–1:20)
Pre-chorus 1 (1:20–1:54)
Instrumental (1:54–2:01)
Verse 3 (2:01–2:33)
Pre-chorus 2 (2:33–3:05)
Instrumental (chorus) (3:05–3:21)
Chorus until fade (3:21–4:11)
The song is played in the key of E major at a tempo of 118 beats per minute. The vocal range is E3–C#5.[7] The chord progression, played by the piano in the introduction and continued throughout most of the song, is eight chords long, following a I-V-vi-IV-I-V-iii-IV progression.

The title of the song came from something keyboardist Jonathan Cain’s father frequently told him when he was a struggling musician living on Los Angeles’ Sunset Boulevard ready to give up because he was not having success in the music industry. Each time he would call home in despair, his father would tell him, “Don’t stop believing or you’re done, dude.”[8]

While the lyrics mention being “born and raised in south Detroit”, there is no place in the Detroit, Michigan area called “South Detroit”; the location south of the Detroit city center is actually the Canadian city of Windsor.[9] Steve Perry has said, “I tried north Detroit, I tried east and west and it didn’t sing, but south Detroit sounded so beautiful. I loved the way it sounded, only to find out later it’s actually Canada.”[9] Detroiters often refer to the “East Side” and “West Side” of the city, but only rarely north (sometimes called “8 Mile”, after the road of the same name) or south (referred to as “Downriver” or “Mexican Town”). The lyric “streetlight people living just to find emotion” came from Perry watching people walking in the streets of Detroit at night after a show.[10]

Steve Perry – lead vocals
Ross Valory – bass guitar, background vocals
Jonathan Cain – keyboards, background vocals
Neal Schon – lead and rhythm guitars, background vocals
Steve Smith – drums and percussion

Any Way You Want It (as made famous by Journey)

“Any Way You Want It” is a popular song performed by Journey, released on the album Departure as the opening track and as a single in 1980. The song was written by lead singer Steve Perry and guitarist Neal Schon. It peaked at #23 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The band often plays it to close their concerts. It appears on all four of the band’s live albums (Captured, Greatest Hits Live, Live in Houston 1981: The Escape Tour, and Revelation on DVD). Since its release, the song has continued to infiltrate public consciousness through its use in numerous movies (notably Caddyshack, Pitch Perfect 2 and Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted), television series, and advertisements.

According to Perry, the song was heavily influenced by Irish rock band Thin Lizzy and more particularly by bassist, Phil Lynott. In July 1979, Journey were touring with Thin Lizzy across the United States when Lynott, Perry and Schon decided to share rhyme scheme exercises while they were hanging out in Miami. The “basic” work on “the guitar-vocal-guitar-vocal interchange thing that happened between Phil and his lyrics and the guitarist and his arrangements, inspired the Any Way You Want It sorta give and take thing. It’s guitar-voice, guitar-voice, more guitar-guitar-guitar-voice. It be voice-voice and back and forth and that’s something that Neal and I think just instinctually picked up by hanging out with him”[2] commented Perry. Schon and Perry would then rework on the song in the band bus, with Schon on acoustic guitar and Perry on vocals.[3] Lynott’s contribution later influenced other songs built on the same scheme such as “Stone In Love”.

For the studio version, keyboardist Gregg Rolie originally used a mellotron. Since it was defective, co-producer Geoff Workman decided to fix the sound by doubling it with Rolie’s regular organ in the final mixing, thus creating the unique sounding background support for the song.[3]

The video for the song opens with a man standing in front of a jukebox, his face unseen by the camera. He scrolls his finger up a list of songs and stops at “Any Way You Want It”. He then reaches into his pocket and pulls out a coin which he inserts into the jukebox. He then selects the song and we see a record being flipped over and beginning to spin. This dissolves into a shot of a studio tape spinning which leads to the group performing the song in the studio. The band’s performance comprises most of the video until the song ends. At this point the man at the jukebox is revealed to actually be lead singer Steve Perry who turns and smiles at the camera. Another video exists which is a live performance during the Departure Tour. Both videos were omitted from the band’s Greatest Hits 1978–1997 DVD in favor of another live version of the song from the Escape Tour.

Steve Perry – lead vocals
Neal Schon – lead & rhythm guitars, backing vocals
Ross Valory – bass guitar, backing vocals
Gregg Rolie – mellotron, organ, backing vocals
Steve Smith – drums

Only The Young (as made famous by Journey)

“Only the Young” is a song written by Jonathan Cain, Steve Perry and Neal Schon of the band Journey. It was sold to the band Scandal, who released it in 1984 on their Warrior album.[1] Journey also recorded and released the song and Scandal was given a large settlement in the legal aftermath. Previously intended for Journey’s Frontiers album, it was pulled from the album within days of recording in favor of songs “Back Talk” and “Troubled Child”. The song was eventually released as a single (which reached No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in March 1985) and appeared on the soundtrack to the 1985 film Vision Quest. It also reached No. 3 on the Mainstream Rock chart. The song’s lyrical theme focuses on young people and the hope and future they all have in front of them. The song was featured later as a bonus track on the 2006 CD reissue of Frontiers.

The first individual outside the band to hear the song was sixteen-year-old Kenny Sykaluk of Rocky River, Ohio, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. His mother wrote a letter to the band telling them about her son’s terminal condition, and how big a fan he was of Journey. The band flew to his hospital bedside in Cleveland, Ohio at the request of the Make a Wish Foundation. Along with a Walkman containing the new track, the band also brought Kenny a football helmet signed by the San Francisco 49ers and an autographed Journey platinum record award. The experience of playing the song for Kenny left Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain deeply affected. Perry said, “As soon as I walked out of the hospital room, I lost it. Nurses had to take me to a room by myself.” On the band’s episode of VH1’s Behind the Music, Cain broke down in tears recalling the event, remarking that “children should not have to live with that kind of pain”. Kenny died the next day, with the Walkman still in his hand. The song brought life into perspective for the band and left them humbled. Neal Schon said that Kenny’s death affected Journey by making them re-evaluate the issues that were causing friction inside the band itself. In honor of Kenny Sykaluk, the band used the song as their opener for the Raised on Radio Tour.[2]

Wheel In The Sky (as made famous by Journey)

“Wheel in the Sky” is a song by the American rock band Journey, recorded in 1977 and included on their fourth studio album, Infinity. It was written and composed by Robert Fleischman, Neal Schon and Diane Valory.

At the time of the song’s composition, the band had decided to follow a new direction into an edgier sound and began recording simple hard rock pieces with new lead vocalist Fleischman, who was replaced by Steve Perry by the time work on Infinity began in earnest. The song was inspired by Perry’s work as a member of a carnival, as he was their Ferris wheel operator.

“Wheel In The Sky” reached #57 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1978, becoming Journey’s first song to chart on the Hot 100, and also reached #45 on the Canadian RPM 100.

The song opens with a short instrumental that lasts for 28 seconds. Perry then sings the first verse, which is followed by the chorus, and the second verse with the chorus repeated once again. Neal Schon joins the song with a guitar solo which is filled with Perry’s vocals, which can be briefly heard in the background. Finally, the chorus is repeated four times before the short outro that closes the song.

Steve Perry–lead vocals
Neal Schon–guitars, backing vocals
Gregg Rolie–piano, backing vocals
Ross Valory–bass guitar, backing vocals
Aynsley Dunbar–drums