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Thursday, October 29, 2009

'Don't Stop Believin'' — the Journey continues ...

Posted By on Thu, Oct 29, 2009 at 3:48 PM

As the Baltimore Ravens scored to time the game at versus Minnesota Vikings with 3 minutes 37 seconds left in the fourth quarter, a tune — familiar and fierce — began to rise above the cheers and whistles ... until, before long, the entire stadium was engulfed in a hearty rendition of legendary rock band Journey’s signature song, “Don’t Stop Believin’.” From Broadway to cable to sports, the nearly 30-year-old hit just keeps on swinging.

The 1981 power balled is a soaring, hard rockin’ anthem for those who refuse to let a little thing like doubt keep them from what they want. The song reached No. 8 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart and No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

That was back then. Now, the tune has taken on a life of its own due to repeated appearances on some of TV’s hottest shows.

click to enlarge journey2qs2

In 2008, it was the 72nd most downloaded song in the iTunes store and is its "most downloaded song not released in the 21st century" of all time. Arguably, the most recognizable and most referenced song in popular culture right now, but it received a jolt of new life by the finale of HBO’s addictive series The Sopranos in 2007. In fact, sales of the song on iTunes rose 482 percent over following days. It has shown up on Family Guy, Scrubs, and MTV’s Laguna Beach.

Earlier this year, contestants from American Idol sang “Don’t Stop Believin’” as a group at the beginning of the results show, and if you caught them when they rolled through Time Warner Cable Arena in August, the song was used as the closing group song for the Season 8 tour. It was ranked as the 11th greatest song on VH-1’s Greatest Songs of the 80’s countdown. Most recently, the cast from one of my favorite new shows Glee performed a cover of the song.

So, what is it about the song that seems to transcend generations and genres? Sure, much of its resiliency is due to its own purely musical kick-ass nature. But it’s one of those rare creations with a message that speaks to a feeling to which most anyone can relate. “Don’t Stop Believin’” brings us to a place we have all been at least once — a point where with a dream in our hearts, we throw caution to the wind and, even when the odds seemed stacked against us, we soldier on and ... well, at the risk of stringing together any more motivational clichés, it’s a damn good song from the lyrics to the instrumentation to frontman Steve Perry’s powerful delivery and is, thankfully, not at all like much of the unintelligible and incomprehensible “music” in heavy rotation on the radio today.

If you are currently living under a rock and have no idea what this song is, the band is perpetually in tour mode, albeit without the golden-piped Perry.

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