Monday, January 10, 2011

The Resurrection of Journey

This post is for my fellow 80's rock fans.

Last night I was chillin' before bed and turned on VH1 to catch the end of an 80's concert weekend. The concert they were playing was one of my favorite bands, Journey. Of course I got out a lighter and held it aloft while singing along.

Journey has to be considered the quintessential 1980's rock band. Catchy tunes, strong guitar, big vocals, and a combo of rock songs and ballads. That's what it took in the 80's. I saw their Frontiers concert in 1984, then again for their Raised On Radio tour several years later. Steve Perry was their long time front man through the 80's and in to the 90's. Whenever a vote is taken about the greatest rock voices of all time, Perry finishes in the top 50 or so. Like many 80's bands, somewhere in the mid 90's the band lost steam and the glow of their 80's success started to wane. They went from playing stadiums to smaller and smaller venues. Eventually Steve Perry dropped out and the band seemed done.

Guitarist and original band member Neal Schon didn't give up. He kept looking for a lead singer so they could sing the classics and do new stuff. Getting a new lead singer to perform legendary songs has almost no precedent of working well. Journey has become a huge exception.

Three years ago Neal Schon got word of a Filipino singer named Arnel Pineda who was in a cover band (a band that sings the songs of other groups). He saw Pineda sing a Journey classic, "Faithfully", and got in contact with him. Long story short, Pineda became the new lead singer in 2008. They released a new album shortly after and it went platinum- another unusual occurrence for a resurrected 80's super band. They have been touring almost non stop ever since.

Pineda has an incredible voice. he sounds eerily similar to Steve Perry. In some ways his voice might well be stronger. Below are two clips. One with Pineda singing "Wheel in the Sky", the other with Perry singing the same song years ago.

They're not due to play near KC any time soon...I'll have to find a way to make a road trip somewhere.


Woody Woodward said...

Looks like they all need a hair cut to me. Give me Elton John, I think he is a really cool dudet.

Rick Calohan said...

I will keep you posted should they tour the Pinas (Philippines) sure it is 19 hour flight but it is worth it! ; )

Brother Titus said...

That was interestingly enjoyable. I think the new singer infused some vigor into those old guys. I could hear where he sounded different than the old singer, but the new singer sounded enough like the old one that it didn't matter. Plus, the new guy is his own guy. He didn't try to mimic the old singer at all.

But, I'm with Woody. Give me the old Elton John songs, or Phil Collins and "Genesis".

Woody Woodward said...

Brother Titus, I was rippen Pastor Tony. My wife and I went to see Sir Elton the opening night at our new Sprint Center here is KS. I made one lousy comment about being a fab entertainer and he has not let me live it down. Tony is always on that stupid "metalica" kick. I would rather pluck my nose hairs as to listen to that bucket beaten' brain-bashing loud garbage. Give me the Oldies.

William said...

Journey? Really? I'm from that generation and they were indeed popular but I personally do not consider them a classic rock band. "Don't Stop Believin'" is certainly great and "Faithfully" has one of the most romantic lines ever ("I get the joy of rediscovering you"). However, I never really thought of "rocking out to Journey." "Open Arms" is totally lame (opinion only). I'm with Woody on Elton ("Bennie and the Jets" has inspired many, many rock musicians). Give me Clapton (Cocaine), Steve Miller Band (The Joker), the Eagles (Already Gone) and hundreds of others over Journey. I'm not saying I'm right, as music is completely personal. I'm just admittedly a bit surprised that they are one of your favorites. Potato/Po-taw-to. On a personal note, I am glad to see you're recovering. I've prayed for you as you've come to mind. Knee injury = Bad; God's Faithfulness in our Weakness = Good. Blessings, William