Can We PLEASE Give This Song a Rest?
The song I think is really in need of unplugging for a long, long time ALSO happens to be Insurance.com’s #1 most popular song for driving as voted by their readers. Ugh….
Let me start by saying I grew up playing the Journey “Escape” a lot as a kid. It was/is one of the great pop rock albums of the 80’s. Many classic tunes, many copies sold. Broke the band bigger than ever. Lets call it like it is, the band really was great rock n roll, mainstream hit machine. Steve Perry’s voice, legendary. Neal Schon’s blistering guitar style, still underrated. Steve Smith’s drums, also hugely underrated. Jonathan Cain’s songwriting with Perry really pushed Journey to the top. “Don’t Stop Believing” was one of the tunes that made Journey intergalactic big. Ok, let me switch the direction a bit now….
A few years back, classic rock was the home base for that song. It quickly popped it’s head up every other day between The Stones and The Scorpions and all was good. Then director David Chase decided, still not sure why, to use the song in the final episode of his show, The Sopranos on HBO. The finale was one of the biggest shows of all time and there’s “Don’t Stop Believing” playing as the show ends cold and hard. That’s a pretty huge opportunity. The next day, that song was the biggest song in the world, again since 1982. The “what the hell happened” to Tony and his family question lingered in your brain for a week or two tops, yet that song has lingered now for whats now been almost 7 years. Yup. You’ve heard it a few times over those years, I guarantee it. I have. I suuuuure have.
Off the success of the Sopranos and the awkward placement of the tune, a new life for “Don’t Stop Believing” ignited. People rediscovered the song, kids finding the song, sporting arenas started blasting the song (to add to the other 1 or 2 songs they’ve been killing for years). Great! A resurgence for a great band, that’s awesome. Some serious extra publishing money from airplay and usage for the songwriters, very deserved. That being said… is everyone done now? Cause that song should be put on an island for the next 50 years! We get it! It was fun and cute for a minute. Not 7 years!
It used to be classic rock radio’s baby. But since 2007’s Sopranos finale the world and everything in it owns that song. You can’t dodge the song for more than a day or two. Its on in department stores, supermarkets, jukeboxes in the Old Port, karaoke, cover bands, shopping malls, commercials, ring tones, bad tv show promos, amusement parks, high school sporting events, Glee, musical birthday cards, weddings… its madness! (btw, I was at a weeding last year and that song came on.. THE most awkward moment in years that I’ve witnessed. People partially rocking out yet trying to somehow dance to it??? That dance potential for that song negative 9000%)
Hey, people must love it and want to hear it a million more times. According to a recent pole with Insurance.com’s readers, “Don’t Stop Believing” was voted the #1 song to drive to these days. The other Top 5:
Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody”
AC/DC “You Shook me All Night Long”
Journey “Any Way You Want It”
Tom Cochrane “Life Is a Highway”
Well, we all have our own take on things. I personally have had it with that tune though folks. Its not a bad tune, I don’t hate it. I just don’t want to hear it everywhere anymore! Pair it up on a two for Tuesday with “Chain Reaction” and I’m ok with that. Is that too much to ask?
Its just weird to me that most people aren’t tired of it. “Its a great song” people might say. To me great songs not to be tired of are tunes like, “Sitting on the Dock of The Bay” by Otis Redding or “Something” by the Beatles or “Johnny B. Goode” by Chuck Berry. “Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones or Aretha Franklin’s “Respect”. THOSE are songs that never have a wear down factor to them. They are a few of the greatest songs of all time. “Don’t Stop Believing” is not. But maybe it doesn’t have to be. Long as people like it!
Sorry, had to get the last punch in there…