Dont stop believing - Journey
Stumbled upon this profile from the Los Angeles Times that's been reprinted on more than a few websites today, by Chris Willman, about (of all things), the Journey classic, "Don't Stop Believin'." Willman begins:
There's an old pop aphorism that goes: "Don't bore us -- get to the chorus." By that yardstick, Journey's "Don't Stop Believin' " should be one of the most boring and unsuccessful rock recordings of all time.Despite this, the song has incredible staying power, and is nearly ubiquitous--it shows up on movie/TV soundtracks of all flavors; in sports arenas; karaoke bars; Broadway; many, many youtube covers...
Structurally, it's a mess: Surely one would get tossed out of songwriting school for a tune that follows its opening piano riff with a verse, a guitar arpeggio, a second verse, a bridge, a guitar solo, a third verse, a repeat of the bridge, another guitar solo . . . and then, 3 minutes, 20 seconds in, when the song is ready to fade out, one of the most unforgettable choruses in rock.
"There is an odd form to the song as well, because it's almost like an A-B-A-B-C pattern," [Jonathan Cain, Journey keyboardist/song co-writer] says, perhaps understating the true nuttiness of the song's structure. "So there's that chorus they hadn't heard before at the end. But we knew we wanted to save it. It's like a wave about to happen -- the anticipation of something happening, a change in your life," Cain said2 million downloads...that ain't chump change. The whole story is pretty interesting--oh, but I should've warned you at the beginning of this post, once you start reading about the song, you won't get it out of your head all day. (which is why I didn't warn you, honestly...why should I be the only one?)
That sense of tension and eventual anthemic release may have given the song more staying power than a song that gives away all its goods in the first minute.
"Don't Stop Believin' " has become the top-selling digital download of a track not originally released in this century, selling 2,803,000 units since online single sales began to be tracked in 2003, according to Nielsen SoundScan.