Journey is an American rock band that first came together in 1973 to play the progressive rock that was popular at the time. The band had mediocre record sales and nearly lost its record deal. In 1977, everything changed when lead singer Steve Perry joined the group. Today, Journey is still one of the most popular touring bands in the world and its songs are still played routinely on pop radio stations.
What makes Journey's music so much more durable than other bands of its era? There are a lot of reasons why Journey songs still survive today, and will survive for a very long time.
Many of the more popular Journey songs tell a story. Some talk about living on the road in a rock band and others tell about the frustrations of lost love. Many of the bands of the 1970's and 1980's focused on more shallow topics such as partying and how many sexual partners they could find in one night. Good stories, in any form, always survive the test of time.
Guitarist Neil Schon and singer Steve Perry are often considered two of the finest rock musicians ever. The rest of the group was also blessed with a significant amount of musical skill. When it comes right down to it, one of the things a band needs to pass the test of time is great musicians. Most music fans will agree that Journey was a band with a lot of talent.
Roger Waters of Pink Floyd was frequently quoted as saying that songs which play on emotion will last forever. The songs written by Journey were a perfect blend of heartfelt lyrics and raw, emotional music. The band never strived to be technically perfect, even though all of the musicians were extremely talented.
The focus was on hitting the right emotion with the audience, which is a key to having a song live on for a very long time. Journey offered a range of emotions in its music that helped a broader audience to identify with what the band was singing about. Emotion helped to sell a lot of Journey tickets to live performances.
Image via Flickr by TORLEY
For many Journey fans, it is impossible to separate the band's music from its iconic album covers. The bands that gain musical immortality such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Journey all had visual images that the public find difficult to ignore or forget. When people see a Journey album cover, they know exactly which band's album it is. A sign that Journey's image is powerful is the fact that even non-Journey fans can identify Journey album covers, even if the band's name is not featured on the cover.
Journey became a supergroup at a time when the music business was just discovering the real financial power of rock music. But Journey went on to become much more than just another band putting out decent-selling records. Thanks to its unique mix of talent and honest songwriting, Journey has gone on to be a band that remains relevant to fans of all ages.