Friday, December 2, 2016

Favorite Song Friday: Faithfully

I've often thought of Journey as the anti-Beatles. Not that they were against everything or anything the Fabs stood for or represented—just the opposite, in fact; even without knowing much about what the band members believe in their heart of hearts, I'm quite confident all of them grew up loving the lads. No, I think of them as the anti-Beatles because each and every member of the most popular lineup of the band (although, really, it goes for the musicians who were members before they got really popular, as well as the ones who came after their heyday) is an absolute monster on his instrument. I mean, seriously, you just don't get better, really, on a technical level, than Steve Perry, Neal Schon or Steve Smith. And yet, unlike the Beatles, none of whom were technically all that accomplished—save, perhaps Paul McCartney, on bass—Journey managed to produce nothing transcendent, and little that's really, objectively, of lasting value.

Harsh, I know. So let me temper it with this caveat: a handful of their songs remain wildly popular, and I fully admit to liking several, including "Separate Ways," despite (perhaps) its staggeringly terrible in a slow-motion-train-wreck-can't-look-away manner.

And then there's "Faithfully." Another entry in the "oh, life is so hard on the road when you're a fabulously wealthy and popular musician" category, I absolutely adore this song unreservedly and without the slightest hint of irony—no mean feat, when you consider the mustache in its accompanying video.

Now, usually on our Favorite Song Fridays, we over some sort of analysis, whether it's a close reading of the lyrics, or perhaps our ham-handed stab at delving into the chord progression in some sad pseudo-music theory attempt. Not here. I got nothin', other than to mention Smith's typically spectacular drumming, and the fact that the lyrics are straightforward, which helps them scalpel their way directly into your heart, or at least, into my heart.

One funny note, though: apparently, Prince called up "Faithfully" composer Jonathan Cain, immediately after The Purple One had recorded "Purple Rain," to see if that masterpiece was too close to the Journey song. Cain assured the lil fella that other than sharing some chords, it was not, in fact, too close. For some reason, that makes me love the song even more, as well as Prince, and who knew that was even possible?

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