I grew up in the 1980s, so the rock band Journey was a huge part of my youth. They had several big hits, but one of the most popular and well-known Journey songs is “Don’t Stop Believin.”
“Don’t Stop Believin” was released on the Journey’s “Escape” album in 1981 and was the second single on the album. “Don’t Stop Believin” was written by the band’s lead vocalist Steve Perry, keyboardist Jonathan Cain, and guitarist Neal Schon.
This epic song is considered to be a mid-tempo rock album, and the keyboard riff is what makes the song so special. However, Steve Perry never disappoints us with his vocals and that’s no different in “Don’t Stop Believin.”
In 1981, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin” was a top-10 hit around the world and it eventually became the signature song of the band. In the 20th century, it still endured as a huge hit and has had more than seven million downloads.
The song is so epic that Rolling Stone magazine ranked “Don’t Stop Believin” as one of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. One thing that makes this song so unusual and different is that the chorus of the song doesn’t start until the song is nearly completely finished.
What inspired the song “Don’t Stop Believin”? Jonathan Cain came up with the song’s title because it reminded him of his struggle as a musician in Los Angeles. His dad encouraged him to keep the title that we all know and love today. His father always told him to never stop believing as he was trying to pursue his dreams of becoming a successful musician.
Cain said that he feels that every young person has dreams and hopes they’ll grow up and fulfill their destiny and potential. Remarkably, “Don’t Stop Believin” was recorded in one live take. Perry, who had a cold at the time of the recording, had to come in the following week to add his vocals.
Below, you can listen to the song with everything stripped except for Steve Perry’s amazing voice.
Phenomenal. Just brilliant!