Tuesday, July 28, 2015

"Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" by Journey

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  1341
Date:  02/05/1983
Debut:  36
Peak:  8
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Arena Rock

Pop Bits:  Journey became superstars when their 1981 #1 album "Escape" spawned three Top 10 hits including the #2 "Open Arms." A year and a half later they readied their follow-up LP "Frontiers." This first single got things kicked off in a big way hitting #1 at Mainstream Rock while spending an unusual six-weeks at #8 on the pop chart. The album could have been their second #1, but Michael Jackson's "Thriller" blocked the top spot and Journey had to settle for a #2 peak.

ReduxReview:  This was a loud song. It sounded so big with every instrument turned to 11 and filling up the speakers. I always thought it sounded muddy on conventional radios, but when I cranked it on my home stereo it was awesome. It was as if they took the arena sound and put it right there on the record. I loved the sound, the song, and the album. Most critics panned the LP and I can understand why. It's full of big, glossy, commercial, formulaic arena rock that was meant to appeal to the masses. And it did. I bought into it as well and I still enjoy an occasional spin of the album. There's no shame in that. I remember that this album and Styx's "Kilroy Was Here" were paired up into a single review in Rolling Stone. I believe they both got two stars. I loved both albums and was so mad I sent them some hate mail - you know, back when you actually had to write a hate letter and buy a stamp and send it to someone...

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Prior to this single, the videos for Journey's songs were typically in-concert or edited stage performances. With MTV gaining popularity, the band decided to do their first real choreographed video, despite reservations from some of the band members. The video was shot on a wharf in New Orleans and featured the band lip syncing and playing instruments as a girl walked along the wharf. It did not turn out well. In addition to the video's weak concept, there were certain parts of it where the band mimes playing their instruments - aka air banding. It just didn't work. Although not a career killer, it was considered bad enough to be #13 on MTV's list of the worst videos of all time in 1999. (Note:  What was the #1 worst video on the list?  Don Johnson's "Heartbeat.") It also got skewered on an episode of MTV's Beavis and Butthead.


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