Friday, November 25, 2016

"Oh Sherrie!" by Steve Perry

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  1861
Date:  04/07/1984
Debut:  47
Peak:  3
Weeks:  20
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  Perry's early career was pretty much a non-starter. He fronted a few bands and did some recordings, but nothing came from any of the ventures. In the early 70s, he started a band called Alien Project that showed some promise. Demos were recorded, yet still there was little interest in the band. Following the death of a band member, Perry called it quits and moved back home. He was ready to give up music until he received a call from the manager of a prog rock band called Journey. The band's lead singer was basically going to be ousted and they were looking for a replacement. Perry got the job and Journey's fourth LP, Infinity, became their breakthrough. After four more hit studio albums, Journey was one of the biggest arena rock bands in the world. Following the the tour that supported their Frontiers album, the band decided to take a break. During that time, Perry decided to record a solo album. He co-wrote and recorded Street Talk and this song was chosen as the LPs lead single. Accompanied by a popular MTV video, the song became a #1 Rock hit while getting to #3 Pop and #33 AC. It helped to send the album to #12 and over time it would be a double-platinum seller.

ReduxReview:  The one thing that this single demonstrated was that Perry was not just going to regurgitate the Journey formula for his solo outing. When it came down to it, this song was just pure pop music. There was no arena rock going on. It was just a pop ode to a girl supported by a solid production. And it worked very well. The rest of the album followed suit with soft rock tunes, AC-leaning ballads, and even a Motown-inspired track (the terrific "I Believe"). But rising above it all was "Oh Sherrie" and it became his signature solo song.

ReduxRating:  9/10

Trivia:  So who was Sherrie? She was actually Perry's girlfriend at the time. During the period when Journey was enjoying their greatest success, Perry was dating Sherrie Swafford. She served as the inspiration for the song and also appeared in the video. Unfortunately, like a lot of rock 'n' roll relationships, theirs came to an end before the 80s were out. Swafford kept a low profile following the breakup. Apparently, she lives a quiet life, never got married and is an esthetician.


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