Friday, May 17, 2019

"Suzanne" by Journey

Song#:  2771
Date:  06/21/1986
Debut:  63
Peak:  17
Weeks:  13
Genre:  Rock, Pop

Pop Bits:  After a three-year gap, Journey returned with their ninth studio album Raised on Radio. It got off to a good start thanks to the #2 Rock/#9 Pop hit "Be Good to Yourself." For a follow-up, this next track was selected. The more pop-oriented song didn't do quite as well, but it still made an impression getting to #11 at Rock while cracking the Pop Top 20. In time the album would sell over two million copies to become their sixth multi-platinum album in a row.

ReduxReview:  "Be Good to Yourself" was a strong shot of arena rock that fit well in the band's catalog. Yet besides it and the title track there were no traces of the band that put out rockin' albums like Escape and Frontiers. The balance of the tracks dove into mainstream pop/rock territory. I didn't necessarily mind that the band was evolving, but the problem was that the material just wasn't all that interesting. This single certainly announced a change in direction. There are a lot of tinkling keyboard sound and even hand claps (!) driving this pop tune. It's not a bad song. The dark verse advances the tune and the chorus is good, but there is nothing special or Journey-like about it save for Perry's vocals. I will say that the way he and the backup vocals say "Suzanne" kind of drives me nuts - sooo-zahhhhn. Overall, this might have been a fine single for another middle-of-the-road artist, but it wasn't what I wanted from Journey.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  Long time Journey drummer Steve Smith ended up being fired from the band as the Raised on Radio sessions began. Instead of going through the long process of finding a new drummer, the band decided to hire a session musician in order to complete the album. They secured Larrie Londin for the work. He had previously worked on Steve Perry's solo album, so it seemed logical to bring him in for Journey. Londin's career began to take off when he was asked to sit in with Motown's famous backing band the Funk Brothers. Their drummer had suffered a heart attack and while he recovered, Londin took his place. Londin played on many Motown tracks including ones by The Supremes and Marvin Gaye. He later got involved with country artists and ended up moving to Nashville where he became a top session player. The list of artist Londin has worked with was extensive. It included Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Dan Fogelberg, Rosanne Cash, Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour, Ronnie Milsap, B.B. King, Dave Loggins, the Carpenters, Emmylou Harris, Glenn Frey, and many others. Sadly, he died in 1992 at the young age of 48 due to a heart attack.



  1. 5/10 for me as well, definitely not one of Journey's best songs and it never even made it to their 3 CD Time box set that was released in 1992, I can't even remember how the verses go.

    1. Yeah, not a total dud but certainly not close to being among their best.

    2. I personally thought "Girl Can't Help It" (a song I give an 8/10 rating to) should've been the follow up single to "Be Good To Yourself" instead of "Suzanne"