Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Case for Journey for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

In the latest installment of the top ten bands that should be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, we visit the case for Journey. 

Now Journey has some strikes against it.  Among them:
  • Their songs were very pop oriented, and while that doesn't preclude a band from the RRHOF per se, it did limit their audience somewhat. 
  • The band has been beset by personnel changes throughout its history, and just like Jethro Tull, that appears to have hurt the band's chances of making the Hall.  How bad were the changes?  Try six different lead vocalists in their 38 year career. 
  • Journey made one of the worst music videos of all time.  Literally top ten worst.  I apologize, but I need to show it to make my point:

All that being said, there are a lot of reasons to include Journey in the RRHOF: 
  • Neil Schon, lead guitarist, has been the linchpin of the group, and is an incredibly gifted guitarist.  Simply fantastic, and one of the main reasons why their sound is so good.  Personal aside on Schon.  I was drinking coffee and eating cereal over the StarTribune one morning before work, and I happened to breeze past the obituaries and the wedding announcements.  One of the announcements struck me as the woman in the picture was incredibly attractive.  I then cast my gaze to the guy she was marrying to see if he was worthy, and was taken aback at how incredibly much he looked like Neil Schon.  It was uncanny.  So then I go to read the announcement, and there in the middle of all of the other random Minnesota wedding announcements featuring Petersons, Johnsons, and the like was the announcement for the Kozan/Schon wedding.  It was cool and weird all at the same time. 
  • Journey was a dominant band in the late 1970's and early 1980's.  While their music was popular for the critics to pan, it was equally as popular for people to buy, and their numbers of sales both in terms of albums and singles cannot be denied.   They were clearly one of the top five bands of this period. 
  • Their popularity continues into their fourth decade.  Don't believe me?  OK, want to know the most popular song downloaded on iTunes, ever?  Don't Stop Believin' by Journey.  Not a song by the Beatles, or Zeppelin, or Floyd, or the Stones.  Journey.   
  • Finally, Journey provided the soundtrack for one of the best scenes from one of the best movies of all time:

Look, I know this is not going to be a popular pick, but I think if you stack up all of their achievements (which continue to keep coming), I believe that Journey has earned a spot within the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.    

    1 comment:

    1. This one is a no brainer. The critical aspect is your point how this band was the DOMINANT band over an extended period of time. IT would be like a major league pitcher being in the top 5 in the CY Young voting over a 5 year period, winning once, and having another 5 years being in the 10-15 in CY Young voting.

      That is a HOF career.


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