RE: Journey
Posted by: Kevin ()
Date: August 05, 2000 02:01PM

Vince Viani wrote:

Hi Brad,

I do believe that Perry had as much to do with the songwriting in those albums as Cain did. And especially on the ROR album, it was mostly Perry. That album was very R&B-ish and that was Perry's specialty. Not to mention that Perry produced ROR

I can agree that the r&b sound of ROR was very Perry-influenced, but I am still unconvinced how much of a writer Perry ever was. To me, his solo cds are patchy to say the least and very rarely have impressed me much with their songwriting abilities. It is practically the saving grace of Perry's voice that they sound as good as they do. if you put someone like Vince Neil or Jani Lane on those songs, I doubt many people would rate it as high as they do.

As far as lyrics go....."You Better Wait"

she was seventeen
beauty queen
met her in a magazine

heart of fire
love's desire
reaching out higher, higher

Now, don't get me wrong as I do like the song, but I find it amazing that out of 6 writers (Perry included) that they couldn't come up with better lyrics than this!

What should't be factored out here is whether Perry became a good collaborating writer when paired with someone who could write fairly well by themselves. "Faithfully" is pure Cain and "Open Arms" is mostly Cain (it came with him from The Babys because John Waite refused to sing it). Both of those songs are Journey to the core. Lyrics to both of those are pretty good. So.....Cain can write solo and make it turn out pretty good. How much Perry was responsible for the "Journey" sound should soon be shown to everyone on the new Perryless cd.
ROR was very Perry-directed, but lyrically, I don't see that much difference from any other cd, which suggests that the main writer(s) from the previous cds hadn't changed much--it was still mainly Perry/Cain. With Perry producing--and pretty much being solely responsible for Valory and Smith leaving the band--I think it's safe to say that he would have some direction on the sound of the band for that particular cd.

Generally speaking, my overall feelings toward Perry is that he is a brilliant vocalist (best ever rock vocalist in my book).....but as far as writing goes, he needs someone that can write good and when he doesn't have that, the quality of the songs suffer.

I do agree with you, however, that Journey cannot get success by writing rockers, at least in this day and age. Their success indeed will come from Cain's ballads

true......on the other hand though, you get their live shows where rockers primarily dominate the setlist. Hard balance to maintain to say the least because what they will perform are the rockers usually. Over the last 2 tours, they performed the following songs from Trial By Fire: One More, Castles Burning, Can't Tame the Lion, When You Love a Woman. 3 rock songs (none of which were popular radio hits) and only 1 ballad....even though the album had more ballads than rock songs.

And as for godfathers of the power ballad, I think there are other bands we should consider as about Survivor?

I would put Survivor up there in having created some of the best ballads, but neither their debut nor Premonition had any ballads. The 1st Survivor cd with a ballad was Eye of the Tiger, released the year after Journey's "Open Arms" from Escape went soaring up the charts....and they didn't get a hit ballad until 2 cds later with 1984's "The Search is Over" off of Vital Signs. By this time, Journey had hit singles with "Open Arms", "Faithfully" and "Send Her My Love" which planted Journey firmly in the power-ballad band category--which did little to help their rock concerts, but gave them plenty of hit singles.
As a purely song-writing standpoint, I would put any of Survivor's ballads head-to-head on the same level as Journey's, but the fact remains though.......Journey was WAY more influential to the success of ballads. There IS a reason why you see Britney Spears performing "Open Arms" live instead of "The Search Is Over" I'm not kidding here!!!!!!!


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SubjectViewsWritten ByPosted
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