Up until now I've stuck to bands that I both enjoy and know about. I'm attempting to keep this blog largely positive because, believe me, I could go on for the next three years about twee, contemporary R&B, and those miserable shit-fuckers the Black Eyed Peas (who, by the way, are still in the fucking top 20 of the Billboard 200, proving that I'm perfectly justified in hating everyone in existence) but it would probably get old after a while. Besides, I don't want to invest that kind of time in a blog of all things.
But when discussing classic rock, even when limiting oneself solely to bands with some historical relevance, there comes a time when you must discuss the dregs of the genre. It's inevitable, like how every David Bowie fan has to admit that he did, in fact, make albums after the mid-80s. You look down on the floor and mumble something about how 1. Outside had some great avant-garde influences and was really cool for pulling in electronica and people let you get away with it out of pity.
The difference is that I fucking love Bowie, despite his flaws, and have some serious issues with classic rock, mainly because of its flaws. And no flaw is bigger or better selling than Journey. God I hate Journey. If you want to save time you should take those words and go find something cheerier.
Let's address the band first; Journey got their start when Santana's backing band got sick of playing second fiddle to ol' Carlos (which they should have seen coming considering what he named the group) and decided to take a stab at a career on their own. This isn't unheard of; The Band (Bob Dylan's backing band) had some decent success on their own. The difference is that the original version of Journey tried to make a stab at financial success with jazz fusion, which had the result you'd pretty much expect.
Their label, Colombia, told the guys to find a frontman and change their style to something closer to Foreigner/Boston. They complied, and after going through a few guys they settled on Steve Perry, otherwise known as "that talentless schmuck who stole Pete Townsend's nose."
As much as I hate Steve Perry, the band themselves hated him more. The group's drummer and keyboardist both left the band, and did it after it became obvious that Perry's Journey (for it very much was under Perry's control) would be monstrously successful. Not even buckets of money, each as large as Perry's schnozz, could convince them to put up with him.
You may think I'm being mean-spirited here, but this is how intense my hate of Perry is. Why do I hate him so much? Because of classic rock stations, who all fucking love Journey. Goddamn do they love Journey; I can guarantee that, on any given classic rock station, no more than two hours pass without a Journey song.
And what songs they are! Thanks to The Sopranos and countless bars around the world, "Don't Stop Believin'" is the best selling iTunes song of all time at three million downloads. That's roughly six million dollars, all spent on Swiss. "Separate Ways" has the cheesiest opening outside of Styx's discography; "Faithfully" is the only love song less convincing than "Hey There Delilah"; and "Wheel In The Sky" is... actually pretty cool. I like that one. Worse, every lyric Perry ever sang/wrote is ever worse than "Welcome To The Jungle".
Wanna know who to blame for synth rock? Journey. Vapid lyrics sung by people who sound they have a cold? Journey. A bizarre love for overly emotional lyrics sung in the least convincing way possible? Journey. Worse, they're one of the core bands of the classic rock canon. They are universal; heard everywhere. Even today, the average person on the street is more likely to know about Journey than any other band from the early-80s, guaranteed. For a lot of people, they are the 80s, representing the entire decade's rock movement.
That's why I'm pissed off. That, and because they suck.