Song of the Day: Journey – “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin'”

We wrap up our 2017 Rock Hall inductees Song of the Day series today with Journey*. What to make of Journey? Sir Rocknuts took a shot at them in his lyrics piece, a criticism I didn’t necessarily agree with (the lyrics he criticized for the song “Lights” might have been simple but to me worked perfectly fine for that song). Rich Karfilis wondered about Journey’s inclusion in his Rock Hall reaction piece, calling their inclusion a “head-scratcher.” I admit that my first reaction to Journey getting in was to say there’s a long and distinguished list of acts that deserve consideration before them, but after thinking about it some more, I don’t have too much of a problem with them getting in.

Journey was (and is) massively popular as they’ve sold 48 million albums in the world alone. People don’t merely like Journey’s anthems, they absolutely frickin’ love them. I remember growing up I had a copy of Frontiers on cassette tape because my seven-year old ears thought “Separate Ways” was the shit, and as an adolescent Journey’s Greatest Hits was one of the first CDs I owned, and all the other kids loved it too. We tend to get caught up in influence or complexity or virtuoso songwriting/musicianship when discussing bands that should and shouldn’t be in the Rock Hall, but maybe more should be said for a band whose anthems can get tens of thousands of people to stand up and sing. I don’t think the Rock Hall should be merely a popularity contest, but a band’s ability to make so many people happy shouldn’t be discounted either.

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Back to the song… this song was one that helped get the ball rolling for Journey as it was their first big hit (No. 16 on the Billboard chart). And like their other hits, it’s a fun, catchy song to sing along to, especially if you’re inebriated.

* Tupac Shakur was left out of this series, although let the record show that while Sir Rocknuts, who isn’t a rap fan and wouldn’t appreciate 2Pac on his site, may not care, the others here — myself included — are likely happy with his induction. Putting rappers in the Rock Hall always sparks debate, but as long as they’re going to put rap in, 2Pac is on the short list of rappers whose inclusion in the hall is a no-brainer. If I was to pick a SOTD for 2Pac, I might go with Papa’z Song (explicit lyrics), an angry and heartfelt song about the pain of growing up without a father that isn’t one of his more famous tracks but is an example of how powerful 2Pac could be when he dove deep into his emotions.

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