Tuesday, September 1, 2015

BATTLE OF THE BANDS: JOURNEY V. JOURNEY

Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,

It's time for the September 1, 2015, edition of The Battle of the Bands.  Mr. Stephen T. McCarthy provides us with this information about the bloghop:

The whole thing is really quite simple: You select two different versions of the same song (versions you feel might give each other some competition in the voting) and you post them on the 1st and the 15th of each month.

On the 7th and 21st of each month, you add your own personal vote to the mix, total up all the votes and announce the winner on your blog.


Beyond that, just try to have fun with it and let your readers/voters have fun with it.


All righty, then. Let's have fun!

I've never been a Journey fan, but I enjoyed the documentary I watched--Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey--about their search for a new lead singer. The documentary led me to present this BOTB.

The original incarnation of Journey formed in 1973 and wasn't very successful. Their label told them they needed a frontman and lead singer. They dutifully hired a lead singer, who left within a year.

During 1977, Journey hired Steve Perry as their lead singer, and the band became a huge success.

One of Journey's biggest hits was--and is--Don't Stop Believin', "which in 2009 became the top-selling track in iTunes history amongst songs not released in the 21st century," according to Wikipedia.

Here's our first contender in Journey v. Journey: Don't Stop Believin', featuring Steve Perry.




Steve Perry left Journey in 1987, though he returned at times for reunions, until he suffered a hip injury in 1997. He was replaced by Steve Augeri in 1998.

Augeri left in 2006 and was replaced by Jeff Scott Soto for almost a year.

Now we reach the part of Journey's story that I find most interesting. Lead guitarist Neal Schon searched YouTube for a new lead singer and discovered Filipino singer Arnel Pineda, who was in a cover band called The Zoo. Pineda, who had spent much of his youth homeless, seemed to rejuvenate Journey. They played sold-out stadium concerts. Their single, After All These Years, spent numerous weeks on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Chart.

In the documentary about Journey hiring and undertaking their first tour with Pineda, he recalls that following their first concert, the band's manager told him not to run around the stage, to stand still and sing. To the apparent delight of the crowd, Pineda did not stop delivering his enthusiastic performances.

So whether you like Steve Perry's voice and way of working with the band, or Arnel Pineda's voice and style, please cast your vote in the comments for Journey with Steve Perry or Journey with Arnel Pineda.

Here's Pineda, also on Don't Stop Believin':




Infinities of love,

Janie Junebug

66 comments:

  1. I've never been a Journey fan either, but I remember reading about this. What a great story! I'm going to have to vote for the original with Steve Perry, though. IMO. his strength and tone were a bit better.

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    1. First vote for Steve. Thanks, Debbie D. Doglady.

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  2. That was some cool information. Interesting how bands go on--no one is irreplaceable.

    I've always liked journey though they were never a part of my music collection when they were popular. I think I have a greatest hits CD now, but haven't listened to it but a couple times. Still they are a pretty great band that played some excellent music.

    The Journey incarnation with Pineda certainly holds true to the original. Pineda carries the band well and his vocal chops are right. Still though I prefer the original sound and the trad look to Perry's version.

    I vote for Journey with Steve Perry.

    That was a truly rad Battle as well as a rock and roll learning experience.

    Arlee Bird
    A to Z Challenge Co-host
    Tossing It Out

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    1. Even though I don't care much for their music, I enjoyed learning about Journey's history. It's fun to see them "then" and "now," too.

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  3. Well, I vote for Journey. Definitely Journey.


    Okay, fine, Steve Perry Journey. Arnel is good but he's doing a Perry impersonation.

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    1. Somehow I knew you'd be the one to vote for Journey.

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  4. Good morning, dear Janie and happy BOTB day!

    I applaud you for thinking outside the box and presenting your BOTB "anyway you want it," in this case Journey vs. Journey. Arnel Pineda's voice is very similar to Steve Perry's. In a blindfold test many listeners would be fooled. Yet, Arnel's vocal style gives him away. The minor but noticeable vocal embellishments he adds to "Don't Stop Believin'" are typical of millennial singers covering old school songs, so is the tendency to render the song with greater passion and power. In this case, less is more. I realize that both artists embellished somewhat in these live performances, but Steve Perry's delivery is laid-back, natural, smooth and seemingly effortless, same as it was on the original Journey studio recording of "Don't Stop" which is simply perfect and cannot be improved with the addition of vocal gymnastics. I vote for the original - Steve Perry.

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    1. I like your analysis, Shady man. I had no idea that millennials have a certain style when they cover the songs of the past.

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  5. I think I'll go with #1 - Steve Perry, although they really do sound an awful lot alike. I like the video of the first one the best...and the piano is almost the same as well.

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  6. The new fellow sings really well, but I'd have to go with the version I grew up with sung by Steve Perry.

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    1. I never knew Steve Perry's name or that he left the band until I watched the documentary.

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  7. Hi Janie, My vote goes out to Steve Perry. I am a little biased because Journey ( with Steve) was my very first rock concert I went to and I was in middle school. I know their albums front to back and huge fan. I think its very cool that they found the new singer who resembles the sound so much from Philippines. I gotta go with Steve Perry. Arnel was also very good but not enough for my vote.

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    1. My first concert, also in middle school, was The Carpenters. I don't think my mom was aware of any other popular singers of the time.

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  8. What a blowout! I can't say I disagree. Or does my cohort.

    So now that you're one of the cool BOTB regulars I figured I'd just mention this. While we usually only comment on blog posts individually, we do like to participate in BOTB voting together. Usually over a beer. So with other BOTBs, we typically both place a vote, whether it's in agreement or we spend the rest of the day arguing over who's right and who's wrong (as clearly there's always a right and wrong answer).

    So with this, we both unanimously agree that Steve Perry is the winner. Amel is okay, but it's like he's just trying to be Steve Perry, and you can't be Steve Perry. Only Steve Perry is Steve Perry.

    So it's up to you whether you want to include each of us as our own vote, as the others do, or count us as one entity. Your blog, your rules, after all. Either way... the blowout doth continue.

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    1. Don't you guys ever go to work? I don't think it matters, in this case, if you give one vote or two to Steve Perry. He's clearly the winner. I am inclined to say that you should have two votes, however, because I think you are two separate people, though I'm not positive.

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    2. We're Siamese twins that just have a really good way of making it look like we're two people so up to you on whether we're considered two people or just one person with two heads.

      And I'll have you know I am at work now. That's the joy of being a full time writer. I'm, uh, doing research right now.

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    3. I vote for you being two people. I do research by watching movies. God, it's hard work.

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  9. Okay, many thoughts here. But I don't wanna take up your entire comment section.

    Let's begin with this movie called Rock Star. It's about this guy who sings in a tribute band and then gets a call from the actual band when they lose their lead singer. Sound familiar? Here's the trailer:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OTQoNvgyYs

    I think I saw this movie when it came out in 2001. It reminded me of Journey and their story (then and now). I don't know that all of the Ins and Outs of the movie are actually Journey's story, but the ongoing quest for a lead singer... yep.

    Here's the thing: Journey didn't become successful until Steve Perry. (This is where this comment thread could get rather long.) That raises the question of the heart of the band. With Van Halen, the heart of the band was never in the singer. They did just as well with two very different lead singers. Not so with Journey. Journey owes their success entirely to Steve Perry. Entirely. Steve Perry would've become successful with or without Journey. In fact, he was.

    After Steve left Journey to pursue a solo career, Journey faltered. As you noted, they went through several lead singers. And they didn't find success again until they found a guy that sounded almost exactly like Steve Perry. Almost. But not exactly.

    The question for me is thus: Can Journey succeed as a band without someone who sounds exactly like Steve Perry (or really close)? I think the answer is no. The other question is thus: Could Arnel Pineda go solo using entirely new material and achieve success (without the well known Journey name behind him)? I don't know the answer to that one, but I suspect it's no.

    So, for me, Journey is Steve Perry. And that means my vote is is for Steve Perry.

    If you watch the movie Rock Star, let me know what you think:)

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    1. That's quite a comment. I think I've heard of Rock Star, but I didn't know what it was about. You are correct when you say that Journey wasn't successful until they found Steve Perry. I've learned from the BOTB that Steve Perry fans are extremely devoted to him.

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  10. Both are good. I do't have a preference.

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  11. I have a hard time voting against an original I've come to know and love.
    So this time I'll be placing my vote for the Steve Perry Journey.
    Thanks for using a great song.

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    1. Thanks for visiting and voting. Steve thanks you, too.

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  12. GREAT battle!!! I love Journey vs Journey. Great concept. The band has such interesting history. Arnel sure sounds like Perry, very close. But I grew up with Perry so my vote has to go with him. Love this song!
    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. I'm amazed by all the Journey fans, but I shouldn't be since they can sell out stadiums.

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  13. Janie - tough enough! Journey with Arnel Pineda really created a strong comeback for the band. I love it. However my heart will always gravitate to Journey with Steve Perry!! I met them backstage at their "Escape" tour - the first tour for them. I vote for Journey with Perry (smile).

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    1. I want to hear about this backstage meeting. Sounds interesting.

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  14. I liked Journey, still do but I don't have any of their music.
    And as much as I like Steve Perry (perfect) singing this song.....
    I just love Arnels energy and joy at singing this song.
    So I vote for him.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Arnel thanks you. He was getting pretty worried that no one would vote for him.
      I said, Arnel, relax. The lady with the square dogs will show up, and she'll do right by you because the dogs will say you are gud.

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  15. Ummmm...Steve Perry. I grew up listening to Journey. Yep...Steve Perry.

    -andi

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  16. The effing TV is blaring...they sound the same!
    I guess I will vote for Journey.

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  17. 1. I love Robin. Her comment is perfect.

    2. Need you ask? STEVE, STEVE, STEVE AND STEVE.

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  18. Wow...I'd always heard the new singer sounded like Steve Perry but that's amazing. Still, there's no substitute for the original. I vote for Steve Perry's version, hands down! Even taking away the fact that he's the original, there's just something about Steve Perry's voice that is so perfect.

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  19. For me it's all about Steve Perry. He gets my vote.

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  20. Journey was my first ever concert. And um, I guess I must not've paid any attention to them after the Escape album because I had no idea Perry had left! Love this song - it became the anthem of the 2005 World Champion Chicago White Sooooox. Steve Perry came out to the parade and everything, so I'm going to have to jump on the bandwagon and give him my vote. Though the jumpy Pineda did a fine job (tell him I said so, okay?)

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    1. I'll call Arnel immediately. He's been waiting for your decision. He'll be disappointed.

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  21. I love the concept. MY vote is for Journey with Perry.

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    1. Perry? I don't remember any Perry. Oh, you must mean Perry Como.

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  22. I like Steve Perry. Arnel is good, but he's trying too hard.

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  23. Janie, well...I tell you I'm not much for keeping up with when one lead singer is replaced by another for whatever reason. So, it doesn't come as no real shock that this is the case with Journey, but what I'm not 100% sure on which singer I'm the most familiar with because they sound very similar IMO. That being said, I like both Steve and Arnel equally, but for the purpose of the battle showdown I know I can only pick one. So, I think I will go with Steve Perry just because it was in the early years I remember them the best. Fabulous battle & thanks for stopping by! ;)

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    1. Steve thinks it's about time someone voted for him.

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  24. I have to go with the original. It's classic.

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  25. I'll take the Steve Perry version, please.

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    1. I'll serve him to you on a silver platter.

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  26. Yeah, I'm really not a Journey fan either. In fact, I rather dislike 'em. (I saw them in concert 3 times, but I always went to see the "other" band, who either opened for them, or followed them.)

    Still, I gotta vote for the Steve Perry-led Journey.

    This was an interesting take on BOTB though, Janie! Cool idea.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Three times? I didn't even know which songs were theirs till I saw the documentary.

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  27. Die hard Journey fan! :) Took The Peanut to their concert in 2014. It was her first concert. When they hired Arnel it was like they were no longer a cover band of themselves. I rather like his voice...though occasionally I miss Steve Perry. I mean, that man had chops!

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    1. So do you vote for Arnel, Steve, or me?

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  28. The original singer is the best one!!

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  29. Janie.... you have the best replies to the comments !
    : )
    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Thanks. It's part of the fun for me. Shady Del Knight has even better replies to comments. He can have comment conversations that go on for days.

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  30. The original, for me! Although, I have to admit I think they're both GREAT! :)

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  31. I almost missed this one! heavens to betsy! I vote for Steve Perry because he just knows this song inside and out. I have to give credit to the young man though because, even though he sounds similar to Steve Perry he , I believe, is trying to make this his own but that shows his youth and inexperience. Aside from that, I love the history you gave here and Pineda gave his all especially when you think where he came from. I think the song he sang must have hot close for him that's why it is always worth to believe and never stop.

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  32. Ok, my vote is: Journey with Steve Perry just because I enjoyed it more. I've missed a few BOTBs due to moving, but plan to get back into it as of now. I just like to listen and vote, so thanks to you and the others who do the research and post the music!

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Got your panties in a bunch? Dig 'em out, get comfortable, and let's chat.