“Faithfully” by Journey (1983)

I feel like Journey more or less invented the power ballad. Someone, I’m sure, will correct me if I’m wrong.

‘Faithfully” is the epitome of the soaring rock ballad. Jonathan Cain wrote a helluva song. His lyrics acknowledged the difficulty lots of musicians have maintaining a stable relationship when they’re on the road all the time. Hell, even folks who are not musicians but travel a lot for work found something to relate to here. Meanwhile, “Faithfully”‘s arrangement is as anthemic as rock and roll gets. If you’re not waving an imaginary lighter by the time those “whoa whoa whoa”s come in, you do not have a heart. Or ears.

Cain was also fortunate enough to be in a band with Steve Perry, who was at the height of his emotive vocal powers here. Dude is right up there with Freddie Mercury as one of the greatest rock singers of all time.

Here’s something that didn’t occur to me until 2016: “Faithfully” and “Purple Rain” share the same chord structure. Apparently, the songs are similar enough that Prince gave Jonathan Cain a buzz before “Purple Rain”‘s release to make sure he was cool with the unintentional bite. Thankfully, he was.

Also, did Journey invent the “life on the road” documentary video? It’s a sharp drop from this to “Wanted: Dead Or Alive”, I tell you.

RIP Steve Perry’s stellar mustache.

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