♫ Foolish Heart ♫

These days it’s harder than usual to keep a song in my heart.  I think of one whilst in the shower or up to my elbows in sudsy dishwater, I think I’ll still remember it when I return to the computer, but … POOF … it vanishes into thin air.  Of late, I don’t sing, I whistle … if I even do that.  Usually, I don’t have to go in search of new music for these music posts … the music finds me.  But lately, I admit I’ve struggled to find a song anywhere in my head or heart.  So, tonight when I went in search of, determined to find one that made me want to sing along, this is what I stumbled across.  I’ve always loved this one, especially that one line, “You’ve been wrong before, don’t be wrong anymore”.

This song, written by Steve Perry, formerly of the band Journey, and Randy Goodrum, was performed by Perry from his first solo album, Street Talk. It was released as the fourth single from the album in November 1984 and peaked at #18 in the U.S.

Says Goodrum of the joint effort …

“It seemed like such an unlikely match, Steve and me. Shortly before I flew out, I thought, I’ve got to put together some song ideas or some starts or something. I had this little vamp idea which I said, Well, Steve is calling me probably because he wants a certain thing that I do, so I will give him a piece of what I do. So that little vamp at the very beginning in the general chord progression of the verse was something I brought. He had a little writing room set up and he had this Fender-Rhodes there, and a little Linn machine, and a little Teac 4-track cassette player.

I drove up to the house in this little mid-size rental, and I looked like some guy from Connecticut – I had an English riding cap, and corduroy pants – and he opens the door, and he’s got a fire-engine red jumpsuit, sweat shirt and pants like he’d been exercising at a fire station or something. And hair down to his feet. He was a great guy. Instantly we hit it off, and we were good friends. So we went into the room to kind of kick around, and I played him that little start, and he liked it right away, and he started jamming some melodies.

My style from starting out in Nashville was to write lyrics and music simultaneously. That’s really the style I prefer, because the music is sort of telling you what it’s about from the get-go, and I don’t think he was used to that style, because we started about 11 in the morning, and about 11 that night we had the song done and demoed. I think he was pretty exhausted from it, and I was pretty tired, too. We ended up writing four songs, I wrote four days with him, and each day we wrote a totally different kind of song. And all four of them ended up on the record.”

This was the last single from Perry’s debut solo album, Street Talk. His group Journey was still active at the time, but members had taken on solo projects: guitarist Neal Schon teamed up with Jan Hammer (as Schon & Hammer) for albums in 1981 and 1982, and drummer Steve Smith released a jazz album in 1983 with his group Vital Information. Perry had by far the most successful career outside of Journey.

Foolish Heart
Steve Perry

I need a love that grows
I don’t want it unless I know
With each passin’ hour
Someone, somehow
Will be there, ready to share

I need a love that’s strong
I’m so tired of being alone
But will my lonely heart
Play the part
Of the fool again, before I begin

Foolish heart, hear me calling
Stop before you start falling
Foolish heart, heed my warning
You’ve been wrong before
Don’t be wrong anymore

Feelin’ that feelin’ again
Playin’ a game I can’t win
Love’s knockin’ on the door
Of my heart once more
Think I’ll let her in
Before I begin

Foolish heart, hear me calling
Stop before, you start falling
Foolish heart, heed my warning
You’ve been wrong before
Don’t be wrong anymore
Foolish heart
Foolish, foolish heart
You’ve been wrong before

Foolish heart, hear me calling
Stop before you start falling
Foolish heart, heed my warning
You’ve been wrong before
Don’t be wrong anymore
Foolish heart

Oh foolish foolish heart
You’ve been wrong before

Foolish foolish heart
Foolish heart

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Stephen Perry / Randy Goodrum
Foolish Heart lyrics © Round Hill Music Big Loud Songs, Downtown Music Publishing

♫ Open Arms ♫

Some nights, I struggle to find a song that I want to hear and that I haven’t already played, but then other nights, a song just pops into my head … usually either while I’m rolling smokes or taking a shower … and I know that’s the one.  Such was the case tonight, but while I had the tune in my head, I couldn’t think of the name of the song, the artist, nor more than a snatch of lyrics.  However, my friend Google (with whom I have a love/hate relationship) filled in the blanks and here I am with the song!

This song by Journey was released in early 1982, and would become their most recognizable radio hit and their biggest US Billboard Hot 100 hit, reaching number two in February 1982 and holding that position for six weeks.

Written by band members Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain, this song is about a couple who drifted apart but found each other again and realized how much they love each other.  Jonathan Cain came to Journey with this melody already written. It could have been a song for the Babys, his previous band, except that Babys’ vocalist John Waite rejected the melody as “too syrupy.”

Mariah Carey co-produced her cover of the song with Walter Afanasieff for her fifth album, Daydream. Carey’s career has crossed paths with Journey’s: the band’s drummer Steve Smith played drums on many of her earlier singles, and its bassist for a short period in the mid-1980s, Randy Jackson, has worked with her for a long time.

The single was released as the album’s third single between late 1995 and early 1996 in most markets outside the United States. It became a number 4 hit in the United Kingdom and was performed live on the BBC’s flagship chart television show, Top of the Pops. It also charted in the top ten in Ireland and New Zealand, and at number 15 in the Netherlands.

I wasn’t aware of Mariah Carey’s version until tonight, and I will say that while I do like much of Mariah Carey’s work, for this song I prefer Journey’s version.  However, in fairness, I shall play both and let you decide for yourself!

Open Arms
Journey/Mariah Carey

Lying beside you, here in the dark
Feeling your heartbeat with mine
Softly you whisper, you’re so sincere
How could our love be so blind
We sailed on together
We drifted apart
And here you are, by my side

So now I come to you with open arms
Nothing to hide, believe what I say
So here I am, with open arms
Hoping you’ll see what your love means to me
Open arms

Living without you, living alone
This empty house seems so cold
Wanting to hold you
Wanting you near
How much I wanted you home

Now that you’ve come back
Turned night into day
I need you to stay

So now I come to you with open arms
Nothing to hide, believe what I say
So here I am, with open arms
Hoping you’ll see what your love means to me
Open arms

Songwriter(s): Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain
Producer(s): Kevin Elson, Mike “Clay” Stone

♫ Don’t Stop Believin’ ♫

It’s hard these days to keep a positive attitude.  I find myself in a dark mood more often than not of late, despite my friends’ efforts to convince me that Trump will lose in 2020 and order will be restored.  I once was considered an optimist, but these days … I’m anything but.  So, this song, which was sent to me by a dear friend as a reminder to never stop believing, just begged to be played tonight.

This song was not Journey’s biggest hit, but it is by far their most famous song, thanks to a resurgence in the ’00s.  This track has a unique structure, which helps it stick in your mind. Where most songs have a chorus that’s repeated several times, Don’t Stop Believin’ brings in its chorus (and title) only at the end – about 3:20 into the song.

The line, “Strangers waiting, up and down the Boulevard” is a reference to Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, where dreams are made. Keyboard player Jonathan Cain got the idea for the song when he went there to pursue his career.

“The song began with the chorus. My father had coached me. I was in Hollywood, struggling with my career, kind of lost. I was asking him, ‘Should I come back to Chicago and just give up on this dream?’ And he said, ‘No, son. Stay the course. We have a vision. It’s gonna happen. Don’t stop believin’.'”

Cain’s dream came true when he joined a group called The Babys with John Waite. In 1980, he joined Journey in San Francisco, and this song took shape.  He told Steve Perry about his idea for placing the song in Sunset Boulevard, and Perry had him describe it.

“I described the menagerie of people who would show up on a Friday night,” Cain said. “All the dreamers that had dreams to become actors. Producers, artists, lawyers, anything… they were all there on a Friday night.”

Journey lead singer Steve Perry, keyboard player Jonathan Cain and guitarist Neal Schon are the credited songwriters on this one, but the entire band contributed. Perry explained that the song originated during a series of gigs in Detroit when he found himself in a hotel room unable to sleep, staring out of the window:

Strangers waiting, up and down the boulevard
Their shadows searching in the night
Streetlight people, living just to find emotion
Hiding, somewhere in the night

“I was digging the idea of how the lights were facing down, so that you couldn’t see anything. All of a sudden I’d see people walking out of the dark, and into the light. And the term ‘streetlight people’ came to me. So Detroit was very much in my consciousness when we started writing.”

The popular resurgence of this song can be traced to its use in the 2003 movie Monster, which was based on the true story of the female serial killer Aileen Wuornos. The film was not widely seen but drew critical raves and a Best Actress Oscar for Charlize Theron, who portrayed Wuornos. In the movie, the song comes on when Wuornos and Selby Wall (played by Christina Ricci) are skating to it in a roller rink.

Don’t Stop Believin’
Journey

Just a small town girl
Livin’ in a lonely world
She took the midnight train going anywhere
Just a city boy
Born and raised in South Detroit
He took the midnight train going anywhere

A singer in a smoky room
The smell of wine and cheap perfume
For a smile they can share the night
It goes on and on and on and on

(Chorus)
Strangers waiting
Up and down the boulevard
Their shadows searching in the night
Streetlights, people
Living just to find emotion
Hiding somewhere in the night!

Working hard to get my fill
Everybody wants a thrill
Payin’ anything to roll the dice
Just one more time
Some will win, some will lose
Some were born to sing the blues
Oh, the movie never ends
It goes on and on and on and on

(Chorus)
Strangers waiting
Up and down the boulevard
Their shadows searching in the night
Streetlights, people
Living just to find emotion
Hiding somewhere in the night!

Don’t stop believin’
Hold on to the feelin’
Streetlights, people!

Don’t stop believin’
Hold on!
Streetlight people
Ohhh, woah!
Don’t stop believin’
Hold on to that feelin’
Streetlights, people

Written by Jonathan Cain, Steve Perry, Neal Schon.