Sunday, February 8, 2015

See What Tomorrow Brings, or Doesn't

Song 237: This week's playlist track is Look Into the Future by Journey, written by Diane Valory and Gregg Rolie. When I saw Journey on the list of opening acts for the summer 1978 Rolling Stones show at Chicago's Soldier Field, the name didn't ring any bells, but when the band hit the stage and launched into their current hit, I groaned inwardly as I recognized a track that was currently dominating the airwaves and that I avoided whenever possible. If I had to pick one band as the embodiment of the phrase soulless commerciality to describe how rock and roll lost a large share of its magic in the 1970s, I could have chosen Journey as the perfect candidate, though they had plenty of competition for that dubious distinction. What I didn't realize at the time, though, was that Journey was also the band that had done this truly magical record that I had heard a few times on the radio but hadn't identified, and it took me a few years to finally make that connection. When I did so, I soon got a copy of the record, and I never got tired of hearing it, unlike so many of their other cuts. Listening to a song this musically imaginative, you might wonder about what this band could have achieved if they had picked a more challenging path than the one of undemanding commerciality, and if you had looked into the future by hearing this song when it was released in 1976, you probably would have pictured a much more interesting Journey than the one that came to pass.

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