Rock and Theology » Journey and Theological Elitism

Today, Rock and Theology happily posts this guest blog entry from David E. Orberson, who teaches theology part-time at Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY, and is a Ph.D. student at the University of Louisville:

My wife, 12-year-old daughter, and I are excitedly making plans to see Journey in August when they swing into town as part of the musical lineup for the Kentucky State Fair. Journey is one of a host of 70’s and 80’s bands that continue to make a living on the Festival/State Fair/casino circuit. Many of these bands manage to maintain at least a modicum of cultural relevance through their inclusion in television commercials, movie soundtracks, and other 21st-century media such as ring tones, musical greeting cards, etc.

While Journey certainly falls into this category of “nostalgic acts,” they have managed to distinguish themselves in a few unique ways. First, their 1981 hit Don’t Stop Believin’ was used in the now iconic and controversial last scene of the 2007 Sopranos series finale. Shortly after this episode aired, Don’t Stop Believin’ became one of the most downloaded songs on iTunes. In addition, Journey also made international news when singer Arnel Pineda was plucked from obscurity to front the band in order to capitalize on the buzz created from the Sopranos episode. Longtime guitarist Neal Schon stumbled upon YouTube videos of the 41-year-old Pineda singing with his band, The Zoo, in the Philippines. Within a week, Pineda was rehearsing with the band and making plans for a tour. What made the story even more noteworthy was Pineda’s uncanny vocal similarity to longtime Journey front man Steve Perry. While Perry was not the band’s original lead singer, he was at the helm during the bands peak in the 1980s and left an indelible mark on their music and sound. Finally the band distinguished itself in 2008 when, with Pineda, they recorded an album of new material and released it exclusively at Wal-Mart stores. The album sold very well, especially for a nostalgia act without a record label, and was certified platinum, selling over 1 million copies.

via Rock and Theology » Journey and Theological Elitism.

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