What were the 80 most important musical recordings, artists, trends, events, and performances of 2008? What were the eight things this year that broke our hearts—or, at least, our ears? We’re happy to announce 80 ’08 (and Heartbreak), Idolator’s year-end overview. The list is below the jump.
In the wake of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” being resurrected by a pop-culture phenomenon for the 58th time last year, the band went hunting for a new lead singer—and they found one on YouTube, of all places. Arnel Pineda’s rise to becoming a sort of Ripper Owens for the user-generated content era began when some friends uploaded his performances to the video-sharing site; as lore has it, the Manila-based singer received an e-mail from Journey guitarist Neal Schon inviting him to audition, but dismissed it as a probable hoax. Eventually, Schon convinced Pineda that he—and his request—were the real deal, and the online matchmaking bore full fruit in February, when the new Journey made its live debut in Chile.
The Punk/Rock auction at Christie’s yesterday… More »
Even though I can’t recall a world without them, I’ve never liked Journey. As a kid, I found them vaguely annoying, and as I grew into a rock fan, I was more than happy to go along with the critical line that fingered them as all that sucked in rock. That’s eroded over time–Journey simply isn’t worth getting worked up over, and besides, when Chuck Eddy said back in the early ’90s that Journey were far more effective than any critic of the time wanted to admit, I knew exactly what he meant. I look back at the music of my childhood with more fondness than it sometimes warrants, but the recent “revival” of “Don’t Stop Believin’”–from The Sopranos to its inclusion in The Pitchfork 500–still puzzles me some, if a little bit less now that I’ve seen the infomercial for Time Life’s The Ultimate Rock Ballads Collection.
Rags-to-sorta-riches Journey singer Arnel Pineda… More »
Journey’s apparently timeless anthem “Don’t Stop Believin'” is now the first “catalog” track to reach the two million legal digital download mark. First off, it’s pretty crazy that it took this long for the ubiquitous “Believin'” to sell two million copies, even though it’s been blared in every venue imaginable, from The Sopranos to the Chicago White Sox locker room. Obviously, “catalog” tracks are not the sellers that newer tracks are. With its lyrics of wine, cheap perfume, and South Detroit, it’s become something of an anthem for many non-urban dwellers who spend time singing along to songs in their cars. What’s really sad about this is I bet Journey only made a few hundred thousand dollars about it after iTunes, the record label, and other various personages got their cuts.
Yahoo! Music chart watcher Paul Grein has run down SoundScan’s list of the most-downloaded tracks and found out which pre-Napster-era songs are still inspiring people to pay 99 cents for a copy. Anyone who’s ever seen the number of Google hits the words “Steve Perry” and/or “Arnel Pineda” and/or “song at the end of The Sopranos” can accrue will be completely unsurprised that Journey’s unkillable “Don’t Stop Believin'” is No. 1 on the list, with 1.8 million downloads. However, I was a bit amazed to find that Israel “Iz” Kamakawiwo’ole’s sweet, ukulele-tinged version of “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” beat out Survivor’s Rocky-inspired “Eye Of The Tiger,” if only because that and the Journey track are forever twinned in my mind. Top 10 after the jump.
The ZVUE company may be running out of cash, but they can still turn out one awesome MP3 player.
HITS Daily Double’s chart predictions for the coming week are slightly good news for the music industry, with five albums selling in the six-digit range, and bad news for humanity, what with Disturbed taking the top spot with around a quarter of a million copies sold of their latest album,… More »
From time to time, we like to round up the all-important, all-summarizing last sentences of the biggest new-music reviews. Under consideration in this installment is Journey’s new full-length and first album featuring Arnel Pineda, Revelation, which hits Wal-Marts across the country today. Unfortunately, critical appraisals of the album are somewhat sparse, so we’re featuring comments from various posters on the MelodicRock.com Journey forum: