“Don’t Stop Believin'” is one of those classic rock songs that keeps on going and refuses to fade away. You hear it at sporting events, on television and movies, and on the radio even after 35+ years since it was recorded. Journey had a lot of success at its peak, but this may be song that defines them in the end, so today we’re going to have a listen to the isolated lead vocal from the song.
“Don’t Stop…” is an interesting song in that the chorus only comes once in the song and it’s at the end. I can’t think of another song where that happens but it’s not a song structure that you’d teach an aspiring songwriter, and yet here it is in this huge hit. Let’s get into it.
1. Journey vocalist Steve Perry truly has one of the most incredible voices in music and it’s perfectly on display here. The song was recorded as we entered the age of perfectionism in the studio (thanks to the 24 track tape machine), but this performance is still scary good.
2. I didn’t hear one slight imperfection at 0:33 where he went slightly sharp on “…anywhere” but that’s really splitting hairs.
3. The audio quality of this video isn’t great, but you can still hear that the vocal has in a nice long delayed reverb. If you listen carefully to the decay, you can hear a midrange ring to it.
4. On the B sections you can hear a double slightly to the left and an octave below the lead slightly to the right.
5. The vocal is edited together so there’s no big gaps from the instrumental sections of the song.