Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Journey - "Open Arms"

Open Arms - Escape

(Debuted January 16, 1982, Peaked #2, 18 Weeks on the Chart)

When he came to Journey in 1981, Jonathan Cain had the music worked out for "Open Arms." He had written it while he was still a member of his previous group The Babys, but leader John Waite rejected it for being too "syrupy." However, when he joined Journey and played it for fellow member Steve Perry, he loved it and helped Cain finish the song. It was one of the early power ballads, and Waite had to wait three years before touching on his own ("Missing You").

Whaen they recorded the song, guitarist Neal Schon reportedly wasn't thrilled with the idea of a ballad, but came around after performing it live and seeing the concertgoers' response. It was something different than the band had ever tried before, and was almost kept off the Escape LP as a result.

"Open Arms" was a #2 smash, kept out of the top spot by the twin puch of "Centerfold" and "I Love Rock & Roll," showing how powerful those two songs were in 1982. It ended up being as close as the band ever got to the top of the charts. It was used twice in the 1982 film The Last American Virgin and has appeared in several movies since, in addition to becoming a standard Karaoke tune and a frequent choice of reality-based TV performance shows.

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