Behind the Song: “Faithfully” by Journey

Nichole S. Gehr

Highway run / Into the midnight sun / Wheels go round and round / You are on my head. 

“In all honesty, it is a road song,” says Jonathan Cain.

Observing the band’s touring crew, lots of of which didn’t have the dollars to fly their wives and children about with them, the Journey keyboardist felt drawn to write a song about getting on the road, significantly taken off from loved types, and observed “Faithfully,” the 1st strains coming to Cain a single night following a show when the band was trapped in a snow storm.

“I viewed the crew acquire down the full stage—the speakers, the lights, the trusses,” Cain tells American Songwriter. “I viewed the daredevils climb to the prime like ‘Oh, my God, this is like a circus efficiency.’ I was so touched, and I considered we did not have a tune, but if we experienced a tune, or we despatched one particular home to our beloved types, like a postcard to help bridge the distance amongst the highway and residence what would it be.”

Snowed in for the night, Cain commenced producing the first couple of traces of “Faithfully” on a napkin.

“I commenced pondering about me and my partnership, and I was missing my new spouse at the time, and we were owning trouble,” shares Cain. “There ended up early indicators that we would likely break up apart. I understood I required to do something that mentioned, ‘I really like you, and no matter whether or not you want to go away me, right here it is,’ so I obtained on the bus, and there was this grey sky, and the moon was undertaking some sort of ridiculous stuff in the clouds, and it seemed like the midnight solar. Then I wrote Freeway run / Into the midnight solar / Wheels go round and spherical / You are on my mind.”

After commencing the tune, Cain downed a beer and went to snooze, woke up by the smell of diesel gas from the band’s bus. “In the early morning, I observed the napkin sitting down there on the nightstand and I claimed to myself, ‘This is a superior song, so I begun immediately lining up the strains and filling it in. In 30 minutes, all the lyrics have been carried out. Then all of a sudden, I consider the Holy Spirit despatched it to me, but I thought of the line ‘I’m eternally yours, faithfully.’” 

Cain took the napkin to the band’s following soundcheck in Saratoga Springs, New York, positioned it on his piano, and started out quietly singing “Faithfully,” functioning out the melody and piano components, but under no circumstances recorded any demo until finally he revisited “Faithfully” with the late producer Keith Olsen (Fleetwood Mac, Ozzy Osbourne, Coronary heart) and finally recorded the monitor.

Olsen played the tune for Heart’s Ann Wilson, who loved it, but it was a Journey track. By the time the band was recording Frontiers, they necessary a ballad, and “Faithfully” was prepared to go.

“Perry stated to me ‘I’ll sing it on a single ailment, you just cannot be in the area when I’m singing,’” remembers Cain. “I said, ‘fine,’ and we slice it in 3 takes. We hardly ever performed it right before. We never ever rehearsed it. Which is how excellent Journey is.” 

He provides, “Neil did not know what to engage in, and I looked at him and I stated, ‘be a French horn”… and the track turned a common.”

Reflecting a lot more on the observe, Cain tells American Songwriter that the instances all around the song give it further that means threaded in like, faith, and tunes. “It was my initial yr out on the street, and I was in a truly grateful spot currently being younger with a band like Journey, and grateful for how much up God experienced elevated me,” says Cain. “My identification was sort of acknowledged, lastly. As a author and performer, I felt like I belonged there. I didn’t feel like, ‘Oh, I never deserve this.’”

Changing original keyboardist and Journey co-founder Gregg Rolie, who remaining the band to investigate new initiatives and get started a loved ones, Cain, then 31, began working on the band’s seventh album, Escape, composing several of the tracks, like “Faithfully,” alongside with singer Steve Perry and guitarist Neal Schon in 1983. By the time Frontiers was introduced Cain presently had “Don’t Cease Believin”—an encouraging phrase his father shared with him when he was younger—“Open Arms,” and more Journey hits underneath his belt. 

“I feel like I acquired each individual bit of it,” suggests Cain of the recognition he felt by the time “Faithfully” was introduced. “At the exact time, I was grateful.

Currently, the track, which initially peaked at No. 12, has by no means remaining the Journey setlist, but Cain regrets that “Faithfully” by no means located placement in a movie. He can’t even get the music covered, and the moment approached Garth Brooks as perfectly as Tim McGraw and Faith Hill to deal with the ballad.

“I just cannot get it coated,” laughs Cain. “I guess they’re worried of the primary. It is a wonderful tune.”


Read Jonathan Cain’s new job interview with American Songwriter, right here.

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