Livin’ Just To Find Emotion: Journey and the Story of American Rock

Rowman & Littlefield. Feb. 2024. 320p. ISBN 9781538187012. $33. MUSIC
The single most downloaded song on the internet from the 20th century isn’t one by the Beatles, Prince, or Madonna. It’s the signature song of one of rock’s most enduring acts: Journey. “Don’t Stop Believin’” transcended its early 1980s roots and became an inspirational anthem for sports teams, start-ups, people fighting life-altering ailments, and more. The band’s long and complicated history, with its myriad stylistic and lineup changes, is the subject of historian and lifelong fan Golland’s book. Refreshingly, this is not the standard band biography. Golland (dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Monmouth Univ.; A Terrible Thing To Waste) brings an academic approach to the subject, placing Journey within its proper historical musical context. Though it is clear that Golland loves Journey’s music, he also provides an overdue critical take on the group’s overall sound. He also discusses issues of musical influence versus appropriation. It is rare, and valuable, to find such insight in books like this.
VERDICT Readers don’t have to be Journey fans to appreciate this cerebral approach to a biography about the band. For casual readers and scholars alike.
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