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Book Cover for: Livin' Just to Find Emotion: Journey and the Story of American Rock, David Hamilton Golland

Livin' Just to Find Emotion: Journey and the Story of American Rock

David Hamilton Golland

"Golland leaves no stone unturned in this fine-grained chronicle of the rock group Journey.... Golland's passion and precision make this a pleasure." -Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"[Golland] 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." -Library Journal, Starred Review

"A welcome study of one of rock's most enduring musical fusions." - Salon

Relive Journey's greatest songs and moments with this fiftieth anniversary tribute

Since exploding on the scene in the late 1970s, Journey has inspired generations of fans with hit after hit. But hidden under this rock 'n' roll glory is a complex story of ambition, larger-than-life personalities, and clashes. David Hamilton Golland unearths the band's true and complete biography, based on over a decade of interviews and thousands of sources.

When Steve Perry joined jazz-blues progressive rock band Journey in 1977, they saw a rise to the top, and their 1981 album Escape hit #1. But Perry's quest for control led to Journey's demise. They lost their record contract and much of their audience. After the unlikely comeback of "Don't Stop Believin'" in movies, television, and sports stadiums, a new generation discovered Journey.

A professional historian, Golland dispels rehashed myths and also shows how race in popular music contributed to their breakout success. As the economy collapsed and as people abandoned the spirit of Woodstock in the late 70s, Journey used the rhythm of soul and Motown to inspire hope in primarily white teenagers' lives. Decades later, the band and their signature song remain classics, and now, with singer Arnel Pineda, they are again a fixture in major stadiums worldwide.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
  • Publish Date: Feb 6th, 2024
  • Pages: 378
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 9.00in - 6.00in - 1.00in - 1.59lb
  • EAN: 9781538187012
  • Categories: MusicGenres & Styles - RockHistory & Criticism - General

About the Author

David Hamilton Golland is a historian, professor, and writer with a wide background in twentieth-century social and cultural history. He is dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Monmouth University and founder of The Journey Zone (journey-zone.com), the leading source for all things Journey over two decades. Connect with David on Twitter (@DHGolland) and visit his website (davidgolland.com). He lives in Middletown, New Jersey.

Praise for this book

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 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. 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.

Monmouth University history professor Golland leaves no stone unturned in this fine-grained chronicle of the rock group Journey. Formed in 1973 as a 'progressive rock' band, Journey's lackluster sales had Columbia Records close to ending their contract in 1977, when 'crooning tenor' Steve Perry joined as frontman, bringing with him a sound inflected by the smooth, 'beguiling' vocals of Black soul singer Sam Cooke. The band's 1981 album Escape featured such hits as 'Who's Crying Now' and 'Don't Stop Believin', ' which catapulted the group to superstardom. Following a burned-out Perry's 1987 departure, 'Don't Stop Believin' ' cemented the band's legacy as a nostalgic cornerstone of white American culture whose songs are piped through ballparks and used by TV shows and movies. Golland meticulously colors in the band's artistic conflicts and power struggles, paying particular attention to Perry's decision to leave, but he's at his most convincing when he interrogates the racial dynamics at play in the band's success. Under Perry, Golland contends, the group's music could border on a 'modern form of minstrelsy, ' capitalizing on 'the racial backlash of the '70s by producing music rooted in soul and rhythm & blues for a largely white, working-class audience... that didn't want to listen to Motown because it was 'too Black' but was perfectly happy listening to five white dudes play... hot Motown wax."' Golland's passion and precision make this a pleasure.

"Livin' Just to Find Emotion: Journey and the Story of American Rock affords music lovers with a career-spanning overview of the band's achievements. In Golland's skillful hands, this bookprovides readers with an engaging assessment of Journey's timeless albums. From the group's early forays into jazz and progressive rock through the artistic and commercial heights of Escape and Frontiers, Golland underscores Journey's vaunted place among rock 'n' roll's pantheon of all-time greats."

"A fascinating story of Journey, investigating the band dynamics, the clash of egos, and the sheer talent it took for a 1970s San Francisco band to rise to the top of the music industry. It's not just a tale of corporate rock and ambition, but also the re-segregation of rock music after the racial integration of the '60s. A compelling read that had me checking out songs all the way through!"

All too often, Journey is dismissed by uber-serious critics and high-minded fans as unworthy of serious analysis. Lucky for us, David Hamilton Golland disagrees. In a comprehensive and thoughtful volume, Golland skillfully traces the group's tumultuous fifty-year history. He paints complex portraits of its current and past members and cleverly unpacks Journey's identity as a "corporate" rock band by documenting the legal maneuvering and empire building that underpins its massive success. Most importantly, however, Golland never loses sight of what made Journey a household name: its magical catalog of smash hits. You won't stop reading.

A welcome study of one of rock's most enduring musical fusions... In Golland's careful hands, Journey's story, and their music in particular, receives a much-needed critical treatment... To Golland's great credit, Livin' Just to Find Emotion will find you absentmindedly humming 'Don't Stop Believin' and other Journey mainstays in the same breath in which you reconsider the racial and cultural dynamics that brought them to rock's highest heights in the first place.