The Story of JOURNEY’s “Open Arms”

There are great rock ballads and then there’s Journey’s “Open Arms” – a song that goes beyond the realms of any ordinary power ballad with its distinctive poeticism and ability to break down even the toughest hearts out there. Back in the day, when I knew so little about Steve Perry or Journey, it was “Open Arms” that convinced me that there is something special about this band and I should dig deeper. Now, years later, I look back at that moment when I fell in love at first listen and I can’t but be grateful for this gorgeous song that found a way to appear in my life and brought Journey with it.

I thought it’s high time this out-of-this-world power ballad got the spotlight on [My Rock Mixtapes]. I have gathered some interesting facts and personal interpretations which hopefully my readers will find beneficial. Don’t get too emotional (though I know I will).

Journey_Escape

– “Open Arms” was released as the third single from Journey’s highly successful 1981 album “Escape”. Written by Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain, the delicate ballad turned into an instant radio sensation and a fan-favorite. Moreover, not only it skyrocketed the album sales but it became the band’s highest charting single, occupying #2 spot for six weeks! (Surprise! Journey’s most popular tune “Don’t Stop Believin’” didn’t even reach top5 positions in the States).
All in all, what “Open Arms” achieved should come as no surprise because it was in fact a revolutionary song at the time – after its release and commercial success, it became an absolute necessity for any rock act to release a power-ballad.

journey-open-arms– Initially, Jonathan Cain wrote the melody of “Open Arms” for The Babys – a band, led by John Waite. However, to John the tune was simply too sentimental and had absolutely no interest in recording it. Imagine how different the future would’ve looked like for “Open Arms” if it wasn’t Journey who released it at the end. (Huge mistake, John…)

Things didn’t kick off that smoothly in the Journey corner as well, though. The rest of the band members, including lead guitarist Neal Schon, had their doubts about the mellow rocker as it was way too different than anything they had ever recorded before. Basically, Steve Perry was the only one who rooted for the song till the very end. He was committed and knew what was right. Let’s all thank Steve Perry for not giving up on “Open Arms”.

– “Open Arms” is a perfect marriage between melody and lyrics. Steve Perry is such a magical being; how could he come up with words so touching and so affecting, is beyond my comprehension. Simple, yet so moving, those lines are effortlessly playing on the strings of your heart, making you fall apart with each second. There’s a reason why many fans and critics refer to “Open Arms” as one of the greatest ballads of all time – not many ballads can actually provoke an emotional and physical reaction in you.

journey-open-arms– To me, the song is about that “soft” and “sincere” love between two people, who may have “drifted apart” for one reason or another, but the true feelings they have for each other never actually changed. Steve is singing about someone he wants back, ready to welcome her with “open arms” and start their beautiful life once again, forgetting the past. At the end of the day, I think it’s all about what your heart wants; when there’s “nothing to hide” and that sweet love means so much to you, it’s never too late to welcome it back to your life. My favorite lines from “Open Arms” are “…But now that you’ve come back, Turned night into dayI need you to stay”they can perfectly summarize the entire concept of the tune. If you have broken up with someone you love dearly and gotten back together, this is the song you should play on your first date back as a couple.

(Do I even need to comment on Steve Perry and his God-like vocal delivery? I will just let him do the talking…)


“Open Arms” Lyrics

Lying beside you
Here in the dark
Feeling your heartbeat with mine
Softly you whisper
You’re so sincere
How could our love be so blind
We sailed on together
We drifted apart
And here you are
By my side

So now I come to you
With open arms
Nothing to hide
Believe what I say
So here I am
With open arms
Hoping you’ll see
What your love means to me
Open arms

Living without you
Living alone
This empty house seems so cold
Wanting to hold you
Wanting you near
How much I wanted you home

But now that you’ve come back
Turned night into day
I need you to stay

So now I come to you
With open arms
Nothing to hide
Believe what I say
So here I am
With open arms
Hoping you’ll see
What your love means to me
Open arms


References:
“Open Arms” Lyrics, retrieved from http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/journey/openarms.html
“Open Arms” official Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_Arms_(Journey_song)
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.

The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

Song Of The Day: STRANGEWAYS – Dance With Somebody

strangeways-native-sons

Listen to “Dance With Somebody” Here:

The Scottish AOR force – Strangeways, reached their commercial peak with “Native Sons” in 1987. With the arrival of new vocalist, Terry Brock, the band made a statement on the AOR scene but unfortunately that statement didn’t last for that long. Despite producing a top-quality radio-ready album, full of great rockers, “Native Sons” still remains one of the long-lost AOR treasures. Thankfully, there are still people like me who haven’t forgotten about the album and the band.

The opening track from “Native Sons”, “Dance with Somebody” is an instant attention grabber; it’s also my favorite tune from the album. Catchy, uplifting, empowering and immensely stylish – “Dance With Somebody” is the perfect example of what a melodic rock tune should sound like. I truly wish it received more recognition than it got!

It’s a simple song, carrying a simple message – if you want to experience something different and are ready to be taken by the heat, don’t be scared and live for the moment; there’s no need to feel lonely and be afraid, grab her hand and dance to the rhythm of your heartbeat. Who knows, maybe you will forget about everything you are going through and can even fall in love again?


 

“Dance with Somebody” Lyrics

I want to go where it feels right
The look in her eyes when I see her tonight
Will she know what’s on my mind
Love, is it love that I’m looking for
Or just an emotion, it’s so hard to say
Could it be that I’m wasting my time
So lonely, here I go again
You know I’m only looking for a friend

Chorus:
Dance to the rhythm of your heartbeat
Feel the heat as she’s holding you tight
Dance to the rhythm of the back beat
Will you dance with somebody tonight

Does she know what I’m going through
I need her love to save me tonight
Why can’t I say what I feel
She looks away as I’m trying to be the only one she can see
Just can’t seem to make it real

So lonely, here I go again
You know I’m only looking for a friend
Dance to the rhythm of your heartbeat
Feel the heat as she’s holding you tight
Dance to the rhythm of the back beat
Will you dance with somebody tonight

Dance to the rhythm of your heartbeat
Feel the heat as she’s holding you tight
Dance to the rhythm of the back beat
Will you dance with somebody tonight


 

References:
Lyrics, retrieved from https://www.flashlyrics.com
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

The Story of Mr. Mister’s “BROKEN WINGS” (1985)

There’s nothing more satisfying and life-enriching than seeing how a beloved song of yours materializes on a stage, performed by the artist who wrote it and introduced it to your life. In November 2016, I had the chance to go to a concert of Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band and as we all know, Richard Page is a respectful member of that glorious supergroup. So, naturally, Mr. Mister’s biggest hit – “Broken Wings” had to be a part of the program. I will never forget that marvelous moment, Page brought so much magic into the whole arena, I even got too emotional.

“Broken Wings” is one of those tunes that can instantly build a bridge between itself and your soul, so that the connection can remain forever. The thrilling opening bass chords signal the arrival of something strong and meaningful, but when Page appears with its soulful “Baby, don’t understand, why we can’t just hold on to each others’ hands…”, your heart just knows that this is going to become one of your songs.

 MV

 

– “Broken Wings” was released in 1985 as the lead single from Mr. Mister’s sophomore album Welcome to the Real World. Co-written by Richard Page, Steve George and lyricist John Lang, the idea of the song, was taken from a poetic novel of the same name, written by Khalil Gibran. The book is about the tragic love between two people, who cannot enjoy their freedom and ultimately their affection, due to social circumstances and pressure.
The three of them wrote the song in about half an hour, which once again proves my theory – when there is talent, passion and an idea, great things happen instantaneously.

–  “Broken Wings” topped the charts in Canada and the States and became a top 10 hit in countries all over the world, including Germany, Australia and Norway.

broken-wings– The iconic black/white MV, featuring Page driving a convertible, became a huge MTV hit and one of the earliest staples of VH1, as the network station was launched on the same year the song was released – 1985.

– The lines, “Take these broken wings and learn to fly” also feature in The Beatles’ song “Blackbird” Paul McCartney and John Lennon were both influenced by Kahlil Gibran’s work.

– The lyrics are probably the most compelling part of the song. The protagonist is singing about a relationship that went downhill, but he hasn’t given up yet. He wants to have a new start and hold her hand once again, as “the book of love” let them in. The role of the broken wings in the context is open to interpretation but the way I see it, he truly loves her and wants her to “learn to live and love so free”. She is the blood that makes him whole and that’s why he is giving her those “broken wings”. She has to learn how to fly again and he will be there to help her. The theme is immensely inspiring and soul-healing, urging you to live life again, love, give second chances and be happy.


Mr. Mister – Broken Wings – 12/14/1985


Ringo Starr & His All Starr Band – “Broken Wings” Live


Broken Wings Lyrics

Baby, don’t understand
Why we can’t just hold on to each others’ hands
This time might be the last, I fear
Unless I make it all too clear
I need you so…

Take these broken wings
And learn to fly again
Learn to live so free
When we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up and let us in
Take these broken wings

Baby, I think tonight
We can take what was wrong and make it right,
Baby, it’s all I know
That you’re half of the flesh
And blood that makes me whole
I need you so

So take these broken wings
And learn to fly again
Learn to live so free
And when we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up and let us in

Take these broken wings
You’ve got to learn to fly
Learn to live and love so free
And when we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up and let us in…

Let us in
Let us in

Baby, it’s all I know
That you’re half of the flesh
And blood that makes me whole
Yeah yeah yeah, yeah yeah

So take these broken wings
And learn to fly again
Learn to live so free
And when we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up and let us in

Take these broken wings
You’ve got to learn to fly
Learn to live and love so free
And when we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up for us and let us in…


 

– “Broken Wings” was sampled for Tupac Shakur’s song “Until The End Of Time”, which became a top 5 hit in the UK.


References:
“Broken Wings”, retrieved from http://www.azlyrics.com
“Broken Wings” Songfacts Page: http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=7823
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

The Story of Electric Light Orchestra’s “EVIL WOMAN” (1975)

elo-evil-womanSymphonic/progressive rock is my guilty pleasure and to people who know me it would come as no surprise that I am a HUGE fan of Jeff Lynne and Electric Light Orchestra. Records such as “Out of the Blue”, “Face the Music” and “Eldorado” have always been an inseparable part of my life. There is just something so magical about the music of ELO – immensely uplifting, spirited, incorporating elements of modern rock, classical music, friendlier pop-sounds, piano, string instruments, keyboards…It’s all mixed up in a perfect (at least to me)  symphonic rock extravaganza.

“Evil Woman” is one of the songs that stood out to me the most throughout the years. The playful tune features one of the most striking and instantly recognizable intros of all time. From start to finish, this song is just begging you to get on the dance-floor and loosen up for a while. The funky beat, emphasized by ELO’s signature piano, strings and drums formula, turned this song into one of their most glorious works.

“Evil Woman” was released in 1975 as a single from their album “Face the Music”. The song became the band’s ticket to worldwide stardom as it conquered the charts in Italy, Netherlands, Canada, Ireland and other countries.

It takes time and a lot of thought to craft a timeless piece of art but that was definitely not the case with Jeff Lynne and “Evil Woman”. The recordings for “Face the Music” were already completed but Jeff wasn’t ready to wrap things up just yet. In about 30-minutes, “Evil Woman” was ready, becoming one of the quickest he had ever written. Despite initial intentions to have it as a mere filler track for the album, the song was apparently too good to be overlooked by fans. Writing a career-defining song in just 30 minutes is an accomplishment not many artists could achieve. But then again, Jeff Lynne is not your ordinary musician and he will never be.

“You made a fool of me, but them broken dreams have got to end…” turned into one of the most exciting opening lines in the history of music.  The lyrics aren’t hard to read and are perfectly summarized in the title – “Evil Woman”. She manipulated him, played with his body and heart, destroyed the virtues the Lord gave her and made a complete full of himself. He will always come to her when she cries because he loves her that much but at the end of the day, she is just using him. Many people have been in a similar situation, regardless of the gender or type of relationship. It’s a pity how cruel someone can be only to achieve his/her selfish desires. Interestingly, the lines “There’s a hole in my head where the rain comes in” were written as a tribute to The Beatles‘ song “Fixing a Hole”.

In 2012, Jeff Lynne released a compilation of his own re-recordings of ELO hits, titled Mr. Blue Sky: The Very Best of Electric Light Orchestra”. It was only natural for “Evil Woman” to get its deserving place on that release. The new version of the song received praises from fans for its stripped-down, back-to-the-roots sound and excelled production quality.

“Evil Woman” Live

Jeff Lynne’s ELO Performed Evil Woman & Mr. Blue Sky at 2015 Grammys Award ft. Ed Sheeran

“Evil Woman” Lyrics

You made a fool of me, but them broken dreams have got to end.

Hey woman, you got the blues, cos’ you ain’t got no one else to use.
There’s an open road that leads nowhere, so just make some miles
between here and there.
There’s a hole in my head where the rain comes in,
You took my body and played to win,
Ha Ha woman it’s a crying shame,
But you ain’t got no one else to blame.

[CHORUS]
E-evil Woman, E-evil Woman, E-evil Woman, Evil Woman

Rolled in from another town,
Hit some gold too hot to settle down,
But a fool and his money soon go separate ways,
And you found a fool lyin’ in a daze,
Ha Ha woman what you gonna do,
You destroyed all the virtues that the Lord gave you,
It’s so good that you’re feeling pain,
But you better get yourself on board the very next train.

[CHORUS:REPEAT]

Evil woman how you done me wrong,
But now you’re tryin’ to wail a different song,
Ha Ha funny how you broke me up, you made the wine now you
drink the cup,
I came runnin’ every time you cried,
Thought I saw love smilin’ in your eyes,
Ha Ha very nice to know, that you ain’t got no place left to go.

[CHORUS:REPEAT]


References:
Lyrics retrieved from http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/electriclightorchestraelo/evilwoman.html
“Evil Woman” SongFacts page: http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=6714
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

Song of the Week: PRIDE OF LIONS – THE TELL

As a huge fan of Jim Peterik – as a matter of fact, he is in my top 5 favorite songwriters of all time, I was immensely excited to find out that Pride of Lions are releasing a new record next month. “Fearless” will be out on the 27th of January 2017, under Frontiers Records and it will be their seventh album, following “Immortal” (2012).

Just for a second there I thought that there was nothing exciting coming out next year! Not only that but, 2017 will start with a blast (at least for me). “The Tell” was released last week (29.11.2016) on YouTube and I haven’t stopped listening to this gorgeous tune ever since. It’s my choice for “song of the week” because I think it truly deserves it! I hope the rest of the album is going to be as intriguing as this tune. Haunting lyrics about a woman who is giving off signals she’s not really aware of, (I already know it by heart), A-level vocals and very pleasing instrumentation – this track was everything I’ve wished for!

Have a listen!



P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.

The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

The Story of Queensrÿche’s Silent Lucidity

It’s fascinating how some songs can trigger an emotional response so strong that it can easily shatter down all the walls we keep on building around our hearts. I’ve always said that one important strength of a song comes from its ability to let people feel vulnerable for a few minutes. We live in a world where the constant hardships of life turned many people into emotionally-constrained beings, rarely letting go and allowing sincere feelings, even sadness, to pass by their existence. I didn’t want to get too philosophical but that’s how I see it – a song can be the perfect outlet through which we can experience emotions and feelings we keep on stuffing deep down inside our souls. For me personally, Queensrÿche’s Silent Lucidity is one such song. Every time I listen to the haunting acoustic intro and Geoff Tale’s thrilling vocal performance, I feel this immense doze of sadness and pain that is actually freeing me from my apathetic prison, called daily life. To me, it’s a song that lets me get out of my comfort zone and for that I will always appreciate it. Honestly, before it became such a huge part of my life, I had no idea how commercially successful it was. With this in mind I thought that maybe this gorgeous tune touched the hearts of many people like me who would love to read a few selected pieces of interesting information about it, along with my interpretations!


– The American progressive metal band Queensrÿche has had a long and immensely prolific career. However, to the general audience “Silent Lucidity” remains their most famous and instantly recognizable tune. Written by the band’s lead guitarist Chris DeGarmo, this rock symphony was the second single from their highly successful 1990 record, titled “Empire”.

– The power ballad was accepted with open arms from both fans and critics. Grammy nominations, MTV awards, top chart positions in the USA and the UK – just a few of its notable achievements. There was no way this song could have failed; you don’t get to listen to such euphonious rock creation every day.

– “Silent Lucidity” was placed at number 21 on VH1’s list of “Greatest Power Ballads”! Personally, I think this is a well-deserving spot and definitely in my top 30 as well!

“I love that song. I think it’s a beautiful, beautiful piece. And although I didn’t write it, I had a lot to do with shaping the destiny of that track through my melodic contributions and the way I sang it, and also in the mixing of the song and that kind of thing.
It had a strange beginning. It started out as simply just acoustic guitar and voice. And it wasn’t until we were almost finished with the record, just in the last week of working on the record, that we added all the other instrumentation to it,” said Queensrÿche‘s lead singer Geoff Tate in an interview for Songfacts.

– In terms of instrumentation, “Silent Lucidity” impresses with its humble but shivering acoustic intro that skilfully builds up tension before it finally reaches the point of absolute tranquillity. The instantly recognizable opening riffs, along with the lines “Hush now, don’t you cry, wipe away the teardrop from your eye…” is in my opinion the best part of the song. I have always said that a song needs to have a strong intro and this right here is the perfect example of how it should be done! Brahm‘s “Lullaby”, played be a cello at the end of the song is another pleasant moment of the tune. Soothing rhythm, mesmerizing melody and quiet, but truly powerful symphonic composition – “Silent Lucidity” is the perfect song for your trip to serenity.

– It would be very difficult to come up with just one interpretation of the lyrics of Queensrÿche’s Silent Lucidity. So many things are happening within those words; not to mention that some of the lines carry a subjective meaning to different people. Obviously, one thing we can all agree on is that the song is about lucid dreaming  – a state in which dreamers are fully aware that they are dreaming and are able to exercise some control over their actions in the dream. Such an intriguing concept for a song!

‘Silent Lucidity’ is probably one of the most genuinely out there things we’ve ever done. It’s about what they call ‘lucid dreaming’. Or ‘dream-control’. Basically, just opening up the doors to your subconscious mind, and learning how to master your dreams. Actually be able to steer and control them,” said guitarist Chris DeGarmo for Kerrang! Magazine in 1990.

– If you are lucid dreaming, you are capable of taking the wheel and basically do what you feel like doing – you are free to explore this new world and be yourself. I know that the song is addressing this specific phenomenon, but metaphorically, to me the lyrics represent people’s personal growth as they break down the strong walls, built around their souls – “The walls you built within come tumbling down and a new world will begin.” Furthermore, another interpretation I have for the lyrics is that they are a message to people who must embrace death and cross-over to a new magical dimension – a new world where you can feel safe, free to fly, learn how to control your life and where all of your dreams are alive, waiting for you – “…You’re safe from pain in the dream domain, A soul set free to fly…”

Live at 1991 MTV Awards


“Silent Lucidity” Lyrics

Hush now, don’t you cry
Wipe away the teardrop from your eye
You’re lying safe in bed
It was all a bad dream
Spinning in your head
Your mind tricked you to feel the pain
Of someone close to you leaving the game of life
So here it is, another chance
Wide awake you face the day
Your dream is over… or has it just begun?

There’s a place I like to hide
A doorway that I run through in the night
Relax child, you were there
But only didn’t realize and you were scared
It’s a place where you will learn
To face your fears, retrace the years
And ride the whims of your mind
Commanding in another world
Suddenly you hear and see
This magic new dimension

I- will be watching over you
I- am gonna help you see it through
I- will protect you in the night
I- am smiling next to you, in Silent Lucidity

[spoken during solo]
(Visualize your dream)
(Record it in the present tense)
(Put it into a permanent form)
(If you persist in your efforts)
(You can achieve dream control)
(Dream control)
(How are we feeling today, better??)
(Dream control, dream control)
(Help me)

If you open your mind for me
You won’t rely on open eyes to see
The walls you built within
Come tumbling down, and a new world will begin
Living twice at once you learn
You’re safe from pain in the dream domain
A soul set free to fly
A round trip journey in your head
Master of illusion, can you realize
Your dream’s alive, you can be the guide but…

I- will be watching over you
I- am gonna help to see it through
I- will protect you in the night
I- am smiling next to you….


References:
Lyrics retrieved from http://www.azlyrics.com/
“Silent Lucidity” by Queensrÿche on SongFacts: http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=5856
“Silent Lucidity” Official Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_Lucidity
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~

[Song of the Week] Judas Priest – New Beginnings

My choice for “song of the week” is Judas Priest’s “New Beginnings” from their 2008 concept album “Nostradamus”. To be honest, I totally forgot about this record and it is definitely not something I actually listen to on a daily basis. However, my heavy metal playlist was on shuffle and suddenly this rock opera started playing and somehow entranced me…To be honest, it took me a few seconds to comprehend what was going on. I carefully listened to the lyrics which I believe are the essence of the track and even re-played it only to once again experience those words. The atmosphere of “New Beginnings” is definitely a bit melodramatic, overly emotional and Rob doesn’t really sound confident or fully committed, however among those lines, I could find something I was truly in need of – hope and anticipation for new beginnings. Those words are for all the people out there who want to hear it – guys, it is tough out there but someday someone will come to your life and change everything.

For a better experience, listen to the track together with “Hope”~

 


“New Beginnings” Lyrics

Now at last my dream is real
I found peace
True love can heal
On the journey throughout time
A new beginning has arrived
At the crossroads of my life
This new love keeps me alive

I never knew that this could happen to me
So many lonely days and nights
I never knew that you were waiting for me
Hope was out of dight
And suddenly I see the future clearly
No longer living in the past
As I let go

Living the dream
Of my life
I was alone no-one in sight
This love – make me believe that you’re the one
Never give up – our day has come

I never felt that this could happen to me
So many lonely days and lonely nights
I never knew that you were waiting for me
Hope was out of sight
And suddenly I see the future clearly
Finally I know at last
I can let go


 

P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/publishers.
The publication expresses my personal opinion and in no way is trying to make a generalized statement. Please be kind and considerate when you read and/or comment.
Cheers~