Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'”- Bluegrass Style Cover
A Bluegrass cover of Journey's Don't Stop Believin' by Original Pine Mountain Railroad - graspicker13 / Youtube
Coming from Journey’s critically acclaimed 1981 album Escape is the arena anthem hit, “Don’t Stop Believin'”. While it is not their most successful song (that title would be crowned to “Open Arms”), “Don’t Stop Believin'” saw a second surge in pop culture due to its rediscovery in the 2000s.
The song is known for its unique structure that doesn’t follow the conventional verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-final chorus form, but instead makes use of multiple verses, instrumentals, and pre-chorus sections, only unveiling the chorus and title by the end of the song. Keyboardist Jonathan Cain got the inspiration for the song from his own journey at Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. In an interview with Songfacts, Cain said: “The song began with the chorus. My father had coached me. I was in Hollywood, struggling with my career, kind of lost. I was asking him, ‘Should I come back to Chicago and just give up on this dream?’ And he said, ‘No, son. Stay the course. We have a vision. It’s gonna happen. Don’t stop believin’.'”
Cain consulted Steve Perry on making a song about people on Sunset Boulevard, saying, “I described the menagerie of people who would show up on a Friday night. All the dreamers that had dreams to become actors. Producers, artists, lawyers, anything… they were all there on a Friday night.”
While the main songwriters were Jonathan Cain, Steve Perry, and Neal Schon, the entirety of the band was responsible for the formation of the song. According to the Time3 compilation, this is how the song came around: “At the band’s Oakland warehouse, this song bubbled out of a rehearsal. Schon developed the bass riff, the chugging guitar line and the sweeping chords on the chorus. Steve Smith built the song around a pattern featuring a lot of tom-toms, anchoring the number to a rich drum figure. Perry and Cain drew from their experiences with the Sunset Strip street scene for the lyrics, ‘streetlight people.'”
Listen to “Don’t Stop Believin'” in Bluegrass form by the Original Pine Mountain Railroad band on the video below.