You are all aware that I am a fan of Journey. And in fact, have on more than one occasion, judged another person's worth based on whether or not he too was a fan of Journey. But today could very well be the day that my love affair with Journey must come to an end.
According to the news ticker over at Rolling Stone online, the band plans to release a three-disc CD/DVD package featuring one CD of re-recorded classics, one CD of newtracks, and a live DVD. The package will be available June 3... exclusively at Wal-Mart.
First off, can we all agree that the concept of a "re-recorded classic" is a total oxymoron? It's a classic for a reason. Don't mess with it. Especially if messing with it means changing the vocals from that of Steve Perry to one of his many replacements. They could never do those tuxedo tails justice.
I also cringe at the idea of a whole new CD. New Journey songs should only be created in late night karaoke bars when patrons get too drunk to follow their video prompts and instead sing their own lyrics to the rock ballad backing track.
And finally... Wal-Mart?
Actually, no wait. As much as it disappoints me, the Wal-Mart angle is the one part of this story that I kind of understand. I mean, let's be honest here. The only thing more American than singing Journey in a karaoke bar has got to be singing Journey in the karaoke machine display aisle at your local area Wal-Mart.
With some fast food in one hand.
And the keys to your SUV in the other.
The part that really finds me conflicted though is the supposed plans for a 2008 tour with the new lineup.
AHHHHH! STOP! YOU'RE RUINING IT!
For the record, Perry's latest substitute, Arnel Pineda, notes on theband's web site that he "is looking forward to the scrutiny he will getfrom Journey fans," and also acknowledges that "there's only one StevePerry in this world."
Whether or not the rest of the band agrees, is unclear. After all, guitarist Neal Schon was so desperate for a new singer that he actually found Pineda after spending days perusing Journey cover bands on YouTube.
Hey, Schon! If there are enough bands covering Journey out there that it takes you DAYS to watch all of the resulting YouTube clips, then I really don't think there's any need for Journey to claim 'reborn' status and start covering... itself. With the singer of an actual Journey cover band.
The whole thing just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
I may have to change my ring tone.