Journey's 'Don't Stop' an Unlikely Phenom

Song achieves icon status, nearly 30 years later
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2009 12:38 PM CDT

(Newser) – By songwriting standards, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” should never have made it past No. 9, which is where it stalled on the charts when it was released in 1981. But since then, the song—which doesn’t get to its anthemic chorus until 3 minutes and 20 seconds in—has achieved cultural icon status, beloved by everyone from karaoke singers to sports fans to Kanye West, reports the Chicago Tribune.

The song’s resurgence began when it was played by a string quartet in The Wedding Singer, says Journey’s Jonathan Cain. Since then, it has been adopted by—to name just a few—the Chicago White Sox, Broadway’s Rock of Ages, and the Sopranos. Most recently, Glee used the song in its pilot, and its version debuted at No. 2 on the iTunes charts. “It’s not one of those songs you feel is too cheesy,” said Glee's producer. "You can sing to it in karaoke and not feel silly."