Saturday, August 15, 1981

Journey charted with “Don’t Stop Believin’”

Don’t Stop Believin’


Writer(s): Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain, Neal Schon (see lyrics here)

Released: October 31, 1981

First Charted: August 15, 1981

Peak: 9 US, 8 CB, 8 GR, 9 HR, 9 RR, 1 CL, 8 AR, 6 UK, 9 CN, 100 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 9.0 US, 1.4 UK, 10.4 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 613.67 video, 1642.84 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Journey was at their peak with 1981’s Escape, their sole #1 album. The lead-off single, “Who’s Crying Now,” went to #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the power ballad “Open Arms” was a #2 hit. It was “Don’t Stop Believin’,” however, which became the biggest hit of Journey’s career. Chartwise, it only peaked at #9, but it demonstrated a longevity no one could have imagined.

In 2003, the song was used – and even discussed – in a scene from the movie Monster, for which Charlize Theron won an Oscar. That sparked requests for the song in other movies and TV shows. In 2007, the song was used in the memorable final scene of the last episode of The Sopranos. It showed up again in the musical Rock of Ages, which ran on Broadway from 2009-2015.

Perhaps most significant, however, was the song’s use in the TV show Glee in 2009. The Glee Cast landed an overwhelming 200+ chart hits on the Billboard Hot 100, but “Don’t Stop Believin’” was the first and the most successful, reaching #4 and selling a million copies. Journey’s version was propelled to millions more in sales, making it the best-selling digital track of the 20th century. WK

The song is marked by Steve “Perry’s stern yet romantic vocals” AMG and “cutting guitar work from Neil Schon.” AMG It was “more than just an escalating guitar rock song;” AMG it became “an anthem for the young who wanted to feel free and unrestricted.” AMG

One of the song’s unique features is that it doesn’t have a repeated chorus. The title isn’t sung until almost three and a half minutes into the song after verses. SF The inspiration for the title came from keyboardist Jonathan Cain’s father. When Cain was struggling to make it, he asked his father if he should give up on his dream. Dad told him, “Don’t stop believin’.” SF


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First posted 1/25/2021; last updated 9/5/2023.

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