Jonathan Cain goes inside the original sessions for Journey’s ‘Faithfully’

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Sometimes, inspiration can happen with all of the suddenness and illumination of a lightning strike: Such was the case when Journey entered the studio to record “Faithfully,” keyboardist and songwriter Jonathan Cain says.

The Cain-penned track, which rose to No. 12 on the Billboard charts, was originally included on Journey’s 1983 effort Frontiers. That album, home to three other Top 40 singles (No. 8 “Separate Ways,” as well as “After the Fall” and “Send Her My Love,” which both went to No. 23 on the charts) would eventually earn six-times platinum sales – and “Faithfully” became one of Journey’s signature ballads.

In a new talk with Atlantic City Insiders held just before a Journey concert in Atlantic City, Cain took listeners inside the recording sessions for “Faithfully” – the last track recorded for Frontiers.

“The song surpassed any of my wildest dreams; Steve Perry sang such a wonderful vocal,” Cain says. “But it was a last minute thing. You hear the stories about doing one more ballad for an album – and that was the last ballad we did. We had never played it at rehearsal, and it took just three takes! I thought that band was quite a band.”

Unfortunately, Frontiers would be among the last to feature the hit-making lineup of vocalist Steve Perry, guitarist Neal Schon, drummer Steve Smith, bassist Ross Valory and Cain. Journey used studio musicians for its rhythm section on 1986’s Raised on Radio, before returning as a group after a long layover for 1996’s Trial by Fire. An ailing Perry then left the band, and the core group of Cain, Schon and Valory (with drummer Deen Castronovo, and a series of vocalists) has continued on without him.

“I kept hoping that there would be a reunion,” Cain told Atlantic City Insiders, “but Steve was reluctant with his health situation. He was really fighting some serious health issues that really set him back. There was no going forward. We waited maybe three years between 1987-89, and we did nothing, then Bad English happened. Then Steve called in 1996, and we did Trail by Fire. We were supposed to go on tour, and then he had more health issues and these were serious ones – physically impairing.”

After a period of transition, Journey eventually settled on frontman Arnel Pineda, a Filipino singer the group discovered on YouTube. Their last two albums with Pineda have been Top 20 Billboard hits.

“We rolled the dice on him,” Cain admits. “It was something out of left field. But we believed in him, once we met him. We fell in love with the guy – the heart of the guy. Not only was he a man with a wonderful voice, but he was a great man.”

The only project in Journey’s long history to outsell Frontiers was its nine-times platinum predecessor Escape from 1981, Cain’s first album with the band.

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