Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on

9Jun/0910

Cage Match: Rupert Holmes vs. Journey

Do you like pina coladas? Me either. But I couldn't resist the chance to put this Rupert Holmes classic *ahem* up against the second contender that you'll hear about in a second. Rupert apparently also wrote plays, novels, and stories. I bet you didn't know that, and if you're like me, you didn't care either!

But Jason Hare knew. And I knew that surely he had covered "Escape" somewhere in the award winning Mellow Gold series. And indeed, he had. Thanks to Jason, I don't have to write anything more here.

Let's move on.

Check out a live version of the above from the classic Frontiers and Beyond Journey documentary release. By the way, this was released very briefly on an official DVD release about 5 years ago, available for a very short time before legal problems forced the release to be pulled. If you happen to have a copy of this, drop me a line!

When I think of Journey's "Escape," I think of a bad-ass rock tune from a bad-ass rock band that got labeled by the critics with an unremovable "wuss band" tag that might have been a tad undeserved. Just because they brought you sweet sappy crap like "Open Arms," "Faithfully," and "I'll Be Alright Without You," is no reason to hate a band.

Put that hate right where it belongs - with Jonathan Cain, the man who lodged the "wuss factor" deep in Journey's craw, and refused to let go until he had helped to create a catalog of wussy ballads that would pay for his house, and his other house, and another house over there, not to mention that boat that is still a sore subject.

And how much was John Waite hating life after letting Cain walk from The Babys, where he would go from stellar Babys contributions (sarcasm) like "Turnaround in Tokyo" to selling millions with Journey courtesy of tracks like "Faithfully." Cain wrote that particular track while on the road with Journey, on a hotel room napkin that was about to go platinum.

Cain and Waite would later cross paths again in Bad English, turning out (in my opinion) two awesome albums, Bad English and Backlash, back to back before Waite decided again that Cain was still a dick, and Cain decided that the feeling was mutual on that point. A shame, because I really liked those two albums.

P.S. - Ability to hold a grudge? On Cain's side, it was impressive. Years later when Waite toured as an opener for Journey and Peter Frampton, former Bad English bandmate Neal Schon came out to jam with Waite during his opening set. Rumors of a Bad English mini-set during the tour never came to pass, and there was no jamming with Cain.

But yeah, Journey and "Escape." Awesome album. Awesome album cover. 9 times platinum.

200px-journeyescapealbumcover.jpg

Awesome tune.

Awesome video game?

journey_escape.jpg

We can agree to potentially disagree on that last point.

What's it gonna be: Rupert (Don't call me Sherlock) Holmes or Journey?

  • Jackie

    JOURNEY. Rupert Holmes makes my ears bleed, truth be told.

    I did not know Neal Schon and John Waite were in Bad English….thank you for that knowledge. I keep trying to tell people John Waite existed before he released his solo version of “Missin’ You” and now I have even more depth to add to my argument.

  • Kristi

    Journey wins.

    …and I feel smarter now after reading that.

    …and I kinda like the sweet sappy crap. Sorry!

  • http://www.ickmusic.com Michael

    It’s a solid vote for JOURNEY.

    I will admit that I love that damn Piña Colada song though.

  • David

    Actually, Jackie, Bad English came several years after “Missin’ You.”

    But the Babys … yeah, everyone should give them a listen.

  • Matt Wardlaw

    David – The Babys were killer…for sure! Anyone that is unfamiliar needs to grab “Anthology” to school up…

  • Stacy

    I’m voting for Mr. Holmes… because “Just because they brought you sweet sappy crap like “Open Arms,” “Faithfully,” and “I’ll Be Alright Without You,” is no reason to hate a band.” –Yes it is.

  • http://www.myspace.com/marko68 Marko

    Journey wins.. bullshit on it all.. loved the RH song, but Journey, hands down..

  • jeff

    I think I have seen “Frontiers and Beyond” about 800 times on VHS. I demand its return to DVD. It’s such a great documentary.

  • Matt Wardlaw

    Jeff,

    I’m still kicking myself for not picking it up when I had the chance! Agreed, it’s awesome!

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  • Michael

    I’m casting my vote at the eleventh hour because this is, perhaps, the toughest battle yet. I have a soft spot for “The Pina Colada Song” because it brings me back to childhood, elementary school, and collecting 45s. Rupert Holmes’ “Escape” was actually the last #1 song of the 70’s, before KC & the Sunshine Band took over with “Please Don’t Go”. Love Rupert’s song, but I have to go with Journey’s “Escape”. You’re talking about one of the best songs from THE best Journey album ever. This was the band at their creative apex if you ask me (not that anyone did) – and if you want to hear just how good they were live, check out Journey doing “Escape” in that DVD-released Houston concert from 1981. Other highlights: “Stone in Love”, “Mother Father”, and Neil’s blistering guitar solo at the end of “Who’s Crying Now”. This is my long-winded way of saying Journey’s “Escape” for the win.