Don't Stop Believin'

"Don't Stop Believin'"
Single by Journey
from the album Escape
Released October 1981 (US),
December 1981 (UK)[1]
Format 7" vinyl
Recorded 1981
Genre Rock
Length 4:11
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Jonathan Cain, Steve Perry, Neal Schon
Producer Kevin Elson, Mike Stone
Journey singles chronology
"Who's Crying Now"
"Don't Stop Believin'"
"Open Arms"
Music sample

"Don't Stop Believin'" is a popular song by the American rock band Journey, originally released as a single from their 1981 album Escape, which became a #9 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 on its original release. It re-entered the UK Singles Chart in 2009 as a result of increased prominence of digital downloads and use in numerous television shows, reaching a new peak of #6. Along with Frontiers, which was a top ten hit on the UK Albums Chart in 1983, it is the band's only significant chart success in that country.

Allmusic has described "Don't Stop Believin'" as "an anthem for the young who wanted to feel free and unrestricted", featuring "one of the best opening keyboard riffs in rock."[2]In 2011 it was voted Best Power Ballad On Earth on Btoe the review site founded by music writer Colin Larkin, author of the Encyclopedia of Popular Music. As of November 2011, it is the top-selling catalog track in iTunes history.[3][4][5]



The song reached number eight on Billboard's Mainstream Rock chart, and number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

The song was released in the United Kingdom in December 1981[1] and peaked only at number 62[citation needed]. However, the song, never re-released in the UK, retained a cult following and re-entered the UK Singles Chart in February 2009 at number 94, due to digital downloads. On December 22, 2009, it reached number 9 in the Christmas chart, and remained in the top 10 well into 2010, hitting a peak of number 6. It has now achieved 63 weeks on the official UK Top 75, making it the 9th longest runner of all time, and 89 weeks on the Top 100.[6]

It topped downloads in the iTunes Music Store amongst songs not released in the 21st century,[7] and was also the 72nd most downloaded song of 2008, and 84th most downloaded song of 2009 in the store, over 27 years after its release. On 31 August 2009 the song topped the 3 million mark in paid downloads,[3] and has sold 4,771,000 digital units in the US by October 2011.[8] It was placed just outside of the top twenty best selling digital songs of all time on September 2010.[9]

The song is one of the most popular rock tracks in Ireland and continues to remain in the top ten most downloaded songs.[10]

Chart positions

Weekly charts

Chart (1981) Peak
Canadian Singles Chart 2
Dutch Singles Chart 50
Swedish Singles Chart 43
UK Singles Chart 62
US Billboard Hot 100 9[1]
Chart (2010) Peak
Irish Singles Chart 4
UK Singles Chart 6
Swedish Singles Chart 25*[11]

*13 chart runs in 47 weeks 2009 — 2011.

Year-end charts

Chart (2009) Position
UK Singles Chart[12] 65
Chart (2010) Position
European Hot 100 Singles[13] 67
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[14] 24

All-time charts

Chart Position
UK Download Chart[15] 12

In popular culture

A string acoustic version of the song was used during the Robbie's wedding in the 1998 film The Wedding Singer.

On June 6, 2005, Family Guy featured this in the episode "Don't Make Me Over".

In 2007, the song gained press coverage for its use in the final scene of HBO's The Sopranos from the series finale "Made in America". Steve Perry was initially hesitant in allowing the song to be used in The Sopranos but later agreed.[16] The Sopranos ending was later parodied by The Daily Show, ESPN, WCBS-FM (when flipped from Jack FM back to Oldies), Celebrity Apprentice, a campaign video for Hillary Clinton[17][18] and for the final episode of Tony Martin's Get This radio show.

It also has been used in Scrubs, quoted as J.D.'s (Zach Braff) favorite song.

Alvin and the Chipmunks covered this song for their 2008 album Undeniable.

Also was a huge hit to many younger children through its use in Disney's Tron: Legacy bringing it back to popularity even through its digital release.

The song was released as downloadable content for the music video game series Rock Band on March 31, 2009.[19] Unlike the album version which slowly fades to quiet, the Rock Band version ends with "Don't Stop", which is the same way it ended in the final episode of The Sopranos and in the pilot episode of Glee as well as how Journey ends the song live.

A cover of the song was made for the Fox drama, Glee, which debuted at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It sold 177,000 downloads in its first week and charted higher than Journey's version, which peaked at number nine.[20] Meanwhile in Australia it has reached number 5 and was certified platinum, while its peak position in the United Kingdom was number 2.

The song is also the closing number for the Broadway show Rock of Ages.

In the 2008 film Bedtime Stories, the song is played in one of the bedtime stories, when Sir Fix-a-Lot gets a chance to prove he is worthy. Everyone starts dancing to the song while gumballs rain from the ceiling. The song also has an appearance in the 2010 film The Losers. Jensen alias Chris Evans starts singing the song when breaking into an office building.

Part of the song can be heard in the 2010 film adaptation of Hanna-Barbara's Yogi Bear, during Mayor's Brown's press conference.

In sports

The song became a rallying cry for the Chicago White Sox in their successful run to the 2005 playoffs, when catcher A. J. Pierzynski and teammates heard the song being sung in a bar in Baltimore. The song was played at critical points during the stretch run of the pennant race, a season which culminated in the team's first World Series championship in over 80 years. The White Sox invited Journey lead singer Steve Perry to the team's celebration rally, where he sang the song along with several members of the team. In 2008, in a tight battle for first place with the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League West, the Los Angeles Dodgers began to play "Don't Stop Believin'" in the middle of the 8th inning at all of their home games.[21] Subsequently, the song was played at Dodger home games throughout the 2009 season, much to the chagrin of Steve Perry, a self-proclaimed San Francisco Giants fan (the band itself formed in San Francisco).[21]

The song also became the unofficial anthem for the Giants' 2010 postseason, especially after local musician Ashkon created a parody version of the song following their winning the 2010 National League West Division.[22] The song was used during the end montage following the Fox network's coverage of the 2010 World Series, which was won by the Giants. Steve Perry appeared in the Giants' subsequent victory parade,[23] and the song was played at the start of the Giants' victory rally.[24]

Perhaps most notably in sports, the song has for years been commonly played at Detroit Red Wings hockey games; at Red Wings home games (especially during the last minutes of playoff victories), the recording is turned down during the line "born and raised in south Detroit", which the crowd then sings loudly.[25][26] It is also used at numerous Detroit sporting events.[27] (This is despite the fact that "South Detroit" does not really exist as such; Detroiters often refer to the "East Side" and "West Side" of the city, but rarely north or south. "South Detroit" is usually called simply "Downriver" by locals.)

Song structure and references

While most popular songs have a refrain that is repeated several times throughout the song, the true chorus to "Don't Stop Believin'" (as well as first mention of its title) is not heard until the end of the song with only 0:50 left. The song's writers designated the musically similar sections before the chorus as the "pre-chorus."[28] The song's structure is:

  1. Introduction (instrumental) (0:00-0:17)
  2. Verse 1 (0:17-0:49)
  3. Instrumental (0:49-1:05)
  4. Verse 2 (half-length) (1:05-1:20)
  5. Pre-Chorus 1 (1:20-1:54)
  6. Instrumental (1:54-2:01)
  7. Verse 3 (2:01-2:33)
  8. Pre-Chorus 2 (2:33-3:05)
  9. Instrumental (Chorus) (3:05-3:21)
  10. Chorus until fade (3:21-4:11)

The song is played in the key of E Major at a tempo of 120bpm. The vocal range is E3-C#5.[29] The opening chords, which are played by the piano in the introduction and continued through most of the song, form a I-V-vi-IV pop-punk progression.[30]

Personnel (Escape)

Personnel (Revelation)

Cover versions

Northern Kings cover

The Finnish super cover metal band formed by Jarkko Ahola from Teräsbetoni, ex-Dreamtale, Marco Hietala from Nightwish and Tarot, Tony Kakko from Sonata Arctica and Juha-Pekka Leppäluoto from Charon and Harmaja first album Reborn released in October 31, 2007 feature as the first music an epic metal cover from Don't Stop Believin'.

Petra Haden cover

The 2007 "covers" album Guilt by Association Vol. 1 contains an a cappella version of "Don't Stop Believin'" by Petra Haden (member of That Dog and daughter of jazz bassist Charlie Haden) recorded via multiple vocal overdubs.

OCD: Moosh & Twist sample

17 year old rappers Moosh and Twist sample this song in their single "City Kids" from their second mixtape "Up Before The World"

Glee cover

"Don't Stop Believin'
(Glee Cast version)"
Single by Glee cast
from the album Glee: The Music, Volume 1
Released May 19, 2009
Format Digital download, CD Single
Recorded 2009
Genre Pop
Length 3:50
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Jonathan Cain, Steve Perry, Neal Schon
Producer Ryan Murphy, Adam Anders
Glee cast singles chronology
"Don't Stop Believin'" (Glee Cast version)
"Rehab" (Glee Cast version)

"Don't Stop Believin'" was recorded by the cast of American television series, Glee. It is the first single released from the soundtrack of the series, Glee: The Music, Volume 1 and was performed on the first episode of the season, "Pilot".[31] A portion of the song was covered again in the episode "The Rhodes Not Taken". A second version was covered by the cast in the season finale episode "Journey to Regionals" for their Regionals competition, was also released as a single, and is included in the EP soundtrack, Glee: The Music, Journey to Regionals. The Glee arrangement was adapted from Petra Haden's version.[32]

Released as a digital download on June 2, 2009, the song performed well in the United States, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Australia, where it charted within the top five of their national charts. The cast performance of "Don't Stop Believin'" was certified gold in the US in October 2009 and platinum in March 2011, achieving over 1,000,000 digital sales,[33] and platinum in Australia, with sales of over 70,000.[34]

"Don't Stop Believin'" was put on the BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 2 playlists in the UK in January 2010.

Critical reception

Aly Semigan of Entertainment Weekly critically praised the song stating "Fox's Glee put the ultimate earworm back in its rightful place." She then continued saying "even if you aren’t one for show choirs (which, is quite frankly, shocking), it’s pretty damn hard to resist." Semigan also compared it to the original version stating "it sounds slightly different in this Freaks and Geeks meets High School Musical pilot, but it's a good kind of different."[35]

"Don't Stop Believin'
(Regionals version)"
Song by Glee cast from the album Glee: The Music, Journey to Regionals
Released June 8, 2010
Format Digital download
Recorded 2010
Genre Pop
Length 3:44
Label Columbia
Writer Jonathan Cain, Steve Perry, Neal Schon
Producer Ryan Murphy, Adam Anders
Glee: The Music, Journey to Regionals track listing
"Any Way You Want It" / "Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'"
"Don't Stop Believin'
(Regionals version)
"Bohemian Rhapsody"

Track listings

  • Digital download[36]
  1. "Don't Stop Believin'" – 3:50
  • German CD single[37]
  1. "Don't Stop Believin'" – 3:52
  2. "Rehab" – 3:26

Cover versions

The Almighty Glee Glub did their remix version including a radio edit, club mix, dub mix and instrumental. Pop-Punk band All Time Low preformed a cover of this during several live concerts, and was featured once in a special of their Straight To DVD concert video.

Chart performance

Chart (2009) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[38] 5
New Zealand (RIANZ)[39] 16
US Billboard Hot 100[40] 4
US Pop 100 (Billboard)[41] 18
Chart (2010) Peak
Canada (Canadian Hot 100)[42] 37
Ireland (IRMA)[43] 4
Netherlands (Mega Single Top 100)[44] 91
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[45] 2
Chart (2011) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 75)[46] 68
France (SNEP)[47] 48
Germany (Media Control AG)[48] 50
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[49] 74


Region Certification
United States (RIAA)[50] Platinum


Year-end charts

Chart (2010) Position
European Hot 100 Singles [52] 82
UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)[14] 22


From the album Glee: The Music, Volume 1:

From the EP Glee: The Music, Journey to Regionals:

Big Brother 2010

The housemates of Big Brother 2010 recorded a version of the song, coached by Andrew Stone of Pineapple Dance Studios, in July 2010.[53] Stone also choreographed and shot a video of the performance. According to Digital Spy, the video "almost out-Glees Glee"[54] Steve and Rachel sang the lead vocals.


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  4. ^ search results
  5. ^ "The Sony Music Journey Home | The Sony Music Journey Site". Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
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  7. ^ Journey's Timeless Power Ballad "Don't Stop Believin'" Becomes First Catalog Track Ever to Reach 2 Million Mark in Digital Sales
  8. ^ "Week Ending Oct. 2, 2011. Songs: Gone But Not Forgotten". Yahoo! Chart Watch. 2011-10-02.;_ylt=AiD_OJ9nEgtKcMuaQRr99VUPwiUv. Retrieved 2011-10-15. 
  9. ^ Grein, Paul (2010-09-22). "Week Ending Sept. 19, 2010: "It Goes On And On And On And On"". Yahoo!. Retrieved 2009-09-23. 
  10. ^ The song was used by Waterford people to support the Waterford hurling team in a bid to win the All Ireland title in 2008.iTunes 2008: Top Overall Songs
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  16. ^ Journey Rocker Kept Sopranos Boss Waiting
  17. ^ Video Hillary Clinton reprend les Sopranos - Hillary, Clinton, Sopranos - Dailymotion Share Your Videos
  18. ^ Audiofile: Music Blog, Music Articles -
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  26. ^ Rick Paulas (2009-09-01). "A smell of wine and cheap perfume". ESPN. Retrieved 2010-01-22. 
  27. ^ Chris Willman (2009-06-29). "Don't Stop Believin as pop-cultural touchstone". Tribune Company. Retrieved 2010-09-06. 
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  29. ^ "Journey: Don't Stop Believin' Sheet Music". Weed High Nightmare Music/Lacey Boulevard Music, USA. 
  30. ^ Lynskey, Dorian (17 December 2010), "Don't Stop Believin': the power ballad that refused to die", The Guardian: p. 3 (Film & music),, retrieved 19 February 2011 
  31. ^ "Episode Recaps: Glee - Pilot". 20th Century Fox. Retrieved 2009-10-01. [dead link]
  32. ^ "Glee Cast Glee: The Music, Volume 1 Review". BBC. 11 Feb 2010. Retrieved 2010-02-11. 
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  34. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2010 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. June 30, 2010. Retrieved July 18, 2010. 
  35. ^ Semigan, Aly (May 21, 2009). "'Glee' propels Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" to go on and on and on and on". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  36. ^ "Glee Cast - Don't Stop Believin' -". 
  37. ^ "Glee Cast - Don't Stop Believin' -". 
  38. ^ " – Glee Cast – Don't Stop Believin'". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Hung Medien.
  39. ^ " – Glee Cast – Don't Stop Believin'". Top 40 Singles. Hung Medien.
  40. ^ "Glee Cast Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Glee Cast. Prometheus Global Media.
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  42. ^ "Glee Cast Album & Song Chart History" Canadian Hot 100 for Glee Cast. Prometheus Global Media.
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  46. ^ "Glee Cast – Don't Stop Believin' –" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Hung Medien. Retrieved January 28, 2011.
  47. ^ "Classement officiel des ventes de singles & titres en France du 28 mars au 03 avril 2011" (in French). SNEP. SNEP. April 8, 2011. Retrieved April 4, 2011. 
  48. ^ "Die ganze Musik im Internet: Charts, News, Neuerscheinungen, Tickets, Genres, Genresuche, Genrelexikon, Künstler-Suche, Musik-Suche, Track-Suche, Ticket-Suche -" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH. Retrieved February 16, 2011.
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  54. ^ Alex Fletcher (July 23, 2010). "Video: BB11 'Don't Stop Believing'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 24 September 2010. 

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