Okay, We Won’t Stop

It was the song playing over the sound system as I walked into the gym at 8 am this morning, bleary-eyed (there’s no other way to enter the gym at 8 am).  It was the most eagerly danced to, jumped to, sang to, shouted to song at the last two weddings I attended.  It’s perhaps the song most closely associated with the smash Fox hit, Glee (and, yes, at the weddings I was the idiot making the inevitable, “We’re gonna beat Vocal Adrenaline this year!” jokes).  It’s a fan-favorite highlight of the Broadway musical Rock of Ages, and is featured in their commercials.  It’s the song Tony and the family heard before everything went black.

How did a pop song from 1981 (1981–  I was four!) conquer the world?

Everybody loves Journey, yes, and everybody loves the tune (and seemingly everybody, everywhere, knows all the words), but so so what–  the same can be said of lots of tunes, lots of wedding staples (okay, so “Jessie’s Girl” comes to mind).  How did this particular song– from 29 years ago– become so ubiquitous?

According to Wikipedia (and they’re never wrong, right?) the single never went to number one on the Billboard charts upon original release (stalling out at number eight), but is one of the most downloaded songs ever on iTunes.  It’s ben co-opted by popular culture and sports teams, and has even been covered by (a sure sign anything is here to stay) Alvin and his fellow Chipmunks.

Ad yes, I love the song, unironically.  It’s a great, hummable, everyone-loves-the-tune tune.  But why this particular tune?

I don’t know.  I do know that 29 years from now we better be ready for the surprising staying power of the Black-Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling”.

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4 Responses to “Okay, We Won’t Stop”

  1. Tommy Says:

    And at that time, old friend I shall polish that one bullet I keep for just such a situation.

  2. Crawford Says:

    Sometimes it’s the only good song they play at the wedding ;)…also great to hear everyone attempt to sing along and hit the high notes!

  3. David Says:

    I don’t know what “Glee” is, but this song was able to conquer the world due to its brilliant employment in The Sopranos finale –that was where “don’t stop” really started.

  4. Jess Says:

    You gotta love that song. It is the 80’s power-riff Anthem of hope. 😉

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