Thanks to a recent iTunes store promotion that discounted a number of albums that the site felt would be good Fathers' Day purchases, a number of albums surged back onto the Billboard 200 this week that had not been on the charts for some time. Frank Sinatra's Nothing But the Best and Bob Marley's Legend both profited, but the biggest seller of all was Journey's Greatest Hits album from 1988, which made its first appearance in the Billboard top 20 since 1989 as a result of 23,000 units moved, a 374% increase from the previous week.
Frankly, we had no idea that dads liked Journey that much. But then again, just because people bought the album as Fathers' Day gifts for their respective popses, that doesn't necessarily mean that Dad actually has to like it. Maybe it was just the result of a lot of young kids without any kind of musical perspective thinking "Hm, Dad's old, these guys are old, Dad probably likes them" and clicking "Purchase." The charts alone were not conclusive—we needed extra evidence to prove that dads do, indeed, really like Journey.
Naturally, we figured the most scientific thing to do was to go right to the source. So we conducted an informal office poll of some of our dads (and a couple of our uncles who are dads as well) to get to the bottom of this. We asked them three questions:
1. What do you think of the band Journey?
2. What's your favorite song by Journey?
3. Would you be happy to get their greatest hits album as a Fathers' Day present?
The results were highly conclusive, but not in the way you might think. Responding to question #1, the subjects offered answers such as finding them "completely unremarkable," claiming that they "defined that decade [the '80s] as one of the worst musical nightmares of my life," and viewing them as "one more piece of evidence of the downward spiral of corporate rock from the mid-'70's to the late '80's." The most complimentary remembrances afforded Journey in Question #1 were one dad who said he was mildly interested in them "now that Glee and a capella groups cover their songs," and another who waxed nostalgic about how "there used to be a Journey video game i'd play at the arcade."
As for what their favorite Journey song was, the subjects were similarly uneffusive. Several could name only one song ("Don't Stop Believing") or none at all, while one named "Oh Sherrie," though he allowed for the possibility that it might have actually been a Steve Perry solo song. (It was.) Only one was able to name more than one Journey song, though he still confessed to checking the Greatest Hits track list online before naming "Lights" as his favorite. ("But I'd still probably change the channel," the subject made sure to qualify.)
Most damning of all were the Dads' response to question #3, about whether they'd appreciate the Greatest Hits as a Fathers' Day gift. Subjects naturally gravitated towards the sarcastic with their answers, which ranged from "Only as a preferred choice to root canal" to "Was I a bad person this year? Why would you do that to me?" to (most memorably) "I would rather eat a truckload of putrified chicken dicks." One subject, still overcome with holiday spirit, did say that he would enjoy the gift "because by definition any present I get from my kids makes me feel good." (The subject still allowed that he would be happier if the gift was Blind Faith's The Lost Tapes instead.)
Well, there you have it—conclusive proof that Dads, in fact, do not actually care for Journey. Don't believe everything Billboard and iTunes tell you, kids.