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  • Mike Hoffey

Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'

A 1979 Anthem

Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin is a song by the iconic rock group Journey. It was released in 1979 from the album no one remembers by name, Evolution.

It became Journey's FIRST Top 40 hit in the US, reaching only #16 on the Billboard Hot 100. Outside the US, the song reached #12 in Canada and #37 in New Zealand. OK, who cares that New Zealand didn't get it. But seriously. How were there 11 more songs better than this one, besides The Knack's "My Sharona?"

1979 was the prime of my life. I remember the song vividly. This anthem was played relentlessly on radio, a half-dozen of my friends had the 45 or the album, and it was overplayed, but the amazing work by the band was simple, and powerful, and everyone, I mean everyone, was singing along to this tune. It was the working man's Bohemian Rhapsody but with three simple power blues chords. I know, I play it in my band. The song's lyrics focused primarily on a lost girlfriend, the pain, the torture, of not getting what you used to get. One could also hear messages around teenage angst, one-night stand love, sensuality, sex, and your basic, garden-variety physical affection.

Steve, Where Did You Go?

Steve Perry was one of the greatest vocalist's of that generation. Man, could that guy sing. He had what so many bad singers of today's generation don't have (could make an argument for Bruno Mars), that range, a few steps above the alto spectrum, that sounded natural, easy, less like herding cats, more lie clean melodic tones. Wonderful. Quite simply, he could nail the high notes. Steve is given solo writing credits for the song, and one could argue it's the best song on a relatively lame album. It's interesting that he decided to bail out at the end with the droll of "Na na na na na, na na na na na..." singalong blabber. Doesn't matter. I don't care that they could not come up with a third verse. It worked. It's simple.

The Later Years

Steve is the singer who decided NOT to tour later with the band. This was a miss. Our kids would never see a singer with a ton of talent and song writing skills. Let me not forget that lost in this song is the simple and powerful keyboard work from Gregg Rolie and power chord guitar strums by Neal Schon. Steve Smith, the drummer, offered nothing toward the recognition category for this track.

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