Here’s your ticket to some of the best (or, perhaps, most infamous) 7″ singles ever released! No adapter is required, although in my opinion the device pictured below is right up there with Asteroids as one of the best inventions of the 20th century.
45 RPM: Journey’s “Open Arms” [U.S. 7″]
Journey has never had a #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100, but “Open Arms” came pretty damn close. Jonathan Cain began working on the song when he was still with The Babys, and Steve Perry helped Cain complete “Open Arms” after the keyboardist replaced Gregg Rolie in early 1981. The remaining members of Journey weren’t particularly fond of the song, but they changed their tune when they saw the response “Open Arms” elicited from the crowd when played live during the early dates on the Escape tour.
“Open Arms” was finally released as a single in early 1982, and likely would have been a #1 hit if not for the stunning staying power of two chart-topping songs. The J. Geils Band spent six weeks at #1 with “Centerfold” during February and March of 1982, and then Joan Jett & The Blackhearts follwed that impressive run with seven straight weeks at the top with “I Love Rock ‘N Roll.” “Open Arms” sat at #2 behind both of these songs for six consecutive weeks, but it could never break through to the top spot despite the love and adoration of every 14-year-old girl in America. You can still play the opening piano line from “Open Arms” for any woman in her 40s, and I guarantee you that she will melt like butter on the spot– such is the power of the best rock ballad of all time.
The b-side of “Open Arms” was “Little Girl,” a song that virtually no one in the U.S. had heard at the time. “Little Girl” was originally released on the Japanese-only Dream After Dream in 1980, an album that featured the last recorded output from founding member Rolie. Somehow, I talked my mother into buying me a $20 import copy of Dream After Dream at the Camelot Music in Collin Creek Mall sometime in 1982. I still have that piece of vinyl, but it has more crackles than a bowl of Rice Krispies and it’s just not in good enough shape to warrant a rip. Dream After Dream is still available only as an expensive CD import, and someday I will break down and buy it. It’s a really cool record that sounds a lot like Journey’s pre-Perry days, although “Little Girl” certainly has the Perry magic in spades.
Note: while Journey never has reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, the “Escape” LP did top the album charts. The reunited classic Journey lineup also topped the Adult Contemporary chart in 1996 with the gorgeous “When You Love A Woman.”
Journey: Open Arms [U.S. 7″]
Columbia Records, 1982
A-Side: “Open Arms” (Perry/Cain)
B-Side: “Little Girl” (Perry/Schon/Rolie)
The first rule of The Analog Kid blog is that if you write about a song on the Analog Kid blog, you share the song on the Analog Kid blog.
The J. Geils Band: “Centerfold” (Justman)
From the album Freeze-Frame
EMI Records, 1981
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts: “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” (Merrill/Hooker)
From the album I Love Rock ‘N Roll
Boardwalk Records, 1981
Journey: “When You Love A Woman” (Perry/Cain/Schon)
From the album Trial By Fire
Columbia Records, 1996