ABBA vs. Journey

13 Jul

In the previous post’s comments, one reader who shall remain nameless (but has the initials Shrew) indicated that ABBA and Journey would provide the same level of pain if used for torture by 24-hour repetitious saturation.

Now, you might be able to put the two groups on the same level as far as clothes go, but hey, it WAS the ’70s. No-one was immune….

However, musically, ABBA and Journey are on two, totally different planes. ABBA was 70s Pop at its finest, whereas Journey was 70s Rock at its finest. As a newly minted teen in the mid to late 70s, Journey was my generations’ Rolling Stones. ABBA was fun, but Journey was serious stuff. I give you Exhibit A…”name” songs.

ABBA’s Fernando:

versus Steve Perry’s solo after Journey Oh, Sherry:

While ABBA’s song is decidedly feminine and light; Journey’s is studly and full of hard-beat.

Exhibit B…Geography songs


vs. the great Journey’s Lights

While ABBA evokes thoughts of 9th grade American History and Napoleon, Steve Perry is putting you on Fishterman’s Wharf in San Fransisco.

Exhibit C…Biggest Hit

  Dancing Queen

vs. the great Journey’s

  Don’t Stop Believing

‘Nuff Said.  Rawk on.  BTW, DSB was my class song….GEAUX SPARTANS!

Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not reference the Music Maven favorites of both.  From ABBA

  The Winner Takes It All

vs. the great Journey’s….

  Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’

Feel free to make your own comparisons, add to either or just comment.  I am SOOOOOO looking for dialogue.




34 responses to “ABBA vs. Journey

  1. shrewspeaks

    July 13, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    Okay…LTS is my sing-a-long song…I JUST love it.

    Now, when I mentioned Journey in the previous post it was because in today’s climate Jouney is in this weird zone. When they were releasing songs like Wheel In The Sky Journey had real rocker street cred. Then they became this bigger than life arena act with the ESCAPE tour and something happened. To some they lost street credibility becoming almost a parody and totally uncool to listen too. I am not sure why this was, I just know when I went looking for a Journey greatest cd in the early 90s I was practically laughed right out of the music store.

    Recently, maybe 2005, I went to alive band karaoke night and some guy got up and murdered Don’t Stop Believing. The guy standing next to me laughed heartily and said “who doesn’t love Journey?” I said are they cool to listen to again? and his response was “Sort of….you know cool like ABBA is cool.” Two things…One Journey is relegated to the novelty nostalgia listen, two I knew right then and there I would not be dating the man next to me. NTTAWWT.

  2. shrewspeaks

    July 13, 2008 at 10:53 pm

    PS- nice Gullet! (Girl Mullet) 😉

  3. music maven

    July 14, 2008 at 7:23 am

    That, my friend, was a Shag cut. Very trendy at the time.

    Perhaps Journey went the way of many bands who are simply not relevant to the generation at hand. The only bands that have been able to transcend generations are The Beatles, The Stones and The Dead. And, let’s face it Randy Jackson and that mile high cut afro didn’t help them in the mid-80s. They simply held on too long. Better to breakup and reunite 25 years later.

    But just like The Rascals or Lovin’ Spoonful, Jefferson Airplane/Starship and countless others. To those of the generation where that music was top of the heap, it means something.

    Point in this post is that both ABBA and Journey were tops, just very different. Pop vs. Rock when there was a clear difference.

    I’d like to know folks favorites on both ends…and love some Afternoon Delight thrown in.

  4. Colette

    July 14, 2008 at 10:03 am

    “The only bands that have been able to transcend generations are The Beatles, The Stones and The Dead.”

    Hmmm. Have to mull that statement. Def right about the three you mention, but are we talking songs, sales, influence, whaaaa?

  5. music maven

    July 14, 2008 at 10:50 am

    I’m talking about resonating with the particular generation. There may be a few select few in addition to these, but these are the ones that kids of 2010 know, and “get” as did kids of the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, and 00s.

    Bands like Boston and Aerosmith get a little acceptance from those kids who are students of Rock, but many kids of today have never heard of them. They do know The Beatles, The Stones and The Dead, although The Dead may be a little less known to them.

  6. Colette

    July 14, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Very fun a while ago (before Garcia died) to see my own daughter become a Dead Head. I was a big fan long ago, when things were so lax that we little Seattle teenyboppers would just wander backstage at a Dead concert and give Bob Weir a birthday cake, or some other token — picking our way through the lounging groupies and the zoned-out musicians! funny memories.

    Yeah, you are right. Thank heaven, though, that I saw a LOT of kids in their 20s at the Dylan concert I attended in 2006, and Stevie Wonder is surprisingly huge among kids too. I see the Eagles are as amazingly durable, probably because of the fantastic songbag, but most kids can’t afford their ridiculously expensive concert tickets!

  7. Colette

    July 14, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    woops, did I say Seattle teenyboppers? funny slip.

    make that San Francisco teenyboppers…..that’s why I can boast about going to the Fillmore Auditorium every weekend as a teenager….

  8. Shrewspeaks

    July 14, 2008 at 1:15 pm

    First Fillmore…Everyweekend…NOW THAT NEEDS to be discussed at sometime.

    Enduring…Floyd endures too.

    I wonder…this enduring…vs. timeless…You listen to Dylan, the Band, Beatles, Dead, Stones, Floyd…there is of their time element but also a still relevant today aspect. (I would also put Aretha, Otis and Cooke in that list as well)

    Bands like ABBA, Journey and countless others (Police even) seem to be reacting rather than leading the way…(hello Lefsetz, Sgt Pepper’s post) so there is this reflexive move from the next generation to brand these acts as “uncool” and they remain so until the move into the Oldies’ station retro is cool land.

    I could be wrong…but I just heard on last week’s SoundOpinion Podcast that Banarama has street cred again…and it made me think about this whole…has been is cool again thing.

  9. music maven

    July 14, 2008 at 1:50 pm


    runs from the room screaming…

  10. Shrewspeaks

    July 14, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    See what I am saying?

  11. Shrewspeaks

    July 14, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    When did they EVER have street cred. It’s like saying I liked Manillow but only the unitard years.

  12. colette

    July 14, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    LOL — or how about Elvis, the jumpsuit years? (sorry MM)

  13. Shrewspeaks

    July 14, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    Okay…So between Abba and Journey…where does ELO fit?

  14. music maven

    July 14, 2008 at 5:46 pm

    If ABBA is 1 and Journey is 10, then ELO is 6.

  15. Shrewspeaks

    July 14, 2008 at 5:51 pm


  16. music maven

    July 14, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    Well, I should clarify Evil Woman, Don’t Bring Me Down and Strange Magic are more rock, Turned to Stone, Hold On Tight, and Telephone Line are more Pop, so maybe I would change my vote to 5.

  17. Shrewspeaks

    July 14, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    See for me Turn To Stone is more of an epic Boston type of tune,,,where Strange Magic and Don’t bring Me down have very strong Top 40 leanings.

    What I find so tragic about ELO is their influences are amazing yet the output is less than compelling. Music Theory excellence gone wrong.

  18. jenfera

    July 14, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    I am back from vacation and ready to put my 2 cents in on this important topic. Ready? ABBA drools, Journey rules!! Bwah ha ha ha!

    Seriously. I never was an ABBA fan, even back when I was in elementary school in the 70’s and I liked to spin around in circles to the BeeGees in the living room and call it disco dancing.

    Interesting Journey fact: Karmardav’s 8th grade chorus graduation song was Separate Ways. I can’t remember if they had to play the recorder along with it or not.

    I think the Sopranos deserve some credit for Journey’s recent resurgence. If you saw the very last episode, you know why.

    Also, wanted to point out that Led Zeppelin and Bob Marley seem to also have that timeless appeal thang going on. My teenage nieces and stepdaughters appreciate both.

  19. jenfera

    July 14, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    p.s. – Here’s the YouTube of Separate Ways. If you can’t imagine 100 8th graders belting this out, well, who could, really?

    Also, don’t lie – you had those same white pumps, and probably pink ones too. Extra credit if you ever wore frilly bobby socks with them, or pinstriped jeans.

    Separate Ways

  20. marymagdalene

    July 14, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    Please do not beat me up, but I just have to mention one thing, and that is the following:

    “Oh, Sherry” is not a Journey song…
    It was on Steve Parry’s solo album, ‘Street Talk’…

    Many thanks in advance for not beating me up!

  21. music maven

    July 15, 2008 at 7:16 am

    Jen – during the time you’re speaking of, I had just started working in the corporate world so fashion was a little different, but still very heavy on the polyester.

    Mary – Lord, I hope that this site doesn’t have the rep of beating people up…it’s so not that. I appreciate people’s viewpoints and comments even though I may occasionally debate issues. That’s the only way that I grow and learn. Like the fact that Oh, Sherry was a Steve Perry solo. I guess for me, Steve Perry IS Journey so a put it all together, but thanks for the clarification. And, please, don’t be afraid to comment in fear of rebuke. I don’t condone that.

  22. Shrewspeaks

    July 15, 2008 at 8:25 am

    Unless…She is beating on me Mary…Glad to see ya!

  23. marymagdalene

    July 15, 2008 at 11:00 am

    No, this site does not have the rep of beating anyone up, except Shrew on rare occasions (LOL!), and I know that I have no fear of retribution on this site…
    I probably should have done some emoticons after those statements… 😀

    I have to say that this is one site that I just HAVE to check out every day, and what I have learned here is AMAZING!
    THANK YOU, MM, Shrew, and Colette (happy belated birthday, BTW)!!!!

    I know exactly what you mean about Steve Parry, in that he WAS the voice of Journey…

    He probably should never have left, considering his solo career did not do what he probably hoped that it would… 😦

    Though the guy that Journey found in that reality TV show is ASTOUNDING, and that it is positively EERIE in how much he SOUNDS like Steve Parry!

  24. karmardav

    July 21, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    I’ve been remiss on commenting on Ms. M’s site for a while because the heavy load of videos has a tendency to crash my computer,and I apologize for that, but I had to get in on this one. Its true about my 8th grade graduation song – no recorders, we had to sing it. I never really understood why we had that song – the chorus teacher picked it, but we lived in a town with only one high school so we weren’t going separate ways!
    Working in a middle school and having middle school aged kids of my own, I get to have a little ear on what kids of today relate to music-wise. Although most have heard of the Stones and the Beatles, I wouldn’t say most relate (few, if any, on the Dead). I have noticed a strengthening interest in what we think of today as classic rock. Many kids are into some of their parents’ music, and I give video games like “Guitar Hero” and “Rock Band” some credit; they feature rock tunes mostly from the 70’s and 80’s with some modern tunes mixed in, and I think the kids are getting into the music and appreciate it as opposed to just playing the games.

  25. Misty

    November 28, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    First of all… there should be no comparison between ABBA and JOURNEY. ABBA is mostly disco crap… and JOURNEY is awesome. Well, they were anyway, when Steve Perry was their frontman.

    Second of all, “Oh, Sherrie” is NOT a Journey song. It’s a Steve Perry SOLO song, and it rocks. Don’t get me wrong, ABBA certainly has some catchy tunes that even I sing along to……. but I don’t understand the comparison between them and the greatest band (AND VOICE!) ever.

    Reading a few of these comments, I suggest you all brush up on your homework and actually learn a little bit about Steve Perry and Journey, and the real reasons they split.

    Perry On, people!!

  26. Robbin O.

    January 16, 2009 at 6:51 am

    There is no way at all that ABBA can be compared to Journey! ABBA had a much softer sound, which btw I enjoyed a lot of their music … but Journey ROCKED! Steve Perry definately set the bar with his amazing voice, and there’s no comparison to Neil Shon either! The chemistry of Perry, Shon and Cain in reference to the writing process goes is untouchable. They combined their unique individualism to produce some of the best music in Rock and Roll. I enjoyed ABBA, but I LOVED Journey … albeit it’s not Journey without Steve Perry. Still a good band, but Perry made them what they became, and I will continue to follow Steve Perry and patiently await his return!

  27. Heinz

    April 23, 2009 at 8:58 am

    ABBA with Waterloo, Mamma Mia, I Do I Do I Do I Do I Do,, Bang-A-Boomerang, Honey Honey and Ring Ring is fantastic!!!!

    Greetings Heinz

  28. George

    April 23, 2009 at 7:03 pm

    ABBA is way better than any other band out there. Journey is ok, but nowhere near as good as ABBA was back in the day!

  29. Mignas

    October 30, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    i love this group!

  30. joey

    July 20, 2010 at 10:01 pm

    No contest, ABBA blows Journey away. So much more melodic, so much more consistent quality-wise.. and so much easier on the eyes!

  31. D.M.R.

    June 14, 2012 at 10:10 am

    ABBA, definitely! Yeah, Journey were good, but ABBA’s songs told a story – I know DSB did, but ABBA were more subtle and warm. Many see them as a tacky pop group, but they weren’t, people need to stop being so biased and listen to their later songs from The Visitors – Songs like The Winner Takes It All, One Of Us, The Day Before You Came, When all Is Said And Done, they show pain and sorrow, ABBA were geniuses, and I’m not one for statistics, but ABBA are favourited more than Journey – They’re the 2nd most popular band (I was told), and have sold more than Journey. They are legends and still are and will be forever. They could belt out a good pop song, but they could let out an amazing ballad.

    And I am not against rock; I love Queen, The Beatles, pink Floyd etc. Journey just don’t do much for me. I only really like DSB.

  32. Barbera

    May 5, 2014 at 12:54 am

    Oh Sherrie is NOT Journey. It came off of Steve Perry’s SOLO album Street Talk, from 1984. I love both of these bands a lot, but please get your facts straight.

    • Barbera

      December 15, 2014 at 2:04 am

      Also, the song is Lights, not City Lights.

  33. music maven

    December 15, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Amazing that a 6 year old post is still getting read. I corrected both the SOLO Steve Perry credit for “Oh, Sherrie” and “Lights”. Glad there are people to keep me honest and correct this. Would never want to slight Steve Perry or Journey.


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