HardReviews 5
by Martin Popoff

NEIL DANIELS - Don't Stop Believin': The Untold Story Of Journey
(Omnibus Press)

UK classic rock expert Neil Daniels has been quickly, methodically making a name for himself as one of the most prolific and academic of rock biog penners, keeping the taps open for his best book yet, a solid, classy and rare look at Journey, for a big and respected publisher. Daniels has a challenge on his hands, given that past members of this insular band have been instructed not to talk about the band upon their leaving, and that current or long-standing members, amiable as they are, don't divulge much about this fairly mercenary business of a band. As Daniels states in his intro, it's no wonder there are no major biogs on this massive proto-hair institution, until now. In any event, many cool things about this book, starting with the concentration on the albums, picked apart meticulously, any quotes offered through the author's many interviews as well as the available press that speak to the material of record making... well, those are culled, used, retained, and left fairly unedited, allowing for more learnin', if less fast-paced drama, somewhat choppy at times, but lots of info put in one handy place. Also, Daniels, subconsciously perhaps, winds up getting across the managed, planned vibe of the band, by spending lots of time on the hangover years, the patchy, semi-inactive years, the various singers, and each and every newer record despite how few people might have been paying attention to the band. Love it, 'cos what emerges is the story of a band who could once do no wrong struggling with relevance, picking their spots, emerging considerably triumphant as a fragile mix of retro act and tingly fresh story, most pertinently through the wide acceptance of Filipino fireplug Arnel Pineda at the mic, leading us all in song. Satisfying completists, there's extensive end notes, a meticulous bibliography, discography and a chapter on Steve Perry gone solo.
Rating 7.5