Thursday, April 28, 2016

Bodacious Breakdown: "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" by Journey

The MTV era of music was by far the best and gave us thousands of great (and not so great) music videos to accompany our favorite songs on the radio. As a fun way to rediscover these weird, ground-breaking, sexy, epic, and just plain fun visual masterpieces, I'll be offering my very own bodacious breakdowns which will include stills from the video and my off-beat commentary. The featured video will either be selected at random or suggested by you!

Journey "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" 
Released: January 5, 1983
Album: Frontiers
Peak Position on U.S. Billboard Pop Chart: #8

"Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" is one of the most notoriously "80s" music videos in existence. The video has been on numerous "worst music video of all time" lists (including MTV) and widely famous for its "air instrument" segments. What's intriguing when looking back at this video is it was the band's first choreographed video. Playing imaginary instruments at a warehouse in New Orleans probably wasn't the band's best introduction to the MTV generation.

Beyond the visuals, many other stories surround this video like Steve Perry's girlfriend demanding the video's model to be fired. Temperatures were frigid during shooting which caused Perry to frequent his camper to stay warm. When Beavis & Butt-head criticized the video in the early '90s, keyboardist Johnathan Cain apparently was outraged enough to implore his manager and MTV to limit rebroadcasting the segment.

The bottom line is, criticism of the music video has never really overpowered the music. The video never tarnished their commercial success and I believe the more we make fun of it (which I'm about to do yet again) probably helps to further Journey's impact on the music industry throughout the '80s and beyond. 

Rediscover the music video and then check out my bodacious breakdown...



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0:04 - Air instruments begin early. I can see why keyboardist Johnathan Cain is the most outspoken about criticism...he's really rocking those imaginary keys!

0:08 - Wait, wha?? I totally didn't remember that there were scenes with actual instruments. I might have to do a comparsion of screen time with and without instruments for posterity's sake...

0:17 - Work that leather mini-skirt, honey.

0:21 - "Outta may way, creeps. This wharf is for high society!"

0:28/0:30/0:32 - "Two...Two...Two" closeup. Repeat in about 10 seconds with "You...You...You."

0:53-0:56 - Keyboard player does a mean T-Rex!!

1:16 - Scream it from atop Wooden Pallet Mountain.

1:28 - Hmm. Wall-mounted keyboards...wonder why those never caught on.

2:02 - I think that might be the same jacket Axl Rose wore in "Paradise City" and he just added the GNR logo to the back.

2:21 - Help, I'm walking through a hard hat area!! Pretty sure this isn't in my contract!!

2:45 - Equal opportunity close-ups!

3:04 - OK, so they give instruments back to the band for the bridge except the drummer who gets a few 55 gallon drums and hubcaps. No fair!

3:17 - The only guitar solo in history from a fork lift.

4:02 - "She's mine! No, she's mine! That fork lift driver could play better guitar than you! Oh yeah, well that warehouse wall could play a better keyboard than you!"

4:23 - Aww, man. It was all just a dream! I guess my abandon warehouse concert will just have to remain a fantasy.

By my count, the total screen time for the band playing air instruments vs. actual instruments:

  • Air Instruments = :16
  • Actual Instruments = 1:04

WOW!! Somebody get Kurt Loder on the phone!

Find more Bodacious Breakdowns on RD80s...