Journey "Don't Stop Believin'" (1981)
Believe it or not, Journey was originally a jazz fusion band with serious snob appeal. Among its founding members were Santana alums Neal Schon on lead guitar and Gregg Rolie on keyboard. But all that changed in 1977 when Steve Perry brought his phenomenally acrobatic voice to the group, and they started to move in a pop direction. By 1981 Journey had jumped the shark, diving into full-frontal pop perfection with their breakthrough album E5C4P3.
Its biggest single was all about "a small town girl living in a lonely world" who takes "the midnight train going anywhere" and hooks up with "a city boy born and raised in South Detroit" (incidentally there is no such neighborhood as South Detroit, but let's not ruin the vibe). "Don't Stop Believin" went on to become one of the biggest-selling iTunes catalog tracks of all time, in part because it was featured prominently in the last scene of the final episode of The Sopranos. Every time this one plays you just want to hold on to that feeling. -Rob Kenner