“Faithfully” is a song by American rock band Journey, and the second single from their album Frontiers. The song was written by keyboardist Jonathan Cain. It peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100, giving the band their second consecutive top-twenty hit from Frontiers. Despite featuring no chorus, it has gone on to become one of the band’s most recognizable hits and has enjoyed lasting popularity.
The song was written by Journey keyboard player Jonathan Cain. He began writing the song with only the lyrics “highway run into the midnight sun” on a paper napkin while on a tour bus headed to Saratoga Springs, New York. The next day, he completed the song in full in only a half-hour. Cain connected the song’s quick genesis to his Christian faith: “I’d never had a song come to me so quickly […] it was anointed, supernatural.” Neal Schon also commented on the song’s inception: “[Cain] told me he got the melody out of a dream. I wish something like that would happen to me.” Cain finished composing the song on a backstage grand piano at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, where the band performed it for the first time. According to the liner notes in Journey’s Time3 compilation, Cain paid tribute to road manager Pat Morrow and stage manager Benny Collins when he wrote “we all need the clowns to make us smile.” He characterized the song as a “road song,” remarking, “You know I’m being a good dog out here — don’t worry about it.”
“Faithfully” is written in the key of B major with a tempo of 65 beats per minute in common time. The song follows a chord progression of B – G♯m – E – B, and the vocals span from G♯4 to B5. The song describes the relationship of a “music man” with his lover. The difficulties of raising and maintaining a family and staying faithful while touring are brought up. However, he suggests that he gets the “joy of rediscovering” her, and insists “I’m forever yours… Faithfully.” Cain wrote this song about the difficulty of being a married man as well as a touring musician. Soon after the song’s release, he and his wife divorced. Like “Rosanna” by Toto, “Faithfully” contains lyrics delivered by the lead singer but written by another member of the band, which led many fans to believe Steve Perry wrote the song about a particular girl.
The music video featured a then-unique “life on tour” theme parallel to the song’s lyrics, showing the band’s performances in different venues and their travels around the USA. Steve Perry can be seen shaving his short-lived but talked-about moustache in the video. This video utilized footage from the documentary video Journey: Frontiers and Beyond narrated by John Facenda, voice of NFL Films, shortly before his death in 1984. The concept of the “road video” was later utilized with several other bands & artists, including Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses, Genesis, Mötley Crüe, Poison and Richard Marx.
Bryan Adams opened for Journey on their 1983 Frontiers Tour, and during that time wrote the song Heaven, which was heavily influenced by Faithfully. The Heaven recording features Journey drummer Steve Smith.
After recording the song Purple Rain, Prince phoned Cain and, worried it might be too similar to Faithfully, asked him to listen to it. Cain reassured Prince by telling him that the songs only shared the same four chords.