Rock Music Wiki

"Any Way You Want It" is a popular song performed by Journey, released on the album Departure as the opening track and as a single in 1980. It was rerecorded with Arnel Pineda and Deen Castronovo for their 2008 album Revelation, and has been covered by the rock band Rise Against. The song was written by frontmanSteve Perry and guitarist Neal Schon. It peaked at #23 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The band often plays it to close their concerts. It appears on all four of the band's live albums (CapturedGreatest Hits LiveLive in Houston 1981: The Escape Tour, and Revelation on DVD). Since its release, the song has continued to infiltrate public consciousness through its use in numerous movies, television series, and advertisements.

Song information[edit source | editbeta][]

According to cowriter Steve Perry, the song was heavily influenced by Irish rock band Thin Lizzy and more particularly by bassist leader Phil Lynott. In July 1979, Journey was touring with Thin Lizzy across the United States when Lynott, Perry and Schon decided to share rhyme scheme exercises during a hanging out in Miami. The "basic" work on "the guitar-vocal-guitar-vocal interchange thing that happened between Phil and his lyrics and the guitarist and his arrangements, inspired the Any Way You Want It sorta give and take thing. It's guitar-voice, guitar-voice, more guitar-guitar-guitar-voice. It be voice-voice and back and forth and that's something that Neal and I think just instinctually picked up by hanging out with him"[1] commented Perry. Schon and Perry would then rework on the song in the band bus, with Schon on acoustic guitar and Perry on vocals.[2] Lynott's contribution later influenced other songs built on the same scheme such as "Stone In Love".

For the studio version, keyboardist Gregg Rolie originally used a mellotron. Since it was defective, co-producer Geoff Workman decided to fix the sound by doubling it with Rolie's regular organ in the final mixing, thus creating the unique sounding background support for the song.[2]

Music video[edit source | editbeta][]

The video for the song opens with a man standing in front of a jukebox, his face unseen by the camera. He scrolls his finger up a list of songs and stops at "Any Way You Want It". He then reaches into his pocket and pulls out a coin which he inserts into the jukebox. He then selects the song and we see a record being flipped over and beginning to spin. This dissolves into a shot of a studio tape spinning which leads to the group performing the song in the studio. The bands performance comprises most of the video until the song ends. At this point the man at the jukebox is revealed to actually be singer Steve Perry who turns and smiles at the camera. Another video exists which is a live performance during the Departure tour. Both videos were omitted from the band's Greatest Hits DVD in favor of another live version of the song from the Escape tour.

Personnel (Departure)[edit source | editbeta][]

Personnel (Revelation)[edit source | editbeta][]

Popular culture[edit source | editbeta][]

The song has been used in television advertisements by popular brands such as HeinzMcDonald'sState FarmFord and Samsung, and its prominent appearance in the comedy film Caddyshack released the same year of the song.[3] The song is also played multiple times in the television series Chuck. It was also featured during the middle of The Simpsons episode "Viva Ned Flanders" and in the closing scene of the episode "Burns, Baby Burns", as well as at the ending of the episode "The C Word" of the TV series House. It was also used in the season 2 episode of The Big Bang Theory titled "The Maternal Congruence" where Sheldon and Leonard's mother are singing the song on Rock Band. The song was used and recorded by the cast of Glee for a mash-up with "Lovin' Touchin, Squeezin'" for the first season finale. The song was also used in the rock/jukebox musical Rock of Ages as well as the film adaption of the same name and in the animated movie Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted. It was voted the 80th best hard rock song of all time by VH1 viewers.