Be Good to Yourself
"Be Good to Yourself" is a song by Journey from their ninth studio album, Raised on Radio. Released in 1986 as the first single from the album, the song went Top 10 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and, as of 2019, is the band's last to do so.
|"Be Good to Yourself"|
|Single by Journey|
|from the album Raised on Radio|
|B-side||"Only the Young"|
|Songwriter(s)||Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain, Neal Schon|
|Journey singles chronology|
The single heralded the band's first new album in three years, as singer Steve Perry had taken time off for a hit solo album and had appeared on 1985's "We Are the World", while guitarist Neal Schon had recorded a one-off album as part of Hagar Schon Aaronson Shrieve.
The title owes itself to a sort of mantra of Perry's at the time, which keyboardist Jonathan Cain jotted down in his notes during writing sessions for the album. Calling it a "Perry-ism" in the liner notes to 1992's box set Time3, Cain explains, "With his own domestic situation in disarray and his mother slowly dying, Perry needed life affirming messages." Still, a complete song eluded the band for five months before coming together in a sudden moment of inspiration in the shower for Cain on the very day they were booked to finish the record; Perry was equally inspired, working out his entire finished vocals in under an hour. "Be Good to Yourself" has words by Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain and music by Perry, Cain and Neal Schon, who are the only members of Journey to appear on the single. The 1980s saw advanced new technological approaches to writing and recording music, which resulted in the departure of founding member Ross Valory, the band's bassist, and drummer Steve Smith, replaced with studio musicians for the album and tour including drummer Larrie Londin and bassist Randy Jackson. "Be Good to Yourself" was the first release following this development, and was produced by Perry and mixed by Bob Clearmountain.
Journey made front-page news in Billboard magazine for the superstar rock act's decision at the height of MTV's influence and popularity to release no music video in support of their new album's lead single. "We're not trying to say, 'To hell with you MTV,'" the band's manager, Herbie Herbert, was quoted as saying, going on to explain that while the band appreciated the heavy rotation the video music channel had given to previous clips, they actually feared overexposure and having the song and the band too closely linked with a particular director's vision rather than the music speaking for itself. The band also eschewed corporate sponsorship for a tour that year. Two of four subsequent singles from the album, "Girl Can't Help It" and "I'll Be Alright Without You", were supported by live concert clips that received strong rotation at MTV. In light of the airplay that these performance clips achieved, a live music video for "Be Good to Yourself" was later released.
Billboard wrote upon the single's release—when it became the second-most added song at radio after Madonna's "Live to Tell"—"Power pop kingpins return with a bang, reelin' and a-rockin' and defying expectations of a ballad". The song peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 the week of May 31, 1986, tying with "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Only the Young" for their fourth-highest peak on that chart. It fared even better on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, where it peaked at #2, tying "The Party's Over (Hopelessly in Love)" as their second-most successful single on that chart, after "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)". Raised on Radio became their fourth consecutive Top 10 album, reaching its peak of #4 the same week "Be Good to Yourself" topped out on the Hot 100; it was their seventh consecutive multi-platinum album in the U.S. The song also charted in Canada and the UK.
"Be Good to Yourself" appears on several of the band's hits compilations and has been a staple of most of the various formations of the band's tours since its release. "Be Good to Yourself" is played in 1987's White Water Summer starring Kevin Bacon and Sean Astin.
The uptempo song starts off with a keyboard driven riff by Cain. Perry soars swiftly through an inspirational pair of verses and choruses over a driving beat and surging guitars punctuated by punchy keyboards. The intro keyboard riff returns briefly before the final third of the song devotes itself to an extended guitar solo by Schon over a G major, D minor, F major, C major chord progression.
- "Time3 liner notes". Time3 box set. 1992. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
- "Interview with Steve Smith". Billboard. Dave Golland and Svetlana Rogachevskaya, interviewers. May 16, 2003. Retrieved April 20, 2012.CS1 maint: others (link)
- Steve Gett (April 26, 1986). "No Video For Journey Album—Manager: Clips Are 'Insignificant'". Billboard. 98 (17). p. 1. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
- "Single Reviews/Pop Picks". Billboard. April 12, 1986.
- "Hot 100 Week of May 31, 1986". Music chart. Billboard.com. May 31, 1986. Retrieved April 20, 2012.
- "Billboard 200 Week of May 31, 1986". Music chart. Billboard.com. May 31, 1986. Retrieved April 20, 2012.