"It's about hope and will," said Schon. "We wrote very positive songs. It was a brighter sound. Happier, upbeat, but still rock."
The group, formed in San Francisco in 1973, gets many requests for the use of their songs -- "Don't Stop Believin'" in particular -- but unless all the writers agree to the commercial use, the deal is off.
"We've been really picky about where our material is going to go," said Schon. "We have had monstrous offers, moneywise, like from giant burger chains and we've turned it all down for years now."
Journey did OK the song's use for one monster -- the Oscar-winning 2003 film "Monster" starring Charlize Theron.
After Theron approached Perry about using "Don't Stop Believin'" in the critically acclaimed movie, the group members gave her the thumbs up.
The song has also been featured in a wide range of television shows including "Scrubs," "Soul Food," MTV's "Laguna Beach" and "The Family Guy." And like on the "Sopranos" episode, when the soundtrack fueled the storylines on "Laguna Beach" and the "Don't Make Me Over" episode of Family Guy, there were reportedly dramatic increases in iTunes downloads.
Gargano said that each new placement of "Don't Stop Believin'" reinforces the staying power of this '80s classic. "It's the kind of timeless, brilliant songwriting that doesn't happen a lot anymore."
"The point of the song playing is that you just don't give up. Life goes on even if you're the Sopranos," reflected Perry.
And just like the song, Journey goes on and on and on…despite another reconfiguration of the group.
This week a publicist for the band announced that the recently named lead singer -- one of several attempting to fill the shoes of the inimitable Steve Perry -- was leaving the group. Jeff Scott Soto joined Journey last July, replacing Steve Augeri who had to leave the 2006 tour early because of illness.
But Neal Schon expects to see Journey releasing a new album and embarking on another tour in 2008.
Buoyed by the song's resurgence, Schon wishes they were touring now. "It ('The Sopranos') just solidifies the fact that whether you like us or not, we're not going anywhere," said Schon.
And if the high-profile "Soprano's" finale wasn't enough, one rock observer muses that the new year may bring what many fans have been wanting for nearly a decade: a Steve Perry and Journey reunion.
In fact, Perry told Entertainment Weekly his layoff from music may be over. "Actually, I am messing around with music again. I'm starting to write and enjoying the process. We'll see where that takes me."
Sounds like another cliffhanger.
Some will win, some will lose
Some were born to sing the blues
Oh, the movie never ends
It goes on and on and on and on…