From the get-go, former Journey frontman Steve Perry was a fan of the band's 1983 classic “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” being revamped and remixed for the soundtrack Netflix's Stranger Things program. The new Bryce Miller/Alloy Tracks Remix, which is one of the highlights of the show's Season Four soundtrack, re-imagines the song while keeping Perry's iconic vocal well intact.
Steve Perry spoke to FloodMagazine.com and was asked about how he became aware that the show was interested in the Frontiers hit: “Well, y'know, I still own all my songwriting; the other (Journey) members involved have since sold their songwriting (publishing). So I was contacted to approve the use of it. I was sent this trailer version, and I was absolutely stunned by the feeling that I got from it. Because it was so organic and analog-y, and I was stunned that the vocal was emotionally that good (laughs).”
He went on to say, “You gotta remember, I did that vocal, like, years ago, and back then I was struggling to be heard amongst incredible amounts of instruments — analog synths, many, many guitars, and drums. So when I heard that Bryce had taken (my vocal track) out like he did, and there were certain harmonics that I think he had accentuated, with certain echoes that were just touching me emotionally that I wish I would’ve had on the original, I turned to my girlfriend and I said, 'Y'know, I never heard the vocal without all that stuff around it, it really, emotionally, sounds so different than I remember it — and in a positive way!' I was blown away with what they had done, and I just wanted to get to know them and talk to them more.”
Perry couldn't help but sing the praises of the remix and the imagination and care that went into creating new work out the old: “I just wanna say that there’s musical contributions that people can make, but then there’s emotional contributions — and what Bryce and Troy have done is, they picked up on the deeper, emotional, buried-in-there potential contribution that they could pull out of it. They really reached for more emotion than I even knew was in there. When Bryce started arranging it, he took certain melody things that were always there, like guitar lines or things that we had worked on back in the day, and just expanded on ’em in a different way. And so it became a new version of itself, emotionally. I mean, I knew it was good, but I didn’t think it was that emotional (laughs).”
“Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” was the lead single and opening track from Journey's 1983 Frontiers collection. The tune peaked at Number Eight for six consecutive weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and toped Billboard's Top Tracks chart for four weeks.
Keyboardist Jonathan Cain, who wrote the song with Steve Perry, shed light on his classic '80s collaborations with legendary frontman: “I think my relationship with Steve, it was kind of divine intervention that the Lord would bring me to this guy that could just sing like that (laughs), y'know? And how many things we had in common and how much we loved just writing great songs, y'know? And he really loved the 'hit' song. I didn't have any idea I would have that kind of chemistry with him. And we got to writin' songs together — it was just magical.”