Journey’s “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart),” from the 1983 album “Frontiers,” arrived 40 years ago and went on to peak at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. To commemorate its release, rock artists Daughtry and Lzzy Hale of Halestorm have teamed up for tribute single, which Chris Daughtry tells Variety was inspired by the show “Stranger Things.”
“We wanted to do a classic cover and we had kicked around the idea of doing something that had this ’80s vibe,” he says. “There were a couple of songs we had in the mix.”
One was Europe’s “The Final Countdown,” which Daughtry deemed a little “corny.” Then, one night, he and his wife watched the “Stranger Things” finale, and it all clicked.
“It was such an incredible episode — the way it was so cinematic,” he says. “I remember the song coming on and, and the way they had chopped it up with the scenes, it was so vibey. I was like, ‘this is it.'”
Daughtry had another idea: to turn the song into a duet. He immediately thought of Hale. “Lzzy and I had been talking for years about working on a song together, whether it be an original or a cover,” he says of his past tourmate. “We’ve done stuff live before, but never recorded anything. I texted her about doing ‘Separate Ways’ and she was, like, ‘That’s my go-to karaoke song! I’m all in.”
Producers Marti Frederiksen and Scott Stevens recorded the two in Nashville. Sys Daughtry: “Everybody was in their own spaces doing their parts. It was such a fun experience just watching Lzzy work. She’s such a pro and an incredible vocalist. There’s a few singers that make me jealous of what they’re able to do with their voice, and she’s one of them.”
An added bonus: Frederiksen’s studio had a kick drum head with the Journey logo on display. “I’m looking at that drumhead, like, this wasn’t even planted here,” was it?” says Daughtry. “It showed that it was meant to be — just a little happy accident.”
Added Hale: “Chris Daughtry and I have been threatening to unleash a duet for years. What better way to do that than by paying tribute to one of our mutual influences…. Journey!”
Journey is scheduled to hit the road in 2023, despite members Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain squabbling over finances and other intra-band dramas. What does Daughtry make of the situation? “It’s a bit of a bummer, but hopefully they hear this and both approve.”
Daughtry is set to tour starting in March.
Listen to the song below: