STEVE PERRY Received "The Blessing" Of GEORGE HARRISON's Widow For His Version Of "I Need You"; Video Interview
August 24, 2018, a month ago
On October 5th, legendary singer-songwriter and Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame inductee Steve Perry makes his long-awaited return with Traces, his first new album in nearly a quarter century, out via Fantasy Records (Concord Records/UMG).
As part of his promotional rounds for Traces, Perry stopped by New York City radio station Q104.3. During his on-air interview, which can be seen below, the former Journey vocalist spoke about the decision to record his own version of The Beatles' "I Need You", which appeared on their 1965 album Help!, for his new solo album, Traces.
"When I first heard the song, I was very young, and they did sort of a bossa nova version. And I'm thinking, 'What? That's so cool, but that song is so much better than that,' my mind told me. I was very young, and I'm already criticizing music. I heard it in my head as an R&B song like I just recorded it — when I was a kid; 16, 18 — somewhere in there, a teenager. I just heard it as a bigger song, because it is a bigger song — George Harrison wrote an amazing song. I just thought they'd done a good job doing it, but I really thought it was a bigger sort of R&B pocket thing."
"A friend of mine, Steve Ferrone, is very close to Olivia Harrison (George Harrison's widow), and I said, 'Someday, I'd love to play the song for her and get her blessing. You ask her.' So he comes back and he says, 'I spoke to her. Here's her e-mail. She said give her a call.' I said, 'What?' So, all of a sudden, I'm e-mailing Olivia Harrison and I'm trying to be very careful with every question. 'Can I please talk to you? I just wanna play you this song?' And she gets back to me immediately; it was so beautiful. So I went to her office and I played her the song, and I was so nervous. Because when you're in the George Harrison environment, you just feel him there. And it's Olivia. So she listened to it and then she quickly grabbed the remote and restarted. I hope she loves it. And she restarted it and got halfway through the second listen and said, 'George would have loved this version.' And I'm telling you, I got the blessing."
Perry introduced the upcoming Traces album with the lead track “No Erasin’” and reassuringly greets fans with the opening line “I know it’s been a long time comin’.” The track is an emotional homecoming, a familiar welcome from the iconic voice and writer of Journey’s timeless, global hits including “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Faithfully,” and “Open Arms,” as well as the significant solo success of “Oh Sherrie” and “Foolish Heart.”
Perry says, “Putting 30 years into 10 songs has certainly been an emotional experience for me. I started writing and recording these songs with the creative freedom that I was the only one who would ever hear them. Along the way, I rediscovered my love for music. Each track represents traces of my past, but is also a hopeful look into the future. I invite you to listen with an open heart.”
Produced by Perry alongside co-producer Thom Flowers, Traces is the artist’s most vulnerable and honest recording to date, balancing tremendous loss with enduring hope and beauty. The album is a collection of nine original tracks that encompass the spectrum of human emotion, and also features a beautifully reimagined cover of The Beatles’ “I Need You” (see full tracklisting below). It is the work of an artist who has reconnected with his music in a new way.
"We’re Still Here"
"Most Of All"
"No More Cryin’"
"In The Rain"
"Sun Shines Gray"
"You Belong To Me"
"Easy To Love"
"I Need You"
"No Erasin’" video: