In the spring of 2009, a television show aired on Fox that featured quirky teenagers singing and dancing their hearts out through the hallways of their school, in class and in choir competitions. Throughout the years, these unpredictable characters became like friends to us, as we cheered them on in Sectionals and Nationals. If you haven’t already guessed, we’re talking about Glee.
Something that often goes unnoticed, however, is how Glee brought oldies back in ways that new generations could fall in love with. Perhaps the most iconic Glee moment can be traced back to the first episode — with the glee club’s first group cover of Journey’s hit “Don’t Stop Believing.”
The song was originally released in 1981 and shot up to no. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and sold 1 million copies. In 2009, after the Glee release of the track, it was ranked as no. 5 on the national charts in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia. The single later went platinum in March of 2011. 36 years later, Journey’s hit song had officially made its comeback.
The Glee cast went on to break records in the Billboard charts. In total, they had 207 chart-toppers on the Billboard list. They even surpassed Lil Wayne by 82 entries, bumping him down to the runner-up. Fox’s television show did just more than bring in ratings — it revived songs from decades past and gave them a second chance to hit the charts.
Glee clearly had a knack for connecting music between generations. One of the most legendary ways they did this was in the season 1 episode “Theatricality.” The episode followed the students’ journey in discovering their identities. The Glee girls and guys, divided into groups, sang songs by Lady Gaga and Kiss. By featuring hit songs from “Bad Romance” to “Beth,” the episode brought audiences of all ages together based on their diverse selection of music tastes.
Glee taught younger generations how to appreciate the music of those that came before them. By bringing in a cast of supposed-to-be-high-schoolers, it was easier for younger audiences to relate to the show, while older audiences stuck around for the new takes on their old favorite bops. Glee bridged the gap between parents and their kids by re-doing oldies and turning them back into goodies.