This song has certainly been played into the ground by now, but that’s not the only problem with it. Most Classic Rock songs that receive this level of sheer decades-spanning overplay actually earn it on some level. For example, “Free Bird” and “Stairway to Heaven” presumably seemed like amazing instant classics when they were first introduced, so it’s not all that surprising that they became inescapable staples of Rock radio and cover bands. This song, by contrast, is just radio filler: capable radio filler, admittedly, but nonetheless utterly generic—at least “25 or 6 to 4”, another piece of polished radio-rock that has suffered from terminal overplay, had a distinctive sound thanks to early-career Chicago’s Jazz influences. This song’s closest peer is probably “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey, but it doesn’t even come close to equaling the simple poetic beauty of that song, which also earned its ubiquity because it resonates so deeply with so many listeners. And as Arena Power Ballads go, it also doesn’t approach the emotional power of Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer”, or the inspirational uplift of Starship’s “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”. In fact, I find it pretty hard to imagine anyone being genuinely moved by this song. And when I can name this many songs in the same field that are better off the top of my head, that’s not generally a good sign.
Verdict: Even before it got so overplayed that people started cringing at the sound of its first notes, this was already little more than a competent but uninteresting piece of overpolished radio filler.