Journey

  • Rock band formed in 1973 from San Francisco California. There have been many members – the classic lineup from the 80s was Neal Schon (guitar, backing vocals, songwriting), Ross Valory (bass guitar, backing vocals), Steve Smith (drums), Jonathan Cain (keyboards, backing vocals, songwriting), and Steve Perry (lead vocals, songwriting).
  • The group was formed when the manager of Santana organized the group after Santana broke up. Schon and keyboardist/vocalist Gregg Rolie came from Santana, and bassist Ross Valory and rhythm guitarist George Tickner from the band Frumious Bandersnatch rounded out the band. Originally, they were formed to be a backup band for other artists, but they quickly established their own sound. A roadie suggested the name Journey. In 1974, they were performing at San Francisco venues, and later that year, they signed a recording contract.
  • Their debut album, the self titled Journey, was released in 1975. Tickner soon left the band, and their next album, Look Into The Future, was released in 1976. Sales remained practically non-existant, which continued with their next album, 1977’s Next. These records were more progressive rock and less pop music.
  • Late in 1977, they hired Steve Perry to join the band as lead vocalist. Perry had been a vocalist with several projects, but none were successful. By 1977, he was 28 years old and ready to give up his singing career. His mother urged him to return a phone call from Journey’s manager, who had gotten a demo tape of Perry – and the rest is history. Perry sang on the band’s fourth album – Infinity. They also hired Roy Thomas Baker to produce the record – Baker had previous won awards producing albums for Queen. Infinity was released in 1978 and it was the breakthrough album for the band. It was the first of 7 consecutive platinum or multi-platinum albums for Journey. Singles included Wheel In The Sky and Lights (my second favorite Journey song – love the harmony). 
  • Their next 2 albums – Evolution and Departure – both sold over 3 million copies in the U.S. Singles from the album still did not crack the top 10 – their highest charting song from these albums was Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’, which peaked at #16 (and is my favorite Journey song – love the harmony).
  • In 1981, they released their mega-seller, Escape. It was certified 9x Platinum. Four singles broke into the top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart – Still They Ride (#19), Don’t Stop Believin’ (#9), Who’s Crying Now (#4) and Open Arms (#2). By now, the band’s concerts were selling out stadiums.
  • Their next project, 1983’s Frontiers, continued their run of success. It was 6x Platinum, and reached #2 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Top 20 singles included Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) and Faithfully. Following this album, the band took some time off, with Perry and Schon working on solo projects.
  • Raised On Radio was released in 1986, and it was their last studio album for 10 years. The album managed to sell over 2 million copied in the U.S., with 4 singles breaking into the top 20, including Be Good To Yourself, peaking at #9. After this, Perry was no longer interested in maintaining his role with the band, and they went dormant.
  • In 1988, their record company released a Greatest Hits compilation that became one of the highest selling Greatest Hits records ever. It has sold over 15 million copies in the U.S. and by 2014 it had spent 300 weeks on the Billboard 200 album chart – 1 of only 5 records ever to achieve that status. It is the 25th best selling record in the U.S. of all time.
  • The band reunited in 1995, including Perry, and the following year they released Trial By Fire. The album is their final one to sell over 1 million copies. One single – When You Love A Woman – peaked at #12 on the chart, their last song to chart on the Hot 100 chart. Plans for a tour ended when Perry injured his hip, and by 1998, the band moved forward without Perry.
  • A new lead singer was hired – Steve Augeri. Two studio albums and an EP were released between 2001 and 2005. Augeri was dropped from the band in 2006, replaced for a year by Jeff Soto. In 2007, Cain and Schon searched YouTube to find a new singer, and subsequently they hired Arnel Pineda, who continues to be the frontman for Journey. Pineda is a Filipino who was singing songs by Journey, Aerosmith and other artists, in a cover band called The Zoo when he was discovered. Two albums were released with Pineda handling the vocals. The band continues to tour non-stop, with Pineda singing all of the classic Journey songs.
  • Journey was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.
  • If you’re over 40 years old and a rock & roll lover, there is no doubt that Journey was a band you sang along with. Their videos were constantly played on MTV. Steve Perry is one of the greatest vocalists ever. Here’s their video Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’. I dare you to try to NOT sing along with the “Na, Na, Na, Na, Na’s” at the end of the song! A great great rock song!

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