Journey arrives on Saturday at Fenway Park with Def Leppard and Cheap Trick. Through some precipitous lineup changes since the group first formed in 1974, Journey has remained a powerhouse musical and cultural force through a few generations. In many ways, the Bay Area band is even more significant to the fans that came after the original Boomers who welcomed the group to the charts in the later-70’s.
Journey began with Neal Schon and Gregg Rolie, the guitar player and keyboardist of Santana who had grown disenchanted with the jazzier directions that band traveled to. Singer Steve Perry arrived in 1977 and first made his mark on Journey’s fourth album “Infinity,” which sold 3 million copies in the U.S. after the previous three albums barely sold at all.
After that, the sky was the limit for Journey as the group became one of the world’s best-selling bands, but with the departure of Perry in 1998, it's fortunes have see-sawed. Nevertheless, Journey remains a top-draw on the road and still sells plenty of merch. “Don’t Stop Believing” remains one of the most downloaded songs of all time.
Here are 15 of Journey’s best!
#15 “The Party’s Over” - This studio track was tacked onto the end of Journey’s 1981 live album “Captured.” The song was written by Steve Perry on the road and put together during soundchecks during the 1980 tour, so it has a relationship to the live album even though it was a studio recording. The single reached #34 on the U.S. singles chart.
#14 “Keep on Runnin’” – Written by the trio of Jonathan Cain, Neal Schon, and Steve Perry, which produced nearly all of Journey’s latter work, this was a product of Schon’s desire to rock out on a track and balance some of the mellower selections on “Escape,” Journey’s biggest-selling album (other than “Greatest Hits”).
#13 “Walks Like a Lady” - the band struck a bluesy tone on this track from 1980’s “Departure” album. Written by Steve Perry, the tasty guitar licks were complimented by the warm Hammond B3 soul from Gregg Rolie, who departed the band after the tour to support this album.
#12 “The Girl Can’t Help It” – Journey took a couple of years off before the “Raised on Radio” album appeared in 1986. Produced by Steve Perry, the album was a success despite tensions in the band and the firing of bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith. This single reached #17 on the charts.
#11 “Feeling that Way”/”Anytime” - it is highly sacrilegious for a DJ to play these tracks separately, so we considered both as one. The first song was originally penned by Rolie and re-written even before Steve Perry joined the band. The new singer reworked Rolie's track yet again into the song you know. The pair of tracks opened the “Infinity” album from 1978.
#10 “Faithfully” - keyboardist Jonathan Cain had this song kicking around for a while before it got the Journey treatment and made it onto the “Frontiers” album in 1983. Interestingly, the song has only verses and no chorus. Despite the lack of a sing-along section, the single still went Top 20.
#9 “Just the Same Way” - Gregg Rolie took the point on this lead single from the “Evolution” album in 1979. A perfect demonstation of how Rolie’s and Perry’s very different voices were blended and used so effectively on one song.
#8 “Lovin,’ Touchin,’ Squeezin’” - another song from “Evolution,” this Steve Perry-penned sing-along became Journey’s first Top 40 hit and helped drive the album to over 3 million in sales in the U.S.
#7 “Lights” – this song was brought to Journey by new singer Steve Perry. It was originally written about Los Angeles and not completed, but when Perry arrived in the Bay Area Neal Schon helped him finish it. Of course, the lyrics now referred to Perry’s new home.
#6 “Separate Ways” - From 1983’s “Frontiers” album. One of Journey’s most rocking tracks, it featured an infamous video in which the band members air-played their instruments and seemed over-wrought and self-conscious. But, hey, in their defense, video was a big new thing and the musicians were at the mercy of their director and his vision (or lack of it). Still, it must have helped because this single made it all the way up to #8.
#5 “Who’s Cryin’ Now” - From the mega-selling “Escape” album which went to #1 in 1981 while the band toured America as support for the Rolling Stones. Perry came up with the lyrics and melody, then got stuck on finishing it, so he drove over to Cain’s house where the keyboardist came up with the memorable title.
#4 “Wheel in the Sky” - before Steve Perry arrived on the scene as Journey’s new lead vocalist, that role was briefly held by Robert Fleischman in 1977. The singer co-wrote this track with Neal Schon and did some recording on it before he was replaced. The song found its way onto “Infinity” which sold big-time, no doubt helping Fleischman pay his the bills ever since.
#3 “Stone in Love” - another monster track from “Escape,” this song features some of Neal Schon’s best soloing, period. Schon jammed out the melody on this and Cain and Perry collaborated on another stellar set of lyrics.
#2 “Anyway you Want It” - Written by Perry and Schon together in the early days on the band’s tour bus, this song made it onto the “Departure” album in 1980. The appearance in “Caddyshack” cemented its immortality.
#1 “Don’t Stop Believing” - of course, this has to be #1. In Jonathan Cain’s 2018 book named after this iconic track, he floats the astonishing statistic that this is the most downloaded track from the 20th Century. Steve Perry and Neal Schon collaborated on this, the second single from “Escape.”