Synopsis of Pop Music

"Any way you want it,
That's the way you need it..."

At plenty of girl slumber parties, circa the late 70’s and early 80’s, the group Journey was frequently the subject of the nighttime’s oh-so-erudite chitchat. Which band member was the cutest, namely, but also which was the best song from albums like Evolution and Escape, and just what were those things on the album covers? More than twenty years later, we can remember the slumber parties, and we can definitely remember the band.

When he was a wee fifteen years old, musical prodigy Neal Schon played with Carlos Santana, and if that’s not enviable enough, he played with Santana after turning down a little someone by the name of Eric Clapton. Later, in 1973 San Francisco, he and erstwhile Santana road manager Walter Herbert formed a band with keyboardist Gregg Rolie, Ross Valory (who had played bass for The Steve Miller Band), George Tickner and Prairie Prince (who drummed with The Tubes). Their name was chosen, incidentally, by the winner of a San Francisco radio contest. Prince went back to The Tubes in 1974 and was replaced by Aynsley Dunbar, who had played with Jeff Beck, John Mayall and Frank Zappa. In 1975, Tickner left to go to med school, and Steve Perry from The Alien Project came aboard as the new vocalist. the line-up was complete. And clearly, there was no shortage of pedigree or talent.

On 1978’s very successful Infinity, produced by Roy Thomas Baker (who had worked with Queen), the band showcased a new, more sophisticated pomp rock sound. Dunbar was no fan of the pomp, and when he left to join Jefferson Starship, Steve Smith replaced him. Evolution was next, and its single “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’” was a Top-20 hit. The next effort, a live double album called Captured, veered away from their slick studio sound and dove into some good old-fashioned hard rock screeching instead. Rolie left after this record and Jonathan Cain replaced him.

The next outing was Escape, and owing a great deal to Cain’s songwriting talent, this record was the band’s most commercially successful offering thus far. Its “Who’s Crying Now,” “Don’t Stop Believin’” and “Open Arms” were all Top-10 hits.

After their 1986 Raised on Radio, the band (which at that point consisted of just core members Schon, Cain and Perry) went their separate ways. Perry put together a 'posthumous' greatest hits compilation to commemorate the band’s end. Cain formed Bad English with John Waite, Perry released a solo album, and then both men reunited to release Trial By Fire, which was a moderate success. Perry officially left the band in 1998 and Steve Augeri stepped in as vocalist, and now, they continue to do what they always liked to do best—tour.

"Don't stop believin'..."

Artist Release History

1975 – Journey
1976 – Look Into the Future
1977 – Next
1978 – Infinity
1979 – In the Beginning
1979 – Evolution
1980 – Departure
1980 – Captured
1981 – Escape
1983 – Frontiers
1986 – Raised on Radio
1988 – Greatest Hits
1992 – Time Cubed
1996 – Trial by Fire
1998 – Greatest Hits Live

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Essential Music Albums

Escape (Columbia, 1981)

Band Members

Steve Perry vocals
Neal Schon guitar
Ross Valory bass
Jonathan Cain keyboards
Steve Smith drums

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