Sign up below to be added to our mailing list for the latest news updates, access to exclusive contests, and more!
Journey was formed in 1973 by Neal Schon (a music prodigy who had been a member of Santana), bassist Ross Valory, drummer Prairie Prince (replaced by Aynsley Dunbar), and guitarist George Tickner (who left after the first album). Another former Santana member, keyboard player and singer Gregg Rolie, joined shortly afterward. This lineup recorded Journey (1975), the first of three moderate-selling jazz-rock albums (Journey, Look Into the Future, and Next) essentially given over to instrumentals. By 1977, the band was looking to emulate the rock radio dominance of contemporaries like Foreigner and Boston. They conscripted Bay Area singer Steve Perry, whose soulful, Sam Cooke-inspired tenor would become the key to unlocking mainstream success. The results were immediately felt upon the release of 1978's Infinity, which sold a million copies within a year and included the hits "Wheel in the Sky" and "Lights" -– by this time, Dunbar had been replaced by Steve Smith. Evolution (1979) was similarly successful, yielding the band's first Top 40 hit with "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'," as was Departure (1980), which became one of the group's highest-charting efforts. The LP would serve as the last studio appearance by Rolie, who assisted in choosing his replacement, keyboardist and rhythm guitarist Jonathan Cain, formerly of the Babys.
Following a live album, Captured (1981), Journey released Escape, which rocketed them to the upper echelons of pop stardom by scoring three Top Ten hits ("Who's Crying Now," "Open Arms," and "Don't Stop Believing") the latter of which would become the most iconic song in their catalog. The album topped the charts and sold millions -- in July 2021, it was certified diamond by the RIAA. Frontiers (1983), featuring the hit "Separate Ways," was another big success, after which Perry released the double-platinum solo album Street Talk (1984). When the group got back together to make a new album, Valory and Smith were no longer in the lineup. The resulting Raised on Radio (1986) was created by Schon, Perry, and Cain, along with bassist Randy Jackson and renowned session drummer Larrie Londin. Certified double-platinum, the LP included the hit singles "Girl Can't Help It," "Be Good to Yourself," "Suzanne," and "I'll Be Alright Without You."
Following the tour, tensions were running high and Journey disbanded. Perry went into a prolonged period of seclusion as Schon and Cain formed Bad English with vocalist John Waite. Bad English had several hit singles, including the chart-topper "When I See You Smile," before breaking up. Perry returned to recording in 1994, releasing For the Love of Strange Medicine. Although the album went gold, it was a commercial disappointment by previous standards. In 1996, Perry, Schon, Cain, Valory, and Smith staged a Journey reunion, releasing the million-selling Trial by Fire, which featured the Top 20 single "When You Love a Woman," and going on tour. Perry and Smith opted out of the reunion after the tour. Still, Journey continued, hiring a new lead singer, Steve Augeri (formerly of Tall Stories), and a new drummer, Bad English's Deen Castronovo, who made their debuts on "Remember Me," a track on the 1998 Armageddon soundtrack. Arrival, Journey's 11th studio album, was released in April 2001 and followed by a national tour. The LP reached number 56 on the Billboard 200.
The band received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 21, 2005. That same year, they released a new album, Generations, and embarked on a 30th anniversary tour. Shows on the tour stretched over three hours and were divided into two sets -- one focusing on pre-Escape material, the other on post-Escape material. The archival release Live in Houston 1981: The Escape Tour appeared in 2006, the same year the group brought Jeff Scott Soto aboard as a replacement for Augeri, who developed a throat infection that prevented him from singing.
However, Soto's time with the band was limited; in 2007, Journey announced that they had parted ways with the singer and once again sought a frontman. They found him in Arnel Pineda, a Filipino vocalist Schon discovered after seeing him perform the Journey ballad "Faithfully" online. Pineda made his debut with the group in 2008, the same year they released Revelation. Fueled by the adult contemporary hit "After All These Years," Revelation was a surprise hit that wound up going platinum. Journey returned in the summer of 2011 with Eclipse, a concept album that saw the band tie together its progressive rock beginnings with its '80s arena rock peak. 2013 saw the release of Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey, a documentary chronicling Pineda's discovery and first year with the group. In 2017, Journey was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and in 2022 they released Freedom, their 15th studio effort and their third outing with Pineda. It also marked the return of Raised on Radio bassist Randy Jackson, who stepped in after the band's split with Ross Valory in 2020. ~ James Christopher Monger & William Ruhlmann