Journey (band)

Journey is an American rock band that formed in San Francisco in 1973. The band is composed of former members of Santana and Frumious Bandersnatch. The band has gone through several phases; its strongest commercial success occurred between 1978 and 1987 when Steve Perry was lead vocalist. During that period, the band released a series of hit songs, including "Don't Stop Believin'" (1981), which in 2009 became the top-selling track in iTunes history among songs not released in the 21st century.[7][8] Its parent studio album, Escape, the band's seventh and most successful, reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and yielded another of their most popular singles, "Open Arms". The 1983 follow-up album, Frontiers, was almost as successful in the United States, reaching No. 2 and spawning several successful singles; it broadened the band's appeal in the United Kingdom, where it reached No. 6 on the UK Albums Chart. Journey enjoyed a successful reunion in the mid-1990s and have since regrouped twice; first with Steve Augeri from 1998-2006,[9] then with Arnel Pineda from 2007 to the present.[10]

Journey in 2013
Journey in 2013
Background information
OriginSan Francisco, California, U.S.
Years active
  • 1973–1987
  • 1991
  • 1995–present
Associated acts

Pending resolution of lawsuit.

Past members

Sales have resulted in twenty five gold and platinum albums, in addition to the fifteen-time platinum RIAA Diamond Certified, 1988's Greatest Hits album.[11] They have had nineteen Top 40 singles in the U.S. (the second most without a Billboard Hot 100 number one single behind Electric Light Orchestra with 20), six of which reached the Top 10 of the US chart and two of which reached No. 1 on other Billboard charts, and a No. 6 hit on the UK Singles Chart in "Don't Stop Believin'". In 2005, "Don't Stop Believin'" reached No. 3 on iTunes downloads. Originally a progressive rock band, Journey was described by AllMusic as having cemented a reputation as "one of America's most beloved (and sometimes hated) commercial rock/pop bands" by 1978, when they redefined their sound by embracing pop arrangements on their fourth album, Infinity.[12]

According to the Recording Industry Association of America, Journey has sold 48 million albums in the U.S., making them the 25th best-selling band. Their worldwide sales have reached over 80 million records globally, making them one of the world's best-selling bands of all time.[13] A 2005 USA Today opinion poll named Journey the fifth-best U.S. rock band in history.[14][15] Their songs have become arena rock staples and are still played on rock radio stations across the world. Journey ranks No. 96 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

Journey was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the class of 2017. Inductees included lead singer Steve Perry, guitarist Neal Schon, keyboardists Jonathan Cain and Gregg Rolie, bassist Ross Valory, and drummers Aynsley Dunbar and Steve Smith.[16]


1973–1976: Formation, Journey, and Look into the FutureEdit

The original members of Journey came together in San Francisco in 1973 under the auspices of former Santana manager Herbie Herbert. Originally called the Golden Gate Rhythm Section and intended to serve as a backup group for established Bay Area artists, the band included Santana alumni Neal Schon on lead guitar and Gregg Rolie on keyboards and lead vocals. Bassist Ross Valory and rhythm guitarist George Tickner, both of Frumious Bandersnatch, rounded out the group. Prairie Prince of The Tubes served as drummer. After one performance in Hawaii, the band quickly abandoned the "backup group" concept and developed a distinctive jazz fusion style. After an unsuccessful radio contest to name the group, roadie John Villanueva[17] suggested the name "Journey".[18][19]

The band's first public appearance came at the Winterland Ballroom on New Year’s Eve, 1973 to an audience of 10,000, and the following day, would fly to Hawaii to perform at the Diamond Head Crater to a larger audience. Prairie Prince rejoined The Tubes shortly thereafter, and on February 1, 1974, the band hired British drummer Aynsley Dunbar, who had recently worked with Frank Zappa. On February 5, 1974, the new line-up made their debut at the Great American Music Hall in front of Columbia Records executives and secured a recording contract with the label following the performance and later performing at venues around Bay Area.[20]

Journey went into CBS Studios in November 1974 with producer Roy Halee to record their debut album. Their eponymous debut album was later released in April 1975 entering the Billboard charts at number 138. Rhythm guitarist Tickner left the band due to the amount of heavy touring the band was doing in promoting the album, allowing Schon to take on the guitar duties. The band entered the studio again in late 1975 to record Look into the Future which was released in January 1976, entering the Billboard Top 200 charts at number 100. The band promoted the album with a two-hour performance at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle, which later aired on the radio as touring continued to promote their second album.[21]

1977–1980: New musical direction, Next, Infinity, Evolution, and DepartureEdit

I still think some of the stuff we did then was great. Some of it was self-indulgent, just jamming for ourselves, but I also think a lot of other things hurt us in the early days. It took a while for the politics to sort of shape up.
— Neal Schon[22]

From May to October 1976, the band went to His Master's Wheels Studios to record their third studio album, Next, and just like the previous album, the band produced it themselves. They brought in a much more commercial sound while keeping their jazz fusion and progressive rock roots.[23] Following a performance at the San Diego Sports Arena on New Year's Day in 1977, the album was released in February and charted on the Billboard Top 200 at number 85.[22] Sales did not improve and Columbia Records was on the verge of dropping the band from their roster. The band's manager, Herbie Herbert, decided that to compete with popular bands at that time was to find a frontman who would share lead vocals with Rolie.[24]

The band hired Robert Fleischman and made the transition to a more popular style, akin to that of Foreigner and Boston. Journey went on tour with Fleischman in 1977, opening for bands like Black Sabbath, Target, Judas Priest and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Fleischman and the rest of the band began writing and rehearsing new songs, including the hit "Wheel in the Sky".[24][25] During a performance before approximately 100,000 at Soldier's Field in Chicago, the band was introduced to Steve Perry. Differences between Fleischmann and manager Herbie Herbert resulted in Fleischman's departure from the band within the year.[26][27][28]

Journey hired Steve Perry as their new lead singer. He made his live debut with the band at the Old Waldorf in October 1977, stepping into His Master's Studios and Cherokee Studios from October to December. Herbie Herbert, the band's manager, hired Roy Thomas Baker as producer to add a layered sound approach similar to that of Baker's previous band, Queen.[29] With their new lead singer and new producer, the band's fourth studio album, Infinity, released in January 1978, peaked at number 21 in Billboard.[30]

According to the band's manager Herbie Herbert, there were tensions between Aynsley Dunbar and the band due to the change in music direction from the jazz fusion sound. Neal Schon reflected on the tensions: "We would talk about it, and he'd say he'd be willing to simplify things. But we'd get out there, and after five shows he wasn't doing that at all." Dunbar started playing erratically and talking derogatorily about the other members, which later resulted in Herbert firing Dunbar after the Infinity tour. Dunbar was replaced by Berklee-trained drummer and Montrose member Steve Smith.[31][32]

Perry, Schon, Rolie, Smith and Valory entered Cherokee Studios in late 1978 to record their fifth studio album Evolution which was later released in March 1979, peaking at number 20 in Billboard. The album which would be a milestone for the album gave the band their first Billboard Hot 100 Top 20 single, "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'", peaking at number 16 which gave the band significant airplay.[33] Following the tour in support of the album, the band entered Automatt Studios to record their sixth studio album Departure which was released in March 1980, peaking at number 8 in Billboard.[34]

Keyboardist Gregg Rolie left the band following the Departure tour to start a family and undertake various solo projects. It was the second time in his career he had departed from a successful act.[35] Keyboardist Stevie "Keys" Roseman was brought in to record the lone studio track, "The Party's Over (Hopelessly in Love)", on the band's live album Captured.[36] Rolie suggested pianist Jonathan Cain of The Babys as his permanent replacement. With Cain's synthesizers replacing Rolie's organ, Cain had become the new member of the band in which he said "I was in shock for a week after I joined the band. I thought it was a mistake at first."[37]

1981–1983: Escape, height of popularity and FrontiersEdit

Following the departure of Rollie and Cain joining as the new keyboard player, the band entered Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California, which began in late 1980 and carried on into 1981 to record their seventh studio album. Escape was released in July 1981, and became not only their most successful album, but also their most widely reviewed upon its release, charting at number one in the United States. The album had a clutch of hit singles which included: "Who's Cryin' Now", "Still They Ride", "Open Arms", including the iconic "Don't Stop Believin'".[38]

In a 2010 interview, when asked about the height of Journey's success from the release of Escape, the band's manager Herbert answered, "It was huge. It went to number one and at some point there was Escape and then Infinity, Evolution, Departure, Captured and In The Beginning, which was a compilation of the first three albums, all in the top fifty in the Billboard charts at the same time while Escape was number one. I think we had five albums in the top fifty!"[38]

The band would begin another lengthy yet successful tour on June 12, 1981, which began with three nights at Angels Camp and would continue their trek until December 22 when they concluded the tour in Honolulu, which would be supported by opening acts Billy Squier, Greg Kihn Band, Point Blank and Loverboy on selected dates. The band would open as support for The Rolling Stones on September 25. MTV videotaped one of their two sold-out shows in Houston on November 6, 1981, in front of over 20,000 fans.[39][40]

Following the success of the 1981 tour, the band's full establishment as a corporation, and the formation of a fan club called "Journey Force", the band were worn out from touring and would later contribute to recording songs, "Only Solutions" and "1990s Theme" for the 1982 Disney film, Tron. Schon had also made time to work with Jan Hammer on a few albums.[41] Journey would continue touring in 1982 with shows in both North America and Japan where the band was popular outside of the United States.[42]

With millions of records and hit singles sold, and many tickets sold, the band would enter Fantasy Studios again in the middle of their tour to record their eighth studio album which took about two months to write and record the songs.[43] Valory when asked about the sound of the album during recording had stated that the album was "a bigger step away from Escape that Escape was from Departure. It was more of an attempt to modernize the band's sound."[44]

The eighth studio album, Frontiers, was released in February 1983 and continued their commercial success, peaking at number 2 on the Billboard charts. The album upon its release, had spawned the hit singles: "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)", "Faithfully", "Send Her My Love" and "After the Fall". Frontiers became the band's second biggest selling album and would go on to sell over six million copies.[45]

Journey began the Frontiers tour in Japan the same month the album was released, continuing in North America with Bryan Adams as a support act. The band would continue to use modern technology with the video screen behind them as they previously used in their last tour.[46] During the tour, the band contracted with NFL Films to record a video documentary of their life on the road, Frontiers and Beyond. Scenes from the documentary were shot at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with more than 80,000 fans in attendance.[17]

Tensions were beginning to grow between the members in the band, and Perry was beginning to find being on the road tiresome with the demands of playing the songs in their original key, which led to the tension being that of Perry's desire to take over the band, to make decisions and make another change to the band's sound. In an interview with the band's manager Herbert, he said "After Gregg left I knew it was only a matter of time, but I was able to get the Escape album out and get the Frontiers album out... By the end of '83 it was pretty much over."[47]

1983–1987: Raised on Radio, and more personnel changesEdit

After the Frontiers stadium tour, Journey decided to take some time off. Lead singer Steve Perry and guitarist Neal Schon both pursued solo projects between 1982 and 1985. Schon wrote and produced the supergroup band HSAS's first and only album Through the Fire, which was released in 1984 and experienced limited success. Also in 1984, Perry released his first solo studio album Street Talk, including "Oh Sherrie" and "Foolish Heart," both of which were also released as singles and reached considerable success. "Oh Sherrie" peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. "Foolish Heart" peaked at #18 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #2 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. Journey also released two songs previously intended for Frontiers: "Ask the Lonely", on the soundtrack to the movie Two of a Kind (1983); and "Only the Young", on the soundtrack to the movie Vision Quest (1985). "Only the Young" reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. When Journey finally returned to record their album Raised on Radio in 1986, bass player Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith were fired from the band for musical and professional differences.[32][48] Bassist and future American Idol judge Randy Jackson, bassist Bob Glaub, and established drummer Larrie Londin handled the two vacant slots. The album went multi-platinum, selling over two million copies. It also produced four top 20 singles: "Be Good to Yourself" (#9), "I'll Be Alright Without You" (#14), "Girl Can't Help It" (#17) and "Suzanne" (#17). The tour featured Jackson on bass and Mike Baird on drums, and was videotaped by MTV for a documentary that included interviews with the band members. But with Perry unable or unwilling to remain actively involved (he had by this point begun to experience the beginnings of serious vocal injury, although it is unclear whether this or personal and professional differences led to his distancing himself), the band cancelled the rest of the tour and went on an indefinite hiatus.[49][50]

1987–1995: HiatusEdit

Schon and Cain spent the rest of 1987 collaborating with artists such as Jimmy Barnes and Michael Bolton before teaming up with Cain's ex-Babys bandmates John Waite and Ricky Phillips to form the supergroup Bad English with drummer Deen Castronovo in 1988. Steve Smith devoted his time to his jazz bands, Vital Information and Steps Ahead, and teamed up with Ross Valory and original Journey keyboardist Gregg Rolie to create The Storm with singer Kevin Chalfant and guitarist Josh Ramos. On November 3, 1991, Schon, Cain, and Perry re-united to play several songs at the Bill Graham tribute concert.[citation needed] In 1993, Schon, Rolie, Valory, Dunbar, Smith, and Cain reunited and performed at a roast for their manager Herbie Herbert, with Kevin Chalfant on lead vocals.[51][52][53]

After the breakup of Bad English in 1991, Schon and Castronovo formed the glam metal band Hardline with brothers Johnny and Joey Gioeli, before joining Paul Rodgers' backing band in 1994. Cain spent the next few years focusing on his solo career.[citation needed]

Between 1987 and 1995, Columbia Records released three Journey compilations, including the 1988 greatest hits album, which remains the band's best-selling record. It continues to sell 500,000 to 1,000,000 copies per year. By December 2008, it was the sixth best-selling greatest hits package in the United States,[54] and by 2014 had spent 300 weeks on the Billboard 200 (one of only five albums to do so).[citation needed]

1995–1997: Reunion and Trial by FireEdit

In 1995, the Escape and Frontiers lineup (Perry, Schon, Cain, Valory and Smith) re-united under new management, signing with Irving Azoff, longtime Eagles manager. Trial by Fire, released in 1996, included the hit single "When You Love a Woman", which reached No. 12 on the Billboard charts, ranked at No. 36 on the 1996 year-end Hot 100, and was nominated in 1997 for a Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.[55] The album also produced three top 40 mainstream rock tracks, "Message of Love" reaching No. 18, "Can't Tame the Lion" reaching No. 33, and "If He Should Break Your Heart" reaching No. 38.[56]

Plans for a subsequent tour ended when Perry, troubled by pain while hiking in Hawaii in the summer of 1997, discovered he had a degenerative bone condition and could not perform without hip replacement surgery—which for some time he declined to undergo.[57][58] He later announced that he was permanently leaving the band. In 1998, Schon and Cain decided to seek a new lead singer. Drummer Steve Smith however, refused to join the others and left because he feared that the band would fail without Perry.[58]

1998–2007: Lead singer and drummer replaced, Arrival, and GenerationsEdit

Journey in 2002: Steve Augeri, Jonathan Cain, Ross Valory, Deen Castronovo and Neal Schon

In 1998, after auditioning several high-profile candidates, including Geoff Tate and John West,[59] Journey replaced Perry with Steve Augeri, formerly of Tyketto and Tall Stories. The band hired drummer Deen Castronovo, Schon's and Cain's Bad English bandmate and drummer for Hardline, to replace Steve Smith. In 2000, the band released their next studio album, Arrival in Japan. A US release followed in 2001. "All the Way" became a minor adult contemporary hit from the album. In 2002, the band released a four-track CD titled Red 13, with an album cover design chosen through a fan contest. In 2005, the band was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame, embarked on their 30th anniversary tour, and released their twelfth full-length studio album, Generations, in which each band member performed lead vocals on at least one song.[citation needed]

In July 2006, Steve Augeri was dropped from the band while they toured with Def Leppard, the official site referring to a "chronic throat infection." Augeri had been suffering from vocal attrition problems since 2003 and Journey had been accused of using pre-recorded lead vocals,[60] an accusation that former manager Herbie Herbert insists was true.[53] For nearly a year, Jeff Scott Soto from Talisman filled in with the band for several months referring to him as their official lead singer. However, in June 2007, the band announced that Soto was no longer with them.[61][62] That spring, HBO aired the finale of the series The Sopranos, concluding with Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" emanating from a diner jukebox. Without a lead singer, the band found itself unable to tour to capitalize on the heightened nostalgia for 1980s music demonstrated by the series.[citation needed]

2007–2014: Lead singer replaced again, Revelation and EclipseEdit

In the summer of 2007, Jonathan Cain and Neal Schon began searching YouTube for a new lead singer. They auditioned Jeremey Hunsicker of the Journey tribute band Frontiers, with whom they co-wrote "Never Walk Away", for their next album.[63][64][unreliable source?] Ultimately the band hired another YouTube find, Filipino singer Arnel Pineda of the cover band The Zoo.[65] Although Pineda was not the first foreign national to become a member of Journey (former drummer Aynsley Dunbar is British), nor even the first non-Caucasian (bass player Randy Jackson is African-American), the transition resulted in what Marin Independent Journal writer Paul Liberatore called "an undercurrent of racism among some Journey fans".[citation needed] Keyboardist Jonathan Cain responded to such sentiments: "We've become a world band. We're international now. We're not about one color."[66]

Journey's first album with Pineda, Revelation, debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard charts, selling more than 196,000 units in its first two weeks and staying in the top 20 for six weeks.[67] As a multi-disc set (2-CD) each unit within that set counts as one sale.[68] Journey also found success on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart where the single "After All These Years" spent over 23 weeks, peaking at No. 9.[69] Receipts from the 2008 tour made Journey one of the top-grossing concert tours of the year, bringing in over $35,000,000.[70] On December 18, 2008, Revelation was certified platinum by RIAA.[71][72] The band's second album with Pineda, Eclipse, was released on May 24, 2011, and debuted at No. 13 on the Billboard 200 chart.[73] In 2011, the band also released Greatest Hits 2.[74]

In 2011, Journey was awarded the prestigious "Legend of Live Award" at the Billboard Touring Awards.[75]

2015–present: Controversial lineup changes, lawsuits and upcoming fifteenth studio albumEdit

In June 2015, Deen Castronovo was arrested following a domestic altercation.[76][77] He was fired by Journey in August[78][77] and was ultimately replaced by Omar Hakim on the band's 2015 tour.[76] In 2016, Steve Smith again returned as Journey's drummer, re-uniting all of the members of the Escape-Frontiers-Trial by Fire lineup except lead singer Steve Perry.[79] In 2018, Journey topped the Billboard Hot Tours List for grossing more than $30 million over 17 shows.[80]

On March 3, 2020, Schon and Cain announced that they had fired Smith and Valory and were suing them for an alleged "attempted corporate coup d'état," seeking damages in excess of $10 million. The lawsuit alleged Smith and Valory tried to "assume control of Nightmare Productions because they incorrectly believe that Nightmare Productions controls the Journey name and Mark" in order to "hold the Journey name hostage and set themselves up with a guaranteed income stream after they stop performing." Valory and Smith contested the firings, with the support of former manager Herbie Herbert and former lead singer Steve Perry. Court filings revealed that Steve Perry had been paid as a member of the band for years despite not performing. In an open letter dated that same day, Schon and Cain stated Smith and Valory "are no longer members of Journey; and that Schon and Cain have lost confidence in both of them and are not willing to perform with them again."[81][82] Valory counter-sued Schon and Cain, among other things, for their partnership's claim of owning the Journey trademark and service mark (collectively known as the mark), when that partnership, Elmo Partners, was only the licensee of the mark from 1985 to 1994, when the license was terminated by Herbie Herbert of Nightmare Productions, owners of the mark and name. Valory also sought protection against Schon from using any similarities of the Journey mark and name for his side project, Neal Schon – Journey Through Time.[83] That May, Schon and Cain announced that former Journey bass player Randy Jackson would join drummer Narada Michael Walden and additional keyboardist Jason Derlatka as members of Journey.[84]

On June 17, 2020, Schon posted on his Instagram page that a new album by Journey with Jackson and Walden (and without Valory and Smith) was "starting to take shape".[85] He subsequently announced his intentions to release a single in the summer.[86] On July 22, he further reiterated the album's progress.[87] Neal Schon later confirmed on October 24, 2020 that the band would be releasing new music in early 2021.[88]


After featuring the members of the band in various poses for the first three studio albums, in 1980 Journey adopted the logo of the scarab beetle, a symbol borrowed from Egyptian hieroglyphs.[citation needed]

Band membersEdit

Current members

  • Neal Schon – lead guitar, backing vocals (1973–1987, 1991, 1995–present)
  • Ross Valory – bass, backing vocals (1973–1985, 1995–present)
  • Steve Smith – drums (1979–1986, 1995–1996, 2015–present)
  • Jonathan Cain – keyboards, backing vocals, rhythm guitar, harmonica (1980–1987, 1991, 1995–present)
  • Randy Jackson – bass, backing vocals (1985–1987, 2020–present)
  • Arnel Pineda – lead vocals (2007–present)
  • Jason Derlatka – keyboards, backing vocals (2020–present)
  • Narada Michael Walden – drums (2020–present)

Pending resolution of lawsuit.

In popular cultureEdit

Over the years, Journey songs have been heard or referred to in numerous films, television series, video games, and even on Broadway. The band's songs have been covered by multiple artists and adopted by sports teams. In particular, "Don't Stop Believin'" was heard in the final episode of The Sopranos, adapted by the television series Glee, sung by the Family Guy cast, adopted as the unofficial anthem of the 2005 Chicago White Sox and 2010 San Francisco Giants World Series championship teams, performed by The Chipmunks in their album Undeniable (2008), and sung by the cast of the Broadway musical Rock of Ages.[89][90]

On March 8, 2013, a documentary, Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, was released. The movie, directed by Ramona S. Diaz, chronicles the discovery of Arnel Pineda and his first year with Journey.[91][92]

During the COVID-19 pandemic, "Don't Stop Believin'" was used as an anthem for patients who were being discharged from New York Presbyterian Queens Hospital and Henry Ford Health System after defeating the virus.[93][94]


Studio albumsEdit

See alsoEdit


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