If Jack FM had a dollar for every time American Idol judge Randy Jackson mentioned he used to be in [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Journey[/lastfm], we’d be as rich as Ryan Seacrest!
With over 80 million albums sold, Journey are one of the most beloved rock bands in the world.
Formed in San Francisco in 1973, Journey released three unsuccessful albums before striking gold with 1978′s Infinity. Led by the powerhouse vocals of [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Steve Perry[/lastfm], Infinity sold three million copies and peaked at #21 on the Billboard 200. The album, with its more mainstream sound, produced two hit singles: “Lights” and “Wheel in the Sky.”
Journey’s string of commercial success continued with their next two albums, Evolution and Departure. But the band saw their greatest achievement in 1981 with the release of their seventh studio album, Escape. It landed at #1 on the charts and became Journey’s biggest-selling album with nine million copies sold. The singles “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Who’s Crying Now” and “Open Arms” charted in the Top 10 on Billboard‘s Hot 100. Escape was even the basis for a popular Atari 2600 video game.
By 1983, Journey were one of the world’s top bands. Following a popular stadium tour, the band decided to take a break. It was during this time that lead singer Steve Perry launched a somewhat successful solo career. In 1984, he released his first album, Street Talk, and the singles “Oh Sherrie” and “Foolish Heart” were both chart hits.
Journey returned to the studio in 1986 for their next album, Raised on Radio. Although it reached #4 on the Billboard 200 and gave the band four more Top 20 singles, the album’s sales were considerably lower than its predecessors. Many critics and fans blamed the dismal sales on Steve Perry’s increasing influence over Journey’s musical direction. After a tour in support of Raised on Radio was cancelled in 1987, the band went on an extended, indefinite hiatus.
Eight years later, Steve Perry agreed to a Journey reunion, and in 1996, they released Trial by Fire. The album marked the band’s successful return to the music scene. Trial by Fire was a surprise hit, peaking at #3 on the charts and producing the Grammy-nominated single, “When You Love a Woman.” As plans were being made for a tour, Steve hurt his hip while on vacation in Hawaii and was told he couldn’t perform without having surgery. Continuously putting off the surgery, the rest of the band grew tired and issued Steve an ultimatum: have the surgery or we find a new lead singer.
In 1998, Journey hired [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Steve Augeri[/lastfm] as their frontman. They released two albums with Steve: 2001′s Arrival and 2005′s Generations. In ’06, Steve was let go from the band while on tour with [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Def Leppard[/lastfm] due to a “chronic throat infection.”
Once again, Journey was on the hunt for a lead singer. In 2007, guitarist [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Neal Schon[/lastfm] was on YouTube when he came across a video of a Filipino singer named [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Arnel Pineda[/lastfm] covering Journey songs. Arnel was immediately hired. With a fresh voice and new perspective, Journey released Revelation in 2008. It debuted at #5 on the charts, and the band earned their first Top 10 hit in 12 years with “After All These Years.”
Earlier this year, Journey released their 14th studio album (their second with Arnel Pineda). Eclipse landed at #13 on the Billboard 200 and has been nominated for Album of the Year by Classic Rock magazine. The single, “Anything Is Possible” is Jack’s Song of the Day.
Journey are currently on tour with [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Foreigner[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type="artist_info"]Night Ranger[/lastfm]. All three will be at the Gexa Energy Pavilion in Dallas September 24th.
Here’s a live performance of the Journey classic, “Open Arms.” No offense to the new guy, but Jack FM misses Steve Perry. We really do.
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