All 173 Journey Songs Ranked Worst to Best
Journey's discography will always have a clear line of demarcation: before Steve Perry and after Steve Perry. That makes sense on a couple of levels. The albums they made together remain Journey's best-selling and best-loved. But, as the following list of All 173 Journey Songs Ranked Worst to Best shows, the band did important work before he arrived and it's had some perhaps overlooked successes afterward. (Revelation, their first with current singer Arnel Pineda, was a platinum-selling No. 5 hit, for instance.)
So, we decided to take a complete accounting. Whether you're a fan of original contributions by Gregg Rolie or Jonathan Cain, George Tickner or Steve Augeri, they're all here. The only thing we left out were live takes and cover songs including Perry's version of Sam Cooke's "Good Times" from the Time3 box and Pineda's return to earlier Journey songs on Revelation. Which one will end up on top? Keep scrolling as we count them all down on the following list of All 173 Journey Songs Ranked Worst to Best.
No. 173. "Back Talk" from 'Frontiers' (1983)
This song almost single-handedly kept Frontiers from becoming Journey's best '80s album. That's enough to earn it this spot.
No. 172. "Gone Crazy" from 'Generations' (2005)
For a singer, co-founding member Ross Valory is a terrific bassist.
No. 171. "Can Do" from 'Infinity' (1978)
No. 170. "Butterfly (She Flies Alone)" from 'Generations' (2005)
Steve Augeri, Perry's first replacement, drew a bad hand. He had to follow a legend, to lead a difficult transition after Journey was dropped by Columbia Records, to endure gimmicky moves like sharing the mic with everyone in the band, then to step aside after faltering out on the road. But this misfire was all his.
No. 169. "Baby I'm a Leavin' You" from 'Trial By Fire' (1996)
If you were wondering what Journey would sound like as a reggae band.
No. 168. "Venus" from 'Eclipse' (2011)
As Journey co-founder Neal Schon consolidated his latter-day power, a long-dreamt-of goal of a guitar-focused Journey album – on hold since 1977's Next – finally came to fruition. This freed Pineda, a former cover-band singer Schon found on YouTube, from the trap of sounding exactly like Steve Perry. But it also opened the door for plenty of indulgent Schon-related moments. Eclipse inevitably ended with yet another three-and-a-half minutes of Schon.
No. 167. "Pride of the Family" from 'Generations' (2005)
Augeri had to have been dismayed as some of the best material on his second album went elsewhere – including "A Better Life," found later on our list of Journey Songs Ranked Worst to Best. But Jonathan Cain's thin, objectively lazy bonus track (he swipes a line from .38 Special) isn't one of those times.
No. 166. "The Journey (Revelation)" from 'Revelation' (2008)
If you're wondering what Journey would sound like as a boring fusion-jazz band.
No. 165. "Human Feel" from 'Eclipse' (2011)
Eclipse at its worst took Eclipse at its best to a mind-numbing zenith. What's missing on this pummeling, endlessly propulsive track is, ironically enough, human feel. It's is all head, no heart.
No. 164. "After All These Years" from 'Revelation' (2008)
Another of Journey's undeniably well-crafted, but often un-involving later-period ballads.
No. 163. "Departure" from 'Departure' (1980)
Pretty but insubstantial, this brief instrumental was tucked into the middle of co-founding member Gregg Rolie's last proper studio effort with Journey.
No. 162. "I'm Cryin'" from 'Departure' (1980)
Perry usually had a canny ability to convey emotion. "I'm Cryin'," however, slipped off into abject mawkishness.
No. 161. "Every Generation" from 'Generations' (2005)
This is the first time Cain had been at the mic since singing lead on "All That Really Matters," a Frontiers-era leftover found elsewhere on our list of Journey Songs Ranked Worst to Best. Admittedly, he's a better singer than Ross Valory, but not Deen Castronovo – and certainly not Augeri. A missed opportunity.
No. 160. "Positive Touch" from 'Raised on Radio' (1986)
The demos for Raised on Radio were completed with a click track rather than in a room together as Journey had typically done in the past. That left drummer Steve Smith to either copy these metronomic sounds – heard to teeth-grating effect on "Positive Touch" – or to stay home. Part way through the sessions, it became the latter. "They felt that the drum machine itself was part of the compositions," Smith later complained in Don't Stop Believin': The Untold Story of Journey. "I started feeling that it wasn't a band, and it certainly didn't have the same band approach as when we wrote collectively."
No. 159. "La Do Da" from 'Infinity' (1978)
Steve Perry's initial collaborations with Schon were a revelation. So many of the group's foundational songs emerged from those initial writing sessions. And then there was this.
No. 158. "Liberty" from 'Time3' (1992)
If you were wondering what Journey would sound like as a country band.
No. 157. "Troubled Child" from 'Frontiers' (1983)
Another Side Two dud. Replace this with "Only the Young" or "Only Solutions," and all is forgiven.
No. 156. "Wildest Dream" from 'Revelation' (2008)
Schon wants to rock, and he's always talking about rocking, so every once in a while they let him rock. The results are sometimes better than those undeniably well-crafted, but often uninvolving later-period ballads. And sometimes, as with "Wildest Dream," they are not.
No. 155. "Into Your Arms" from 'Time3' (1992)
One of a pair of unfinished jams from the Raised on Radio sessions that were later completed for release as part of the Journey's Time3 box set, and the less interesting of the two.
No. 154. "Tantra" from 'Eclipse' (2011)
Pineda spends most of the album inhabiting a fresh, almost feral persona, which makes this downshift into required balladry even more jarring. He sings like it's required too, recalling every Perry tick he can manage without giving any of himself to the lyric.
No. 153. "Lady Luck" from 'Evolution' (1979)
Journey join a number of artists who have sung tracks called "Lady Luck," including Deep Purple, Rod Stewart and David Lee Roth. Come to think of it, none of those are really any good either.
No. 152. "Karma" from 'Next' (1977)
The last pre-Steve Perry album ends with a grinding, unfocused rocker featuring Schon at the mic. Changes were coming.
No. 151. "Resonate" from 'Eclipse' (2011)
There might have been a hook buried in this song somewhere. Schon's army of guitars marched right over it, though.
No. 150. "Happy to Give" from 'Raised on Radio' (1986)
Perry had trouble nailing the vocal on this too-atmospheric ballad, which should have told them something. (In fact, it got to the point where Cain started calling "Happy to Give" Perry's "pet song.") It's understandable: "Happy to Give" grew out of a soundtrack idea Cain had, and it sounds like it. Journey never played the song live.
No. 149. "Ritual" from 'Eclipse' (2011)
Imagine one of those classic-era mid-tempo Journey tracks, but in a wild-eyed 'roid rage. Settle down, boys.
No. 148. "What I Needed" from 'Revelation' (2008)
There's slightly more drama here than on the weirdly slack "After All These Years," but Journey seemed to be struggling to update their tried-and-true ballad style in Augeri's absence. Pineda co-wrote this song, but he's utterly subsumed in the trademark Journey sound. He ends up sounding like the nondescript tribute singer he once was.
No. 147. "Topaz" from 'Journey' (1975)
There's no denying the level of musicianship here. It's just not very interesting music.
No. 146. "Believe" from 'Generations' (2005)
Any good coach will tell you players have to be positioned to their strengths. So if you have Jonathan Cain available to play, you let Jonathan Cain play, right? Instead, we find Augeri at the keyboard on a repetitive song that becomes pure drudgery. "Well, I have a love and a desire to play the piano, and I love the way Jon plays and I get a chance to listen to him every night," Augeri told Melodic Rock in 2005. "So, he has influenced my writing and my arranging." Seriously, though, coach: Put Cain in.
No. 145. "Chain of Love" from 'Eclipse' (2011)
Journey spend roughly a minute and a half lulling you into thinking that they've put the sledgehammer away. Then: nah.
No. 144. "In the Morning Day" from 'Journey' (1975)
This serviceable mid-tempo song abruptly turns into mostly shapeless jam.
No. 143. "Change for the Better" from 'Revelation' (2008)
A Journey-by-the-numbers tune, kicked into another gear by Pineda's undeniable energy.
No. 142. "La Raza Del Sol," B-side of "Still They Ride" (1981)
The song's heart in the right place, as Cain finds inspiration in the plight of immigrant California farm workers. Unfortunately, that narrative is surrounded by a meandering music bed that sounds like a rightly discarded leftover from their pre-Perry days.
No. 141. "Let It Take You Back" from 'Revelation' (2008)
This was the first bonus track on Pineda's initial studio album with Journey, and a much better conclusion that Schon's amorphous instrumental "The Journey (Revelation)."
No. 140. "All the Things" from 'Arrival' (2001)
The last thing Augeri – a largely unknown Brooklyn-born singer trying to separate himself from the obvious Steve Perry comparisons – needed to be saddled with was an anonymous rocker. But that's what he was given.
No. 139. "Knowing That You Love Me" from 'Generations' (2005)
Jonathan Cain has been trying to write the next "Faithfully" since the day after he brought it into a Journey recording session. He still hasn't found it.
No. 138. "Mother, Father" from 'Escape' (1981)
A overwrought, understandably disjointed song that was pieced together from two separate ideas by Perry and Schon, then completed with another interlude written by Schon's dad.
No. 137. "I Got a Reason" from 'Arrival' (2001)
This isn't as a faceless as "All the Things," but it's close.
No. 136. "The Time" from 'Red 13' (2002)
After a promising opening track that tapped the band's Journey's early fusion-loving roots, "The Time" falls back into more comfortable, and far less intriguing, blues rock.
No. 135. "Better Together" from 'Generations' (2005)
Augeri boasts a rare co-composing credit on a Glenn Hughes-ish song that tries very hard to be heavy, to be anthemic, to be defiant. Too hard, actually.
No. 134. "Majestic" from 'Evolution' (1979)
An abbreviated multi-tracked instrumental that was used as this album's opening theme, their last with producer Roy Thomas Baker. It's probably best remembered as the taped intro music for Journey concerts during this era.
No. 133. "Colors of the Spirit" from 'Trial By Fire' (1996)
This seemed like it was going to be more intriguing. They begin (and end) with a vague world-music feel, but return to expected post '80s-era Journey-isms in between.
No. 132. "All That Really Matters" from 'Time3' (1992)
Jonathan Cain took over the mic for this Frontiers outtake, returning to a sound that's more in keeping with his earlier tenure in the Babys. That's fine, but it's not Journey.
No. 131. "With Your Love" from 'Arrival' (2001)
Unfortunately, "With Your Love" doesn't live up to the thoughtful reinvention surrounding "Loved by You," found later in our list of Journey Songs Ranked Worst to Best.
No. 130. "Homemade Love" from 'Departure' (1980)
Despite discovering a newfound chart prowess, Journey were still prone to longing looks back to their earliest musical excesses. In keeping, this sludgy, clumsily salacious song couldn't have sounded more out of place on Departure. Positioning "Homemade Love" as the album-closing song made even less sense.
No. 129. "One More" from 'Trial by Fire' (1996)
The first in a number of Trial by Fire songs that made overt faith references. That became an underlying theme on the album, sparked when Perry arrived at the sessions carrying a Bible.
No. 128. "Never Too Late" from 'Generations' (2005)
Augeri was probably relieved to learn that Castronovo didn't get all the good songs.
No. 127. "To Be Alive Again" from 'Arrival' (2001)
There's nothing too offensive about this one, but nothing all that interesting either.
No. 126. "I Can Breathe" from 'Red 13' (2002)
This often-forgotten EP was initially self-released as a thank-you note to fans after Journey lost their longtime label support from Columbia. It's formatted as a kind of four-song travelogue through their history, with a proggish track, a blues rocker, the expected ballad and a more uptempo melodic rocker. The latter is the least interesting of the bunch. Augeri is in fine voice, but he's saddled with poor material.
No. 125. "Nothin' Comes Close" from 'Arrival' (2001)
This deep into Side Two of the ballad-heavy Arrival, basically any rocker was a relief. Even one this generally unimaginative.
No. 124. "To Whom It May Concern" from 'Eclipse' (2011)
Pineda's crying vocal gives this otherwise rather mechanical slow song a notable emotional underpinning.
No. 123. "Live and Breathe" from 'Arrival' (2001)
Yes, another ballad. At this point, even Neal Schon was, like, "Dude, really?" And he was listed as co-composer on almost all of them. "Yeah, I did write a lot of music on this album with Jon and everybody else this time – a lot of ballads and a lot of rock too," Schon told Melodic Rock in 2001. "But I had no idea that, you know, they'd pick every ballad that all of us wrote, you know what I'm saying?"
No. 122. "Dixie Highway" from 'Captured' (1981)
"Dixie Highway" sounds like what it was: a throwaway track written on Journey's tour bus while traveling the eponymous interstate into Detroit. It was perhaps interesting enough to be tried out live, but not interesting enough to make it onto a studio album.
No. 121. "Livin' to Do" from 'Arrival' (2001)
This song doesn't live up to thoughtful reinvention surrounding "Loved by You," either. It nevertheless holds an important place in the band's catalog because of a strong connection with Neal Schon's father Matt, who had earlier co-writes on "Winds of March" and "Mother, Father." "It was a couple of years before he passed away, and it was one of the last things that him and I sat down on a piano and we were playing together," Schon told Melodic Rock in 2001. He presented the rough idea to Cain and lyricist Kim Tribble, "and before the day was out, that song was sitting there. We really didn't change much at all in the studio on that one from the demo."
No. 120. "It's Just the Rain" from 'Trial By Fire' (1996)
Perry achieves a sweet sense of reverie, his most favored place, but the surroundings owe too much to rather boring solo forays into smooth jazz by Cain and Schon.
No. 119. "Lifetime of Dreams" from 'Arrival' (2001)
Journey's inventive call-and-response, first vocally and then with Schon's growling guitar, lifts an otherwise somewhat rote ballad to the next level.
No. 118. "The Place in Your Heart" from 'Generations' (2005)
Augeri sings his guts out, but this kind of undistinguished Cain/Schon-composed melodic rock is why Generations sunk to a paltry No. 170.
No. 117. "Keep On Runnin'" from 'Escape' (1981)
A pedestrian rocker, "Keep on Runnin'" is the only stumble on Side One of Journey's biggest-ever selling album.
No. 116. "Trial by Fire" from 'Trial by Fire' (1996)
This track made direct reference to verses in 2 Corinthians, underscoring once again how Cain's long-dormant songwriting partnership with Perry was reborn through a shared interest in scripture. "It was refreshing," Cain later told the Christian Post. "We wrote about 'treasures in jars of clay, let the light shine in the darkness.' I thought, 'This was fresh.' That was my first encounter with scripture and music, and I have been a believer all my life." Cain later returned to the theme on 2016's What God Wants to Hear, which consisted exclusively of faith-based songs.
No. 115. "Next" from 'Next' (1977)
Journey remind you of their canny knack for achieving liftoff here, but this time it's only window dressing for a song that doesn't feel completed.
No. 114. "Remember Me" from 'Armageddon: The Album' (1998)
Steve Augeri's first song with Journey was actually a soundtrack contribution that arrived years before his official full-length debut on 2001's Arrival. "Remember Me," unfortunately, was more utilitarian than memorable. They'd incorporated a nifty soundalike, but still needed to figure out how to draw out something creative from what began as a blatantly commercial decision.
No. 113. "Still She Cries" from 'Trial by Fire' (1996)
See "It's Just the Rain."
No. 112. "Dead or Alive" from 'Escape' (1981)
The second of two throwback-style songs on Escape that seek to approximate Journey's more rugged, fusion-leaning '70s-era, and the lesser of the pair. That "Dead or Alive" came directly after the too-similar "Lay It Down" didn't do the song any favors, either.
No. 111. "City of the Angels" from 'Evolution' (1979)
"Lights," found later on our list of Journey Songs Ranked Worst to Best, was originally about Los Angeles, before Perry shifted its locale to his new home base in San Francisco. He later returned to the idea of paying tribute to L.A., with much poorer results.
No. 110. "I Can See It in Your Eyes" from 'Trial by Fire' (1996)
The obvious goal of getting the early-'80s lineup back together was to recreate the sound of that era – and they did that here. Unfortunately, it was the sound of their throwaway stuff on Side Two of Frontiers.
No. 109. "With a Tear" from 'Time3' (1992)
A leftover instrumental track from the Raised on Radio-era that Schon and Cain returned to finish in 1992. After "Be Good to Yourself," this would have been the edgiest thing on the album, had it come to fruition earlier.
No. 108. "Can't Tame the Lion" from 'Trial by Fire' (1996)
See "I Can See It in Your Eyes."
No. 107. "Kiss Me Softly" from 'Arrival' (2001)
One of four Jack Blades co-writes on Arrival, "Kiss Me Softly" started out as a much heavier vehicle for a Schon riff before the Night Ranger singer-bassist suggested they move in a different direction. It worked.
No. 106. "Escape" from 'Escape' (1981)
Cain and Perry are credited as co-composers, but the title track from Escape still feels like the first of what became a series of not-always-successful attempts by Neal Schon to balance Journey's new knack for balladry with ballsier rock songs.
No. 105. "Winds of March" from 'Infinity' (1978)
Credited to a crowd including Matt and Neal Schon, Fleischman, Rolie and Perry, "Winds of March" actually sounds like a meeting of two minds: Perry, who deftly croons his way through the first two minutes, and his new bandmates – who absolutely tear through the remaining three.
No. 104. "Someone" from 'Eclipse' (2011)
The penultimate moment on Journey's heaviest album since the pre-Perry days was – wait, what? – a pop song. And a pretty good one, to boot. It's like a fever that just broke.
No. 103. "Line of Fire" from 'Departure' (1980)
A perfunctory rocker best remembered for a sound effect at roughly the 2:10 mark that Perry cribbed from Junior Walker's chart-topping 1965 R&B hit "Shotgun."
No. 102. "Signs of Life" from 'Arrival' (2001)
This appropriately titled song emerged from a period of deep uncertainty, when Schon and Cain were still waiting for Perry to make up his mind about rejoining Journey. "I said, Why don't we start writing?" Schon told Melodic Rock in 2001. "I mean, you know, maybe Steve will decide that he wants to come back, maybe he won't. But at least when we decide what we're going to do, and we figure out what's going on, we won't be starting right at the beginning again." Steve Augeri eventually stepped in, and they had a ready-made song to help introduce him to fans.
No. 101. "Precious Time" from 'Departure' (1980)
Rolie adds a gurgling harp squall, but not much else stands out.
No. 100. "Lay It Down" from 'Escape' (1981)
Smith approximates co-founding drummer Aynsley Dunbar's thudding, heavy-rock approach while Schon swirls into the stratosphere on one of two songs from Escape that could have seamlessly fit into a Rolie-era album.
No. 99. "Turn Down the World Tonight" from 'Revelation' (2008)
Pineda breaks the mold here, following Augeri's example of doing more with less emoting. There's another twist: "Turn Down the World Tonight" appears headed toward an almost operatic conclusion before they switch gears again, ending on a nicely placed grace note.
No. 98. "Midnight Dreamer" from 'Look Into the Future' (1976)
The book on Journey was always that Steve Perry arrived and they suddenly shook themselves awake to commercial considerations. One listen to "Midnight Dreamer," and a good portion of the album it originated from, makes a powerful counter-argument. They still stretch out – dig that crazy keyboard solo! – but "Midnight Dreamer" wasn't that far from what album-oriented radio was playing at the time.
No. 97. "Chain Reaction" from 'Frontiers' (1983)
Schon finds a fusible groove, then joins Perry for a gutty vocal interplay. But "Chain Reaction" ends up getting lost somewhere along the way.
No. 96. "Once You Love Somebody" from 'Raised on Radio' (1986)
They tried for a bluesy feel on a song echoing the relationship troubles that both Perry and Cain were then experiencing, but there's simply not enough grit to this.
No. 95. "What It Takes to Win" from 'Revelation' (2008)
Pineda lets a roughness slip into his vocal, and a little bit more of himself. "What It Takes to Win" is better for it. He was 40 when he joined Journey, a fully formed singer in his own right. He deserves a lot more of these moments.
No. 94. "For You" From 'Time3' (1992)
An important, if not entirely successful, Robert Fleischman-sung track from the demo phase for 1978's Infinity. Journey were already headed toward a more compact, radio-ready direction, even before Perry arrived.
No. 93. "World Gone Wild" from 'Arrival' (2001)
The Augeri-era Journey lineup credibly recreates a "Separate Ways"-type groove, switching things up with a spacious, inspirational bridge.
No. 92. "Never Walk Away" from 'Revelation' (2008)
Arnel Pineda came bursting out of the gates with the opening track on his first Journey studio effort, singing with power to spare. Kevin Shirley, back for his third Journey album after 1996's Trial by Fire and 2001's Arrival, turns everything up around Pineda – in particular Schon.
No. 91. "In My Lonely Feeling / Conversations" from 'Journey' (1975)
The cool interplay between Schon and quickly departed co-founding rhythm guitarist George Tickner is perhaps best showcased on this composition by Rolie and Valory. Tickner was given two subsequent songwriting credits for 1976's Look Into the Future, but was already gone by the time it was released.
No. 90. "I'm That Way" from 'Arrival' (2001)
Augeri's ability to handle this kind of lithe, very Steve Perry-esque ballad is precisely why they brought him in. Unfortunately, you'll have to search way too hard to find it: For some reason, Journey originally tucked "I'm That Way" away as a bonus track on the Japanese version of Augeri's debut.
No. 89. "Natural Thing," B-side of "Don't Stop Believin'" (1981)
Your average classic rock radio-loving fan might not peg Steve Perry as a died-in-the-wool R&B guy who can totally pull off this sometimes very un-Journey style. Tell them to start here.
No. 88. "People" from 'Next' (1977)
Journey get proggy, and it would've worked – a few years earlier.
No. 87. "Easy to Fall" from 'Trial by Fire' (1996)
Presented in their classic arena-ballad style, but without much to differentiate it from other, better, more popular iterations, "Easy to Fall" is the sound of Journey trying to sound like Journey. This would go on for a while.
No. 86. "Walkin' Away from the Edge" from 'Red 13' (2002)
Before being felled by vocal issues, Augeri was able to convey a depth, a relative darkness, that no other Journey singer since Gregg Rolie could touch.
No. 85. "On a Saturday Nite" from 'Look Into the Future' (1976)
Rolie opens their second album with an approachable, yet still tough-minded song that confidently moves Journey more toward traditional classic rock, if not all the way over to the pop-leaning sound that later sent them to the top of the charts.
No. 84. "Rubicon" from 'Frontiers' (1983)
This song drove a seemingly permanent wedge in the band. Schon was playing "Rubicon," he told The New York Times in 2003, when Perry came over and turned down his amplifiers. "They want to hear the voice," Schon remembered Perry saying. "That was the start of it for me." They put out only two more albums together, and it took them 13 years to do it.
No. 83. "Look Into the Future" from 'Look Into the Future' (1976)
Everybody was into Led Zeppelin at this point, including Journey.
No. 82. "When I Think of You" from 'Trial by Fire' (1996)
"When I Think of You" appeared on Journey's Perry-curated Greatest Hits 2 not because of its chart history, but because of what it meant to him. Perry wrote this little-known deep cut after his late mother appeared, happy and healthy, in a particularly vivid dream. "She had been sick for so long that this was what I needed to know – even if it was a dream," Perry said in a 2011 fan Q&A. "I later went to Jon Cain's and told him I wanted to write a song about this experience and started singing a melody, and we finished it together."
No. 81. "She Makes Me (Feel Alright)" from 'Look Into the Future' (1976)
"She Makes Me (Feel Alright)" builds on Rolie's album-opening foray into more digestible song structures, though Schon's metallic asides nearly push it into hard rock.
No. 80. "Loved by You" from 'Arrival' (2001)
Augeri updates the patented Journey ballad model by staying modulated, singing with a steadier, quieter certitude. That showed no small amount of guts. Problem: This was not what Journey fans wanted. Arrival stalled at No. 56, the group's worst finish since Next in 1977.
No. 79. "Mystery Mountain" from 'Journey' (1975)
"The way I look at the early Journey stuff is, if we played that now, we'd be out with Phish, or the [Dave] Matthews Band," Rolie remembered in 2011. "We were a great jam band." Exhibit A: their trippy debut album-closing "Magic Mountain," written by Rolie and Tickner with help from Ross Valory's wife.
No. 78. "Frontiers" from 'Frontiers' (1983)
The second-best song on this album's deflating flip side. Singing in a clipped, coolly detached tone, Perry offers a great put-down for warmongers: "War is for fools; crisis is cool."
No. 77. "In Self-Defense" from 'Generations' (2005)
A track that had been bouncing around since Schon's 1982 Here to Stay collaboration with Jan Hammer. That version showcased Journey's early-'80s lineup (minus Cain) at the peak of their increasingly rare heavy-rocking form. Same here, with Castronovo in place of Steve Smith. They miss Perry's elevating vocals during the solo, though.
No. 76. "It Could Have Been You" from 'Raised on Radio' (1986)
Schon's riffy contributions work in brilliant counterpoint to Perry's poignancy, underscoring why this partnership meshed so easily – and so well.
No. 75. "She's a Mystery" from 'Eclipse' (2011)
A lovely, Pineda co-written acoustic aside, "She's a Mystery" is that rare moment on Eclipse where Journey take their foot off the gas without swerving into power-ballad cliche.
No. 74. "Sweet and Simple" from 'Evolution' (1979)
Perry brought this dream-like song with him, having written it years before while looking out over Lake Tahoe. Journey completed it with a quickly ascending final segment that matched now-patented multi-tracked vocals with a Schon's typical pyro.
No. 73. "All the Way" from 'Arrival' (2001)
In their first album without Perry, Journey clearly had an eye on recapturing the successes they found when Jonathan Cain joined the band in the '80s. Cain was game, co-writing this instantly familiar love song with Schon, Michael Rhodes and the recently installed Steve Augeri. "All the Way" may not have been a big hit, but it showed Journey could still be Journey even without their famous former frontman.
No. 72. "Cookie Duster" from 'Time3' (1992)
Journey's label asked that they replace this underrated Ross Valory instrumental with something more commercial for 1977's Next. The album stalled at No. 85 anyway.
No. 71. "Anything Is Possible" from 'Eclipse' (2011)
On an project that boldly reanimated the wide-open heavy fusion of Journey's original '70s-era records – a period when Schon fiercely pulled and stretched his muse – "Anything is Possible" gave Arnel Pineda an opportunity to showcase his pop-star sensibilities. There's a feeling of soaring expectancy here that balances the tough, guitar-focused tracks found elsewhere on Eclipse.
No. 70. "Where Were You" from 'Departure' (1980)
There's a reason Journey opened their concerts with "Where Were You" for so long. They were just coming off an opening gig with AC/DC at this point, and clearly the headliner's knack for outsized, riffy rockers rubbed off.
No. 69. "Spaceman" from 'Next' (1977)
Co-written by Aynsley Dunbar and Gregg Rolie, "Spaceman" offers Journey fans some of the most obvious initial flowerings of a pop sensibility. They placed it first on the album, and released it as a single – to no avail. "Spaceman" failed to chart as a single, and Journey were ordered to rework their lineup. They briefly added Robert Fleischman — who arrived shortly after the album’s release, toured with the band and even received co-writing credit on three songs for Journey’s following album — but eventually settled on Perry.
No. 68. "Castles Burning" from 'Trial by Fire' (1996)
A badly needed rocker on an album that too often played down to their ballad- and mid-tempo-loving fan base.
No. 67. "Beyond the Clouds" from 'Generations' (2005)
A slow burner co-written by Steve Augeri in his final outing with the band, "Beyond the Clouds" illustrates why he was such a good initial fit. Augeri's ability to elevate, as this track zooms into the stratosphere, and then to wind down into a whispery vulnerability recalls a Certain Other Steve. This wouldn't prove to be his principal strength, but it mattered at the time.
No. 66. "Like a Sunshower" from 'Revelation' (2008)
Schon couldn't have done a better job of smoothing the way for the just-arrived Pineda than he did on "Sunshower," which begins with a lick straight out of "Stay Awhile" from Departure. Fans reacted positively, making Revelation Journey's first platinum-selling project since Trial by Fire, their last with Perry.
No. 65. "Little Girl," B-side of "Open Arms" (1981)
"Little Girl" was the most Journey-sounding thing on 1980's Dream After Dream, which isn't really part of the band's catalog since it's otherwise filled with incidental music for a now-forgotten foreign film. Elsewhere, the instrumentals provide an untimely restatement of their old penchant for prog and fusion, considering Journey were already on a pop-chart roll after the Top 25 hits "Lovin,' Touchin,' Squeezin'" and "Anyway You Want It." Unsurprisingly, Dream After Dream disappeared without a trace once Journey issued their multi-multi-platinum smash Escape a year later. This too-often-overlooked song has since became known — if it was known at all — simply as a B-side to the "Open Arms" single.
No. 64. "Out of Harms Way" from 'Generations' (2005)
A hard-nosed war song, "Out of Harms Way" was handled with an eye-opening aggression unique to Journey, thanks to the gone-too-soon Augeri.
No. 63. "It's All Too Much" from 'Look into the Future' (1976)
Journey drill down to the marrow on this throwaway piece of psychedelia, finding a seriously nasty groove beneath the Beatles' old atmospherics.
No. 62. "Raised on Radio" from 'Raised on Radio' (1986)
Radio holds a talismanic place in Perry's imagination for two reasons. It's a constant presence in the youthful places where he returns, time and time again, for creative sustenance. If things had gone another way, he also could see himself as a DJ, rather than a huge pop star. "I love radio," Perry said in that 2011 fan Q&A. "I think the idea of playing whatever music comes to your mind and talking about it is exciting to me."
No. 61. "City of Hope" from 'Eclipse' (2011)
You could say Schon is an unstoppable force on this song, except that Pineda – in one of his most impressive vocal performances – is every bit the equal of his molten riffs. At least at first. Eventually, Schon and company step forward for a floorboard-rattling, song-closing jam that edges all the way into fusion. Journey, who saw Eclipse become the second consecutive Pineda-sung Top 20 album, haven't sounded this wide open since the Jimmy Carter administration.
No. 60. "Nickel and Dime" from 'Next' (1977)
This very Mahavishnu Orchestra-influenced instrumental was originally constructed in three parts. The final section was ultimately cut off, however, leaving a pair of segments with unusual Aynsley Dunbar signatures – thus the name, "Nickel and Dime."
No. 59. "Higher Place" from 'Arrival' (2001)
Journey again move beyond Augeri's similarities with Perry on this composition by Schon and Jack Blades, which at one point has an almost a proggy feel. In that way, "Higher Place" references the group’s previous successes, but ultimately uses them as a foundation for something new.
No. 58. "Message of Love" from 'Trial by Fire' (1996)
A continuation of the untroubled sleekness of Raised on Radio-era Journey, this could have easily passed as a Steve Perry solo track.
No. 57. "Red 13 / State of Grace" from 'Red 13' (2002)
Journey return after the soft rock-dominated Arrival with a scorching, fusion-kissed EP-opening song. They spend two minutes easing into things before launching into a wrecking-ball groove – and Augeri is with them, step for breathless step.
No. 56. "I'm Gonna Leave You" from 'Look Into the Future' (1976)
Early rhythm guitarist George Tickner – he joined after a stint in the San Francisco psych-rock band Frumious Bandersnatch with Ross Valory – wasn't around long. He left behind this intriguingly offbeat 5/4 shuffle for fans to ponder what might have been.
No. 55. "A Better Life" from 'Generations' (2005)
Poor Steve Augeri. One of the best moments on his final album with Journey is this delicately conveyed track, featuring one of Schon's more restrained turns. And Deen Castronovo on vocals.
No. 54. "Where Did I Lose Your Love" from 'Revelation' (2008)
Here's Pineda's version of the familiar arena-ballad Journey sound, which is, on one level, very much in the style of their Escape / Frontiers era. Castronovo and Cain, who co-wrote this track with Schon, even close things out with a fierce entanglement that also must have brought older fans right back to "Separate Ways." But Pineda adds a few new wrinkles along the way to ultimately move past the same old Perry comparisons.
No. 53. "Ask the Lonely" from 'Two of a Kind' (1983)
"The guy can write love songs in his sleep," Jonathan Cain said of Perry in the liner notes for Journey's Time3 box set. Unfortunately, this only-okay leftover is an example of that assembly line-type approach. That said, "Ask the Lonely" is still better than most of the stuff on the back end of Frontiers.
No. 52. "Faith in the Heartland" from 'Generations' (2005)
The urge to return to an everyday working-stiff theme has been almost unavoidable for a group that, in no small way, is best remembered for "Don't Stop Believin.'" And yet "Heartland" never slips into tribute – or, worse still, parody. Credit goes most of all to Augeri, who strikes a visceral pose on upbeat tracks like this one, singing every line as if his whole heart is in it. Unfortunately, Generations went nowhere, and Augeri – citing throat problems – was gone after just two albums with Journey.
No. 51. "Lovin' You Is Easy" from 'Evolution' (1979)
Starts out as another cookie-cutter '70s-era Journey song, then Perry gets to the ear-worm title lyric and everything changes.
No. 50. "Anyway" from 'Look Into the Future' (1976)
A dark then searching rocker from Journey's second album, featuring one of Rolie's most desirous vocals.
No. 49. "When You Love a Woman" from 'Trial by Fire' (1996)
Featuring a saccharine sentiment with a too-sweet string section to match, this is Journey balladry at its limpest. Still, "When You Love a Woman" became a gold-selling No. 12 smash. Because, Steve Perry.
No. 48. "We Will Meet Again" from 'Arrival' (2001)
Deen Castronovo's inventively layered rhythm gives "We Will Meet Again" a distinct character among Journey's more anthemic-leaning tunes, setting the stage for a moment of controlled fury from Augeri. It all builds toward a sweeping vista reminiscent of Journey's Roy Thomas Baker-helmed sides like "Winds of March" and "Opened the Door," a welcome development indeed. And as with those two 1978 tracks, "We Will Meet Again" serves as an emotionally resonant side-closing moment.
No. 47. "Don't Be Down on Me Baby" from 'Trial by Fire' (1996)
Nobody aches like Steve Perry.
No. 46. "Hustler" from 'Next' (1977)
An explosion of heavy-rocking sexuality, "Hustler" found Journey considerably toughening up its by-then-established fusion-based formula — something the group would eventually return to, but only decades later, with 2011's impressively muscular Eclipse.
No. 45. "Why Can't This Night Go on Forever" from 'Raised on Radio' (1986)
Written in tribute to their fans, "Why Can't This Night Go on Forever" moved past its quite overt "Open Arms" / "Faithfully"-style ambitions on the strength of performances by Cain and Perry.
No. 44. "Edge of the Moment" from 'Eclipse' (2011)
Castronovo and Valory create a foundation-rattling rhythm, while the big-voiced Pineda ably conveys a fiery sense of sensuality required by the song's narrative. But "Edge of the Moment" will always belong to Neal Schon, who is by turns melodic, out there, gurgling, eruptive – and nothing like we've heard from him since the days of the spaceman 'fro. Long after their hit single-making days, and a couple of albums into Arnel Pineda's tenure, Journey finally found their rock-music mojo again on this track, emerging with a sense of furious third-act abandon.
No. 43. "To Play Some Music" from 'Journey' (1975)
The most accessible song on Journey's self-titled debut, "To Play Some Music" provides a down-to-earth vocal vehicle for Rolie on an album dominated by epic, often spacey instrumentals.
No. 42. "Patiently" from 'Infinity' (1978)
Schon memorably gave Perry a ride home after sitting in with Azteca in San Francisco, but had no idea his passenger was a singer. Five years later, Perry finally got the chance to make an impression. He stopped by Schon's hotel the day after a Journey show in Denver, and they wrote this song. "It was really about the determination of me wanting to get next to those players," Perry said in the Time3 liner notes.
No. 41. "I Would Find You" from 'Next' (1977)
Schon takes a rare vocal turn with Journey, and it's his most successful.
No. 40. "Kohoutek" from 'Journey' (1975)
Named after a comet then approaching Earth's orbit, "Kohoutek" bridges the sounds that Rolie and Schon made earlier as part of Santana with those to come from their new band. Makes sense: This track dates back to Journey's earliest rehearsals.
No. 39. "You're on Your Own" from 'Look Into the Future' (1976)
Their slow-fast approach gives "You're on Your Own" a noticeably modern feel; Rolie's heartfelt singing centers it all.
No. 38. "The Eyes of a Woman" from 'Raised on Radio' (1986)
Steve Smith only appeared on three Raised on Radio tracks, but that doesn't mean he didn't have an undeniable impact. His anticipatory rhythm builds an undeniable tension on the underrated "The Eyes of a Woman," as Schon's echoing chords surround the vocal. Perry has called this one of his favorite Journey songs, and that might be because "The Eyes of a Woman" is one of the very few here that fully recalls their Escape / Frontiers sound.
No. 37. "Here We Are" from 'Next' (1977)
Perhaps Journey's heaviest-ever pop song. Rolie had a knack for Beatlesque touches (see their earlier cover of George Harrison's "It's All Too Much"), even if it was buried in a cacophony of sound from Schon and Dunbar (see their earlier cover, etc. etc.).
No. 36. "Suzanne" from 'Raised on Radio' (1986)
If Steve Perry sounds a little overwhelmed on the second single from this album, there's a reason for that. This No. 17 hit was written in tribute to an actual crush. "It was a fantasy encounter with a film star, who also had a vocal artist career," Perry said in a 2011 fan Q&A. "Just a secret person that's in the song to live forever in that song. Real or not, she's real in the track."
No. 35. "Somethin' to Hide" from 'Infinity' (1978)
Journey's first attempt at a power ballad was devastatingly effective, though it arrived years before "Open Arms." Perry's final cry is just astonishing.
No. 34. "Edge of the Blade" from 'Frontiers' (1983)
Side Two of Frontiers gets off to a roaring start. Buckle up, though. As things progress, you're in for a bumpy ride.
No. 33. "If He Should Break Your Heart" from 'Trial by Fire' (1996)
One of the best-ever meldings of Solo Steve (verses) and Journey Steve (the rest).
No. 32. "Be Good to Yourself" from 'Raised on Radio' (1986)
A throwback Top 10 rocker, "Be Good to Yourself" had little in common with the sleeker, more adult-contemporary feel found elsewhere on Raised on Radio. It didn't make for the most representative lead single, but manager Herbie Herbert prevailed. "[Perry] phoned me at my house, and just went nuts about 'Be Good to Yourself' having been the first choice of a single," Herbert told Melodic Rock in 2008. "And I said, 'It's a great song, it's a great production, it's great sound – it's Journey.' That was the problem: It sounds too much like Journey. Well, too many of the other songs sound too much like a glorified Steve Perry solo record."
No. 31. "Of a Lifetime" from 'Journey' (1975)
Journey's recorded output begins here, with a seven-minute jazz fusion-influenced, at times Pink Floyd-ish excursion that boldly stepped away from Rolie and Schon's previous work in Santana. "Talking about Santana screws up the whole concept of everyone in this band," Rolie lamented in Don't Stop Believin'. "A lot of people would come to see us and expect conga drums. The last thing I was to see for the rest of my life is conga drums!"
No. 30. "I'll Be Alright Without You" from 'Raised on Radio' (1986)
Schon, who earned a co-writing credit with Cain and Perry, tried out a then-new guitar in search of a distinct sound for this song. Best known for using a 1963 Fender Stratocaster, Schon experimented with a graphite Roland 707 to see if he could get a different, more even tone. It worked: "I'll Be Alright Without You" remains Journey's penultimate Top 20 hit, followed by 1996's "When You Love a Woman." Cain, like Perry, was going through a breakup and called this track the other half of the emotions expressed in "Once You Love Somebody."
No. 29. "Only Solutions" from 'Tron' (1982)
Unjustly forgotten, and barely used in the film at all, the hooky "Only Solutions" would have greatly enlivened what turned out to be a letdown on Side Two of Frontiers.
No. 28. "People and Places" from 'Departure' (1980)
A circular vocal effect makes the song's larger point, as Perry and Schon share a vocal that examines life's maddening duality.
No. 27. "Opened the Door" from 'Infinity' (1978)
The last song on the first album to feature Perry, "Open the Door" begins like every gorgeous, ear-wormy love song they ever hit with a few years later — but after Perry's initial three minutes, Rolie joins in a huge vocal bridge ("Yeah, you opened ..."), and from there Schon and company are loosened from those binding conventions. Drummer Aynsley Dunbar, on his final recording date with Journey, sets a thunderous cadence, and Schon powers the song — and this career-turning album — to its quickly elevating conclusion.
No. 26. "Faithfully" from 'Frontiers' (1983)
Cain has said this No. 14 power-ballad smash, written in tribute to a happily married musician's life on the road, came from nowhere – literally. "He told me he got the melody out of a dream," Schon later mused in the Time3 liner notes. "I wish something like that would happen to me." Cain wrote it in his own key, and that allowed Perry to explore a different vocal timbre. They finished the song with a memorable back-and-forth between Perry and Cain, also completely unrehearsed.
No. 25. "When You're Alone (It Ain't Easy)" from 'Evolution' (1979)
Perry chirps and coos his way through this winking tease of a song – that is, until about a third of the way through, when Schon provides a moment of release.
No. 24. "Forever in Blue" from 'Trial by Fire' (1996)
As with "Girl Can't Help It," found later on our list of Journey Songs Ranked Worst to Best, "Forever in Blue" represents that rare moment when the latter-day edition puts it all together again.
No. 23. "Wheel in the Sky" from 'Infinity' (1978)
He never got much credit, but Robert Fleischman played an important role in Journey. "Wheel in the Sky," the band's initial Billboard chart entry, was originally a poem written by Ross Valory's wife – until Fleischman rounded it into song form. Schon added a guitar melody, and they handed it to Steve Perry after Fleischman's ouster. The rest is, as they say, history.
No. 22. "Walks Like a Lady" from 'Departure' (1980)
A great example of the way Journey songs evolved in the studio. Perry brought in a rough sketch, Schon added a blues-inspired riff, then Smith picked up his brushes. All that was left to complete things was Rolie's greasy Hammond B3 groove, reportedly one of his favorites.
No. 21. "Too Late" from 'Evolution' (1979)
A delicate, beautifully conveyed song of encouragement, "Too Late" was aimed at a friend of Perry's who had fallen into drug abuse.
No. 20. "Girl Can't Help It" from 'Raised on Radio' (1986)
Perry essentially took control of Journey in the run-up to this album, switching out band members for sidemen with whom he'd worked before then serving as the project's de facto producer. That led them to some song treatments that moved well away from anything Journey had done before, or since. "Girl Can't Help It," one of three Top 40 singles from Raised on Radio, was the exception. This was classic Journey, spit-shined up for a new era.
No. 19. "After the Fall" from 'Frontiers' (1983)
Perry began this song on the bass, perhaps an early indication of the changes in store for Journey. By the time they released 1986's Raised on Radio, Ross Valory had been replaced by Randy Jackson, later of American Idol fame. Smith departed too, but not before proving himself utterly invaluable here.
No. 18. "Good Morning Girl" / "Stay Awhile" from 'Departure' (1980)
Inextricably linked by their successive appearances on Departure, these two songs showcased Perry's dual gifts: "Good Morning Girl" was a fragile, impossibly beautiful ballad that emerged from a jam session with Schon, while "Stay Awhile" showed off his R&B chops.
No. 17. "Who's Crying Now" from 'Escape' (1981)
The initial single from Escape, a No. 4 hit, perfectly illustrates how Jonathan Cain's new presence changed Perry's writing style, then forever changed Journey. The first inklings of the track came to Perry as he was driving up to San Francisco on Route 99. But "Who's Crying Now" was a song with no real direction until Cain suggested the title. They worked out a cool b-section featuring only voice and keyboard, and their very first co-written composition was completed. "He helped me go to another place as a writer," Perry later gushed in the Time3 notes. Inspired, Perry also fought to keep Schon's extended guitar solo on the single.
No. 16. "Do You Recall" from 'Evolution' (1979)
Maybe the perfect blending of Journey's tough early sound and Perry's sun-flected sense of reminiscence. Roy Thomas Baker's familiar stacked vocals propel the bridge to untold heights.
No. 15. "Someday Soon" from 'Departure' (1980)
The final major vocal collaboration featuring Perry and the soon-to-depart Rolie and, still, one of the more memorable for its thoughtful optimism. There were plenty of reasons for this upbeat outlook, even though "Someday Soon" appeared on Journey's next-to-last album with Rolie. Departure reached the Billboard Top 10, then the band's highest-charting effort ever. Meanwhile, a subsequent, wildly successful tour was chronicled on 1981's Captured.
No. 14. "Open Arms" from 'Escape' (1981)
If you dislike power ballads, blame Jonathan Cain. He brought this seminal example of the genre to Journey after John Waite, the frontman in Cain's former band the Babys, rejected an early version. Schon didn't really want "Open Arms," either. But Perry intervened, and they turned it into a soaring paean to renewal. Oh, and Journey's highest-charting single ever.
No. 13. "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'" from 'Evolution' (1979)
A song with a real-life storyline, "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'" came to life in another Journey jam session, then went on to become their very first Top 20 hit. Rolie's Nicky Hopkins-esque honky tonk piano rides atop a stuttering, 12/8 rhythm, building inexorably toward a cloud-bursting nah-nah-nah conclusion. Steve Smith has compared that blues shuffle to "Nothing Can Change This Love" by key Perry influence Sam Cooke. The heartbroken Perry, who's described the writing of this song as "love justice," again played the bass on the initial sessions. The results opened the pop-chart floodgates.
No. 12. "Still They Ride" from 'Escape' (1981)
A touchingly emotional trip back to Perry's San Joaquin Valley youth, "Still They Ride" showed that the seemingly ageless Escape could still produce a Top 20 single, more than a year after its release.
No. 11. "The Party's Over (Hopelessly in Love)" from 'Captured' (1981)
"After I left," Rolie later mused, "it became more pop rock. It was a little heavier when I was in it." That transformation started with "The Party's Over," a Top 40 studio song tacked onto a live project which marked Rolie's exit. Journey's original keyboardist doesn't even appear on the track. Instead, the session featured Stevie "Keys" Roseman, who was later part of VTR with Ross Valory and George Tickner.
No. 10. "Stone in Love" from 'Escape' (1981)
Schon had a tape recorder going while he fooled around with the guitar during a party at his house in San Rafael. Perry and Cain did the rest.
No. 9. "Daydream" from 'Evolution' (1979)
An episodic triumph, "Daydream" is defined by dreamy, Jon Anderson-esque verses, rangy guitar riffs and forward-thinking keyboard asides – very much in keeping with the prog-rock pretensions of the '70s, though that sound had already become decidedly passe.
No. 8. "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" from 'Frontiers' (1983)
Cain and Perry looked on, feeling a little helpless, as Valory and Schon endured painful divorces. "There's got to be a more soulful way of looking at this," Perry countered in the Time3 liner notes. Just like that, the pair had the makings of the Top 10 opening single from Frontiers. "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" so energized Journey that they began performing it onstage before Perry had completely learned the words.
No. 7. "Just the Same Way" from 'Evolution' (1979)
Built off a Rolie piano riff, "Just the Same Way" once again leveraged Journey's layered harmony vocals, already a trademark of producer Roy Thomas Baker from his previous work with Queen. Baker achieved this effect by having Perry and Rolie double and triple their parts, an incredibly time-consuming new approach that almost derailed "Anytime." (Rolie and Schon still considered themselves jam guys at this point.) But that's what ultimately gave this song – and Journey themselves – such a striking propulsion.
No. 6. "Send Her My Love" from 'Frontiers' (1983)
One of four Top 40 hits found on the album, the lonesome No. 23 anthem "Send Her My Live" is notable for an ambient turn by Schon (he used a high-end Lexicon 480L echo unit) and perhaps the most intriguing drumming contribution on Journey's string of familiar ballads from Steve Smith. A jazz lover who later founded his own combo, Smith added a slyly involving polyrhythm lifted from Miles Davis' "In a Silent Way." "The drummer on that was Tony Williams," Smith said in 2011, "and he played quarter notes with a cross-stick on the snare drum — a very hypnotic groove." Same here.
No. 5. "Only the Young" from 'Vision Quest' (1985)
Another song that, had it been included, might have pushed Frontiers past Escape as Journey's best Cain-era album. Instead, "Only the Young" appeared much later on this soundtrack, and by then Kenny Sykaluk – a 16-year-old fan suffering from cystic fibrosis – had already died after becoming the first person to hear it. "Only the Young," which opened every concert on Journey's subsequent tour, will be forever associated with his brave fight.
No. 4. "Lights" from 'Infinity' (1978)
Perry had an early version of this song in his back pocket when he joined Journey, and it's a good thing. Rolie has said that the rest of the band wasn't sold on Perry until they harmonized on "Lights" while backstage at the Swing Auditorium in San Bernardino. "It dawned on me right then," Rolie later admitted in the Time3 notes, "that this could really be great."
No. 3. "Any Way You Want It" from 'Departure' (1980)
Perry said the vocal and guitar interplay on "Any Way You Want It" was inspired by the performances of Phil Lynott, after Thin Lizzy opened for Journey. "I loved his ability and phrasing," Perry revealed in Open Arms: The Steve Perry Anthology. "This guy is one of the more under-recognized geniuses of that era." Perry and Rolie brought a tight focus to the bursts of shared vocals that close things out, fashioning Journey's second-ever Top 40 hit.
No. 2. "Don't Stop Believin'" from 'Escape' (1981)
It difficult to believe, considering how rightfully ubiquitous this anthem has become, but "Don't Stop Believin'" originally only barely cracked the Top 10. What's up with that, 1981?
No. 1. "Feeling That Way" / "Anytime" from 'Infinity' (1978)
These paired songs took a convoluted path to the top of this list, as everyone worked and reworked both halves into a legacy-defining moment for Journey and their new singer. "Feeling That Way" began as a Rolie track called "Velvet Curtain" then evolved into "Let Me Stay," which was considered for Next. When Perry arrived, he added a gliding new chorus, and they were halfway there. Meanwhile, the Fleischman co-written "Anytime" – released as a separate, No. 83-charting single but forever linked on the album and rock radio – was going nowhere. At one point, Journey almost dropped it altogether. Then Schon decided to tap the music of his childhood by adding a Beatlesque lyric, "Anytime that you want me." The then-new mixture of Perry and Rolie's voices did the rest. "As soon as the vocals were put in, the song came alive," Rolie remembered in 2014, laughing. "I'm glad we didn't can it!" The results meld every great thing about the band's earthy first era with the pop-facing second era to come. In that way, it's the perfect Journey moment.
Think You Know Journey?