Top 10 Journey Albums

Journey Albums

Photo: Matt Becker, CC BY 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Our Top 10 Journey albums list looks at one of the most popular rock and roll bands of all time. Journey arrived on the scene in 1975 with their Columbia Records debut entitled Journey. At the time, the band consisted of founding member Gregg Rolie on lead vocals and keyboards, Neal Schon on lead guitar, George Tickner on rhythm guitar, Ross Valory on bass and Ansley Dunbar on drums. The band would go through many changes over the years with Neal Schon being the only consistent member from day one. The band’s early Progressive roots changed instantly the moment lead singer Steve Perry join the band on their fourth album entitled Infinity in 1978. Journey would have an amazing run of huge big selling commercial albums albums from 1978 to 1986. At the time they were one of the biggest bands in the world. Their song “Don’t Stop Believing,” which was released on the Escape album remains one of the biggest classic rock songs of all time, a feat helped by the inclusion of the song in the final scene of The Sopranos final episode.

A big change in Journey came when Steve Perry left the band to retire and was replaced by Steve Augeri. The new lead singer’s first album with The Journey was released in 2000 entitled Arrival. Since then, every Journey album has featured Steve Augeri on lead vocals. Our top ten Journey albums list takes a look at our favorite Journey albums and their biggest sellers.

# 10 – Trial By Fire

We open up our top 10 Journey albums with the band’s 1996 LP Trial By Fire. This was somewhere between a comeback and a reunion album for the classic Journey lineup of the early 80s that consisted of Steve Perry, Neal Schon, Ross Valory, Jonathan Cain and the great Steve Smith. It also became the final Journey album to feature Steve Perry and Steve Smith. While it’s not their best album featuring our favorite Journey lineup, we will take any Journey record that featured Steve Perry on vocals

# 9 – Look into the Future

At number nine on our top 10 Journey albums list is the Journey album Look In The Future. The album was released in 1976. It was the band’s second studio release. The album began the transformation from Journey’s progressive sound that was found on their debut album as they settled into a more pop rock oriented sound. Yet, it was still an incredible musical adventure via a lineup of all star rock and roll musicians including  Gregg Rolie on vocals and keyboards, Neal Schon on guitar, Ross Valory on bass and Aynsley Dunbar on drums.

# 8 – Eclipse

We skip many years ahead on our Journey albums list to the group’s most recent album released in 2011 entitled Eclipse. This is a hard rocking album that features the guitar work of Neal Schon in a more dominant fashion than ever before on a Journey record – and we love it. The album’s opening track “City Of Hope,” almost sounds like a U2 cut in the beginning. It’s a shame this album faded from existence pretty quickly. This is a really good Journey album that we highly recommend that you probably don’t have in your collection. The album featured Arnel Pineda on lead vocals, Neal Schon on guitars, Jonathan Cain on keyboards, Ross Valory on bass and Deen Castronovo on drums. The Eclipse album was released in 2011.

# 7 – Next

Next on our top 10 Journey albums list is the album Next. Sorry we couldn’t resist. The album was released in 1977. It stands as Journeys third studio album. At the time Gregg Rolie was the band’s lead singer. The Next album would be Greg Rolie’s last Journey album and the band’s sound would change dramatically on a next record with the addition of Steve Perry as lead vocalist. Before Steve Perry joined Journey vocalist Roberts Fleischman joined the band and performed with them in concert and also served as a songwriter for the band. Despite Greg Rolie’s limited vocal abilities the album had some great tunes on it including the single “Spaceman.” The musicianship between the four is what made us place this one at seven. The band was on fire at time on this recording. Check out the great progressive rock sounding instrumental “Nickel and Dime.”

# 6 – Raised on Radio

Journeys Raised on Radio album was a much better album than most people gave it credit for. The album served as the to follow up to there incredible record titled Frontiers in 1983. It took Journey three years to release the Raised on Radio album. The album was released in the spring of 1986. At the time Journey had just become a  trio of Steve Perry, Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain as bassist Ross Valory and the great drummer Steve Smith were actually fired from Journey. Session musicians were used instead on the record to replace Smith and Valory. Still, there were many great songs released on the album including the lead single “Be Good To Yourself.” Other standout tracks included the songs “Girl Can’t Help It, I’ll be alright Without You, The Eyes Of a Woman, and Suzanne.”

# 5 – Evolution

The second half of our top 10 Journey albums list starts presents the Big 5. These next five albums were Journey’s most successful records from both a commercial and artistic standpoint. At number five on our list is Journey’s actual fifth studio album entitled Evolution. This was Steve Smith’s first album. The album featured the huge hit “Loving, Touching, Squeezing.” The song became a top 20 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 peaking at number 16. The song was written by Steve Perry. Journey’s lead singer Steve Perry actually received writing credit on every song on the album.  Evolution was the second album to feature Steve Perry on vocals. The Evolution album was released in 1979.

# 4 – Departure

Journey’s Departure album was released in 1980. The album still featured the core five of Steve Perry on lead vocals, Neal Schon on guitar, Greg Rolie on keys, Ross Valory on bass and Steve Smith on drums. The album was released in the winter of 1980. It was the band’s sixth studio album and third with Steve Perry. Departure would become the band highest charting album of their career at the time. It was the first Journey album to break into the Billboard Top 200 album’s Top 10 as it peaked at number eight. The album produced two big time singles in the songs “Any Way You Want It,” and “Walks Like A Lady.”

# 3 – Infinity

The Infinity album was the first journey record to feature Steve Perry as the new lead vocalist. Columbia Records heavily promoted the album Aand the fact that Journey had this incredibly gifted new vocalist. This was Journey’s fourth studio album. It was released at the start of 1978. Infinity is an amazing record. The first single “Wheel In the Sky,” was one of those great driving a rock and roll songs that crossed the genres of pop music and rock and roll music so perfectly. The album’s opening track entitled “Lights,” had this incredibly deep genuine feel to the music that made us all instantly fall in love with the voice of Steve Perry. For many of us, this was our first Journey album.

# 2 – Frontiers

I love this album. When it was first released I could not stop playing it on cassette tape in my car every single day. I could not believe how good this album sounded. The synthesizers on “Separate Ways,” just engulfed you while Steve Perry’s voice just blew right through the speakers right into your face, into your heart, sending chills through your body. What an amazing song. Everyone in the band was on fire on this song. Steve Smith’s drums thundering viciously throughout the whole entire song. Jonathan Cain’s keyboard work was out of this world, Neal Schon’s guitar was smoking, and Ross Valory just keep it all together. The album’s next track “Send Her My Love,” was the perfect answer to the album’s scorching opener. The songs “Chain Reaction,” “After the Fall Play,” and the beautiful Jonathan Cain penned ballad “Faithfully,” closed out an amazing side one. If side two had been just a little bit stronger, this would have been our number one album.

# 1 – Escape

Journey Albums

We close out our top 10 Journey albums list with Journey’s phenomenal album Escape. The album was released in 1981. The Escape album featured the arrival of keyboardist Jonathan Cain who co-wrote every song on the album. Not enough has been written about the importance of the arrival of Jonathan Cain. The addition of Jonathan Cain to Journey fueled the Escape album to become their biggest selling studio album of all time. There’s no doubt about it when you just look at the sales.

Five big singles were released from the album including the legendary song “Don’t Stop Believing.” The album’s lead-off single “Who’s Crying Now,” was released in July of 1981. “Don’t Stop Believing,” was released in October of 1981. “Open Arms,” was released in January of 1982, “Still They Ride,” was released in May of 1982, and the final single the rocking “Stone In Love,” was released in October 1982. Just about every song on the album was written by Jonathan Cain Steve Perry and Neal Schon.  Three of the five singles became top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. Everyone in the world knew who Journey was in 1981.

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