Top 10 Post-Steve Perry Journey Songs
For fans of this band at its radio-ready zenith, there simply can be no Journey without Steve Perry. Yet the truth of the matter is, it was started without him -- and it’s continued on the same way since his departure in 1998.
In fact, Perry has officially been gone longer than he ever was actually in Journey, a stint that began in 1977. Of course the decade that followed his arrival would see the group reign supreme on the charts, permanently lodging his presence in most music fans’ mind's eye when they think of Journey.
But what of the time since his too-early retirement from music? Journey saw two frontmen come and go -- Steve Augeri (1998–2006) and Jeff Scott Soto (2006-07) -- before settling in with current singer Arnel Pineda, a partnership that finally got the group back on track with Billboard.
Here's a list of the Top 10 Post-Steve Perry Journey songs for those who never made it past his last gasps with the Neal Schon-led group on 1987's 'Raised on Radio' and 1996's 'Trial by Fire.'
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 1980s. Cain was game, co-writing this instantly familiar love song with Schon, Michael Rhodes and the newly installed 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.
On an album that boldly reanimated the wide-open heavy fusion of Journey's original 1970s-era records -- a period when Schon fiercely pulled and stretched his muse -- 'Anything is Possible' gives 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.'
With this album, all five members of Journey shared vocal duties for the first time, but moments like 'Beyond the Clouds' -- a slow burner written by Schon and Augeri, in his final outing with the band -- illustrate 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 certainly recalls a Certain Other Steve.
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 Journey's classic 'Departure' album. Fans reacted positively, making 'Revelation' Journey's first platinum-selling project since 'Trial by Fire,' their last with Perry.
You could say Schon is an unstoppable force on this song, except that Pineda -- in one of his most impressive vocal performances -- matches his molten riffs step for wailing step. 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 its second consecutive Pineda-sung Top 20 album, hasn't sounded this wide open since the Jimmy Carter administration.
Journey moves beyond Augeri's similarities with Perry on this composition by Schon and Jack Blades of Night Ranger, 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.
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. Drummer Deen Castronovo and Cain, who co-wrote this track with Schon, even close things out with a fierce entanglement that must have brought older fans right back to 'Separate Ways (Worlds Apart).' But Pineda adds a few new wrinkles along the way to ultimately move past the Perry comparisons.
The urge to return to an every-day-working-stiff theme has been almost unavoidable for a group that, in no small way, is arguably 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' would stall out at No. 170, and Augeri -- citing throat problems -- would be gone after just two albums with Journey.
Castronovo’s inventively layered rhythm gives 'We Will Meet Again' a unique 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 reminescent 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.
Amidst wave after crashing wave of guitars, Castronovo and legacy bassist Ross Valory create a foundation-rattling rhythm. Meanwhile, 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 Schon, who is by turns scorching, melodic, spacy, gurgling, nasty -- 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 Pineda’s tenure, Journey finally found its rock-music mojo again, emerging with a sense of furious third-act abandon.