American rock group Journey has been making headlines these past few months with the news of frontman Steve Perry’s imminent return. Fifty-nine-year-old Arnel Pineda has taken Perry’s place since 2007, but the band’s greatest hits were undeniably written and recorded prior to Pineda’s involvement.
“Wheel in the sky”
Recorded in 1977, the powerful rock anthem appeared on Journey’s fourth studio album Infinity, which saw its release in 1978 via Colombia Records. The song was written by Robert Fleischman, Neal Schon, and bassist Ross Valory’s wife Diane. The story goes that Diane had originally written a poem called “Wheel In My Mind,” but Fleischman, who temporarily served as Journey’s singer, changed some of the lyrics before Perry came in to record the song as fans know it today.
Written by Journey’s keyboardist Johnathon Cain, the song was the second offering in 1983 from the band’s eighth studio album Frontiers. The four-minute and twenty four-second long song is most notable for its lack of a chorus. With lyrics like “Highway run / Into the midnight sun / Wheels go ‘round and ‘round / You’re on my mind,” the heartfelt ballad has given true love the ultimate crown of endurance.
“Don’t Stop Believin”
This song needs no introduction. Countless numbers of parties, weddings, and late-night karaoke jams have had the pleasure of experiencing this song’s sing-along spell at least once. This multi-generational adored song was written by Journey members Neal Schon, Johnathon Cain, and Steve Perry back in the early ‘80s, while it found its place on the band’s seventh studio album Escape in 1981.
“Anyway You Want It”
Serving as the opening track for Journey’s 1980 album Departure, it is the song the band often ends their concert sets with. Perry and Schon co-wrote the song together while on a North American tour with Thin Lizzy in 1979. Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott, Perry, and Schon played a game during a stop in Miami in which they competed with simple rhyme schemes and guitar chords. The artistic, yet game-like folly lead to yet another incredible Journey hit.
A beautiful arrangement of ‘ohs’ and ‘ahs’ make up this 1978 single. While the track was initially intended to speak of Los Angeles when Perry first wrote the song before joining the band, it later turned into a ballad reflecting the love for the band’s city of origin, San Francisco. It reached number 68 on Billboard Hot 100 the year of its release and can be heard as a theme song for major ball games played in the San Francisco Bay area.
Journey’s discography spans the course of 42 years with the distribution of 15 studio albums. While the band has dealt with a number of different changes associated with band members coming and going, Journey saw the height of its commercial success between 1978 and 1987 where the singles released during that period are now looked upon as classics.