JOURNEY is one of the most popular American rock bands of all time, creating some of the best-known songs in modern music. They have continued to tour and record into the 21st century, and have never stopped creating vital music. Since the group’s formation in 1973, the band has earned 19 Top 40 singles and 25 Gold and Platinum albums. The band’s Greatest Hits album is certified 15 times Platinum, bringing Journey into the elite club of Diamond-certified album holders.
The rock ‘n’ roll saga that is Jorney started more than 35 years ago in the San Francisco Bay Area. Guitarist Neal Schon left home at 15 years old to join Santana. In early 1973, Walter "Herbie" Herbert—a guitar tech and later manager for Santana and Journey—floated the idea about forming a new band around Schon, whom he called “the quintessential guitar expressionist of the time.” Joining with two members of the popular local act Frumious Bandersnatch—former Steve Miller Band bassist Ross Valory and guitarist George Tickner—as well as drummer Prairie Prince, the all-instrumental act began performing as the Golden Gate Rhythm Section.
The quartet earned a local following, one that was strong enough for San Francisco FM station KSAN to hold a contest to see if a better name could be given to the GGRS. The contest yielded the moniker Journey. Santana keyboardist Gregg Rolie joined the band in the summer of 1973, and this first edition of Journey developed a largely instrumental progressive rock sound. When Prince left to pursue a career with The Tubes in early 1974, Journey recruited British drummer Aynsley Dunbar, who had performed with Jeff Beck, Frank Zappa and John Mayall. Later that year, Tickner left the band to attend medical school, leaving all guitar duties in the hands of Schon.
Columbia Records signed the group in November 1974, and each of the band's first three albums—Journey (1975), Look Into the Future (1976) and Next (1977)—charted higher than the previous release. The band embarked on a grueling touring schedule, staying on the road nine months per year performing music that Schon has referred to as "a rock ‘n’ roll version of the Mahavishnu Orchestra." But sales were not as strong as the label had hoped, and the band wasasked to hire a full-time lead singer.
The first vocalist brought in was Robert Fleischman, who joined the band for a summer tour in 1977 and contributed songs including “Wheel In the Sky” and “Winds of March.” But Fleischman left the band and was soon replaced by a young Steve Perry, who was brought into the band on the recommendation of Herbert. After hearing Perry’s demo with his previous band, Alien Project, Journey made Perry their new lead singer.
Journey’s fourth album Infinity was their first with Perry, and was produced by Roy Thomas Baker (Rolling Stones, Queen, The Cars). It immediately went Platinum after its April 1978 release, remaining on the charts for more than two years, and has sold more than 3 million copies to date.
After Dunbar joined Jefferson Starship in 1978, Journey brought their former drum roadie Steve Smith into the fold, adding his expert jazz-fusion chops to their signature sound for 1979’s Evolution, which would become their second million-selling album. In October of that year, Journey scored their first Top 30 single with "Lovin, Touchin', Squeezin'." Keeping up a prolific output in the studio and on the road, the band waited less than a year to release Departure, which became their first Top 10 album and boasted the lead single “Any Way You Want It,” which reached # 8 on the Billboard album chart. A subsequent live double album, Captured, became their fourth consecutive Platinum disc.
During this time, Rolie departed and was replaced by Jonathan Cain of The Babys. His songwriting talents joined those of Schon and Perry resulting in Journey scoring the biggest hits of their career. 1981’s Escape was the band’s first #1 album and spent more than a year in the Top 40, eventually becoming certified eight times Platinum. That album produced three Top 10 hits that have become the best-known songs in Journey’s repertoire: "Don't Stop Believin',” "Who's Crying Now" and "Open Arms." The latter track, which marked the first songwriting collaboration between Cain and Perry, quickly became the band’s signature song and would years later be covered by many artists.
By the early 1980s, Journey had become bonafide superstars, known as much for their music and MTV videos as their visually spectacular concerts that revolutionized the use of big screens and computerized lighting systems. In 1983, Frontiers reached #2 on the Billboard album chart, held back from the top spot only by Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Between 1983 and 1986 the band landed seven Top 20 hits, including "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)," "Girl Can't Help It" and “Only the Young,” their song for the film Vision Quest.
Journey disbanded in 1989, as certain members pursued other projects, though the group reunited briefly in 1993 (minus Perry) for a Bay Area concert honoring former manager Herbert, which raised funds for the Oakland-based Thunder Road teenage drug and alcohol treatment facility. Three years later, Journey reunited again for 1996’s Trial By Fire, which found Perry, Schon, and Cain, collaborating on a dozen songs written in just two weeks. Debuting at #3, the album boasted the hit single "When You Love a Woman," which garnered the band their first Grammy nomination. Perry developed health problems that led to the cancellation of the group’s scheduled tour, and he eventually left Journey permanently.
Schon, Valory and Cain decided the band would forge ahead, recruiting new members Steve Augeri on vocals and former Bad English member Deen Castronovo on drums. Their first recording together was “Remember Me” for the Armageddon movie soundtrack, followed by 2001’s full-length Arrival—Journey's 11th studio album. A 30th Anniversary tour followed the release of Generations in 2005, featuring three-hour-plus shows that included material from throughout the band’s career. Later the same year, the group also received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 2006, Augeri’s eight years with the band came to an end. Journey was still looking for their signature sound when, late one night, Schon came across a YouTube clip featuring then- unknown Arnel Pineda performing with a cover band called the Zoo at the Hard Rock Cafe in the Philippines. Pineda’s tone, power and ability to sing a wide variety of material, including a couple of Journey classics, impressed Schon. After watching all the available videos he could find with Pineda, Neal made an excited midnight phone call to share the news with his bandmate Cain. Soon thereafter, Schon personally contacted Pineda, who initially thought it was a prank and didn’t believe that he was talking to a founding member of one of the biggest bands in rock history. But six weeks later, after spontaneously singing a Journey song for Philippines immigrations officers to prove the reason for his trip, Pineda arrived in San Francisco to meet with Journey. Within a few songs, he had secured the job.
Journey introduced Pineda to the world as their official new singer with the release of their 14th studio album, Revelation, which marked the band’s biggest first-week sales in more than a decade, debuting at #5 on the Billboard 200 in June 2008 and taking the top spot on the Independent Albums chart. Revelation earned the band their 11th Platinum album certification to date, leading The New York Times to declare that "the band...feels alive." Journey toured the world for two years in support of Revelation, with more than a million fans attending the shows.
One of the most emotional highlights of that tour took place on March 14, 2009, when Journey performed in front of nearly 30,000 people in Pineda’s hometown of Manila, Philippines. While the singer was welcomed as a hero by the Filipino people, the rest of the band members were equally affected as they connected with the roots of their new lead singer. Pineda took the guys to his old neighborhood and school, and even the park where he slept as a 13-year-old homeless child, after his mother passed away.
In 2011, shortly after the release of their Greatest Hits: Volume 2, they were selected to play the halftime show of Super Bowl XLVII. Unfortunately, Journey experienced another lineup shakedown when they were forced to replace drummer Deen Castronovo. Fortunately, classic Journey drummer Steve Smith rejoined the band for the second time, to the delight of the band's members and fans. Smith, along with Jonathan Cain, Anysley Dunbar, Steve Perry, Gregg Rolie, Neal Schon, and Ross Valory, were chosen as the members of Journey to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a part of its 2017 ceremonies.
After releasing two albums in the early eighties to mediocre sales, this English metal band hit rock stardom with the release of their third album, Pyromania, in 1983. In total, the band has released two diamond certified albums, countless singles, and headlined over a dozen tours. Along the way, the band suffered through tragedy, fluctuations in success, deadly battles with addiction, and several line-up changes. They have however, endured, and Def Leppard tour dates are scheduled internationally this spring and summer 2011.
The Sheffield, England natives formed in the late seventies and are considered the forerunners of New Wave British Heavy Metal. Through their strenuous touring efforts and energetic metal shows, Def Leppard were able to secure a major label contract with Mercury Records. Their debut album, On Through the Night, was released in 1980 to mediocre sales. However, Def Leppard were able to book tour dates at the Reading Festival and were the supporting act for AC/DC and Ted Nugent. Their touring attracted the attention of famed record producer, Mutt Lange, who produced their second album, High 'n' Dry in 1981. In spite of their talent and Lange's fame, this album also had tepid sales. Not to be outdone, the Def Leppard concert schedule saw the band opening for Ozzy, and they continued to cultivate a hard rock following throughout their prolific touring. Due to excessive drinking, the band was forced to fire their lead guitarist and replace him with Phil Collen. Sadly, this wouldn't be the only alcohol/drug related issue that the band would face.
In the end, 1983 proved to be the big year for Def Leppard. Their third album, Pyromania, was again produced by Mutt Lange and released in January. Their hard rock image and catchy songs translated well through videos, and Def Leppard band found themselves in heavy rotation on MTV. Pyromania spawned hit after hit, including "Photograph" and "Rock of Ages," and was certified diamond by the RIAA. The Def Leppard concert schedule included a major headlining tour and to top it all off, they were voted as 1984's favorite touring rock band in a Gallup poll.
Under pressure to record a hit follow-up, Def Leppard relocated to Ireland to craft the sequel entitled Hysteria. Tragedy struck later that year when drummer Rick Allen was involved in a car accident that severed his left arm. Undeterred, the bandmates decided that he would stay on as drummer with Allen finding alternate ways to keep the drums beating. After a four year recording session, Hysteria, was released in 1987 and was also certified diamond by the RIAA. The album would go on to produce seven singles on the Billboard Hot 100, and also featured the crowd favorite, "Pour Some Sugar on Me." Def Leppard booked a worldwide tour entitled "Adrenalize," which had the band on the road internationally for fifteen consecutive months.
Upon returning from the road, Def Leppard quickly hit the studio, only to encounter more setbacks and tragedy. Due to his continued dependence on alcohol, guitarist Steve Clark was granted a leave of absence from the band to get sober. Clark was later found dead in his London home in 1991 after consuming a lethal amount of drugs and alcohol. The tragedy left the bandmates shaken; however, they continued to record their fifth album Adrenalize. It was released in 1992 and was instantly successful, hitting #1 on the Billboard 200. This was the band's last runaway commercial hit. The band has continued to release more material, a total of five albums, including the most recent, Songs from the Sparkle Lounge, which was released in 2008.
During the last decade, the band has continued to tour. Def Leppard has also received one of music's greatest accolades with their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. A testament to their longevity, Def Leppard tour dates 2011 have been announced, and the band will co-headline a tour with Heart this spring and summer. Headbangers and eighties rock fans alike, don't miss out on the chance to catch these living legends in your area: use Eventful as your source for Def Leppard tour dates and concert schedule updates through 2011 and beyond.