January 20 – Perry Helped Journey’s Star Soar To ‘Infinity’

One of San Francisco’s hardest-working bands journey from obscurity to superstardom took a big leap forward on this day in 1978 Journey released their fourth album, Infinity.

The album quickly goes on to eclipse the combined sales of their previous trio of jazz and prog-rock influenced records and establish them as one of America’s big FM rock bands, thanks largely to the singles “Lights” and “Wheel in the Sky.” Surprisingly, looking back, neither of those singles hit the top 40, even though they have now become rock radio standards.

The band had ingredients for success from the start. Gregg Rolie, their first vocalist, had worked with Santana and sung his “Black Magic Woman” and was a quality keyboardist; drummer Aynsley Dunbar had been an in demand studio musician used by John Lennon and David Bowie and Neal Schon (the only person to be a member for the band’s 40+ year history) had also been in Santana’s band. But what they lacked perhaps was a great, power voice and a producer to tie it all together. On Infinity, they got both, adding Steve Perry, which allmusic correctly noted was “a stroke of genius” and bringing in producer Roy Thomas Baker. Thomas had just finished working with Queen on their A Night at the Opera album and its epic “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Allmusic rated it 4-stars, better than any of the previous efforts, applauding “Perry’s soaring whale of a voice (and) Schon’s scorching fret work” and the band’s “traditional pop arrangements” leaving “dead and buried were the jazz fusion overtones” they had favored in their early days. Journey’s fourth would hit the U.S. and Canadian top 30 and eventually hit 3X platinum at home, but was quickly over-shadowed by even more successful albums like Departure and Escape in the next few years.


7 thoughts on “January 20 – Perry Helped Journey’s Star Soar To ‘Infinity’

  1. badfinger20 (Max)

    This is the Journey that I listen to. Feeling That Way is one of my favorite songs by them along with the other hits on this album. I liked hearing Rollie and Perry singing in the same song…it gave you a balance. Makes you wonder what the band would have been like if Rollie stuck around.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, Journey that sounds like Journey. My sweetie is a HUGE fan of theirs (I like them, but am not a fan on that level) so I hear a fair bit of their stuff around the house. This was a good album, but I think they got better over next four or five years.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. badfinger20 (Max)

        I like Departure, Evolution, and this one…in other words…give me the Greg Rolie edition…this one though is probably my favorite by them.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I heard a track or two off it, some Christmas ones from him at least, it sounded quite decent. I heard a few of his newest (“Traces II” I believe he calls it) that came out recently… kind of downbeat. His voice is getting old but still fairly good, but the songs were a little….drab, shall we say.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: January 22 – Steve’s 5 Decade Musical Journey – A Sound Day

  3. Pingback: January 20 – Perry Helped Journey’s Star Soar To ‘Infinity’ — A Sound Day – battleoftheatlantic19391945

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