The kind of music that Journey plays evokes strong feelings. Some individuals despise them, while others adore them. Few people actually are able to ignore them.
This group epitomizes AOR because of its powerful choruses, soulful (some could even say mushy) ballads, and expert musicianship.
Even though the band’s lineup has changed numerous times over the years—the only original member who is currently playing lead guitar is Neal Schon—their timeless anthems continue to bring joy to listeners, at least for those who support the ‘love’ side of the argument.
But which of those tunes would you choose to be the greatest song by Journey? Find out as we list the band’s top ten moments from their discography.
1. Don’t Stop Believin’
There has never really been any competition for the top slot. There’s more to “Don’t Stop Believin‘” than just music. Not just an anthem, either. It was a turning point in the 1980s that helped to brighten up a decade that most people would want to forget.
Never believe someone who claims they haven’t heard it. If you ever encounter someone who makes this claim. Either they’re lying or they’ve never switched on a radio before.
They should both be avoided. The song “Don’t Stop Believin‘” is unmatched. One of the few songs that, whether they want to acknowledge it or not, everyone enjoys. Whatever it is—the singing, the melody, the simplicity—it makes us happy, and as long as it does, we’ll continue to believe.
2. Wheel In The Sky
By 1977, Journey (and very possibly, their record label) had become tired of the lackluster performance of their albums in the marketplace. They sought out a new frontman in the person of Robert Fleischman in order to fulfill their intention of taking the band on a more commercially viable path.
Fleischman’s tenure with Journey may have come to an end within the year due to disagreements with the band’s management, but his time spent with the band was not entirely in vain.
The evidence is the sparkling little tune “Wheel in the Sky,” which Fleischman collaborated on writing. It is one of the highlights on the album “Infinity,” ranking among the highlights because it features a strong guitar riff and a heavier beat than we were used to hearing from Journey.
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3. Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
1983 was the year in question. The journey was feeling quite confident as a result of the success of their album “Escape,” which was their most successful record to date commercially.
The follow-up album they released, titled “Frontiers,” was met with extremely high levels of anticipation. It didn’t disappoint.
It starts out with a bang with “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart),” a song that is a powerhouse and a big amount of fun to listen to. In it, Cain, Perry, and Schon play off of each other’s skills and intertwine in a way that is very impressive.
4. Open Arms
According to the website ultimateclassicrock.com (ultimateclassicrock.com/journey-songs/), Cain came up with the music for “Open Arms” while he was still a member of the rock band the Babys; however, singer John Waite rejected it because he thought it was too romantic to be effective.
In the beginning, Journey felt the same, and Schon, in particular, wrote it off as being too simple. Fortunately, Cain came out on top in the coin flip.
The song went on to become one of Journey’s most commercially successful singles of all time, spending six weeks in a row at position number two on the Billboard 100 chart and securing a permanent presence in the hearts of Journey fans all around the world.
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5. Any Way You Want It
It may not have performed as well as some of Journey’s later singles (it peaked at number 23 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart), but since its release in 1980, “Any Way You Want It” has become one of the band’s most renowned and revered compositions.
The song was influenced by Thin Lizzy. It was a break from the band’s typical sound, but one that was very much appreciated despite the fact that it included flowing guitar riffs and a storytelling technique that was reminiscent of Thin Lizzy frontman Phil Lynott.
When Cain composed the song “Faithfully,” he was expressing his feelings as a rock musician who was on the road while his wife and children remained at home. The end product is melancholy, heartbreaking, and completely human, serving as a timely reminder of the spiritual side of Journey.
Some music critics have referred to it as the “greatest power ballad” ever recorded because of the way the melody, piano backdrop, and mournful vocals come together to produce the song.
In the end, the song outlived the marriage that it was intended to commemorate; in fact, Cain and his wife divorced barely four years after the song reached number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was written to celebrate their marriage.
7. Lovin,’ Touchin,’ Squeezin’
The Journey may be best known for its epic ballads, but its jazz fusion roots go deep. The thrilling “Lovin, Touchin’, Squeezin‘” serves as proof that it is capable of pulling out a funky groove when necessary.
The song “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin‘” is a standout on the 1979 “Evolution” album and has multiple passages that may convert even the most ardent Journey detractor to the band’s cause.
“Lovin, Touchin’, Squeezin’” holds a special place in the hearts of fans for a good reason—it was the first single by Journey to make it into the Top 40 in the United States.
8. In My Lonely Feelings / Conversations
The journey started out as a jazz fusion band with some progressive rock influences until they made the decision to focus more on soulful ballads and power anthems in order to increase album sales.
Although some of their older work has been deemed to be self-indulgent, there are still plenty of jewels hidden among the rubbish in their discography.
“In My Lonely Feeling / Conversations” is a psychedelic track that was released by the band on their album “In The Beginning” in 1975. Recording-history.com comments that this song has the kind of unforgettable riff that will have you nodding your head for days.
When Perry joined the band in 1977, he came prepared to do serious business. It’s possible that he was initially brought on board as the lead singer and frontman for the band, but it wasn’t long before his skill as a songwriter was revealed, as seen by the song “Infinity” from 1978.
It may have peaked at a lowly 68 on the Billboard Hot 100, but the song’s heartfelt lyrics and Perry’s soaring vocals have elevated it to a position of prominence in live performances.
10. Girl Can’t Help It
Journey, an American rock band, released the song “Girl Can’t Help It” in 1986. Jonathan Cain, Steve Perry, and Neal Schon, who are members of Journey, wrote the song, which was produced by Kevin Elson. It was a part of Journey’s eighth studio album, “Raised on Radio“.
With Perry’s soaring vocals and Schon’s guitar riffs, the song has a catchy and uplifting melody. The song’s lyrics are about a woman who tries her hardest to avoid falling in love but just can’t help it. She’s a girl in love, she can’t help it, goes the catchy chorus line. Keep her under control or she will flee.
Commercially, “Girl Can’t Help It” was successful; it peaked at number 20 on the American Billboard Hot 100 chart. Music critics gave it favorable reviews as well, praising the song’s vigor and Perry’s vocal delivery.