Thursday, August 26, 2010

Top Fifty Journey Songs

First thing's first: in order to unzip the file of Journey I am including here, you will need to download WinRAR, which can be done here: If you have a MAC you can use UnRarX:

Secondly, here is the link for the file download:
It should also be noted that I included two great Steve Perry solo songs in there for fun.

I apologize for the many delays this list has seen. While the writing has been done for a few days now, I had a lot of trouble uploading the files. I think we are all good now, but if you have any troubles, please let me know and I will do my best to help. On to the peas.

I have always been a huge Journey fan. From my past resemblance to the man with the golden voice, Steve Perry, to watching his original impostor (also known as Steve Permy) with handicapped people while Bobby Hansen was eating my dust, Journey and I have shared a special connection.

I always thought that Journey was a girl's type of rock and roll band because growing up I knew that was my mom's favorite rock group while my dad listened to people who, in his words, "rock harder" (you know, like Wings). Even with this preconception, I always gravitated towards Journey's smooth-but-tough sound. Steve Perry's voice is truly one of a kind, and when combined with a band whose musical pedigree speaks for itself, there is simply no stopping these rocking balladeers from finding a place at the top of the charts and at the center of our hearts.

This list wasn't terribly hard to create, though I am sure many will find fault with it. Unlike Fleetwood Mac, Journey doesn't have a ton of albums featuring music from various genres and line-up changes every other day. Also, I didn't even listen to the album with that Filipino guy. I don't at all consider that Journey - they found that faggot on youtube. Good for him and good for them, but for this list I am strictly going on any albums, singles, live cuts, etc. from Journey to Generations (which isn't featured on this list because it also blows). For this list, I will focus on any information I can find about the album/song, but really there's not too much to go on. Journey isn't extremely sophisticated in the lyrics department and really these are just a series of good pop/rock songs. I may speak on why I like them, but for the most part it's got a lot to do with Steve Perry's voice and Neal Schon's guitar. I didn't choose Journey so that I could blow your minds with musical analysis; I chose Journey because it was easy and would get me writing again. It's important to note that I created this list based solely on my own ears and not on how popular any one song is. In other words, I'm sorry "Lights" isn't higher. Anyway, here we go:

Making their case for ugliest band ever

 50. "Next" - Next. Written by: Aynsley Dunbar, Heidi Cogdell, Gregg Rolie

1977's Next is Journey's third album and very much follows in the footsteps of its predecessors. It was released in the band's "fusion" era prior to Steve Perry joining the band. While the album has its fair share of progressive-style rock and roll and jazz, the songs are relatively short and it is probably the weakest of the first three Journey albums, which I would rank in order of release. The failure of this album to do anything of significance would prove an important moment in the band's history. After the release of Next, Journey would begin the search for a frontman, eventually filling the role with Robert Fleischman. Fleischman would stay with the band for nine months before leaving due to personality/management differences depending on the version of the story you hear. While Fleischman had a hand in writing some of the songs that would appear on Journey's next album (a few of which are on this list), his leaving opened the door for Steve Perry to join the band, and that was the best thing that ever happened to Journey.

"Next," the title track from Journey's third album, is a straight-up rocker with vocals by Rolie. I've always been a fan of Gregg Rolie's vocals since I heard Santana's "Black Magic Woman," and while I love Jonathan Cain I always missed Rolie's vocals after he left the group. On this track, Rolie provides an excellent vocal track while the band rocks on. You can see somewhat of a shift in the band's musical style here, which points to the direction they would follow once Perry came on board. While the song isn't anything that will blow your mind, it's a solid track from a flop of an album with a cool solo from Schon. The man does great work in the last quarter of the song.

After revisiting this song a day later, I just need to make it clear how much I love Gregg Rolie's vocals on this song. He kicks ass.

49. "Still They Ride" - Escape. Written by: Neal Schon, Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain

After six albums and a great deal of success with Journey, Gregg Rolie decided to leave the band to pursue his own musical interests outside of the group. Rolie left on good terms and even suggested his replacement, Jonathan Cain from The Babys. While this may have seemed like a large blow to the band, losing the only member who is currently a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (for his work in Santana), Cain fit in well and the following recording sessions resulted in the best-selling album of Journey's career, Escape. Though critics panned the album, it shot straight to number one on the charts on the back of its singles with three songs hitting the top ten. Also known as E5C4P3, the album launched Journey into superstardom and marked a slight musical change with Cain's increased use of synthesizers and addition to the writing team. An interesting note: this album would also spawn a video game for the Atari 2600.

"Still They Ride"was the fifth single from the Escape album and charted in the top 20. This song is not the greatest of Journey's rock ballads, but it has a special place in my heart. Perry's voice shines through while Schon has a nice guitar solo, but what I like about this song are the lyrics. "This old town ain't the same / now nobody knows his name / Times have changed, still he rides." We've all felt that way at some point, especially me, so it just seems like such a fitting song for a number of moments in life. This song gets the job done, but isn't indicative of the emotive power of Journey.

48. "Stay Awhile" - Departure. Written by: Neal Schon, Steve Perry

Departure, released in the spring of 1980, was Journey's highest-charting album to that point and cracked the Billboard top 10 (number 8). The irony of the title is that this would be Rolie's last album with the band before leaving the group entirely. The tour for this album would spawn a live album, Captured, which shows the band at an inspiring point in their careers as they were just on the cusp of breaking through. The album itself, while a decline in musical quality from Evolution (my favorite Journey album), features a lot straight forward rock and roll as well as some ballads and a blues number. Rolie's lack of input in the writing is noticeable and the album foreshadows the musical path the band would tread upon his departure.

"Stay Awhile" is a nice little love song, nothing more and nothing less. I really love the intro to this song, and when Perry first enters with that initial line, the song becomes special. The part that really gets me, however, is at the halfway point when Perry just takes over, which is more evident in live versions of the song.

47. "Too Late" - Evolution. Written by: Neal Schon, Steve Perry

Evolution, released in April of '79, is easily my favorite Journey album. Forget the hype of Escape, the excitement of Infinity, and the ridiculousness of Raised on Radio - this is the album that made me a Journey fan. When I was in high school I began seriously listening to Journey and I recall burning myself this album from the internet or someone else's music collection. I had enjoyed Infinity, but this album came out of nowhere and kicked my ass. From the opening guitar solo to the final notes of "Lady Luck," I was hooked. This was Journey at the height of their careers musically and creatively, and it shows with eleven well-crafted songs showcasing all the band has to offer. If there's one Journey album I could ever recommend to a serious music fan, it would be Evolution. Quick note: Aynsley Dunsbar was fired in '78 and this album marks the first appearance of Steve Smith, known for his fantastic slow motion drum fills.

"Too Late" is just a damn good song. With a cool intro (the opening track, a guitar solo called "Majestic), this song marks the true beginning of what can only be considered a masterpiece of an album. This song itself has everything you can look for in a Journey song: a stellar vocal, a great guitar solo, harmonizing background vocals, and a mixture of rock and ballad. That's what Journey's all about. I also really love the outro to this song with the piano flourishes and Perry's understated vocal.

46. "Only The Young" - Greatest Hits. Written by: Neal Schon, Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain

"Only The Young" is jst a great pop/rock song penned by the three main writers of Journey in the '80s. The song was used in the Movie Vision Quest but was, in one of the most idiotic moves in Journey's long career, left off the Frontiers album. The song proved to be a big hit, dealing with the youth of the world and lives they have ahead of them.

The song was performed for the first time for a young man dying of cystic fibrosis whose last wish was to meet his heroes. The band flew to his bedside and sang for him. He would die the next day. Here's a look at the story:

45. "Signs of Life" - Arrival. Written by: Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain, Elizabeth Cain

After Journey's successful reunion in 1996, the band's plans to tour were put on indefinite hiatus when Steve Perry broke his hip the following year. Perry, not one to rush into surgery, held off on replacing his hip until the band could no longer stand it. Afraid that their momentum may have already been killed, the band said goodbye to Perry (which led to Steve Smith's departure), replacing the golden voice with Steve Augeri, or Steve Perry Lite. Deen Castronovo, the drummer of Bad English, also joined to line-up at this time. While Augeri is no Steve Perry, 2001's Arrival is the last good Journey album, and at least some of that can be contributed to Augeri's Perry-like vocals.

"Signs of Life" is a great track from this album. I really think this a strong vocal performance from Augeri and the keyboard is great as well. The lyrics are kind of wonky at times, but it's Journey, not Paul Simon, so it's forgivable. The point is, this song sounds like Journey and really hits the spot from time to time, which is more than can be said about a lot of songs. The general feeling of this song is optimistic, which is nice to hear from the band at this point.

44. "La Do Da" - Infinity. Written by: Neal Schon, Steve Perry

As mentioned earlier, Journey played with frontman Robert Fleischman for about nine months before Steve Perry was ultimately brought in to front the band. Perry, a Portuguese pimp, had fronted a band called Alien Project but left when the bassist was killed in a motor vehicle accident. At the behest of his mother, Steve, who had quit the music scene, answered a call from Journey manager Herbie Herbert. Herbert had heard Perry's voice on a demo and realized it was exactly what Journey needed to connect with mainstream fans. While the transition was a little rough for all involved, including long-time fans, the change elevated Journey to rock gods. Their first album with Perry, 1978's Infinity, was a special album that ended up going 3x platinum here in the states. Music fans around the world had spoken, and Steve Perry was the missing link that turned Journey into mega stars.

The album itself is ripe with fantastic pop/rock songs that were quite a departure from the music of Journey's past. While the music was definitely different, the band sounded rejuvenated and seemed to relish this new sound. A number of Journey classics were born on this album, and "La Do Da" is one of those tunes.

"La Do Da" is straight forward rocker penned by Schon and Perry who had incredible chemistry as writers. The song begins with an intense riff and some drumming from Dunsbar, who would leave the band after this album over musical differences, and then Perry comes in with some serious chops on the mic. The song itself is somewhat nonsensical when analyzed lyrically, but the groove and the feeling are so strong that it outweighs any negative this song may have.

43. "Line of Fire" - Departure. Written by: Neal Schon, Steve Perry

"Line of Fire" is one of the most intense songs in Journey's impressive catalogue. This song is about a dude holding his woman at gunpoint, questioning her faithfulness, and shooting her. Some people don't believe Frankie shoots Suzie, but those people are misguided. This song is one of the classic Journey rock songs and another reason why Departure is a must-own album. Also, the gunshot sound effect on this track is great.

42. "Walks Like a Lady" - Departure. Written by: Steve Perry

Our first song written by a sole composer, "Walks Like a Lady" is another standout track from Journey's sixth album. This song is one of the bluesier numbers the band ever wrote, which I find interesting because it was composed solely by Perry. I would have expected such a song to come from the more experienced musicians within the band, especially those with a background in the blues. Alas, the band left it up to Perry to funk up the audience's world, and I am alright with that. This song, while fantastic on record, is even better live.

41. "Daydream" - Evolution. Written by: Neal Schon, Steve Perry, Gregg Rolie, Ross Valory

"Daydream," the second-to-last track on Journey's greatest album, is a musical landscape the likes of which Journey might never paint again. The song literally feels like a daydream and te imagery is completely surreal. This song may have the greatest feeling of any Journey song, and I truly appreciate that. You can tell this a full band contribution to the album, unlike other songs which are often easy to attribute to one or two authors. The intro to this song sets the mood, which is expanded upon by Perry's fantastic voice, before eventually coming to an emotional guitar solo from Schon before the song fades out. This is one of my favorite Journey songs and it deserves a spot on this list.

40. "Stone in Love" - Escape. Written by: Neal Schon, Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain.

From the opening riff, "Stone in Love" takes hold of listeners and doesn't let go. While the guitar is killer, this song actually has one of my favorite bass lines from Ross Valory. The lyrics often take me back to my high school days, reminiscing on summer hang-outs at the Jew's pond. This is really just a feel good rock song with some excellent musicianship. While "Stone" is a favorite amongst Journey fans, it failed to crack the top 10 and didn't make a huge impact.

39. "Look into the Future" - Look into the Future. Written by: Neal Schon, Gregg Rolie, Diane Valory

Look into the Future, Journey's second album, was released in relative obscurity in 1976. At this point George Tickner, one of the band's guitar players, had left the band and Journey was down to Schon, Rolie, Valory and Dunsbar. As a foursome, the band toned down some of the prog elements of the first album, but the record still has somewhat of experimental edge to it. Rolie takes the reigns on vocals as there are fewer instrumental tracks on this album. Overall, this is a great pre-Perry Journey album.

"Look into the Future" has the dubious distinction of being the longest song featured on any Journey album besides "Destiny," from their Japanese only soundtrack album. This is another Gregg Rolie song and I'm going to assume that Ross Valory's wife penned the lyrics. Rolie's voice is amazing on this song, as is his playing, but Neal Schon again steals the show with some great guitar work.

38. "Baby, I'm Leaving You" - Trial By Fire. Written by: Neal Schon, Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain

1996 saw the release of Journey's final album with Steve Perry and the first album with the classic line-up since 1983. Trial By Fire is a great comeback album for the band that spawned a number of hits on adult contemporary radio. While some people will write this album off, I think it's on of Journey's greatest accomplishments and it completely revitalized their career. Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, the success of this album and the band's unwillingness to wait for Perry to have surgery before going on tour would lead to his departure from the band. At least he went out on a high note. And the rest of the band should not be blamed for Perry's departure - it's understandable that they wanted to capitalize on the success of their reunion before the window had closed. Still, he's fucking Steve Perry.

"Baby, I'm Leaving You" is one of the more unique songs in Journey history. Starting with a Perry vocal solo into some cheesy drums, this song is full of reggae-style guitar and Mario sound bytes. This is the last song we will ever hear from Journey with Steve Perry and it blew me away the first time I ever heard it. I remember I was living in Alaska and I was shoveling snow after a 6' drop over the course of a day or two. I was trying to dig Donny Hoye's Toyota Camry out from under the snow and I was listening to my ipod, sweating balls in my super warm Alaska coat. As I'm shoveling with my ipod naturally set to "shuffle," Steve Perry's angelic tenor hit and blew me away. Since then I've been a huge fan of the song and have some sort of strange connection with it.

Also, while I love the other guys in Journey, I want to take this one moment to say "fuck you" to the members who thought bringing in Steve Perry was a bad idea. Even on his way out this man was kicking ass.

37. "Little Girl" - B-Side. Written by: Neal Schon, Steve Perry, Gregg Rolie

"Little Girl" was the b-side to "Open Arms," but it was originally featured on a soundtrack called Dream After Dream for a Japanese film of the same title. (Awesome note - there's an instrumental song called "The Rape" on this album. What the fuck happens in this movie that the last two songs on the soundtrack are titled "The Rape" and "Little Girl?") Anyway, by the time this song was released Aynsley Dunbar had left the group (more on that later) and Steve Smith had come in as the new drummer. This song really doesn't sound much like a Journey song outside of the trademark Perry voice, but it's really one of the more underrated songs in their catalogue. While Perry sounds fantastic, Neal Schon steals the show here and takes this song to a new level. The song does a nice job of starting slowly, building to a crescendo, and coming back down. This is a great Journey song that most Journey fans probably haven't heard, so do yourself a favor and give it a listen.

36. "After the Fall" - Frontiers. Written by: Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain

1983's Frontiers is an album of mixed feelings for me. While the album is definitely strong and has some of my favorite Journey songs ever, the album could have been so much better. While the album put more emphasis on keyboards and featured Jonathan Cain as a much more prominent member both in playing and writing, the decision to leave off two great songs in favor of two terrible tracks boggles my mind. "Ask the Lonely" is on this list in a very nice position and we've already gone over "Only the Young." I can guarantee you that you won't see "Back Talk" or "Troubled Child," the two complete and utter pieces of shit that replaced those songs on the album, anywhere near this list. This is worse than Fleetwood Mac's decision to preempt "Silver Springs" with "I Don't Wanna Know" because the latter was still a great song. Fuck whoever made this decision (reportedly Michael Dilbeck but probably Neal Schon deflecting blame. Yes, that was an accusation with absolutely no basis).

I was actually thinking about how much I love this song today while I was at work. This is one of the Journey songs that I love for both the music and the words. While a lot of Journey songs don't say anything prolific or inspiring, and this song doesn't exactly go that far, "After the Fall" speaks words to which most of us can relate. A broken relationship, regrets, and heartache are feelings we've all had. I really love the line "What's left after you fall? / Not much, no." Simple, but true. An interesting note about this song: Randy Jackson of American Idol fame actually played bass on this track. No shit.

35. "If He Should Break Your Heart" - Trial by Fire. Written by: Neal Schon, Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain

This is a song I actually had never heard until I sat down to start this project. In case I haven't mentioned it, the way I do this is simple: I sit down and start listening to every album by whichever band/artist I'm reviewing in chronological order. It's not easy; some albums are great and some are a fucking chore. I had already listened to nine albums by the time I got to Trial by Fire, but it was honestly a breath of fresh air after some of the 80's Journey. The band seemed completely rejuvenated, and that's no more evident than on this track. As soon as "When You Love a Woman," the big hit from the album, finished I was prepared for a bit of a letdown. To my surprise, the following song blew me away. While the beginning and initial verse are don't necessarily grab you, once the chorus hit I was hooked. We've all held on to someone in our past, most often for worse rather than better, and this song hits the nail on the head concerning such feelings. I really love this song, and it proves that with any band you can find great music and songs that speak to you outside of the mainstream hits. These "deep tracks" or "album cuts" are what truly define bands and careers.

34. "Spaceman" - Next. Written by: Gregg Rolie, Aynsley Dunbar

This is a strange song, and another one that I came to love in Alaska. I did a lot of weird shit when I was living up there, including dancing alone to Footloose more times than I care to admit, and this song kind of spoke to me as I sat on the floor in my crummy apartment in Valdez. It was easy to feel kind of weird and disconnected to other people during that time, though I felt very connected to myself in some strange way I haven't since I came home. This song, in a strange way, sums that up for me. For that, I love this song (it's also a kickass song in its own right).

33. "Do You Recall" - Evolution. Written by: Gregg Rolie, Steve Perry

"Do You Recall" is both rocking and danceable, a common trait of Journey songs. A story of love gone wrong, this song is just extremely catchy and features both a stellar guitar solo and some ridiculous notes by Steve Perry. In fact, this song even has one of those awesome moments where the singer's vocals fade into a guitar solo. That's how freaking awesome this song is. This is just another reason why Evolution is the unquestioned champion of Journey albums.

32. "Dixie Highway" - Captured. Written by: The entire band?

Just a quick note on Captured: the album was Journey's first live release and was recorded on the Departure Tour. It's a fantastic live album that gave us two new songs, the live "Dixie Highway" and the studio "The Party's Over (Hopelessly in Love)." One a more interesting note, the album was dedicated to recently deceased AC/DC frontman Bon Scott, "a friend from the highway." That's both weird and stellar. I still remember when I bought this album on vinyl when I was a freshman in high school, opened up the four-LP set and saw the dedication. I just remember thinking "what the fuck?" and throwing the album on.

"Dixie Highway" is a song written about a "highway that runs from Detroit all the way down to Florida." This song is smoking and showcases the musical chops of early Journey. Though the band didn't always show it off, every once in while they wrote a song like this just to prove they could. It's like Larry Bird dunking - he does it every once in a while just to keep you on your toes and remind us he's capable of so many great things.

31. "When You're Alone (It Ain't Easy)" - Evolution. Written by: Neal Schon, Steve Perry

I don't know why I love this song so much; the lyrics are nothing special and the music isn't overly complicated. Perhaps it's the simplicity of the song and the lyric that keeps this song in my head. I've been a huge fan of this song since I was in high school and I can relate to the main lyric - being alone isn't easy. That being said, sometimes you've got to be on your way. I started my Journey quest before I left my girlfriend, and this song definitely spoke to me in ways I hadn't heard it in the past. Of course, for every song like this I had to listen to something like thirty billion "Open Arms" and "Faithfully[s]." Somehow I still got this one right.

30. "Lovin' You Is Easy" - Evolution. Written by: Neal Schon, Steve Perry, Gregg Errico

First thing first: I have no idea who the fuck Greg Errico is and I don't care to research it. Nevermind - he's a member of the R&R Hall of Fame and played with Sly & The Family Stone. He also toured with Bowie on the Diamond Dogs tour. Sorry I wrote you off, dude. Anyway, "Lovin' You Is Easy" is another phenomenal track of Evolution. The music is rocking, Perry sounds great asking some girl to "keep [his] botor humming," and the background vocals are spot on. This song also has a nice little piano breakdown in which Rolie reminds you your his bitch before vocal harmonies kick back in and remind you you're rocking entirely too hard to a Journey song. Truth be told, that's probably one of the better feelings in life.

29. "Message of Love" - Trial by Fire. Written by: Neal Schon, Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain, John Bettis

Just to get it out of the way, John Bettis is a lyricist who has written a number of hit songs for a number of artists, most notably The Carpenters. I love The Carpenters. This song is the opening track on Journey's comeback album, Trial by Fire, and it is a fantastic song that really has its own sound amongst Journey songs. The song begins with a little guitar lick and then hits you with a combination of keyboards and unintelligible vocals before going full-tilt into rock-and-roll mode. There is an intensity in this song, certainly in the music but more importantly in the lyric/vocal delivery, that is uncharacteristic of the band. This song delivers a message alright - Journey is back and running on all cylinders. Of course, Steve Perry was about to break a hip, so maybe I misinterpreted that message.

28. "Where Were You" - Departure. Written by: Neal Schon, Steve Perry

"Where Were You" is one of Journey's best rock and roll songs. Schon's guitar is relentless, Rolie's keyboards are on fire and Steve Perry own this song vocally. This is a prime example of Journey rocking, something many people refuse to acknowledge the band does quite well. The highlight of the song is Perry's line "I want to know what the hell's going on" as he belts out a spiteful rant on a woman who's been running around. I just imagine Steve Perry coming down on some woman while singing and shaking his head in a disapproving manner. Here's proof Journey can rock:

27. "Feeling That Way" - Infinity. Written by: Gregg Rolie, Aynsley Dunbar, Steve Perry
26. "Anytime" - Infinity. Written by: Gregg Rolie, Ross Valory, Neal Schon, Robert Fleischman, Roger Silver

These two songs will forever be linked in my eyes, even though they were written separately and at different points in the group's career. These songs once again combine Rolie and Perry vocals to create something special. While I prefer "Anytime" to "Feeling That Way," both songs are strong and show off the strength of Journey at this point in their careers. It's also interesting to note that Roger Silver co-wrote "Anytime" as well as Robert Fleischman. Silver had worked with the guys in Santana as well, and of course Fleischman was the band's frontman when the song was written. Here are a couple of videos - the first is the band playing both songs and the second is a crazy old live version with Fleischman posted on his own youtube account:

I can't embed the second video, but you can check it out here: I strongly suggest checking this video out as it is an interesting point in the band's storied career.

25."City of the Angels" - Evolution. Written by: Gregg Rolie, Neal Schon, Steve Perry

Another classic track from Evolution, "City of the Angels" is often heard riding the coattails of the more popular "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'." The song begins with some classic Journey harmonizing and then kicks into full force with the full band joining in and a nice solo from Schon. You have to be fucking crazy not to love this song, presumably an ode to Los Angeles much like "Lights" was to San Francisco. I really love the line "I've got this feeling that things will work out." That's pretty much my philosophy on life.

24. "Suzanne" - Raised on Radio. Written by: Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain

Raised on Radio, released in 1986, would be the last Journey album before ten-year hiatus from recording. Following the success of their last two albums as well as Perry's solo career, the band made some changes for this album. Original bassist and longtime drummer, Ross Valory and Steve Smith, were discarded in favor of studio musicians such as Randy Jackson and Larrie Londin. This is a great journey record, and one that I favor over Frontiers, but it did not fare as well as Journey's previous albums. Tensions over musical and creative direction led to the hiatus after the release of the album, and a lot of fingers have been pointed at Steve Perry.

"Suzanne" is a fantastic song with a great beat, rocking bass line and enchanting keyboards. While the song doesn't stray far from the successful Journey formula, it's haunting verse and soaring chorus raise this song above many other similar tracks. I had almost forgotten about this song until I looked at the track listing for the album as I was putting it on, which immediately excited me. This song screams Perry, and he did a brilliant job with it.

23. "Just The Same Way" - Evolution. Written by: Neal Schon, Gregg Rolie, Ross Valory

Another classic track from Journey's best album, "Just The Same Way" is one hell of a rocker. Written by the core of the band for the early Journey era, the song takes Perry's talent and interjects it, much in the vein of earlier tunes like "Feeling That Way" and "Anytime." Rolie's vocals are particularly strong on this track and the song is even better on the live album, Captured. I also really love Schon's playing on this song.

22. "All The Way" - Arrival. Written by: Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain, Michael Rhodes, Steve Augeri

"All the Way," a hit for Journey on the adult contemporary charts, is one of the band's strongest ballads. Augeri's pipes fit in very well with the band here and it's almost like they're not missing Steve Perry here. Cain's piano is beautiful as always and Schon plays the perfect notes every time he strums his guitar. This sounds like a classic Journey track even though it's missing perhaps Journey's largest presence. It may not be "Faithfully," but the band takes that same formula and turns it into another golden moment.

21. "Sweet and Simple" - Evolution. Written by: Steve Perry.

This solo Perry composition is truly a masterpiece. While it isn't terribly high on this list, I cannot stress enough how great this song is. Apparently Perry penned this tune while observing Lake Tahoe, though I cannot substantiate that claim. This song is not overly complicated; in fact, its beauty lies in its simplicity. Perry croons over a relaxingly soft groove before the song begins to pick up after a nice Schon solo. Perry hits one of the most ridiculous notes I've ever heard a singer hit as the band launches into a grand finale including harmonized vocals, a thicker musical feel, another Schon solo and some vocal improvisation. This is, for my money, the standout track of Journey's Evolution album.

20. "Higher Place" - Arrival. Written by: Neal Schon, Jack Blades

I just want to throw a quick shout-out to Jack Blades for his contribution to this song. You might recognize Blades from stints in Night Ranger, Damn Yankees, or Shaw-Blades. The man is a great musician with true rock and roll sense. He and Schon came together here to create a fantastic rock song that opened Journey's post-Perry era. I can't think of a better way to usher in a new singer and sound than this song. "Higher Place" sound like classic Journey, yet at the same time it's different enough to set itself apart from Perry's sound with the band. Augeri's vocals are excellent and the band plays with a renewed vigor as they set out to prove they aren't a one-trick pony. Unfortunately, the next few albums would prove that Steve Perry was more necessary than the band thought. On a bright note, Steve Augeri is basically Steve Perry-lite. He looks like a broke-ass Steve Perry with a perm and he apparently hates wearing shoes:

19. "Lights" - Infinity. Written by: Neal Schon, Steve Perry

For many people, "Lights" is the song that defines Journey. The song, an ode to the band's musical hometown, was the first collaboration between Perry and Schon, a writing relationship that would spawn a number of rock and roll hits. This is the song that opened the Infinity album and introduced the new Journey to the world. Interestingly enough, the song's lyric was originally dedicated to L.A. Once Perry joined Journey and relocated to San Francisco the line "and the sun shines on L.A." was switched to "...the bay." A new lyric in a new town helped Perry become a superstar, but this song was never a big hit upon release. It failed to chart higher than #68.

18. "Mother, Father" - Escape. Written by: Neal Schon, Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain, Matt Schon

"Mother, Father" is the kind of song that made me want to start doing these lists. While never a single, this song is a career-defining track from Journey's best-selling album. People who have an idea of what Journey should sound like would never think of anything like "Mothher, Father." This dark, brooding tale of a family in disarray is felt in both the music and lyrics. Perry's delivery on top of Schon's guitar is very powerful and the song emotes underlying tension. It should also be noted that Journey has always been able to pull off any song live, and this is just another example:

17. "Escape" -Escape. Written by: Neal Schon, Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain

This is another fantastic album track that most Journey fans ought to be familiar with. This is a rocking tale of a young man breaking away and living the life he wants to, "Escape" is one of Journey's strongest writing efforts. While I love the edge behind the intro and first verse, I think the song really peaks at the beginning of the second verse. Steve's opening line in that verse takes the song into another stratosphere and makes "Escape" the classic we all love.

16. "Of A Lifetime" - Journey. Written by: Neal Schon, Gregg Rolie, George Tickner

Journey's eponymous debut album is an eclectic collection of progressive rock and jazz-fusion. The band's original intentions after founding members Schon and Rolie split from Santana were to work as a backing band. Those aspirations were quickly changed and, along with Ross Valory, Aynsley Dunbar, and guitarist George Tickner, Schon and Rolie cut their first album as Journey. The album wasn't particularly successful and Tickner left after the album. While the album isn't Journey's finest, it's well worth checking out for any serious fans of music. Most Journey fans will find it hard to believe that this is even the same band as the Perry-led troupe.

"Of a Lifetime" is a fucking masterpiece of music. There's still a part of myself that hates me for not putting this song in the top ten, and I know Thomas Gill would argue that it should be number one. This song contains some of the greatest musical work the band has ever put together. I am scared to even explore the possibility of what this song might have become with the tenacious Perry/Rolie duo. If you love music, listen to this song. You don't even have to download the file, just watch this - it will change your life:

15: "Send Her My Love" - Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain

I am not going to lie: this song brings back insane memories of Final Fantasy VIII. I used to listen to music while I played video games a kid. As a result of this, I now relate things like hearing journey to playing classic games like Final Fantasy. I did the same with Fleetwood Mac and Bomberman as well as Paul Simon (solo) and Breath of Fire. For some reason I am unable to separate these experiences these days, and I honestly think that's a blessing. Now, when I hear songs such as this, I don't just flash back to some point in time, but rather a specific sequence in a game or a time in my life when I sat on my dad's couch playing games I loved. The weird thing is this: there are only two Journey songs that have this effect on me: "Send Her My Love" and "Girl Can't Help It." Somehow, even though I listened to the entirety of Journey's greatest hits whilst playing, these are the only two songs that completely fuck me up with nostalgia when I hear them. For that alone, this song is in the top fifteen. Thankfully, this song has so much more.

14. "Who's Crying Now" - Escape. Written by: Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain

This song has one of the greatest bass lines of all time, and the fucking keyboards ain't too far behind. Those two elements are the soul of this song. This song tears at my heartstrings, and the amazing melody fucking kills me. This song breaks my heart and that is honestly why I love it.

13. "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'" - Evolution. Written by: Steve Perry

In the words of Bernard Anderson, Steve Perry "brought the soul" to Journey. For the man who was convinced he needed to begin a musical career when he heard "Cupid" by Sam Cooke, Steve Perry cemented his own legacy with the Evolution album, and "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'" was a huge part of that legacy. Steve Perry brought soul and blues to a band already versed in the blues, and he somehow showed them what they had been missing. Perhaps the most impressive sole composition of the fifty, this song will forever live as one of the greatest of all time.

12. "Be Good to Yourself" - Raised on Radio. Written by: Neal Schon, Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain

This song is just a fucking fantastic song. I am going to warn all of you now that I really have nothing more to say about these songs other than praise them for how wonderful and imaginative they truly are. This a song that is all about treating yourself right, even when others don't. I think that's a great message for our generation. We all grew up with dicks, cunts, pricks, bitches, and shitbags that gave us shit for no reason. Hell, most of us gave people lower than us on the social ladder a fair amount of shit - Lord knows I did. The thing is, you've got to believe in yourself to make it, and Journey understands that. Fortunately, they were able to pass that message along with a kickass fucking chorus.

11. "I'll Be Alright Without You" - Raised on Radio. Written by: Neal Schon, Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain

This song is one of the penultimate journey songs. I cannot say enough great things about this song. If I were in any way subjective about this list this song would be number one. Probably my favorite Journey song, "I'll Be Alright Without You" speaks to all of us who have lost a love. My favorite part of the song is actually the fantastic backing vocals present in verse two. With this song, journey cemented a place in my heart for existence. Here's a great video (note Randy Jackson kicking ass):

10. "The Party's Over (Hopelessly In Love With You)"  - Captured. Written by: Steve Perry

Another Perry solo composition, this track was the lone studio recording on the band's first live album. The song was recorded by the band in between Gregg Rolie and Jonathan Cain so manning the keyboards was Stevie Roseman, a local musician. While this song is often overlooked, it is easily one of Journey's greatest works. The opening guitar solo is fantastic, the riff itself is great, and the drumming is superb. Beyond that, Perry's voice just takes over and brings the song to that next level. For those who have never heard this song, I hope you can enjoy it as much as I do.

09. "Wheel in the Sky" - Infinity. Written by: Neal Schon, Robert Fleischman, Diane Valory

"Wheel in the Sky" actually dates back to the Fleischman days between Next and Infinty. While it actually pains me to admit that Perry had nothing to do with this awesome rocker, after hearing Fleischman sing "Anytime" I'm actually glad that I can't find any live footage of the original version. Fleisschman-bashing aside, this song is just catchy, has an excellent lyric, and contains one of Neal Schon's best guitar solos. The solo itself isn't the most impressive guitar work you'll ever hear, but it fits the song perfectly and leads right into a final, powerful string of choruses. I really love the opening line to this song: "Winter is here again, oh Lord / haven't been home in a year or more..." As a huge fan of winter and someone who's been away from his loved ones for long periods of time, I know that feeling all too well.

08. "Any Way You Want It" - Departure. Written by: Neal Schon, Steve Perry

We all know this song, and for the most part we all love it (minus those poor souls unfortunate to have seen Salsa Snack - for those who aren't familiar, don't google). This song is a straight forward rock and roll song with a groovy chorus, burning solo, and what sounds like occasional fire extinguisher drumming. The words are concise which lead to very powerful verses where the music actually outshines the lyric. Add in some killer harmonies and Steve Perry and you've got one of the best rock songs out there. An interesting note: the song's style was partially influenced by Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy. This song also had a pretty sweet video:

07. "Open Arms" -Escape. Written by: Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain

Jonathan Cain showed his worth right off the bat with Journey by teaming up with Steve Perry to write the mega hit "Open Arms." While he had written the music while still with The Babys, my main man John Waite thought the song was too sentimental and turned it down. After joining Journey, he and Perry worked the song out much to the dismay of the other band members, all of whom were against recording the ballad. Schon, the song's biggest critic, changed his mind after playing the song live and seeing the enormous crowd reaction, which pissed Perry off to the point that he "wanted to kill [Schon]." The song would stay at number 2 on the charts for six weeks and has become a Journey classic.

06. "Girl Can't Help It" - Raised on Radio. Written by: Neal Schon, Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain

"Girl Can't Help It," the opening track from 1986's Raised on Radio, is a real gem of a song. The keyboards on this song really set the tone and eventually Neal Schon is given a bit of room to shine. Perry's vocals are once again top notch and help to push the song into the Journey elite. The verses are clever, the chorus is big and powerful, and the song just has that Journey feel to it. This song has perhaps the greatest harmony vocals of any Journey song, and that is really saying something. This is also one of my favorite times in Journey history because it combined more ridiculous hair, Randy Jackson and tailcoats than would ever seem possible. Proof:

On a completely serious note, Randy Jackson is hilarious in this video and I can't think of a better style from a frontman than Perry's tailcoat/jeans/sneaker combo. Fucking glamorous.

05. "Faithfully" -Frontiers. Written by: Jonathan Cain

Jonathan Cain would prove the ultimate Journey balladeer by composing "Faithfully" for the band's 1983 effort, Frontiers. The song about a music man and his fair woman stole the hearts of men and women alike and has become one of the band's most endearing songs. While I could tell you numerous reasons I love this song, the biggest selling point is Steve Perry's short-lived mustache:

In all seriousness, this is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard and that is one hell of a music video, which certainly has helped keep the song fresh in my mind over many years. An interesting note: The song's video probably has such an epic feel to it because it was recorded by the NFL Films crew. Those guys know how to do epic pretty damn well.

04. "Ask the Lonely" - Soundtrack. Written by: Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain

Another Cain/Perry collaboration from the 80s hits the top ten and it's easily one of their greatest. "Ask the Lonely" was omitted from the band's Frontiers album but was featured in the Travolta movie Two of a Kind. This song flat-out rocks and it rocks damn hard. The intro is epic with those keyboards, the verse is extremely intense and the chorus is simply rocking. One thing that I truly love about this song is the change of chorus and the easily-relatable lyrics. We start with the "hang on..." parts and the next thing you know the band are dropping out their instruments and reminding you that "when you're feeling love's unfair / you just ask the lonely..." The second chorus takes the song even higher and Perry's vocal improv at the end is an excellent addition. I have a feeling a lot of people won't agree with this song's position, but I couldn't help it - I love this damn song.

03. "When You Love a Woman" - Trial By Fire. Written by: Neal Schon, Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain

This was the track that single-handedly brought Journey back from the dead in 1996. With a heartwarming intro, Jonathan Cain sets the stage for my favorite Journey power ballad of all time. Perry's voice takes over the song and you can feel the emotion in his voice. The beautiful music combined with a genuinely wonderful lyric make this song stand out even amongst Journey's greatest tracks, and after ten years it was great to see that the band still had it and Perry's voice was a golden as ever. This song also produced another great music video, this one featuring an awesome Steve Perry air violin shot into a Schon solo. Wicked. Interesting note: The music video for this song was filmed at Skywalker Ranch.

02. "Don't Stop Believing" - Escape. Written by: Neal Schon, Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain

This is just one of those iconic songs that stretches across genres and generations to find a place in everyone's heart. We all know the story of the small-town girl and small-town boy and we're all the better off for it. I could talk about this song and how it's affected me over the years, but I think that in this case the song and its amazing popularity speaks for itself. While the song is a pop culture staple, my favorite use of the song was the Sopranos finale. Apparently, Perry was hesitant to let the song be used for the final scene and only allowed the show to use it after David Chase assured him it would not be the soundtrack to Tony Soprano's demise. That's pretty fucking cool. This song also helped the White Sox win a World Series a few years back, which is also quite impressive (also, lolGiants): (unable to embed)

01. "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" - Frontiers. Written by: Neal Schon, Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain

"Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" will always be the greatest of all Journey songs as far as I am concerned. This song has their greatest intro, greatest chorus, and greatest invisible instrument playing. I am not going to go into too much detail here - while "Don't Stop Believing" may be the band's iconic anthem, this is the song that all true Journey fans know to be head-and-shoulders above the rest. The song was inspired by the band's Motown roots and was written mostly by Cain and Perry as they sat down with a guitar and bass, respectively, and wrote the melody in one night and the lyrics the next day. Schon and Smith added a lot to the song to round it out not only as Journey's most rocking song, but also their best. I also want to comment on the fact that some asshole placed this music video at number 13 on MTV's 25 Worst Music Videos list. Whatever jackass added this video to the list should be fired. Steve Perry in a pink and black cutoff, invisible instruments, an abandoned Home Depot, a hot woman, serious-business fist pounds and slow motion make this easily the best music video ever:


  1. Pretty pumped about this... just downloaded the songs! Can't wait to rock out to them. I'm more of a "singles" kind of downloader and I've def never had FIFTY songs by one artist/group. I feel so hardcore.

  2. Haha. My iTunes has 47,000+ songs on it, so I'm trying to share the best of the best with anyone who's interested. Hopefully they don't disappoint.