Journey will always be known for Steve Perry’s high-flying vocals ringing out over arena-sized guitar riffs. Landmark hits like “Don’t Stop Believin,'” “Open Arms,” and “Any Way You Want It” immediately come to mind when you mention the five-piece.
Nevertheless, throughout their storied career are a number of interesting changes that tell a much larger musical story than the songs mentioned above suggest. From their prog-rock roots to some time-obscured bluesy numbers, here are five deep cuts from Journey that you should be listening to.
1. “In My Lonely Feeling / Conversations”
This track feels worlds away from songs like “Lights” or “Wheel in the Sky.” Much less focused on appeasing arenas, the group was sufficiently proggy on their debut LP. “In My Lonely Feeling / Conversations” is a two-parter. The first part finds the band knee-deep in a southern blues sound while the back half is hazy classic rock in the spirit of bands like Led Zeppelin. While their later efforts with Steve Perry at the helm were more successful (and for good reason), songs like “In My Lonely Feeling/Conversations” are a testament to the group’s chops from the earliest days of their career.
2. “Look Into the Future”
Moving on to their sophomore effort, tracks like “Look Into the Future” saw the group start to lean into a poppier sound. They weren’t quite operating at Infinity levels of radio-friendly musicianship, but the glimmers of pop stardom were there. “Look Into the Future” is an atmospheric eight-minute ballad that ends with Neal Schon delivering an expansive guitar solo.
Moving into the Perry era, “Patiently” is one of the lesser-known offerings on Infinity. Despite its relative obscurity, we’d argue it stands up to anything else on the landmark LP—which also features “Lights” and “Wheel in the Sky.” Perry belts out In the shadow of love / Time goes by leaving me helpless Just to reach and try / To live my life / These are my reasons.
4. “Someday Soon”
Most of the group’s 1980 album, Departure, could be considered a deep cut. Save “Any Way You Want It,” it has failed to live up to the success of its predecessor, Escape. Nevertheless, the album does hold some solid pop-rock efforts, including “Someday Soon.” The entire song sees a tight harmony and Schon is as much a guitar hero as he has ever been—what more could you want?
5. “It Could Have Been You”
Perry served as the sole producer for the group’s ninth studio album. As a result, his influence is slightly heavy-handed. Raised on Radio feels markedly like “The Steve Perry Show” with the rest of the group having very little to do with the final product. However, “It Could Have Been You” harkens back to the band’s more balanced efforts. Perry plays with his lower register in this one, making it one of the more interesting offerings on the LP.
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