Journey formed in 1973 and would go on to become one of the most iconic rock bands of the 20th century. The pioneers of arena rock have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, sold over 100 million albums worldwide, and been featured on numerous lists of the best rock bands of all time. In this article, we’ll be looking at the 15 best Journey songs of all time.
1. Don’t Stop Believin’
I would be remiss if I didn’t place this track in this list’s number-one position. Other Journey songs might have performed better on the charts and a different one might be your favorite, but Don’t Stop Believin’ is by far the band’s most famous track.
Nothing gets the middle-aged folk moving at the bar like this song. It’s also one of the best-selling tracks of all time with more than seven million digital download sales. It’s also safe to say that the song is Journey in its purest form, a track driven by pop-style vocals and hard rock guitar riffs.
Recommended: Interesting facts about Journey the band
2. When You Love A Woman
For the number-two spot, I’m jumping away from their most popular and including Journey’s best-performing track when it came to the actual charts. When You Love A Woman only peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it spent 22 weeks on the chart, the longest of any song by them. It was released as the lead single of their Trial By Fire album in 1996 and was nominated for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group at the Grammy Awards. It departs a bit from their arena-rock style and was one of the final vocal performances of Steve Perry with the band.
Faithfully also peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and would go down in history as one of Journey’s most enduring songs. Originally, this was written by Jonathan Cain to describe the troubles of maintaining a healthy marriage while on the road so much. It struck a chord with many listeners as one of the ultimate love tracks, especially for those away from their loved ones. Apparently though, being forever hers wasn’t in the cards, as the marriage dissolved four years after the release of the song.
4. I’ll Be Alright Without You
Again, I’m pulling away from the most popular Journey songs to look at one of their top chart performers. It’ll be a theme as we go forward, so if your favorite ranks lower than expected, that’ll probably be why. Anyways, I’ll Be Alright Without You rose to number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent a total of 21 weeks on the chart, a record that puts it just behind When You Love A Woman and ties it with Who’s Crying Now. It’s a classic ballad from the band and features a rich bassline that has made many fans call it their favorite track.
5. Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
If you’re looking for that classic, hard rock Journey sound, you can’t go wrong with Separate Ways (Worlds Apart). It holds onto the general love themes in most of their popular songs but also has hard-hitting guitar riffs and powerful vocals that’ll bring goosebumps to your arms.
While the two partners in the track are separating, the singer confesses his undying love despite the breakup and reassures the other person that if their new partner fails them, he’ll still be there. It’s the first song the band shot a choreographed music video, though it’s more famous for the fact that they are seen playing invisible instruments in it.
6. Open Arms
Open Arms might have been the band’s highest chart performer, reaching the number-two spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and holding it for six weeks. While they might not have felt it was too light for them, the track has been named one of the greatest love songs ever composed, with VH1 naming it the greatest power ballad of all time. Like most of their most popular singles, the track was certified gold by the RIAA and has been used in television shows and competitions consistently in the years since its release.
7. Any Way You Want It
Any Way You Want It is probably as recognizable for Journey as Don’t Stop Believin’. The song today is a classic and a frequent fixture on classic rock radio stations. This has been included on all four of their live albums and remains one of their most frequently-performed tracks today. It debuted on the band’s Departure album in 1980, which was considered one of their edgier ones. This was recorded more like a live performance than a studio album, giving it a rougher quality that fans ate up.
8. Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’
This one became Journey’s first Top 20 hit, making it to the number 16 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and powering their album Evolution to triple-platinum status. It starts off with a bluesy drum and guitar intro and is overall a slower-tempo song from them. You can also bet the rolling chant at the end will have everyone around you singing along, even if they miss out on the tough situation the narrative describes.
9. Wheel In The Sky
Wheel In The Sky originated as a poem titled Wheels In My Mind written by Diane Valory, the wife of Journey’s bassist at the time. The poem was rewritten into the song by Valory, alongside Robert Fleischman and Neal Schon. It would reach number 57 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1978, becoming their first track to make it onto that chart. It is one of their most memorable songs, and the hard-rock tune is one of the earliest tracks that helped turn them into the legendary band we know them as today.
Lights was one of Journey’s first songs written by Perry with the band. It was originally written about Los Angeles, but it was changed to be about San Francisco, the birthplace of Journey. The iconic line “When the lights go down in the city, and the sun shines on the bay” originally said “LA” instead of “the bay,” but Perry didn’t like the way it sounded. This eventually went on to become a ridiculously popular track on classic and oldies radio today, but when it was released, it wasn’t a big hit. Though it never got higher than number 68 on the charts, it’s become an iconic example of classic rock.
Recommended: Songs about San Francisco
11. Who’s Crying Now
Who’s Crying Now was Journey’s best-charting song in the UK until they released Don’t Stop Believin’, making it all the way to number 46 on the UK charts and number four on the Hot 100 charts in the US. Critics acclaimed the track as one of the “most appealing love songs of 1981.” The solo at the end of the track was originally much more aggressive and experimental, but the band didn’t like it too much, leading to Schon doing it over again as the version we ended up getting in the song.
12. Send Her My Love
Send Her My Love is another one of Journey’s underrated songs that performed surprisingly well and became well-known today. As the fourth single released from the Frontiers album, it eventually climbed to number 23 on the US Pop charts. It’s yet another example of the chemistry between Schon and Perry, highlighting their talent when it comes to rockin’ ballads.
13. Only The Young
Journey wrote Only The Young for their Frontiers album but decided to sell the song to the band Scandal instead. Eventually, they released their own version of the track in 1985. It’s all about how young people are smarter than older generations and can build a better future since they aren’t held back by the lies of those who came before them. While this isn’t always mentioned on top-ten lists of Journey songs, it’s absolutely one of their best compositions, containing both emotional messages and the classic sound you expect from them.
14. Girl Can’t Help It
Girl Can’t Help It is a special song for Journey since at the time it was released, only Perry, Schon, and Cain remained with the band. It was the third release from the Raised On Radio album, and like Be Good to Yourself and Suzanne, it would go on to be a Top 40 hit. While it made it to number 17 on the Top 40, this reached the Top 10 on the Mainstream Rock charts, peaking at number nine.
15. Forever In Blue
Released on the Trial By Fire album alongside massive hits like When You Love A Woman and Message Of Love, Forever In Blue was not a song that saw radio airtime. It only saw plays on the album, but it remains an incredible track. Even without radio playtime, the song is one of the band’s best, and it’s unfortunate that it isn’t as well-known as many of their other tracks.
As a contributing writer for Music Grotto, Dakotah writes and produces professional music/media content. He works closely with editorial staff to meet editorial standards and create
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