Journey is an American rock band formed in 1973 in San Francisco, by former members of Santana. The band has gone through several phases; its strongest commercial success occurred between the late 1970s and 1987, when it temporarily disbanded. During that period, they released a series of hit songs, including 1981's "Don't Stop Believin'", the top-selling catalog track in iTunes history; and their highest-charting U.S. hit, "Open Arms". The band enjoyed a successful reunion in the mid 1990s with a Grammy-nominated hit, "When You Love a Woman", and later regrouped with a series of lead singers.
Sales have resulted in two gold albums, eight multi-platinum albums, and one Diamond album (including seven consecutive multi-platinum albums between 1978 and 1987). They had 18 Top 40 singles, six of which reached the Top 10 of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Allmusic has described Journey as "one of America's most beloved (and sometimes hated) commercial rock/pop bands." According to the Recording Industry Association of America, Journey has sold 47 million albums in the United States, making them the 28th best selling band. Their worldwide sales have reached over 80 million albums. A 2005 USA Today opinion poll named Journey the fifth best American rock band in history. Their songs have become arena rock staples and are still played on rock radio stations across the world.
The original members of Journey came together in San Francisco in 1973 under the auspices of former Santana manager Herbie Herbert. Originally called the Golden Gate Rhythm Section and intended to serve as a backup group for established Bay Area artists, the band included recent Santana alumni Neal Schon on lead guitar and Gregg Rolie on keyboards and lead vocals. Bassist Ross Valory and rhythm guitarist George Tickner, both of Frumious Bandersnatch, and drummer Prairie Prince of The Tubes rounded out the group. The band quickly abandoned the original "backup group" concept and developed a distinctive jazz fusion style. After an unsuccessful radio contest to name the group, roadie John Villaneuva suggested the name "Journey." The band's first public appearance came at the Winterland Ballroom on New Year’s Eve, 1973. Prairie Prince rejoined The Tubes shortly thereafter, and the band hired British drummer Aynsley Dunbar, who had recently worked with John Lennon and Frank Zappa. On February 5, 1974, the new line-up made their debut at the Great American Music Hall and secured a recording contract with Columbia Records.
Journey released their eponymous first album in 1975, and rhythm guitarist Tickner left the band before they cut their second album, Look into the Future (1976). Neither album achieved significant sales, so Schon, Valory, and Dunbar took singing lessons in an attempt to add vocal harmonies to Rolie's lead. The following year's Next contained shorter tracks with more vocals, and featured Schon as lead singer on two of the songs.
In 1998, Journey replaced Steve Perry with Steve Augeri, formerly of Tyketto and Tall Stories. The band hired drummer Deen Castronovo, Schon's and Cain's Bad English bandmate, and drummer for Hardline, to replace Steve Smith. The band released their next studio album, Arrival, in 2001. "All the Way" became a minor adult contemporary hit from the album. In 2002, the band released a four-track CD titled "Red 13," with an album cover design chosen through a fan contest. In 2005 the band was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and Steve Perry surprised many attendees by showing up for the event. Also in 2005, Journey embarked on their 30th anniversary tour, and released their twelfth full-length studio album, Generations, in which each band member performed lead vocals on at least one song.
In July 2006, Steve Augeri was dropped from the band while they toured with Def Leppard, with the official statement citing a "chronic throat infection." Augeri had been suffering from vocal attrition problems since 2003 and Journey had been accused of using pre-recorded lead vocals. The band hired singer Jeff Scott Soto from Talisman to fill in, and Soto officially replaced Augeri as Journey's lead singer in December 2006. On June 12, 2007, the band announced that Soto was no longer the lead singer, and said that they were looking to move in a new direction.
In December 2007, Journey hired Filipino singer Arnel Pineda of the cover band The Zoo after Neal Schon saw him on YouTube singing covers of Journey songs. Their next album, Revelation, debuted at No.5 on the Billboard charts, selling more than 196,000 units in its first two weeks and staying in the top 20 for 6 weeks. Journey also found success on billboard's adult contemporary chart where the single "After All These Years" spent over 23 weeks, peaking at number 9. Receipts from the 2008 tour made Journey one of the top grossing concert tours of the year, bringing in over $35,000,000. On December 18, 2008, Revelation was certified platinum by RIAA. The band's second album with Pineda, Eclipse, was released on May 24, 2011, and debuted at No.13 on the Billboard 200 chart.
Although Pineda was not the first foreign national to become a member of Journey (former drummer Aynsley Dunbar is British), nor even the first non-white (former bass player Randy Jackson is African-American), the transition resulted in what Marin Independent Journal writer Paul Liberatore called "an undercurrent of racism." Keyboardist Jonathan Cain responded to such sentiments: "We've become a world band. We're international now. We're not about one color."