The new version of Journey,(which teams founding member Neal Schon with heyday addition Jonathan Cain, and former Tall Stories singer Steve Augeri seamlessly taking over on lead vocals) made its debut on the 1998 Armageddon soundtrack and released Arrival in 2001. More importantly, the band is still touring like crazy. Schon, the ex-Santana guitarist who formed the original lineup in San Francisco circa 1973, says, "There's a different energy to this band. We're more daring. The new blood has kicked the music in the butt."
Journey's debut concert on New Year's Eve 1973 at their hometown Winterland introduced progressive rock instrumental epics with a powerhouse lineup, that included bassist Russ Valory (formerly of Steve Miller Band) and keyboardist Gregg Rolie (one of the founders of Santana). Their self titled 1975 debut received critical acclaim and made them cult favorites, but the band moved towards more concise songs and more vocals on its next recordings, Look Into the Future (1976) and Next (1977). Journey's first vocalist was Robert Fleischman, but he was soon replaced by Steve Perry, the voice with which Journey is most identified.
The switch to highly sophisticated pop rock occurred with the recording of Infinity, which went platinum and reached #21 on the Billboard chart. Evolution followed and brought the band their first U.S. Top 20 hit, "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'." Captured was a live double album that featured cranked-up guitars and raucous hard rock, eventually peaking at #9 in the U.S. Founder-member Rolie departed after its release, and was replaced by Jonathan Cain, who had previously played with The Babys (who opened for Journey on the Departure tour).
1981's Escape was the pinnacle of the band's success, reaching #1 and staying in the chart for over a year. It also spawned three US Top 10 hit singles in the form of "Who's Crying Now" (#4, July 1981), "Don't Stop Believin'" (# 9, October 1981) and "Open Arms" (#2, January 1982).
The follow-up, Frontiers (1983), went to #2, was six times platinum, and generated the #8 hit "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)."
Success brought outside projects for each members of the group, including Perry's hit "Oh, Sherrie," but there were creative differences as well. Valory left in 1984 after contributing to "Only The Young," a Top Ten hit from the 1985 Vision Quest soundtrack album. Drummer Steve Smith had essentially exited when Schon, Cain and Perry continued as Journey for the 1986's double platinum, Raised On Radio. Attesting to the band's enormous popularity, its 1988 Greatest Hits album reached #8 and sold nine times platinum.
Journey then went on hiatus. Schon and Cain joined forces with John Waite's Bad English in 1988. Perry concentrated on solo work, while Smith fronted a fusion band, Vital Information. Smith later teamed up with Rolie and Valory to form The Storm in 1991. In November the same year, Perry, Schon and Cain reunited at a tribute concert to commemorate the death of famed San Francisco promoter Bill Graham.
Though there was a 1992 boxed set, Time 3, there would be a 12 year gap between new material. Journey re-emerged successfully, as Trial By Fire (1996) hit #3, went platinum and earned the band's first Grammy nomination. Unfortunately, any tour was impossible due to Steve Perry's continued health problems. The following year Deen Castronovo (ex-Bad English) replaced Smith, and vocalist Steve Augeri was brought in for touring purposes before becoming an official member. While focused once again on Journey, Schon and Cain have also released a number of contemporary instrumental recordings on Higher Octave Music.