Musicology Blog

Journey to the Heart: A Deep Dive into “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)”


Exploring the Depths of Journey’s Timeless Classic

Diving into journey’s enduring anthem “separate ways (worlds apart)”: a testament to the band’s undeniable talent and timeless impact on rock music..

journey worlds apart album

When you think of iconic anthems from the ’80s, Journey’s “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” is undoubtedly one that comes to mind. Released in 1983 on their album Frontiers, this powerful rock ballad remains an enduring testament to the incredible talent and versatility of the band.

Journey, formed in 1973 in San Francisco, initially started as a progressive rock band but found their niche in the world of arena rock. The band’s lineup has seen several changes over the years, with notable members including renowned keyboardist Gregg Rolie, virtuoso guitarist Neal Schon, and, of course, the unforgettable voice of Steve Perry. It was the addition of Perry in 1977 that helped propel them to superstardom, with his incomparably emotive range and distinct vocal tone. While Perry has been absent from the band in recent years, his legacy remains a crucial part of what makes Journey so iconic.

“Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” showcases the band’s incredible musicianship and their ability to create memorable melodies, powerful riffs, and heart-wrenching lyrics. Perry’s vocals shine in this song , telling the tale of a couple in the middle of a breakup, with a performance that pierces the soul. The combination of Schon’s soaring guitar and Jonathan Cain’s skillful keyboard work add to the emotional depth of the track, making it a timeless classic. The music video, however, has been criticized for its awkward air instrument performances, which in hindsight, could be considered somewhat endearing in the context of the era’s cheesy music videos.

Journey has received numerous accolades and awards, such as the prestigious Diamond certification for their 1981 album, Escape, and being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017. They have sold over 75 million albums worldwide, making them one of the best-selling bands of all time. Throughout their career, Journey has continued to captivate audiences with their incredible live performances, their ability to create unforgettable anthems like “Don’t Stop Believin,” “Open Arms,” and, of course, “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart).”

In conclusion, Journey remains an influential and important band in the history of rock music, with “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” being a prime example of their incredible talent both lyrically and musically. Despite the occasional misstep, like a questionable music video choice, Journey has undoubtedly left an indelible mark on the hearts of millions of fans worldwide.

Charting the Journey of “Separate Ways”

“separate ways: a rock ballad’s chart odyssey in the 80s music landscape”.

journey worlds apart album

Released on January 5, 1983, “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” quickly became a fan favorite and demonstrated Journey’s prowess in the realm of rock ballads. The song’s chart journey is an interesting tale, displaying both its successes and the changing landscape of the music industry during the early 80s.

Upon its release, “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” debuted at number 56 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. With its powerful guitar riffs and unforgettable chorus, the song steadily climbed the charts, ultimately reaching its peak position at number 8 just nine weeks later. Journey’s captivating power ballad remained in the top 10 for a total of four weeks, showcasing its staying power and resonating with audiences across the United States.

The song also found success on other charts, such as the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, where it peaked at an impressive number 3. On the international stage, “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” fared well in Canada, peaking at number 12 on the RPM Top Singles chart.

However, not every chart told the same success story for Journey’s classic ballad. In the United Kingdom, “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” struggled to find its footing, reaching only number 84 on the UK Singles Chart. This discrepancy in chart performance highlights the varying tastes and preferences of music listeners around the globe.

Despite the song’s mixed chart performance, “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” has cemented its place in rock history and continues to be a beloved anthem for Journey fans. Its chart journey not only exemplifies the tumultuous nature of the music industry but also serves as a testament to the power of a well-crafted, emotionally resonant song.

Unlocking the Emotional Depth of “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)”

Someday, love will find you Break those chains that bind you One night will remind you How we touched and went our separate ways If he ever hurts you True love won’t desert you You know I still love you Though we touched and went our separate ways

Troubled times Caught between confusions and pain, pain, pain Distant eyes Promises we made were in vain, in vain, vain If you must go, I wish you love You’ll never walk alone Take care, my love Miss you, love

Journey’s “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” features lyrics that dive deep into the emotional experience of love and heartbreak. The song, released in 1983, captures the spirit of the times and resonates with the challenges and uncertainties that marked the early 1980s. With its powerful lyrics and anthemic sound, the song quickly established itself as a rock classic.

The lyrics of “Separate Ways” convey a sense of longing and sadness for a love that has ended but still lingers in the hearts and minds of the individuals involved. The song paints a vivid picture of sleepless nights and the relentlessness of feeling that something is gone. This concept of love as a force that divides yet continues to bind people together, even after they’ve gone their separate ways, reflects the complexities of human emotions and relationships.

The 1980s were a time of change and transition, marked by events such as the Cold War, the rise of technology, and shifting cultural norms. These broader dynamics of the era are echoed in the lyrics’ themes of uncertainty, confusion, and pain. The song’s resolution – that true love will eventually find you and break the chains that bind you – offers a hopeful message amidst the turmoil.

Serving as a testament to the timeless appeal of Journey’s music and lyrics, “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” will continue to resonate with fans and listeners for generations to come.

A Visual Journey: The Making of “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” Music Video

“journey’s iconic first music video, ‘separate ways (worlds apart),’ transports us back to the 80s with its passionate performance, bold fashion, and innovative camera techniques, making it a lasting emblem of rock history.”.

The music video for Journey’s 1983 hit “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” is often heralded as a quintessential representation of the 80s music video era. Directed by Tom Buckholtz, the video showcases the band performing on a wharf with lead singer Steve Perry passionately belting out the lyrics, while the rest of the band mimics playing their instruments with no cords or amplifiers present. The video also features a love interest, played by actress Margaret Olmstead.

Interestingly, “Separate Ways” was Journey’s first music video, making the band relatively new to the concept of visual storytelling. With a modest budget and a simple premise, the video was shot in a single day in New Orleans, Louisiana. The band and crew completed the shoot despite freezing temperatures, adding an icy authenticity to the video’s waterfront setting.

Though not as elaborate as some of its contemporaries, the “Separate Ways” video is memorable for its innovative use of camera movement and angles. Buckholtz employed the “Ricochet Zoom,” a technique that involves moving the camera rapidly in one direction and then immediately zooming in the opposite direction. This effect creates a dynamic and energetic visual experience, perfectly complementing Journey’s powerful rock anthem.

Another notable aspect of the video is its strategic use of slow motion. This effect is used to emphasize important moments, such as when Steve Perry throws a handful of sand into the air or when guitarist Neal Schon leaps off a stack of equipment. These striking visuals have contributed to the video’s lasting impact and continued popularity.

Over the years, “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” has been celebrated and parodied, with fans and other artists creating their own renditions and tributes. The music video has also been hailed as a nostalgic piece of 80s pop culture, with critics praising its bold fashion choices, such as the band’s infamous red leather pants, and its unabashedly dramatic performance style. In the end, the “Separate Ways” video remains an iconic and beloved artifact of Journey’s storied career.

A Deeper Dive into Jonathan Cain’s Genius

Jonathan Cain, the mastermind behind Journey’s iconic hit “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)”, is no stranger to crafting memorable tunes that stand the test of time. As the band’s keyboardist and primary songwriter since 1980, his creative prowess has contributed to numerous Journey classics. Among his many accomplishments, Cain co-wrote the anthemic “Don’t Stop Believin'”, a song that remains a global phenomenon and one of the most downloaded tracks in the digital era. Additionally, Cain’s songwriting credits include other Journey hits like “Faithfully” and “Open Arms”, further solidifying his status as a legendary composer in the music industry. With a talent for creating songs that resonate with listeners across generations, Jonathan Cain’s influence on the rock and roll landscape is truly undeniable.

Awards, Accolades, and Appearances Galore

From billboard charts to glee and tron: legacy, “separate ways (worlds apart)” transcends genres and decades, proving its timeless rock anthem status..

journey worlds apart album

“Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” has certainly made a mark in the history of rock music since its release in 1983. The song peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100, showcasing its wide appeal and success at the time. The song also secured a Gold certification by the RIAA in 2019, proving its lasting impact on the music scene.

Throughout the years, “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” has been featured in various forms of media, solidifying its status as an iconic track. Fans of the hit TV series Glee would remember the exciting performance of the song in the season 5 episode “New New York” where it was powerfully sung by Lea Michele and Adam Lambert.

The song also made its way into the realm of movies, with the memorable inclusion in the 2010 blockbuster “Tron: Legacy,” where it played a pivotal role in setting the tone for one of the film’s most thrilling scenes. Video game enthusiasts would also recall hearing “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” in the action-packed Saints Row IV game as part of its in-game radio station.

As with any timeless classic, “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” has inspired numerous covers and tributes by renowned artists over the years. One of the most notable renditions came from the Swedish pop group A*Teens in 1999, giving the song a fresh, youthful twist. The song has also been covered by In This Moment, an American heavy metal band, as part of their 2010 EP “The Dream – Ultraviolet Edition,” showcasing the versatility of the song across genres.

Overall, “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” continues to leave an indelible mark in the world of music and media. Its enduring appeal, coupled with its successful chart performance and numerous appearances in films, TV shows, and games, only adds to the song’s impressive legacy.

Breaking Down the Musical Elements

Diving into the technical aspects of “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart),” we find a song that’s skillfully crafted to deliver an anthemic, arena-ready sound. Written in the key of E minor, the song employs a straightforward chord progression, with the verses predominantly using Em, D, and C chords, and the chorus switching to a G, D, Em, and C pattern. This progression creates a sense of urgency and emotion, which perfectly complements the song’s theme of love and heartbreak.

The tempo of “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” sits at a brisk 128 beats per minute, driving the song’s energy and making it an ideal track for both air guitar enthusiasts and those looking to dance their heartbreak away. The band’s skillful use of syncopation and rhythmic variation adds further excitement to the track, with the drums and bass working in tandem to create a solid foundation for the soaring vocals and blistering guitar work.

Instrumentally, the song is built on a foundation of powerful, yet melodic, guitar riffs and solos, punctuated by the unmistakable sound of the synthesizer. The synth intro, played in unison with the guitar, is one of the most iconic elements of the song, and it continues to be a fan favorite to this day. Combined with the tight rhythm section and Steve Perry’s emotive vocal performance, it’s no wonder this song has stood the test of time.

As for the song’s structure, “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” follows a classic verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus format. However, Journey adds their own unique twist with a pre-chorus that builds anticipation for the powerful, sing-along chorus. Additionally, the inclusion of an instrumental break, featuring a blazing guitar solo, showcases the band’s technical prowess and adds further depth to the song.

In conclusion, the technical aspects of “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” contribute significantly to the song’s enduring appeal. From its catchy, anthemic chorus to the masterful musicianship on display, it’s clear that Journey crafted a true classic with this track.

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Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) by Journey

journey worlds apart album


  • Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain and lead vocalist Steve Perry wrote this song on tour during a period when two of the band members were going through painful divorces due to the stresses (and temptations) of life on the road. According to Journey's Time3 compilation, with guitarist Neal Schon and bass player Ross Valory going through painful - and expensive - divorces, Perry and Cain thought there should be some way to dredge something positive out of such circumstances. "There's got to be a more soulful way of looking at this," Perry told his collaborator, Cain. The pair worked out the tune in a hotel room using Cain's little Casio keyboard and the entire band worked up the fresh song the next afternoon at soundcheck, inserting the party-finished song into the program that night. "I think he mumbled his way through half the lyrics," said Cain, "but the audience just came unglued." The song was sitting in the band's pocket long before the beginning of sessions for the next album. Released as the first single off Frontiers , it zoomed up the charts to #8 in March 1983.
  • This was used in the TV series The O.C. in Season 1 Episode 21 (2004) when Seth and Ryan are on their way to the airport. It also plays in the first episode of the Netflix series GLOW (2017) in a fantasy scene where the main characters battle it out in the wrestling ring. Other uses of the song include: The Simpsons ("All's Fair in Oven War" - 2004) Cold Case ("Greed" - 2004) Yes Man (2008) TRON: Legacy (2010) >> Suggestion credit : Anthony - Hermosa Beach, CA
  • When MTV launched in 1981, the race was on to come up with unusual concepts for music videos. Journey staked their claim with the first ever "air band" video. That's right, the group played pretend instruments for much of the clip. Shot on a wharf in New Orleans, it was directed by Tom Buchholtz, who like many music video directors of the time, came from the world of directing commercials. Journey were dragged kicking and screaming into the video era. They knew MTV exposure was crucial for sales, but hated making the videos and left the concepts up to the directors, which is how they ended up on a wharf playing pretend instruments. In the book I Want My MTV by Craig Marks, we learn that lead singer Steve Perry cut his hair shortly before the shoot, and also that there was some drama on the set. Perry brought his girlfriend to the set - the same girl he sings about in " Oh Sherrie " - and she did not want Steve to have another girl playing his love interest in the video. "Sherrie was jealous and possessive," said Jonathan Cain. "There was a big kicking and screaming session. Sherrie was giving Steve a very bad time about that girl." Years later, Beavis and Butt-Head gave it a good mocking.
  • A remix by the composer Bryce Miller was used in the trailer for season 4 of the Netflix series Stranger Things in 2022. This version is surprisingly spooky, with the song's refrain sounding like a classic horror movie theme. The song quickly started trending and entered Billboard's Rock Digital Song Sales chart dated April 23, 2022. An extended version of the remix appears at the end of episode 8, "Papa," which sets the stage for a climatic battle. Steve Perry, a big fan of the show, signed off on the project and got involved after hearing a demo of the remix. It was his idea to do an extended version, which appears on the show's soundtrack. As for the significance of the lyrics, Bobby Gumm of the marketing firm that worked on the remix explained : "The characters, at the end of the third season, did all go their separate ways, and even the ones that are still living in the same town have gone their separate ways a little bit. They're in different cliques and things like that."
  • Halestorm's vocalist Lzzy Hale covered this song with Daughtry in January 2023. The video for their version wasn't planned. "I don't think either of us, Lzzy or myself, were actually 'dressed' for a video shoot," said Chris Daughtry. "We were basically just trying to get some b-roll to capture the studio experience of recording this track. But when we got the footage back, it was like, 'Well... This looks way cooler than I expected, so... I guess we have a music video now?' Haha. It was the most low-key, low-pressure video I've ever done."
  • More songs from Journey
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  • Lyrics to Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)
  • Journey Artistfacts

Comments: 22

  • Montana Julian from Missoula, Mt It just seems to me that the thematic element of Separate Ways(Worlds Apart) musically speaking is a classical piece that I just can’t put my thumb on. Something maybe that Beethoven or Mozart might have done. Anyone else with a background in the classical classics hear what I am hearing?
  • Seventhmist from 7th Heaven One of the most powerful songs ever made. Pain and anger in abundance, yet delivered with love and a last desperate touch of hope.
  • Marc from -, Md First-ever interview with the girl in this video, including what she's doing now (plus never-published set pics):
  • Nick from Ludlow, Ma I saw on another board about the gif of the opening air band part and searched for years who (At the time, I didn't know who anyone for Journey looked like, I'm a teen) so I saw the video and found out it was this song, I was shocked. I can't believe a song this epic was done so bad in a music video).
  • Erica from Pensacola, Fl This is one for the mp3, morning workout/run! Love it!
  • Jeff from Boston, Ma If your heart doesn't race when you hear this song you are dead inside.
  • Jeff from Boston, Ma I agree the Frontiers album overall was bad, but this is a phenomenal song. If you can't relate to what this song is about, someday you will.
  • Josep from Dubrovnik, Croatia Whenever this song comes on the radio, my brother punches my arm in rhythm with the guitar riff. Good times!
  • Karen from Manchester, Nh I have to agree with most here...horrible video, but easily one of my favorite Journey songs (right up there with "Lovin', Touchin' Squeezin'"). This is one of those, "put the car windows UP, turn the volume UP, and sing along as loud as you can!"
  • Jones from San Antonio, Tx It was a pretty dumb music video, but I love the song!!! -Steve Perry ROCKS!!!
  • Chris from Meriden, Ct what makes the song great is the keyboard riff
  • Ricky from Bountiful, Ut Holy crud, I laughed so hard I cried when I saw the video! But the song is... Epic. My band is working on a cover.
  • Tony from Chicago, Il One of my favorite Breakup songs!!!!!!
  • Aldrin from Manila, Philippines nice synthesizer sound accompanied by neil schon's deadly guitar riffs...
  • Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, Mi I love the song and video! both mother and I love Journey.It hasn't been the same without Steve Perry.
  • Benny from Chattanooga, Tn This is the song where Journey (my favorite band) officially "jumped the shark" God, Frontiers was so bad........
  • Sanafabich from Santiago, Chile yeah, cheezy video but still great! you gotta love the 80's!
  • Pete from Toronto, Canada this has got to be one of the cheeziest videos ever made! what was the director thinking
  • Sara Mackenzie from Middle Of Nowhere, Fl good song!!!!!!!!!
  • Michelle from Anaheim, Ca A long time ago, i was flipping channels in my parents room and on MTV they were showing the video, and little tidbits came up. the director had the band members playing air instruments-air guitar, air keyboards,etc.
  • William from Toronto, Canada A good song. The synthesizers really emphasize the theme that the site has posted in my opinion.
  • Mercedies from Soldotna, Ak This is one of my favorite journey songs. It's really emotional and the tune is awesome. You can actually feel what the band members are going through. A moving song really, and it's great live. When it's live you feel like you're there.

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Journey Mastered the Art of Uncool With ‘Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)’

Back in the public consciousness thanks to ‘Stranger Things,’ the earnest 1983 smash (and its cringe-worthy video) hark back to an era when soulless corporate rock ruled the airwaves. So why does it sound better now than it did back then?

When people expound on the legacy of Nirvana , one of the things they’ll invariably mention is that the band helped kill hair-metal , putting an end to a sexist, silly musical style. But that wasn’t the only popular strain of rock music Kurt Cobain was against. There’s a famous origin story of sorts in which a 17-year-old Cobain sells a bunch of his records to afford a ticket to a Black Flag concert, pledging allegiance to punk from there on. (“It was really great,” he’d later enthuse about the show. “I was instantly converted.”) The albums he parted with? Stuff from Foreigner and Journey, the soulless corporate rock that had defined the late 1970s and early 1980s. In one symbolic gesture, Cobain shed that side of his musical personality and adopted a new, cooler one.

Journey have sold millions of records. Their 1988 best-of Greatest Hits is 15-times platinum. Their 1981 bestseller Escape is 10-times platinum. They had six singles hit the Top 10 on the Billboard charts — one of which, “Don’t Stop Believin’,” enjoyed a robust second life after being the soundtrack to the final scene of the final episode of The Sopranos . (The song has been streamed over a billion times on Spotify.) Journey have a new album out now, Freedom , and they’ve already grossed $28 million on tour this year . They have been and are extremely popular. But they have never been cool. 

The band is back in the news as well for being incorporated into the Stranger Things juggernaut , a remix of their 1983 smash “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” featured as part of the new episodes released earlier this month. Those keyboards. That voice. That straining for epic grandeur. It’s like Journey never left.

“Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” is as good an intro to the Bay Area band as any of their other hits. If The Sopranos ’ needle-drop of “Don’t Stop Believin’” gave a new generation an entry point into Journey’s full-throttled optimism, “Separate Ways” is the gateway drug to the band’s bombastic emotional excess, their mistaken belief that feverish intensity is the same thing as unshakeable romantic devotion. They’re probably not the most earnest rock band of all time — there are plenty of contenders for that title — but their combination of sincerity and emphaticness was emblematic of a rock era ruled by dudes with no chill. No wonder the music video for “Separate Ways” is so spectacularly, awkwardly awful.

That moment in the Separate Ways video when the rest of Journey stopped and thought "Goddamn, he's really going to work on those air keyboards." — Super 70s Sports (@Super70sSports) March 17, 2021

Journey started up in the early 1970s, guitarist Neal Schon and keyboardist/vocalist Gregg Rolie both previously part of Santana. Their early tunes were jazzy, prog-rock excursions, although their sound changed when they decided to focus on more straightforward songs, recruiting singer Steve Perry to be their new frontman. 

“I found music as a life-sustaining thing when I was about six years old,” Perry once said . “My parents were about to split up, and I discovered Sam Cooke and 45 RPM records. I could turn what was happening around me off and live there. And it saved my life.” Speaking with The New Statesman , he went into more detail about his childhood, saying, “People don’t become performers because they don’t have needs. Singing, though it can be very lovely, is essentially a primal scream. And I was screaming pretty loudly — and quite big. … Things happened to me as a child that I still can’t talk about — nothing to do with my parents, but things did happen. … One of my needs to perform was the need to get myself heard.”

Blessed with an incredible voice — velvety, emotive, the larynx equivalent of a blazing guitar solo — Perry made his debut on Journey’s fourth record, 1978’s Infinity , which included such soon-to-be-staples as “Lights,” a swoon-along tribute to San Francisco that he’d originally written about L.A. before moving up to Northern California to be part of the group. 

Infinity is where Journey started becoming the Journey everyone knows, mastering an AOR sound that was polished and accessible. Hit albums followed, as well as a backlash from those who dismissed them as wimps and sellouts. In a 1980 interview with Rolling Stone , Schon (who’d co-written “Lights” and the later smash “Any Way You Want It” with Perry) groused, “When we started out, the critics said we had no direction. Now, it’s that we’re openly commercial and should go back to what we were. I don’t think we’ve compromised. We’ve just opened our audience by going toward songwriting and vocals. They like to sing along. And we’re gonna continue to try and please as many people as we can, without making it sound like we don’t have a direction.” 

But in that same profile, an executive at Journey’s label acknowledged, “People might say they’re wimpy and boring, but they’re such nice guys. And maybe these days that’s what it takes to sell records, to appeal to the most people possible.” Indeed, this was an era in which rock ‘n’ roll was already becoming big business, ushering in a steady stream of derivative, shiny stadium rock looking to cash in. Technically proficient, vaguely generic acts like Tom Scholz’s virtually-one-man-band Boston were huge. (Right, Boston’s big hit, “More Than a Feeling,” bore a striking similarity to Nirvana’s big hit, “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”) 

In such an environment, Journey thrived, proving to be experts at crafting tunes that sounded great on the radio. They only reached a higher level of slick precision when keyboardist Jonathan Cain joined the group, replacing Rolie. Cain, who’d been part of the opening band on Journey’s recent tour, immediately made his impression felt on 1981’s Escape , co-writing “Who’s Crying Now,” “Open Arms” and “Don’t Stop Believin’,” all of which went Top 10. Encouraging Journey to embrace a more synth-driven sound, which would come to dominate the 1980s, Cain had a simple message for his new bandmates : “I said, ‘I watched you guys 40 nights [on tour]. You just need to speak to [the fans] through your songs, bring their lives into your songs, bring their lives into our songs, sing to their triumphs, sing to their fears, sing to their hearts.’ And that’s what I brought. Something like ‘Don’t Stop Believin’’ is a perfect example.” 

Escape was Journey’s first No. 1 record, establishing them as one of the world’s biggest groups. Critics dissed them, the Grammys ignored them, but by the time Journey unveiled their follow-up, Frontiers , they were very much feeling themselves. If you seek proof, look no further than the press conference they gave around Frontiers ’ release. Perry and his bandmates seem especially proud of themselves — and their new video game , which capitalized on that industry’s rising prominence. It’s particularly wild to see them get defensive about their Budweiser sponsorship, a clear indication of how the early 1980s were different from today. Honestly, this three-minute news segment will tell you everything about the tension around “selling out” that was imperiling rock music at the time. 

Frontiers ’ opening track was something Journey had debuted on the road while promoting Escape . “[Perry and I] wanted to write something rhythmic and still have a strong and haunting melody,” Cain would later say . “We needed a main rhythm to run through the synthesizer and [drummer] Steve Smith designed that kind of drum beat to let everything breathe. … Steve has always listened to a lot of Motown records, songs with a strong chorus approach, songs that were really urgent-sounding, but still had rhythm and melody.” 

As often happens with artists who are out touring a lot, “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” came about because Journey realized they needed a song like that in their repertoire. “We took Escape on the road and we knew we needed more teeth. … Like, what would make our set undeniably great?” Cain said in 2018 . “And we tried to fill in what we were missing musically. … I remember writing ‘Separate Ways’ with Steve on the road. We wrote that in a hotel room — [bassist] Ross [Valory] was going through a divorce — and, boom, out comes ‘Separate Ways.’”

Kicking off with Cain’s space-age keyboard riff before Schon’s heavy guitar lick takes over, “Separate Ways” is the kind of brokenhearted ballad that was a Motown speciality. In the song, the narrator is crestfallen because he and his lady have gone their separate ways, a scenario that leaves him anxious and unhappy. Even worse, she’s apparently with another guy now. But our narrator isn’t giving up on their love. “Separate Ways” is what “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” would have been like if everybody involved decided to be way more bombastic. (The song’s pump-it-up sonic pyrotechnics would qualify it to be suitable theme music before the introduction of an NBA team .) Never one for subtlety, Perry belted out his anguish, making one final, desperate plea to his beloved:

Someday love will find you  Break those chains that bind you  One night will remind you  How we touched and went our separate ways  If he ever hurts you  True love won’t desert you  You know I still love you  Though we touched and went our separate ways

“Separate Ways” was Journey’s fourth song to crack the Top 10 in two years, helped by its ubiquity on MTV, which was then still just a fledgling cable channel. It’s funny how MTV has been blamed for elevating photogenic pop stars — supposedly making the industry more superficial and image-conscious in the process — because the truth was, there were plenty of regular-looking dudes enjoying huge success at the time, too. Like Journey.

In I Want My MTV: The Uncensored History of the Music Video Revolution , Cain recalled, “Steve Perry was very anti-video. He’d always say, ‘We’re performers, we’re entertainers, but we’re not actors.’ And we were not a very photogenic band. So we stayed on the sidelines at first.” But Frontiers saw Journey try their hand at this new medium, leading to the deeply dorky video for “Separate Ways.” 

“This was the very beginning of MTV. Nobody was making $200,000 videos or $500,000 videos or $3 million videos,” Schon said this week . “Some people were paying a million and a half for a music video because they had a movie producer backing them financially. What a freakin’ rip-off. I mean, that’s what it became. But back when we did this, our manager came to us and said, ‘Look, we need to get a music video. Who should we use?’ I suggested the director Wayne Isham . He came in and put together the storyboard. It was going to be in New Orleans, on a pier. Is it terrible? The air guitar and keyboards are cheesy as hell. I give it a 10 on the cringe scale. It’s so silly, man. Journey was not a band that did well with videos that had story lines.”

“I’m at a loss to explain that video,” Cain lamented in I Want My MTV . “Good Lord, I will never live down those air keyboards. No matter what else I’ve done in my career, sooner or later people find a way to ask me about the ‘Separate Ways’ video. And Perry, I don’t know what he was thinking, but he cut his hair right before the video. Bad idea. His hair was rocking before the shoot.” 

In the clip, filmed on the wharf in New Orleans near the French Quarter by local director Tom Buckholtz , the quintet sometimes play their instruments, but other times they are just miming, leading to a lot of white-man’s overbite and unconvincing air-rocking. Meanwhile, a young woman, Margaret Oldsted Menendez, wanders around, almost as if she’s unaware of the guys. “I was a college student at Tulane University in uptown New Orleans,” she recalled in 2013 . “I double majored in biology and environmental studies. I was working and paying my way through college so the [notion] of making money for shooting a video was a godsend. It paid $250 a day and I was paid for three days of work. That was a lot of money at the time for a student like me. … It wasn’t until many years later that I learned of [Perry’s] girlfriend being upset that a girl was in a Journey video.” 

“His girlfriend, Sherrie, was not down with it,” Cain told The Huffington Post in 2012 . “And there was this whole thing about, ‘You’re going to have a slut in your video?’” This was Sherrie Swafford, who Perry was dating and who would later be the subject of his 1984 solo hit “Oh Sherrie.” “Sherrie was jealous and possessive,” Cain says in I Want My MTV . “And when she found out there was gonna be a girl in the video — oh my god. There was a big kicking and screaming session.”

Even if the video was an embarrassment, Frontiers was another huge seller for the band, setting the stage for subsequent hit singles like the Cain-penned slow-dance standard “Faithfully.” (Fun fact: After Prince came up with “Purple Rain,” he called Cain, scared that his song was too close to “Faithfully.” “I thought it was an amazing tune,” Cain said in 2016 , “and I told him, ‘Man, I’m just super-flattered that you even called. It shows you’re that classy of a guy. Good luck with the song. I know it’s gonna be a hit.’” Cain was less thrilled with the “Faithfully” video, admitting in I Want My MTV , “The live stuff looks great. But the shot of Steve shaving off his mustache was a bit much. I mean, did people even know he had a mustache? I didn’t get that.”) 

In 1984, Perry recorded a solo record, Streek Talk , and then Journey reconvened for Raised on Radio , but by that point the group was fracturing. Journey got back together for a comeback album a decade later, Trial by Fire , but then that was it for Perry. “I was wrung out like a sponge,” he said about his decision to quit the band . “There was just no juice in my heart for music, and it really scared the hell out of me. But I knew intuitively that if I kept doing what I was doing, I’d have a hole in my soul that would get bigger and bigger. And I’d fill it with bad behaviors, if you know what I mean. So I had to stop.”

Journey soldiered on without him, releasing five albums this century, including the new Freedom . Schon, who has remained with the group, was asked recently if he talks to Perry anymore. “We are in contact,” he said . “It’s not about him coming out with us, but we’re speaking on different levels. That’s a start, even if it’s all business. And I’m not having to go through his attorney! We’ve been texting and emailing. He’s a real private guy, and he wants to keep it that way. We’re in a good place.”

As with a lot of legacy bands, there were lawsuits between members . When the band got voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Perry appeared on stage during their 2017 induction ceremony and graciously addressed the crowd, although he chose not to perform with his old group. (In fact, until he showed up to sing a few songs with his friend Mark Oliver Everett, aka E of the band Eels, at a concert in 2014 , he hadn’t performed live in 19 years.) Later, Perry explained that he didn’t sing with his former bandmates during the Rock Hall ceremony out of deference to their current frontman, Arnel Pineda. “I haven’t been in the band for quite some time,” Perry said . “Arnel’s been in the band for almost 10 years, I think. He’s a sweet kid — he’s a wonderful kid. He sings his heart out every night. It’s his gig.”

Time has a way of healing old wounds — or, at the very least, blunting the vitriol once directed at certain cheesy corporate-rock bands. It’s now been 15 years since The Sopranos ’ finale lent Journey zeitgeist-y cool, conferring on “Don’t Stop Believin’” a patina of hipness it never had during its initial lifespan. Perry had been the final holdout of the song’s three writers, not giving the show permission to use the track until the Thursday before the episode’s airing that Sunday, insisting that David Chase tell him how it would be integrated into the plot before he’d give his blessing. (“What I didn’t want to see was the family getting whacked,” Perry later explained . “ Scorsese would do that. He would play something beautiful while people were getting gunned down. So I held out.”) 

The suspense wasn’t as great for the Stranger Things producers, who first unveiled their remix of “Separate Ways” in an April trailer promoting the new season. “The lyrics are about people going their separate ways and the characters, at the end of the third season, did all go their separate ways,” Bobby Gumm, head of the trailer company who put together the clip, told Forbes . Perry got involved early on: Bryce Miller, who helped craft the remix, said in the same Forbes piece, “He had some specific mixing notes. He wanted the vocals to be brought out a little bit more in some places and just a refinement of some [other] details. It was really cool to work with him and he had some really nice things to say.”

In the 1990s, as Nirvana and alternative rock were cresting, an over-the-hill band like Journey were the epitome of toothless, boring rock — an easy thing to mock, never more savagely than on an episode of Beavis and Butt-Head , in which the boys take one bewildered look at “Separate Ways,” prompting Butt-Head to wonder if they’re watching the Partridge Family. Adding insult to injury, he then confuses Steve Perry with Barry Manilow . (Cain later admitted in I Want My MTV that he was so mad at the public skewering “I called our manager and said, ‘Isn’t there anything we can do to stop this?’”)

But whether in The Sopranos or Stranger Things , it turns out that Journey’s hyperbolic, achingly earnest music is uniquely excellent as background color in dramatic scenes. As a song, “Separate Ways” is so overblown as to elicit secondhand discomfort from anyone listening to it. (Look, Steve, getting dumped is a terrible feeling, but take it down a notch .) But as a supplemental emotional texture within a TV show or movie, it feels appropriately sized, a fitting complement to the overarching narrative stakes. Journey songs always felt like they should be the soundtrack to Rocky montages — at last, they sorta are.

At the start of the pandemic , everybody was trying to find ways to battle boredom and stave off anxiety. Some baked bread. Some got into quilting. The Heller family decided to do a shot-for-shot remake of the “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” video. “It was all my wife’s idea,” husband Steven Heller said , later adding, “She likes Journey, first of all. And after watching a number of music videos, it was like, ‘We could recreate this video with our kids around the house.’”

The Hellers’ version is the sort of wholesome distraction that a lot of people really needed during that unnerving time. I can see why people found it adorable. But viewed now, it’s incredibly dorky — there’s nothing cool or hip about it at all. In other words, it couldn’t be more perfectly Journey, the band that always cared way too deeply and always, always wore their heart on their sleeve.

“Everything I write comes back to high school,” Steve Perry said in 2018 . “I know it sounds funny, but everything. It all comes from the emotions I grew into during my adolescence. Those moments are not to be tossed away.” For a lot of us, those old memories also often contain a fair share of embarrassment, whether it’s the residual shame associated with long-ago breakups or the naive, giddy euphoria attached to good times that are now ancient history. Journey just wanted you to hold onto them a little longer, no matter how uncool it seemed.

journey worlds apart album

Tim Grierson

Tim Grierson is a contributing editor at MEL. He writes about film and pop culture for Screen International, Rolling Stone and Vulture.

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journey worlds apart album

New JOURNEY Band Biography 'Worlds Apart' Now Available

Time Passages has announced "Journey: Worlds Apart" , the definitive accounting of the "Don't Stop Believin'" hitmakers by award-winning journalist Nick DeRiso . A multiple columnist of the year award-winner with the USA Today network, DeRiso conducted dozens of interviews to compile a book that's not just a biography of JOURNEY — it's a backstage pass.

JOURNEY started as a dream for former SANTANA road manager Herbie Herbert , who thought he could build a blockbuster band out of the remnants of post- Woodstock SANTANA with Gregg Rolie and Neal Schon . Turns out, he could — but it would take a few albums, and the arrival of frontman Steve Perry . By the time Rolie exited at the turn of the '80s, JOURNEY was already a multi-platinum band — and they would only get bigger with the addition of Jonathan Cain from JOURNEY 's former opening act THE BABYS .

Solo projects and long periods apart slowed their momentum until Perry finally left for good in the late '90s. Then JOURNEY was faced with one of its biggest challenges: Whether and how to move forward without the singer who had redefined their sound forever on songs like "Open Arms" , "Only The Young" and "When You Love A Woman" .

The story is guided from their earliest roots by conversations with co-founding members Schon , Rolie and Prairie Prince , along with longtime Herbert confidant Pat Morrow . DeRiso then follows JOURNEY toward pop-culture superstardom through additional talks with later-era collaborators Cain , Steve Smith , Deen Castronovo , Steve Augeri and scores of producers, sidemen, label representatives and acknowledged experts like former Rolling Stone contributing editor David Wild , original MTV VJ Martha Quinn , and longtime San Francisco Chronicle music writer Joel Selvin , the latter of whom covered JOURNEY almost from the beginning.

Along the way, "Journey: Worlds Apart" emerges as the definitive look back at Journey, with deep explorations of every era, every album and every song. Pathway collaborations and key side projects complete this detailed analysis, as DeRiso speaks with John Waite , Jan Hammer , Marco Mendoza , Ron Wikso and others.

Nick DeRiso is assistant managing editor with Townsquare Media . Time Passages most recently published "Eagles: Up Ahead In The Distance" , the second in a three-book series.

Time Passages, LLC is an independent publishing based near Annapolis, Maryland.

For more information, visit .

Coming soon! Posted by Journey: Worlds Apart on  Thursday, December 7, 2023

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Ultimate Classic Rock

Why Journey Never Accepted the ‘Corporate Rock’ Tag: Book Excerpt

An expansive new biography of Journey is on the way from UCR assistant managing editor Nick DeRiso that promises to delve into " every era, every album and every tour ."

Available for ordering now , 'Journey: Worlds Apart' features dozens of interviews with key contributors including Neal Schon , Gregg Rolie , Jonathan Cain , Steve Smith, Deen Castronovo , Steve Augeri and others. Among those offering wider perspective are collaborators like John Waite , Prairie Prince, Jeff Scott Soto, Marco Mendoza and Jan Hammer, as well as stalwart road manager Pat Morrow, former 'Rolling Stone' contributing editor David Wild, original MTV VJ Martha Quinn, album-cover artist Stanley Mouse, and Joel Selvin, the longtime San Francisco music writer who covered Journey almost from the beginning.

The group started as a dream for former Santana road manager Herbie Herbert, who thought he could build a blockbuster band out of the group's post-Woodstock remnants with Rolie and Schon. Turns out, he could – but it would take a few albums, and the arrival of frontman Steve Perry . When Rolie exited at the turn of the '80s, Journey was already a multi-platinum band – and they would only get bigger with the addition of Cain from Journey's former opening act, the Babys .

Then critics began describing Journey as "corporate rock." In the following excerpt from 'Journey: Worlds Apart,' DeRiso sorts through how that happened with Cain, Wild and others:  

By the time Journey released Frontiers , they were as much a company as a band. Manager Herbie Herbert founded related subsidiaries to handle every aspect of their recording and touring operations. The vested members voted on major decisions board-room-style.

Then critics began using the label “corporate rock” as a cudgel against Journey.

Herbert was helping to rearrange the DNA of rock, bringing in business concepts to a culture that had essentially run on nothing more than sex, drugs and a few power chords. The members of Journey were partners in these commercial entities, but they weren’t equals. The vision, everyone openly admitted, was all Herbert’s.

“Not many managers started out as roadies, you know, and went through every phase of show business,” Jonathan Cain said. “Herbie had this extraordinary ability to start out as Neal Schon’s roadie and end up with a PA company, then a lighting company. Then he has this vision of video, and brings video into rock. He was an extraordinary man.”

Herbert delved into the finest details, like a shaggy-haired walking spreadsheet. Still, to some critics, it was all starting to sound more like Wall Street than Haight. A rising group of younger acts like the Ramones tried to push back, too.

Yet millions of record buyers, radio listeners, and concertgoers remained stubbornly immune to these criticisms. As decades passed, some of the same pundits would admit that they had treated the band unfairly. Time offered new perspectives.

“In that period between when I was like a young, asshole Rolling Stone writer trying to have whatever I perceived, rightly and wrongly, as credibility, I had a few experiences,” said David Wild, who later wrote the liner notes to the platinum-selling 2001 hits package The Essential Journey . He realized, for instance, that their album image choices tended to make Journey seem more faceless.

“I think there is something about the name, which seems generic and new age,” Wild said. “Like, did they ever have an album cover that had them on it? You know, the branding of it was like Yes in a different, earlier era. It was not a cult of personality; they weren’t cool with the cool crowd, for a large part of their career. There are just some bands that are more the people’s choice. But that being said, the longer I live, the more I respect people who were just simply great.”

Journey Ultimately Had the Last Laugh

Journey’s best-selling singles endured. Even songs that had not been huge hits found their place on movie soundtracks, TV shows, radio programs, and countless playlists. Genres rose and fell as time went on, even as a long-awaited critical evaluation led to Journey’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

“You know, music went to flannel rock, it went to grunge rock. Rock ’n’ roll went through a lot of different phases,” Cain added. “But calling Journey corporate rock was just ridiculous because we just played a lot of shows. We wrote music that was all over the map — so did the Beatles. So what, you know? The critics just loved to hate Journey for a while. But I knew it was gonna be a passing phase, because the songs were mightier than their pen.”

The Best Song From Every Journey Album

Gallery Credit: Nick DeRiso

You Think You Know Journey?

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New Journey Book Takes Definitive Look At the Band’s History

journey worlds apart album

From the publisher’s announcement: Journey started as a dream for former Santana road manager Herbie Herbert, who thought he could build a blockbuster band out of the remnants of post-Woodstock Santana with Gregg Rolie and Neal Schon. Turns out, he could – but it would take a few albums, and the arrival of frontman Steve Perry. By the time Rolie exited at the turn of the ‘80s, Journey was already a multi-platinum band – and they would only get bigger with the addition of Jonathan Cain from Journey’s former opening act, The Babys.

Solo projects and long periods apart slowed their momentum until Perry finally left for good in the late ‘90s. Then Journey was faced with one of its biggest challenges: Whether and how to move forward without the singer who had redefined their sound forever on songs like “Open Arms,” “Only the Young” and “When You Love a Woman.”

The story is guided from their earliest roots by conversations with co-founding members Schon and Rolie, and Prairie Prince, along with long-time Herbert confidant Pat Morrow. DeRiso then follows Journey toward music superstardom through additional talks with later-era collaborators Cain, Steve Smith, Deen Castronovo, Steve Augeri and scores of producers, sidemen, label representatives and various industry veterans like former Rolling Stone contributing editor David Wild, original MTV VJ Martha Quinn, and longtime San Francisco Chronicle music writer Joel Selvin, the latter of whom covered Journey almost from the beginning. The title takes a similar approach as a definitive series on Eagles  from the same publishing company.

journey worlds apart album

A sample two-page spread from the Journey: Worlds Apart book (Used with permission of the publisher)

Journey: Worlds Apart emerges as the definitive look back at Journey, with deep explorations of every era, every album and every song. Pathway collaborations and key side projects complete this detailed analysis, as DeRiso speaks with John Waite, Jan Hammer, Marco Mendoza, Ron Wikso and others.

Spanning 417 pages, this extensive Journey history contains dozens of rare photos from across the years. Also, it includes an exclusive appendix of never-before-seen concept art, designs, sketches, and illustrations of Journey projects — some accepted and some that never made it to production — from the masterful hand of famed rock illustrator Stanley Mouse.

Author DeRiso is currently assistant managing editor with Townsquare Media.

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New Book “Journey: Worlds Apart” Chronicles Band’s Complicated History

Journey: Worlds Apart


“History is a funny thing,” keyboardist Gregg Rolie observed during a recent Journey reunion. In Nick DeRiso’s riveting and lively new book about the complicated fifty-year history of Journey entitled Journey: Worlds Apart, Rolie’ role that night went largely unrecognized while singing the song he popularized while in Santana, “Black Magic Woman.” And some attendees likely had no inkling that long before Steve Perry ever stepped foot on stage, Journey was a Santana offshoot. The band meandered for a good five years trying to find its sound in a state of prog rock and jam limbo before cementing its identity behind the soaring voice of Perry.

In the Spring of 1978, I had the chance to interview Journey when they came to New York to headline a bill with Ronnie Montrose and a then relatively unknown opening band called Van Halen. In the interview room, drummer Aynsley Dunbar was paired with Liz Derringer of the Daily News and I sat with the band’s new lead singer Steve Perry. Perry had a likable quality to him but a certain awkwardness in his new role. It was clear he was still learning to be the front man and spokesperson of a long-standing band whose leadership was with its founders Neal Schon and Gregg Rolie. But Journey was changing and eventually Dunbar would be out and Perry assumed the reins of the band and its expansive sound.

Just three years before, guitarist Ron Wood made his debut in the Rolling Stones playing on a flatbed truck rolling down Fifth Avenue to promote their 1975 tour. It was something drummer and jazz aficionado Charlie Watts suggested based on his love of the old jazz bands in uptown Harlem. Wood started his job and quipped in 2010, “After 35 years people think I’m still the new guy.” Wood will be touring next year on the eve of his fiftieth anniversary. 

By comparison, Steve Perry,  once the “new guy” I met touring behind Infinity , headed Journey for more than a decade but transformed Journey’s nebulous sound into a commercial juggernaut. As author Nick DeRiso writes in his compelling new biography, Journey became a cultural phenomenon with “Don’t Stop Believin’.” Perry’s imprimatur still overshadows everything that preceded and succeeded him and prompted CNN anchor Andy Cohen to say as Journey performed on New Year’s Eve in Times Square, “If it’s not Steve Perry, it doesn’t count! “You get it? It’s not Journey!”

In the new book, DeRiso places Perry in the context of a much larger story and chronology. The book takes the reader through more than fifty years of Journey’s history in sequence as it happened. The book is published by Time Passages which has previously issued two books on the history of the Eagles, Eagles Before The Band and Up Ahead In The Distance . Journey: Worlds Apart details how Journey came to be, prompted by young hotshot guitarist Schon who recruited Rolie to form Journey, originally a concept that evolved out of manager Herbie Herbert’s concept of a conglomeration of San Francisco musicians, the Golden Gate Rhythm Section.


With dense chapters themed around Journey songs and interviews with band insiders, the reader can peruse different points in time at their fingertips. For those of us who grew of age in the early Seventies, DeRiso delves into the pathway albums of Santana that led to Schon and Rolie becoming Journey. Derek & The Dominos’ keyboardist Bobby Whitlock provides great insights into the teen phenomenon Schon who came of age jamming with Eric Clapton and flirted with the idea of joining the Dominos. DeRiso also taps into the vision of Journey’s late manager Herbie Herbert who spawned a whole new business of leasing Journey’s trucks and equipment to other bands and venturing into video production. While detailing the path that Perry made to become Journey’s lead singer, DeRiso charts the path of Robert Fleischman who preceded him (and Steve Augieri and Arnel Pineda who followed.)

While the CBS advertisements for Journey’s albums take you back in time, the book also chronicles the turning point for Journey when Perry joined. As the label’s head of promotion Bob Sherwood notes, “When Journey’s A&R man flew to CBS headquarters in New York City with the nearly completed track of ‘Lights,’ we all knew we had a star lead singer—finally!—and a hit track.” 

Journey’s path to success was not without its speed bumps. I was in the audience at JFK Stadium in 1981 when Journey was thoroughly booed after a rousing opening set by George Thorogood & The Destroyers. DeRiso takes you into that period and details the apathy shown by the Stones’ traditionalists but also the emergence of a loyal long-term fan base that emerged for years to come.

The book charts the path that led Babys’ keyboardist Jonathan Cain to become Rolie’s successor. In an amusing vignette, DeRiso tells the story of how Cain missed a  bus ride and ended up hanging out with Neal Schon and joining Journey. Cain’s songwriting and sense of melody reshaped Journey’s sound and led to the ascension of power rock ballad that defined the Eighties and yielded such hits as “Faithfully,” “Open Arms” and “Don’t Stop Believin’.” Cain’s own sense of estrangement on the road spurred “Faithfully.” His father encouraged his son to always pursue his dreams and coined the phrase ‘don’t stop believin’. The words stayed in Cain’s notebook for five years before Perry asked him to come up with a new idea one night. 

One of the book’s most interesting chapters asks the question “Did Height-Of-Fame Solo Endeavors Doom Journey?” DeRiso probes the events that led to Perry reluctantly making a solo album in response to Schon stepping out of the band. Sadly, the years that Journey didn’t tour led to bassist Ross Valory’s bankruptcy and the sense that Journey withdrew at the apex of its fame. 

Journey fans will revel in the story of designers Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse who created the trademark futuristic artwork for Journey’s covers beginning with Infinity . The book visually displays all of the covers together in a matrix and the book generously features an appendix of sketches of their original designs and concepts. 

DeRiso also explores the burden of legacy as Perry left Journey to be replaced by Steve Augeri. These pages detail the immense resistance the fanbase gave to Augeri. The ascension of lead singer Arnel Pineda, who was discovered on YouTube singing in a Philipines cover band, provides a fairy tale story to Journey’s timeline. The issue of father time challenging Journey’s singers to hit the high notes of their youth partly explains why Perry never reunited with his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame mates at the band’s induction and how Pineda faces the same demons as the calendar contiues to turn.  

Journey’s fractured relationships play out today in the court of social media as band members air their grievances with each other in strings of combustible threads. As Journey prepares for its 2024 tour, it’s hard not to think of Journey as a group of lawsuits masquerading as a band.

Readers will easily be able to alternate between the deep dive features and stories of the day and the choice nuggets that mark points on the extensive timeline.  In the end, the book tells the band’s story with unprecedented depth. Journey: Worlds Apart does a wonderful job of chronicling the events as they happened and providing a cohesive narrative that sums up the band’s complicated history and places it in a larger cultural context. In the end, it tells the story of what made the magic of the music to begin with.

Journey: Worlds Apart is available at Amazon as a paperback and Kindle edition. For more information check here:

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journey worlds apart album

Book Review: Nick DeRiso, “Journey: Worlds Apart”

journey worlds apart album

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In Nick DeRiso’s excellent and comprehensive book Journey: Worlds Apart, he details the rise of the band from the early albums that struggled to find an audience, to their commercially successful years, and the post-Steve Perry years. In many ways, Journey’s story is a cautionary tale about ambition, conflict, and the double-edged sword of success.

For those who don’t know, Journey’s journey began when vocalist and keyboardist Gregg Rolie and guitarist Neal Schon exited from Santana(also known as the Santana Blues Band for a time). Their departure was over creative differences that reached a breaking point in 1972. Although Rolie and Schon dutifully contributed their parts to an album that Carlos Santana described as career suicide( Caravanserai ), it was clear that Santana’s musical direction was far different from his bandmates. Additionally, Santana’s crew member, Herbie Herbert, was also fed up with Santana’s new direction. He quit the organization to start what he hoped would be a Muscle Shoals-like shop populated with talented musicians who would be session players on albums recorded in the San Franciso Bay Area. Herbert invited Schon and Rolie to join his venture – which quickly evolved from the Golden Gate Rhythm Section to Journey. The first incarnation of Journey had, of course, Rolie and Schon, but they also added Ross Valory on bass guitar, Prairie Prince on drums, and George Tickner on rhythm guitar. That lineup didn’t last long as Prince left Journey to drum for The Tubes (he was replaced with Aynsle Dunbar), and Tickner left the band after growing tired of touring. 

Those first three Journey albums – while not stellar – do contain some very adventurous music that combines a bit of psychedelia, some jazz, and a dash of jam band excess that, if Journey continued on that trajectory, would likely have seen them evolve into a group like Kansas or Rush. Indeed, one can hear Journey’s music intersect with those bands between 1975 and 1977. For example, “I’m Gonna Leave You” from Journey’s second album Look Into The Future has similarities to Kansas’s big hit from 1976, “Carry On Wayward Son.” A similar comparison can be made with “Nickel & Dime” from Journey’s 1977 release, Next, and Rush’s 1977 song “Xanadu.” That is to say, “Xanadu” does have a similar chord progression (and guitar tone) to “Nickel & Dime.” Journey’s manager Herbie Herbert would, according to DeRiso, often point out how Kansas ripped off Journey. However, no lawsuits were ever filed, so it’s difficult to know if Herbert was right, or if it’s a case of uncanny coincidence. 

If 1975-1977 was Journey: Phase One (The Money Pit Years), 1978-1986 were Journey: Phase Two (The Golden Goose Era). This was when vocalist and songwriter Steve Perry joined the band – and helped change the group’s sound and their fortunes. Of course, it wasn’t entirely Steve Perry who was the Golden Goose. Rather, his addition to the group was an effort to retool the band’s sound to grow their audience after Journey’s label (Columbia)said something to the effect, “If you don’t get a new frontman and write some hits, we’re gonna drop you guys.” Prior to Perry being that frontman, the band tried out a guy named Robert Fleischman – which didn’t go well. He was replaced by Perry, but if you look at the writing credits on Journey’s 1978 album Infinity , you’ll see Fleischman co-wrote three songs – one being “Wheel in the Sky” which you can hear him sing the demo here . 

DeRiso treats The Golden Goose Era no different than any other time in the band’s history, except to note that as Journey grew in popularity, their success had to do in large part with the interplay and chemistry between the members. In short, these guys worked well together and were able to craft catchy, radio-friendly singles at a time when Album Oriented Rock radio in the U.S. was shaping the tastes of teens and young adults. AOR in the late ‘70s had morphed from free-form into a structured format featuring songs and bands that were more accessible. To thrive in the AOR years, Journey had to stop with the jazz odysseys, the trippy songs, and the experimentation. Instead, Journey embraced a songwriting formula that showcased hit songs tailored for FM rock radio and Contemporary Hit Radio. The cross-format appeal was perfect for the feel-good, let’s party crowd that was too young to be swept up in the politics of the time. Being an apolitical and non-religious band meant they stayed away from polarizing song topics. Sure, they later became known for power ballads like “Open Arms” and “Faithfully,” but Journey’s music and image would almost always be associated with having a good time.

But, projecting good times with feel-good music masked the fractures that were happening inside the band. Much like Dennis DeYoung of Styx started calling the shots after the success of “Babe,” Steve Perry started doing the same by the time the band began recording Raised on Radio in the mid-’80s. Perry was undoubtedly the voice and face of Journey, and all that success started to affect his personality and his relationship with his bandmates (he fired drummer Steve Smith and bassist Ross Valory). By the time Perry was paid to leave Journey (the deal his attorney was able to make ensured Perry got paid for live shows and albums he had nothing to do with), he had become such an insufferable jerk that it must have been a relief not to have him around. 

The post-Perry years, or Journey: Phase Three (A Brand, Not So Much a Band) chronicles Journey’s decision to tour with Steve Perry soundalike singers, Steve Augeri and (later) Arnel Pineda. Without Perry fronting Journey meant that album sales suffered. In 2001, Columbia dropped the band after their album Arrival stiffed. Also around that time, a VH1 Behind The Music documentary was released that painted Perry as an isolated and misunderstood member of the band who was never fully accepted by others in Journey (DeRiso notes how Perry wielded influence over the final cut of the documentary so he looked more sympathetic).  

The one-two punch of getting dropped by their label and a one-sided documentary that made Perry look nothing like the mini-tyrant he was even made San Francisco Chronicle music journalist Joel Selvin say, “Perry’s one of the least interesting characters I’ve run across in my years here. He’s been a pain in the ass and a total phony.” 

It’s in these Phase Three years that Journey struggles with making new music that has hits and connects with their fans. Indeed, Arnel Pineda’s career as the lead singer for Journey is approaching 20 years – far longer than Steve Perry’s time with the band – and yet, Pineda is well aware that his job is keeping the memory of Steve Perry alive. Without that Sam Cooke-like vocal style, Journey wouldn’t have been able to tour and make money. In a way, Journey is back where they were when they started their career. Their album releases since Pineda became Journey’s lead singer only amount to three ( Revelation , Eclipse , and Freedom ). Sales and streams of that music are pretty low – and much of the reason why is that the music isn’t all that interesting or compelling. Instead, Journey is now a greatest-hits touring band that specializes in nostalgia. As keyboardist and songwriter Jonathan Cain notes at one point in the book, the band has such a large catalog of hits that there’s no point in putting out new music. Yet, they do. Sure, these albums are very much Money Pit Years Part II. Still, the amount of cash the band brings in from playing the hits live and licensing songs for use in TV shows allows them the indulgence of making new music that rarely gets featured in their live shows or played on the radio.

Journey: Worlds Apart is more than just a band biography; it’s an eye-opening look at the music industry’s pitfalls and the human dynamics that can both fuel and fracture artistic success. Whether you’re a lifelong Journey fan or simply fascinated by the inner workings of the music business, DeRiso’s book offers a captivating and cautionary tale, proving that sometimes, underneath great melodies lies harsh discord.

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Ted Asregadoo has a last name that's proven to be difficult to pronounce for almost everyone on the Popdose staff, some telemarketers, and even his close friends. He lives in Walnut Creek, CA., and is also the host of the Planet LP podcast.

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Journey's Greatest Hits: 11 of The Band's Best Songs Ranked

J ourney's greatest hits? That's a tough question when you consider that lead singer Steve Perry , lead guitarist Neal Schon , bassist Ross Valory , rhythm guitarist George Tickner , keyboardist Gregg Rolie , and drummer Aynsley Dunbar - collectively known as Journey - have had 25 albums go gold and platinum.

Journey hit its highest career points between 1978 and 1987, with their most popular album being Escape (1981), which reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts and features some of the band's most well-known songs.

To check them out for yourself, read on (and listen to!) Journey's greatest hits!

11. "Stone in Love" (1981): Journey's greatest hits

Neal Schon came up with the idea for "Stone in Love" (featured on Escape ) at a house party, writing the signature riff and structure, while Steve Perry, with the help of Jonathan Cain (who replaced Rolie in the band as keyboardist), finished the song. However, you can hear Perry's influence on the song during the guitar solo towards the end. 

10. "Just the Same Way" (1979) 

Written by Gregg Rolie, Schon and Ross Valory, this song appeared on Journey's Evolution album (1979). With catchy lyrics and memorable beats, this song is the epitome of the kind of music the band is best known for. 

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9. "Ask the Lonely" (1983): Journey's greatest hits

Reaching number 3 on the Billboard charts in 1984, this track has just the right amount of rock and roll infused into it. It featured in the film Two of a Kind and appeared on its soundtrack. It was written by Perry and Cain. 

8. "Who's Crying Now" (1981) 

Another amazing song written by Cain and Perry. This song debuted at number 4 on the Billboard charts and was the Bang-highest charting single in the UK until "Don't Stop Believin'" was released later that year. This track appeared on the Escape album and highlighted Steve Perry's impressive vocal range. 

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7. "When You Love a Woman" (1996): Journey's greatest hits

Appearing on the band's 10th album,  Trial by Fire (1996), the love song "When You Love a Woman" hit number 1 on the Billboard charts and stayed there for four weeks, while also finding itself nominated for a Grammy Award. It was co-written by Perry, Schon and Cain, and was one of Perry's last songs as lead vocalist for the band. 

6. "Someday Soon" (1980) 

Originally written by Ian Tyson and sung by him and Sylvia Fricker in 1963, Journey debuted their version of this song in 1980. With hard-hitting drum beats and stunning background vocals, this cover version really makes the band shine in a brand-new way. 

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5. "Be Good to Yourself" (1986): Journey's greatest hits

"Be Good to Yourself" was the band's first song in over three years due to Perry's solo tour. It was written by Perry, Cain, and Schon - the only ones to appear on the track as the band was dealing with losing Ross Valory and Steve Smith at the time of its recording. 

4. "Anyway You Want It" (1980) 

Written on a tour bus by Perry and Schon, this song earned its place in music history after appearing in the 1980 comedy film  Caddyshack . Over the years, it has also been heard in  The Simpsons ,  Charlie's Angels 2: Full Throttle and Glee. 

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3. "Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'" (1979): Journey's greatest hits

Released in 1979, this song takes listeners on a wild ride as they learn that a woman is cheating on a boyfriend, but it ends with them learning he is cheating on her, too. Written by Perry, this one has heartfelt lyrics and a slower, more soulful beat. 

2. "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" (1983) 

Appearing on their 1983  Frontiers  album, this song spent six weeks on the Billboard charts. However, some fans heard about it in 1982, when the band decided to play it on their  Escape  tour. Most recently, the song appeared in the Season 4 finale of the hit Netflix show  Stranger Things . 

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1. "Don't Stop Believin'" (1981) Journey's greatest hits

Arguably their most famous song, "Don't Stop Believin'" was the second song released from the  Escape  album. It was a top 10 hit worldwide in 1981 and later became the band's signature song. Written by Cain, Schon and Perry, in 2009 it became the top selling track in iTunes history up to that point.

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Journey’s Greatest Hits: 11 of The Band's Best Songs Ranked


ANNAPOLIS, Md. , Dec. 12, 2023 /PRNewswire/ --, the most reliable source in classic rock news, has placed Nick DeRiso's new biography, JOURNEY: WORLDS APART , among the 30 best rock and roll books published in 2023. DeRiso's book joins a notable list of rock histories on Bernie Taupin , Geddy Lee , Lou Reed , Nirvana, and David Bowie .

JOURNEY: WORLDS APART named one of the Best Rock Books of 2023.

"Journey: Worlds Apart is the story of how one band went from a promising but unassuming Bay Area backing group to one of the most successful rock acts of all time — the essential story for every Journey fan." —Allison Rapp, columnist

Published by Time Passages , JOURNEY: WORLDS APART , is the definitive accounting of Journey, the multiplatinum "Don't Stop Believin'" rock and roll hitmakers. DeRiso, a multiple columnist of the year award-winner with the USA Today network, conducted dozens of interviews for a book that's not just a biography—it's a backstage pass.

Journey was formed from the remnants of post- Woodstock Santana with Gregg Rolie and Neal Schon . As the band evolved, new front man Steve Perry took on a central role as songwriter and performer, providing the vocal punch for Top 10 singles like "Separate Ways," "Open Arms," and "Any Way You Want It."

The band's story is guided from their earliest roots by conversations with co-founding members Schon, Rolie, Prairie Prince, and Pat Morrow , a long-time confidant to Journey manager Herbie Herbert . DeRiso also interviews producers, sidemen, label representatives, and acknowledged experts like former Rolling Stone contributing editor David Wild , original MTV VJ Martha Quinn , and longtime San Francisco Chronicle music writer Joel Selvin .

JOURNEY: WORLDS APART  takes a definitive look back at Journey, with deep explorations of every era, every album, and every song. The book tracks the band season-by-season and year-by-year in Time Passages' exclusive format, weaving their history with other notable bands, including Santana , Van Halen , and Sammy Hagar , along with dozens of rare band photos, and informational graphics. It also includes an exclusive Appendix of Journey concept art from famed rock illustrator Stanley Mouse . The book is now available on Amazon as a paperback and eBook, and a full-color hardcover edition is coming in early 2024.

NICK DeRISO is assistant managing editor with Townsquare Media.

Time Passages, LLC is an independent publishing company near Annapolis, Maryland .


SOURCE Time Passages


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  1. Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)

    " Separate Ways (Worlds Apart) " is a song performed by Journey, recorded for their album Frontiers and released as a single in January 1983. It peaked at number eight for six consecutive weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and spent four weeks at number one on the Top Tracks chart. [1]

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    Album: Frontiers ( 1983) Charted: 8 License This Song lyrics artistfacts Songfacts®: Journey keyboardist Jonathan Cain and lead vocalist Steve Perry wrote this song on tour during a period when two of the band members were going through painful divorces due to the stresses (and temptations) of life on the road.

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    December 12, 2023 Time Passages has announced "Journey: Worlds Apart", the definitive accounting of the "Don't Stop Believin'" hitmakers by award-winning journalist Nick DeRiso.

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