Like every person on Planet Earth, the first Journey song I ever knew was "Don't Stop Believin'." I knew a few others from the radio, like "Separate Ways." At some point in college I picked up the "Greatest Hits Live," which was pretty good, then someone gave me the earlier live album, "Captured," on vinyl. From there, I was hooked. The combination of lead and backup vocal harmonies, surprisingly impressive drumming, and awesome guitar/piano/bass solos made me realize this band is wayyyyyyyyyy more than just a one-hit wonder. There's plenty of songs that don't get much airplay that are a great Journey replacement once you get sick of singing along to "Don't Stop Believin'." I've only included the Journey albums from when they hit the big time, but there are a few from before and after as well.

Journey has had a few lineup changes throughout the years. Neil Schon has been with the band for almost all the albums on lead guitar, and Steve Perry is famous for his distinctive vocals, although he left the band a few years ago. I really like one of the drummers, Steve "Machine Gun" Smith.

Nate's Epic Journey Playlist

  1. Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin' (Evolution 1979)
  2. Girl Can't Help It (Raised on Radio 1986)
  3. Feeling That Way (Infinity 1978)
  4. Stone in Love (Escape 1981)
  5. Lovin' You is Easy (Evolution (1979)
  6. Where Were You (Depature 1980)
  7. Escape (Escape 1981)
  8. Chain Reaction (Frontiers 1983)
  9. Anytime (Infinity 1978)
  10. Lay it Down (Escape 1981)
  11. Suzanne (Raised on Radio 1986)
  12. Just the Same Way (Evolutoin 1979)
  13. Separate Ways (Frontiers 1983)
  14. Don't Stop Believin' (Escape 1981)
  15. La Do Da (Infinity 1978)
  16. Line of Fire (Departure 1980)
  17. Raised on Radio (Raised on Radio 1986)
  18. Walks Like a Lady (Departure 1980)

Journey (1975), Look into the Future (1976), Next (1977)

journey futurenext

I haven't listend much to Journey's earlier recordings. They had a much more "prog rock" sound for the first few albums.

Infinity (1978)


This here is Journey's breakout album. "Wheel in the Sky" gets a good amount of airplay, but there's a few other great songs that help introduce us to that prototypical Journey sound. My favorite songs are "Feeling That Way," "Anytime," and "La Do Da."

Lights: Not my favorite Journey song, but I'll acknowledge that it's pretty good. It's a slow ballad about the sun shining on San Francisco.

Feeling That Way: One of my favorite Journey songs. There's something about the slow tempo with the disco beat, it feels like it's constantly being pulled back. Greg Rolie (keyboards) does some of the vocals, performing a duet with Steve Perry at times. The guitar solo is awesome. My favorite part is near the end - listen with a pair of good headphones, and you'll notice the vocal harmonies in stereo. Awesome live version on "Captured."

Anytime: The follow-up to "Feeling That Way," it's another slow rock song with Rolie on vocals. Good guitar solo on this track too. There's a perfect transition into the live version on "Captured."

La Do Da: This song is a little faster paced than the previous tracks, but it's still subdued compared to the live version on "Captured," complete with an epic Steve Smith drum solo. I like the guitar sound, it has a machine gun-like quality.

Wheel in the Sky: The most famous song on the album. As opposed to some of the previous songs, this drum beat feels like it's pushing instead of pulling. The guitar solo is cool, and there's some wailing vocals in the background. I think the "Greatest Hits Live" version is the better live version.

Evolution (1979)


As the title states, this is an evolution of Journey's sound (no idea what that means but you're reading it so it's working). "Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'" has survived the test of time, but there's a few other hits on here as well. My favorites are "Lovin Touchin Squeezin," "Lovin' You is Easy," and "Just the Same Way."

Majestic: Sort of a pre-track intro, I just like the way it sounds. It's featured at the beginning of "Captured."

Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin': This song is the perfect example of why live albums are so awesome. The studio version sounds like it's plodding along to it's 9-to-5 job. Contrast this with the "Greatest Hits Live" version, which opens with a turbo-charged intro and features a 3+ minute guitar/piano duel that will blow your mind. The 12/8 rhythm makes the offbeat accents even more powerful.

City of the Angels: I think the way they say "City of the Angels" during the chorus sounds a little funny.

Lovin' You is Easy: This is a Journey song I could listen to on repeat for hours. There's something jumpy about the syncopated, sharp drumbeat and the way that Perry's vocals cut through. My favorite part is the short piano interlude after the guitar solo, it's very serene and has a simple, beautiful sound. Of course, the vocals at the end are killer too.

Just the Same Way: This song sounds like it could be a continuation of "Feeling That Way" and "Anytime," probably because Rolie performs lead vocals. It has a very upbeat tempo. The guitar solo has a nice edge to it. There's a good live version on "Captured."

Do You Recall: Another song with a better live version (check it out on "Captured"). I like when the song slows down with a shuffle beat on the drums.

Departure (1980)


Journey is really breaking into the bigtime with this album. There's a couple more famous songs, with the Journey "sound" pretty well solidified. My favorite songs are "Walks Like a Lady," "Where Were You," and "Line of Fire."

Any Way You Want It: Journey is really picking up steam with this song. It's extremely catchy despite the relatively simple rhythm. The guitar solo is awesome, along with Perry's vocals. It's great on both "Captured" and "Greatest Hits Live."

Walks Like a Lady: A subdued shuffle song, Perry is able to make his vocal point without raising his voice during the song. The live version on "Captured" is awesome, with an extended jam session and crazy guitar solo at the end.

Where Were You: Although the drum part itself is straightforward, this song has some of my favorite drum fills. The chorus of "WHERE WERE YOU" feels like a 1-2-3 punch right in your eardrums. The live version on "Captured" is a million times more awesome.

Line of Fire: This song took a ton of listens to get used to, but now it's one of my favorites. It has a very jerky sound, which I think is one of its appeals. I love the guitar solo with the fast triplets. There's also a random gunshot sound in the middle, which sounds pretty crazy live (both "Captured" and "Greatest Hits Live" are excellent).

Captured (1981)


A live album containing many of Journey's early hits. I owe this album to opening my eyes to more than just "Escape." There's a couple songs that aren't on any other albums. As a whole, my favorite songs are "Where Were You," "Just the Same Way," "Feeling That Way/Anytime," "Walks Like a Lady," "La Do Da," and "Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'."

Dixie Highway: This song is just one crazy freakin' jam. I love the way it builds up from the beginning, especially with the drums bringing it all together. The part in the middle where it suddenly switches to halftime is insane. There's some killer keyboard and guitar solos, so don't miss those.

The Party's Over: This is actually a studio track at the end of the album. I think it makes a nice closer song. You can picture it playing while the crowd packs up to leave after the concert is over (hence the name).

Escape (1981)


This is THE Journey album. Of course it includes "Don't Stop Believin'" but there are many other excellent songs too. The songs might seem more refined, but there's still all the elements that make the early Journey great. I think the album cover is my favorite, embodying the idea of "escape." My favorite songs include "Stone in Love," "Escape," and "Lay it Down."

Don't Stop Believin': I have no idea what makes people love this song. Maybe it's the simple chord progression, or the "Anywhere, USA" lyrics. The drumbeat is kind of weird but the guitar solo is super memorable. After listening to the live version on "Greatest Hits Live," the studio version packs less bunch but it's still a great sing-a-long every time.

Stone in Love: Another Journey song I could listen to over and over again (mainly to figure out what a "stone in love" is). It's partially because of the straightforward drumbeat as well as the guitar riffs in response to the vocal parts. The best part comes right around 2:30, where everything drops down and, as the song builds up, the guitar comes screaming through (gives me chills every time). The vocal "Stone in Love..." adds a little extra layer. It's amazing in the studio version, but the live version on "Greatest Hits Live" makes the ending so much better.

Escape: This song is perfect for nearing the finish line for a race. It gets you pumped up, ready for anything. The song also doesn't really seem to have a verse/chorus pattern, more like it just picks up speed, like a car accelerating onto the highway. The guitar riffs and solo definitely make the song. As usual, it's even more intense on "Greatest Hits Live."

Lay it Down: Another excellent guitar song. There's something about the chorus, it has a laid-back feeling that I really like. The guitar solo is crazy too.

Dead or Alive: A quick-paced, high-powered song with some great keyboard harmonies and stop-time guitar solos.

Mother, Father: I like how the song has a halftime feel with really hard accents on the upbeats, giving it an intense, sad tone. It gets even better when Perry stops accenting his vocals but the instruments maintain the accents, about halfway through the song, giving it a complex rhythmic feel. The guitar solo is pretty cool, with some fast-paced notes.

Frontiers (1983)


This album is pretty good, but it's just not the same as "Escape" or other earlier albums. My favorite songs are "Separate Ways," and "Chain Reaction."

Separate Ways: This song is pretty cool with its pounding beat and heavy, intense sound. The best part is after the guitar solo when the drums drop out, then storm back in with some of the most memorable drum fills ever. As usual, great live version on "Greatest Hits Live," especially when Perry shouts something in Japanese. The music vido is really bad.

Chain Reaction: I really like this song, mainly because of the strong guitar parts, but it also makes a pretty good sing-a-long. The best part is the trippy part towards the end, with some cowbell and cymbal hits, and Perry shouting "nononononono!" The music video is as good hilarious as "Separate Ways" is bad hilarious.

Back Talk: This song has a great "Hand Jive" vibe going with the drumbeat and a wonderful guitar solo courtesy of Neal Schon (who else).

Only the Young: The is a song that gets played a lot at concerts in recent years. This is one of their more "radio friendly" songs, but I still like it, mainly for the acoustic guitar harmonies.

Ask the Lonely: Another popular concert song. I like this one for the for the emphasis on keyboards, even if it's just a lot of power chords.

Raised on Radio (1986)


To me, this is the last major Journey album ("Trial by Fire" doesn't come out for another 10 years). It's nothing like their best work, but they're not going to go without a fight. My favorite songs are "Girl Can't Help It" and "Suzanne."

Girl Can't Help It: One of my favorite Journey songs, I could listen to this on repeat for hours. There's something perfect about the combination of the lead and backup vocals along with the guitar sound. Everything fits so well together. The last minute or so is unbelievable, it gives me chills every time. I try to sing along, but I'm not sure I can truly get that high. The CD comes with a live version of this song, which is even better than the studio track.

Suzanne: This song has a very "80's movie soundtrack" vibe to it, not that there's anything wrong with that. The bass part really stands out and for some reason I feel like it's perfect to snap along. The guitar solo is full of emotion too. Even the fact that I went on a date with a girl named Suzanne (who never called me back) can't ruin this song for me.

Be Good to Yourself: This is another excellent concert song. The guitar riffs are really good, with a super catchy guitar solo part. It's not flashy or fancy, but stands out really well for some reason.

Raised on Radio: I recently got hooked on this song. I think it has a very 80's, Bruce Springsteen-esque vibe (similar to "Suzanne"). The chorus is my favorite part, with the similar harmony of "radioooooooo."

I'll Be Alright Without You: A slower song, it makes the declaration of "I'll be alright without you." It's a song the fans can try to sing, but there might never been any band to make you feel the same way Journey does when you listen to their music.

Trial by Fire (1996), Arrival (2001), Generations (2005), Revelations (2008), Eclipse (2011)


I haven't listened very much to the later Journey albums. "Trial by Fire" was the last to feature Steve Perry, with Steve Augeri performing vocals on the next two albums and Arnel Pineda joining the band for the most recent two albums. "Revelations" contains a second disc of re-recordings of Journey's hits with their new lineup.

Greatest Hits Live (1998)