Who Is Journey’s New Lead Singer?
The rock band Journey has survived many changes and even has a new lead singer.
But why so many changes? And who is their lead singer now?
We’ve got the story, and we’re here for you. Faithfully.
Let’s take a look!
The Story of Journey
Journey is an American rock band that formed in San Francisco in 1973. The members had been in other bands like Santana, Fruminous Bandersnatch, and Steve Miller Band.
At first, the band planned to be a backing band, but they quickly changed their minds. Instead, they began making original music that blended rock, progressive rock, and jazz fusion.
They had a record deal and promoted their music heavily. Yet, sales were sluggish, and Columbia Records almost dropped them after their third album.
Instead, the label asked Journey to make more mainstream music and add another lead singer. Robert Fleischman came on as lead singer, and the band got more popular. After Fleishman left over creative differences, the band hired Steve Perry as their lead singer.
Journey’s fame accelerated, and they had their first top 20 single, “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’.” Their tours grossed millions of dollars, especially with the addition of light shows.
In 1981, Journey released “Evolution,” their most successful album. Their legendary hit “Don’t Stop Believin’” is on that album, as is the ballad “Open Arms.” They racked up hits, only to take a break in 1984 while some members worked on solo projects.
They reunited for an album and tour, but in-fighting and constant lineup changes forced a hiatus. They reunited again, but their lead singer quit the band before they could tour.
Journey is still active, though their membership is constantly in flux, especially with some members only performing live.
How Many Members Are in Journey?
Counting past and present band members, plus backing musicians, there have been 25 members of Journey.
The original lineup consisted of lead vocalist and keyboardist Gregg Rolie, lead guitarist Neal Schon, rhythm guitarist George Tickner, bassist Ross Valory, and drummer Prairie Prince.
Herbie Herbert, Santana’s manager, is the one who brought the musicians together. Neal Schon is the only member who’s been with the band throughout.
Jonathan Cain played keyboards and synthesizers, contributing to the band’s more pop sound in the ’80s. He also wrote some hits like “Faithfully.”
Journey has had five lead singers. Steve Perry, who fronted the band during their most successful years, is most identified with the group. Since his departure, the band has continually sought someone who can match his vocals.
Journey’s Best Known Songs
“Don’t Stop Believin’,” released in 1981, is considered one of the greatest rock songs of all time.
Two of their ballads, “Faithfully” and “Open Arms,” are classics. Both feature wistful piano melodies and Perry’s raw vocals.
Other now-classic straight-up rockers are “Wheel in the Sky,” “Any Way You Want It,” and “Feelin’ That Way.”
Why Did Journey Replace Their Lead Singer, Steve Perry?
The band tried a few lead singers when they started, but nobody had the perfect sound and chemistry.
Columbia Records arranged for them to meet Steve Perry. Between his impressive vocals and songwriting skills, he was a welcome addition to the band. He sang on many of the band’s biggest hits.
Unfortunately, what happened offstage wasn’t as successful. Perry wielded much influence, saying he’d leave the band unless they changed management and ousted two members. Perry later left the band, citing interpersonal conflict and family illness.
The band ended up reuniting a few years later. They recorded a new album and planned a tour. Perry injured himself in a hiking accident and refused to undergo surgery. The rest of the band grew frustrated waiting for him. Perry ultimately quit the band in 1996 and hasn’t returned since.
How Did Journey Find Their New Lead Singer?
In 2007, Journey’s Neal Schon was searching for a new lead singer by watching YouTube videos. When he heard Filipino singer Arnel Pineda, Schon knew he’d found the right one.
Pineda initially dismissed Schon’s email as a hoax but still replied. After auditioning with the band, they knew he was a good fit.
Pineda’s arrival reinvigorated the band, inspiring new songs and energized performances.
Journey’s Journey Continues to Evolve
“Journey” is a fitting name for a band that’s had 25 members, including five lead singers. Losing Steve Perry and his soaring vocals was a big loss for the group.
Ultimately, though, that loss led them to add a new voice, one that fans hadn’t heard before. Now past the half-century mark, Journey continues to perform their classic hits while making new ones as well.
Have you ever seen Journey live?