I suppose if you were going to pick a song by Journey for 80’s Mania Mondays, the easy choice would be “Don’t Stop Believin’.” While it isn’t the band’s biggest hit, at least in terms of chart performance, it is most likely its most beloved. Which, depending upon your definition of what a group’s biggest hit is, that song just might fit the description. However, I chose a different song, which just might be my favorite Journey song. Factually, it was their first top ten pop hit (“Don’t Stop Believin’ was their second). The song comes from their biggest selling studio album, Escape (the group’s Greatest Hits is their biggest album seller).
That song is “Who’s Crying Now,” and it’s today’s 80’s Monday Mania song.
Journey was formed in 1973 to be a backup group for other established artists in the Bay Area, but abandoned that concept and decided to become a front-line band. Gregg Rolie and Neal Schon, once and future members of Santana, joined forces with Ross Valory and George Tickner from a band called Frumious Bandersnatch. After getting a recording contract and releasing three albums beginning in 1975, the band was not as commercially successful as their record company hoped they would be, so they suggested they find a frontman to share vocals with Rolie. Their second choice would be Steve Perry, who would become one of the most recognizable voices in pop and rock music. Rolie would leave and be replaced by Jonathan Cain. With Schon, Valory, Perry and Cain, drummer Steve Smith would form Journey’s most famous lineup (Tickner had left not long after the first album release).
This would be the group of members that recorded the album Escape, which became a huge seller and had three top ten hits: “Who’s Crying Now”, “Don’t Stop Believin'” and “Open Arms,” which is the band’s biggest hit in terms of chart performance. Journey has the distinction of having the second-most singles (eighteen) to reach the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 without ever having a #1 song. For the record, the Electric Light Orchestra has the most with twenty. Even so, Journey was one of rock and pop music’s most beloved bands, and they were never more popular than they were at the time today’s song was released.
I hope you enjoy today’s 80’s Mania Monday track, and as always, thanks for reading and listening.