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Steve Perry

Steven Perry is most known as the lead singer of American rock band Journey of which he led from 1978 to 1996.

Perry brought a completely new pop sound to the band's music, despite grumblings from his new bandmates and fans of Journey's former progressive rock sound. He made his public debut on October 28, 1977 in San Francisco, and received a mixed reception. Perry determinedly proved the critics wrong, and won over new audiences on his first album with the group, Infinity, which included a song of his own composition called "Lights." The band's style had changed dramaticall ...read more

Steven Perry is most known as the lead singer of American rock band Journey of which he led from 1978 to 1996.

Perry brought a completely new pop sound to the band's music, despite grumblings from his new bandmates and fans of Journey's former progressive rock sound. He made his public debut on October 28, 1977 in San Francisco, and received a mixed reception. Perry determinedly proved the critics wrong, and won over new audiences on his first album with the group, Infinity, which included a song of his own composition called "Lights." The band's style had changed dramatically, but as Journey began to garner radio airplay and media buzz over Infinity, Perry's arrival was accepted.

He provided lead vocals on nine of Journey's albums: Infinity (1978), Evolution (1979), Departure (1980), Dream, After Dream (1980, a Japanese movie soundtrack), Captured (1980, a live album), Escape (1981, which went to #1 on the Billboard charts), Frontiers (1983), Raised on Radio (1986), and Trial By Fire (1996). The single "Open Arms," from Escape, was their biggest hit single, residing for six weeks at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Perry had become the unmistakable voice of Journey throughout his time with the band.

During his tenure with Journey, Perry sang backing vocals on several Sammy Hagar songs, including the 1980 track "Run For Your Life," and duetting with Kenny Loggins on the 1982 #17 hit single "Don't Fight It." Perry also worked with other musicians such as Sheena Easton, Clannad and Jon Bon Jovi during the height of his career.

In 1984, following the release of Frontiers and the tour supporting this effort, Perry released his first solo album, entitled Street Talk, named after the original name of Perry's earlier band Alien Project. The record was a multiplatinum success selling over 2 million copies and scoring the hit singles #3 "Oh Sherrie," written for his then-girlfriend Sherrie Swafford, and #18 "Foolish Heart." The music video for "Oh Sherrie" saw heavy rotation on MTV. "She's Mine" and "Strung Out" were also released as singles from this project, which featured former Alien Project drummer Craig Krampf on a few tracks, guitarist Michael Landau, and future American Idol judge Randy Jackson, among others.

In 1985, Perry had a featured vocal in the famed USA for Africa all-star benefit song "We Are the World," lending his high tenor to the lines "Oh, there's a choice we're making / We're saving our own lives". He also recorded a song, "If Only For the Moment, Girl" for the We Are the World album. This song was added to the reissue of his album Street Talk. It was during this period also that Perry worked with the Irish folk-rock group Clannad, on their 1987 album Sirius.

Perry debated continuing a solo career or returning to Journey after the success of Street Talk. He left his second solo album Against the Wall unfinished and instead sang on Journey's Raised on Radio album. Perry would revisit his solo project after the Raised On Radio tour but it never saw completion. Several of the songs that were recorded for Against the Wall, however, did appear much later on Perry's 1998 solo compilation, Greatest Hits + Five Unreleased.

While Steve was re-uniting with Journey, his mother became ill. The recording of Raised on Radio, which Perry was producing, was stop-and-go as he frequently returned to the San Joaquin valley to visit his family. It took a major toll on Journey to have intermittent recording sessions and a vocalist who was not with the band much of the time. Eventually, as Steve later said, he was "toasted." Journey disbanded in 1987 after the Raised on Radio tour. Perry disappeared from public view for years afterward, taking a break from the music industry.

In 1994, Perry released For the Love of Strange Medicine, his second solo effort. The album enjoyed some success, partly due to the Strange Medicine world tour.

Journey's classic 1981–85 lineup reunited in 1996 to record Trial by Fire. The album was a huge success, entering the Billboard charts at #3 and going Platinum before year's end, but its triumph was short-lived. Before the Trial By Fire tour could begin, Perry suffered a hip injury while hiking in Hawaii and was unable to perform. Perry was diagnosed with a degenerative bone condition and a hip replacement would be required. Reluctant to rush into surgery, Perry wished to postpone the tour. Due to the long wait between the album's release and the tour's postponed kick-off date, as well as the absence of Journey's iconic frontman, Journey fans were losing hope for the band's future.

Meanwhile, long-time Journey drummer Steve Smith resigned, reportedly because Journey without Steve Perry didn't interest him. (Smith had rejoined, along with original Journey member Ross Valory, to complete what Perry has referred to as the band's quintessential line-up..

The remaining members waited until 1998, nearly 17 months after Perry's injury, before making a decision on Journey's future. Growing impatient and realizing the window of opportunity was closing to follow up the success of the Platinum-selling Trial By Fire LP with a world tour, Journey members Jonathan Cain and Neal Schon met with Perry and presented an ultimatum that he either undergo hip replacement surgery so the tour could proceed upon his recovery or a replacement singer would be hired. Perry, still hesitant to undergo surgery and now apparently upset at his bandmates' intractability and their perceived meddling in personal health decisions, decided to part ways with Journey. Perry's vocal duties were later taken over by Steve Augeri of Tall Stories, and nearly two years after the album's initial release, Journey began its long-postponed tour. « hide

Similar Bands: Journey, Europe, Whitesnake, Queen, Survivor

For The Love Of Strange Medicine
1994

3.5
1 Votes
Street Talk
1984

3.8
8 Votes

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