Dick Clark Interview - November 1996
Dick Clark : Ok right now let's continue tracing the history of Journey in the U.S. Music Survey spotlight. You know unlike a lot of bands, Journey didn't become successful with their first album. The group, which had been formed in San Francisco in 1973, began issuing albums in 1975, with each collection slowly becoming bigger than the last one. It wasn't until 1978 when Steve Perry joined as lead singer that they really began having top 40 singles. Even then it wasn't until 1980 with the Departure album that Journey reached the top 10. And in 1981 they really hit their pinnacle with the work called Escape, which went all the way to #1. And here is Steve Perry's opinion on why things finally came together for Journey with that particular album.
Steve Perry: I think one of the reasons why it was such a successful album is because there was a certain type of acoustic texture. I think the album had that we'd never really had before. I'm talking specifically of the introduction of Jonathan Cain when we had keyboard and voice singing and the acoustics of grand and a voice on one, then all of a sudden Neal's electric would come in. We choreographed and arranged in such a way that is was a new texture for us. I think that had a lot to do with the palatability of the album. The way it when down. The way people liked it.
Dick Clark: Right now here's the most successful single from the Escape album. One which went all the way to #2 in early 1982. It was written by Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain.
Dick Clark: That was one of the 7 hits they have placed on the U.S. Music Survey. "Open Arms" by Journey.
Dick Clark: Now after the success of the 1981 album Escape, there was a lot of in-fighting within Journey. For a while it looked like they might break up and after some outside mediation, they reunited for the 1983 album Frontiers. Steve Perry took some time out to do a solo project called Street Talk. And he got together with Randy Goodrum, a songwriter who previously had been known for writing a lot of Ann Murray's best hits like "You Needed Me" and "Broken Hearted Me". And right off the bat Steve and Randy wrote the song "Foolish Heart". Here is Steve Perry explaining what that hit of his was all about.
Steve Perry.: The feeling was just basically one of being confused about falling back in love again because your heart wants to so bad, but your head says "wait a minute, you've done that before and it doesn't feel good." But your heart says "I don't care, I need it." Your head says "Yeah, but I can't take it." And one goes back and forth, back and forth and it's just that real teeter totter of the head and heart conflict that just I think everybody goes through. To the point where your heart is one of very serious foolishness.
Dick Clark.: It went all the way to #3 in early 1985. Its one of Steve Perry's 3 U.S. Music Survey solo hits, "Foolish Heart".
Dick Clark: In this spotlight lets focus our attention on the making of Steve Perry's biggest solo hit. It was written in 1984 about his girlfriend at the time Sherrie Swafford. Steve says "Oh Sherrie" was the result of a song-writing jam session between three writers: himself, keyboardist Craig Krampf & Bill Cuomo, a man who crafted the synthesizer sound on "Betty Davis Eyes"--the one by Kim Karnes. The three of them had begun working on the song at midnight and ended up going on until 5 o'clock in the morning. And interestingly enough Steve says that when they began, Sherrie herself was in the room with them. But not for long.
Steve Perry.: Sherrie actually got tired and went to bed. And I don't know where it came from, just the words: "Oh Sherrie" came out and the "Hold on", hold on". That's all we had for the entire chorus. We had no lyrics, no nothing. We had a bunch of mumbles on tape, certain vowel sounds and things, but that sort of started the whole idea. And next thing I know the song was almost finishing itself because it was such a personal song. I really needed someone with great lyric insight like Randy Goodrum had and he helped me finish the lyrics on it.
Dick Clark: From the summer of 1984, Steve Perry with top 10 solo hit "Oh Sherrie"
Dick Clark.: We continue the U.S. Music Survey spotlight this week. You know with the musical taste of radio listeners changing so much these days, you never know if music popular today will still be heard on the air, say a decade from now. Well, despite the fact that Journey hadn't put out a new album since 1986, their songs continue to be played on the radio. Obviously fans have always been hungry for Journey music. Well, in 1994 Steve Perry finally broke his musical silence and released his solo album "For the Love of Strange Medicine." It was his first album since the 1986 Journey album "Raised on Radio". And he was very happy to learn that on some polls he was still named one of the most popular lead vocalists around.
Steve Perry.: You know how could you not like hearing that. I mean it's such a nice thing to hear. That after all this time, even though I haven't made a record in 7-8 years, the Journey stuff and solo stuff from Street Talk record has still been on the radio. And so many people of that graduating class that were successful and now can't get arrested on the radio. So I'm just grateful there's a whole new generation who are discovering this music and so many people who remember it and didn't forget.
Dick Clark.: They certainly didn't. And when Journey's new album "Trial by Fire" was released it debuted on the album chart all the way up to #3. Those fans who stuck with the band for all those years may be rewarded soon. Journey is seriously considering a world-wide concert tour that would begin early next year. Here's a song assured to be played, the very appropriate one given the loyalty of their fans: "Faithfully".
Dick Clark: From the 1983 album Frontiers, Journey with the song written by keyboardist Jonathan Cain, "Faithfully". And that's our look at one of the big comeback success stories of 1996: Journey.
Dick Clark.: At #3 this week, Steve Perry, Jonathan Cain, Neal Schon, Ross Valory and Steve Smith - Journey with "When You Love a Woman"