How Journey Pared Down, Then Hit Again With ‘Raised on Radio

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How Journey Pared Down, Then Hit Again With ‘Raised on Radio

Postby tater1977 » Sun May 28, 2017 2:12 pm

How Journey Pared Down, Then Hit Again With ‘Raised on Radio’

By Jeff Giles May 27, 2016

http://ultimateclassicrock.com/journey-raised-on-radio/

Nothing lasts forever — not even the incredible streak of hits Journey started in the ’80s. And as the second half of the decade dawned, the band was falling apart.

In addition to the traditional wear and tear of the recording/touring cycle that Journey had been on since the early ’70s, the mid-’80s proved particularly trying on a personal level for singer Steve Perry, who had to cope with his mother’s terminal illness just as the band was gearing up to record the follow-up to 1983’s Frontiers. Emotionally drained by the looming reality of a loved one’s death, Perry nonetheless took on the responsibility of producing the band’s next album — a step many on the outside saw as a sign of his complete creative takeover, but one he insisted had everything to do with protecting their musical identity after years of multi-platinum success.

“It was not easy for her, her sickness, as it was not easy for me with the pressure of the album and the pressure of producing it,” Perry told the Journey fan club in a 1985 interview. “It was a conscious decision by the band to have me produce it; they wanted me to do it. It really wasn’t anything else, like some people thought. It wasn’t that Steve Perry was coming back into Journey to change things. It’s the other producers that we were afraid would change the band’s sound.”

The band’s sound, at this point, was largely identified with three things: Perry’s vocals, Neal Schon‘s guitar and Jonathan Cain‘s keyboards. Not coincidentally, the trio had also cemented itself as Journey’s primary songwriters — and although the group had always been a collection of talented and distinctive players, it was Perry, Cain and Schon who drove the development of the new LP.

It was a process that would ultimately see bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith squeezed out of the lineup and replaced by session musicians — a move Smith later attributed to the advent of recording technology allowing for machine-driven demos that dictated parts to musicians who’d always been able to allow their playing to develop organically.

“I couldn’t play with a click track well during that time. It was new for me, a new experience,” Smith told Jrnydv.com. “The problem was they wrote all the music with the technology. And that was a big shift — a paradigm shift — of how we did business. We used to write organically. But that record was written in Jonathan’s music room with machines — without Ross and me there. So by the time we came into it, it was hard for us to get ourselves not only invested but physically into it to the point where we could own the parts. It was the first time that they had written for us.”

A handful of Smith’s performances would be held over for the final product, but for most of the record, drumming duties were handled by Larrie Londin, a prolific pro who’d worked with Perry on his Street Talk solo LP. Valory, meanwhile, was primarily replaced by session ace and future American Idol judge Randy Jackson. With a handful of other personnel — including engineer Jim Gaines, who served as an associate producer alongside Perry — the band tracked the new material at Bay Area studios throughout late 1985.

The end result, titled Raised on Radio, couldn’t help but sound somewhat different from the Journey fans had come to love — and yet with Perry at the mic, Cain at the keyboards and Schon on guitar, it was more than close enough for most listeners. Fans turned out in droves for the new LP upon its arrival on May 27, 1986, sending the record to No. 4 on the charts and giving the band yet another platinum album in the process. Radio programmers were similarly enthused, helping Journey notch four more Top 20 singles — “Be Good to Yourself,” “Suzanne,” “Girl Can’t Help It” and “I’ll Be Alright Without You” — while the title track earned additional heavy rotation on rock stations and “Why Can’t This Night Go on Forever” turned into a midsize adult contemporary hit.

Still, as commercially successful as the record was, the personal and creative attrition Journey had suffered between Frontiers and Raised on Radio took its toll. By the end of the tour in early 1987, Perry in particular was, as he’d later put it, “toasty” and ready for a break. Unsure of what he wanted to do next but desperate to take an indefinite period of time away from the spotlight, he walked away from Journey, sending the group into a hiatus that would last for a decade.
Perry's good natured bonhomie & the world’s most charmin smile,knocked fans off their feet. Sportin a black tux,gigs came alive as he swished around the stage thrillin audiences w/ charisma that instantly burnt the oxygen right out of the venue.TR.com
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Re: How Journey Pared Down, Then Hit Again With ‘Raised on R

Postby scarab » Mon May 29, 2017 12:12 am

Always had a like/dislike feel for ROR.
At the time I was getting more into harder rock and wanted FrontiersII.
Thought it was going to be that way when I heard Be Good to Yourself on the radio for the first time.
Boy was I in for a shock.
At the time I only really liked Suzanne, BGTY, Happy to Give, ROR, Ill be Alright, It could have been you, and WCTNGOF.
The rest did not sound like Journey except for Schons guitar.

Positive Touch is an always skip, its an okay song, but a sax solo? really?
Suzanne makes me cringe now. Way to pop.

The oddest thing, only in the last few years, Eyes of a woman has become a favorite.
I disliked the song the most back in the day.
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Re: How Journey Pared Down, Then Hit Again With ‘Raised on R

Postby Monker » Tue May 30, 2017 11:49 am

I'll admit that I haven't been to ultimateclassicrock.com very often. But, I thought they were a comparable site to MR.com.

Quoting jrny-dv.com? Seriously? What did ucr.com do, spend a few minutes on Google searching for Steve Smith quotes and found that interview? There are few sites I have anything against, but jrny-dv.com (or journey-zone.com) is basically the arm pit of Journey news from back then (2000 - 2008 or so). Find a more reputable site to quote people! How many interviews has Steve Smith done with Billboard, and you couldn't quote one of those? Wow.
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Re: How Journey Pared Down, Then Hit Again With ‘Raised on R

Postby scarab » Tue May 30, 2017 2:51 pm

did anyone hear the title track on FM radio back in the day? I never did.
Also never heard Suzanne on the radio and amazed it was a top 20 hit.

But have also heard Ask The Lonely was never aired in various markets, but in MN it was played in heavy rotation. Sad it never charted.

WCTNGOF video was shown often in the Spring of 1987 and was in the MTV top 10 countdown for weeks...(after they disbanded)
It should have been the second single, not the 5th.
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Re: How Journey Pared Down, Then Hit Again With ‘Raised on R

Postby Abitaman » Tue May 30, 2017 10:00 pm

scarab wrote:did anyone hear the title track on FM radio back in the day? I never did.
Also never heard Suzanne on the radio and amazed it was a top 20 hit.

But have also heard Ask The Lonely was never aired in various markets, but in MN it was played in heavy rotation. Sad it never charted.

WCTNGOF video was shown often in the Spring of 1987 and was in the MTV top 10 countdown for weeks...(after they disbanded)
It should have been the second single, not the 5th.



I did, and could never understand why they were playing it. Least liked song on the cd for me.
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Re: How Journey Pared Down, Then Hit Again With ‘Raised on R

Postby bellairepark73 » Wed May 31, 2017 12:14 am

I just rediscovered Journey through Steve's solo work late last summer (August) and when I got a hold of ROR, the ONLY song I didn't like was Positive Touch. Anyway, you guys need to check out Neal's Tweet about it. The comments lit up and people were gushing about it, even though...I noticed...Neal didn't like as many of the comments as he did before the other albums and his own solo work. Still feeling uneasy about it, even though the walk down the Raised On Radio path was absolutely necessary. Rock and Soul was where Journey HAD to go. Enjoyed the album and tour (on Youtube) immensely and Steve's voice and the band was...an absolute...POWERHOUSE!!! And on that....Neal agreed!!!
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Re: How Journey Pared Down, Then Hit Again With ‘Raised on R

Postby FamilyMan » Wed May 31, 2017 4:51 am

This was the one and only tour where I was able to see Perry live. I remember being BLOWN away by the performance. Though now when I see the clips on Youtube, I can't believe how sped up and sloppy they sound.
"I'd love to hear his voice again." - Neal Schon 2008
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Re: How Journey Pared Down, Then Hit Again With ‘Raised on R

Postby scarab » Wed May 31, 2017 6:55 am

never got the whole speeding up a song thing that Journey does often.
Especially songs like Wheel In The Sky that they turned into a sped up rocker.
Yes most of the clips from the ROR are sped up, and I wonder if is this is why there was no official video of a concert, other than the singles they shot for the documentary.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4J5_lTjy6ZA
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Re: How Journey Pared Down, Then Hit Again With ‘Raised on R

Postby The_Noble_Cause » Wed May 31, 2017 10:39 pm

Songs like BGTY, GCHI, IBAWY, Suzanne, and WCTNGOF stand alongside the best work Cain/Perry produced and helped to define the Journey sound. Other stuff - like Eyes of the Woman, Happy to Give, It Could Have Been You etc - just makes me scratch me head. I don't mind when Journey changes their sound, but those songs didn't even have the Journey DNA in them. But to each their own.
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Re: How Journey Pared Down, Then Hit Again With ‘Raised on R

Postby George_g888 » Thu Jun 01, 2017 7:40 am

Girl Can't Help it is one my favorite Journey songs. Anybody know when the last time the band has played that song live? Was it with Augeri in the late 90's/early 2000's?
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Re: How Journey Pared Down, Then Hit Again With ‘Raised on R

Postby JourneyHard » Thu Jun 01, 2017 10:08 am

Local station was really pushing Suzanne for some reason. But I never heard the title track on radio. I heard Be Good To Yourself, and Girl Can't Help It and I'll Be Alright Without You on radio, of course.

Didn't they scrap a whole album and then wrote ROR? I wonder if the songs they scrapped really rocked. I wonder if the songs they scrapped ended up on Arrival.
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Re: How Journey Pared Down, Then Hit Again With ‘Raised on R

Postby bellairepark73 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:29 am

I tell you the only album that beats Raised On Radio to me, personally, is Dream After Dream and then Trial By Fire. Steve's voice and songwriting was tremendous on all 3 and the ROR tour, he was on fire...period.
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