Greatest Vocalists in Rock #9: Steve Perry
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All New Years weekend, we’re celebrating the Greatest Voices in Rock as voted by you. Listen to 98.5 WNCX all weekend long to hear stories and music twice an hour that celebrate the top rock vocalists. In this post, we’ll honor former Journey frontman and solo artist Steve Perry who holds the #9 spot.
Stephen Ray Perry was born January 22, 1949 in Hanford, California. He would emerge as a top singer and songwriter while his time with Journey from 1977-1987 and again in 1995-1998. Perry also proved to be top solo act in the late 80s and early 90s.
In late 1977, Perry was hired by Journey as their new lead singer, which led to the group’s fourth album, Infinity to reach #21 on the album charts and give the band their first RIAA-certified platinum album thanks to the singles “Lights” and “Wheel in the Sky”. The group peaked in popularity in the early 1980s. Powered by three top-ten hits “Who’s Cryin’ Now”, “Don’t Stop Believin’”, and “Open Arms”, 1981′s Escape went to number one on the album charts. Commercial success continued with Journey’s next album, 1983′s Frontiers. With four Top 40 hits “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)”, “Faithfully”, “Send Her My Love”, and “After the Fall”, the album would sell nearly six million copies and reach number 2 on the album chart.
After the Frontiers stadium tour, Journey decided to take some time off. Lead singer Steve Perry and guitarist Neal Schon both pursued solo projects between 1982 and 1985. Perry released his first solo album Street Talk in 1984 and followed it up ten years later with For the Love of Strange Medicine.
In a 2010 interview, Perry revealed he had over 50 songs completed, saying, “A little over a year and a half ago, I felt I could maybe come back to it, I have been writing. I have about 50 songs, in a little over a year. I never thought I would do it again, but I decided to open up that room and see what I could find. It’s been interesting. Some of it sounds familiar, some of it sounds contemporary, some of it you can’t put a label on – and I’ve never been big on labels anyway.”
Perry currently resides in Del Mar, California.
On missing Steve Perry .. "His intuition. His sensibility. He had a certain panache and style that I clicked with. And there will always be that chemistry that we had. It was the most success that I've ever been associated with." Jon Cain 2011