Year Released: 1981

Notable Songs: “Who’s Crying Now”, “Don’t Stop Believing”, “Open Arms”, “Who’s Crying Now”

Album MVP: “Open Arms”

Why I Loved It: This is flat-out one of the best rock albums of the 80’s, if not all-time.  Thanks to the Sopranos if you’re under 30 it’s almost automatic “Don’t Stop Believing” is the first thing you think of when identifying Journey.  Don’t get me wrong—I like the song as well, far before it became immortalized forever by younger generations on the HBO show finale in 2007 —  It was No. 89 on my Favorite 100 Songs of the 80s countdown last year. I guess I’m just a little bitter at bandwagon jumpers over the tune.  This shit was my jam when I was 10 years old…it shouldn’t have taken y’all 26 years to climb on board. Plus, it’s now officially one of the most overplayed songs of all-time. “Open Arms” (No. 57 on my countdown last year) is my favorite song from this album and one of the first and best power ballads of all-time. In fact, according to VH-1 it’s literally the top-ranked power ballad of all-time. Ironically it only became a Journey smash shit because John Waite (of “Missing You” fame) turned down doing the song. “Who’s Crying Now” and “Still They Ride” are excellent tunes that fly under the radar because of the success of their bigger hits. I pride myself in being able to muster a handful of paragraphs describing each album I have on this countdown but in this case I must recite a line from the All Music review site because they lay out Escape perfectly, saying “The songs are timeless, and as a whole, they have a way of rekindling the innocence of youthful romance and the rebelliousness of growing up, built from heartfelt songwriting and sturdy musicianship.”

 Commercial Success:  Although it was just one year into the decade this was already Journey’s seventh studio album. Escape was their biggest studio commercial success, skyrocketing to number-one on the Billboard Top 200, although it would last just one top before Tattoo You by the Rolling Stones took over and spent nine (!) consecutive weeks at the top. No singles from Escape reached the top of the charts but it did land three in the top 10 and four overall, led by “Open Arms”, which rose to number-two on the Billboard Hot 100 (No. 34 on the year-end chart.)  “Who’s Crying Now” peaked at number-four on the same chart while “Don’t Stop Believing” surprisingly only reached nine.  “Still They Ride” rounded out the Billboard hits by reaching No. 19.  “Who’s Crying Now” didn’t register on the Billboard Hot 100 but was a jukebox favorite and landed at No. 46 on the UK Singles Chart. “Stone In Love” was No. 13 on the Mainstream Rock charts.  In total Escape sold more than nine million copies in the United States.

Fun Facts: From regarding their song “Who’s Crying Now”:  “This was one of the first Journey songs to feature keyboardist/guitarist Jonathan Cain. He had been a member of the Babys before replacing longtime keyboardist Gregg Rolie in Journey. He wrote the song with lead singer Steve Perry. According to the liner notes of Journey’s Time3 compilation, Steve Perry wrote the chorus of the song driving from Bakersfield to San Francisco, singing into a cassette recorder. He went to Cain’s house, rain pouring down in sheets outside, with the whole song in his head. He hummed the song to Cain and guided him through the piano part. Cain suggested the tune sounded like “A somebody done somebody wrong song” and came up with the line, “Who’s crying now?” They finished the song that afternoon. Escape was Journey’s only #1 album.”


 100.  Van Halen – OU812 

99. Stevie Wonder – In Squared Circle

98. Taylor Dayne – Can’t Fight Fate

97. Kool & The Gang – Emergency 

96. Stevie B – In My Eyes 

95. Keith Sweat – Make It Last Forever 

94. Michael Bolton – Soul Provider 

93. Go Go’s – Beauty & The Beast 

92. LL Cool J – Bigger And Deffer (Bad) 

91. Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry 

90. Def Leppard – Hysteria

89. New Edition – Heartbreak

88. Don Henley – Building A Perfect Beast

87. Beverly Hills Cop – Movie Soundtrack

86. Culture Club – Kissing To Be Clever 

85. Rolling Stones – Tattoo You

84. Asia – Asia 

83. Tiffany – Tiffany 

82. Lionel Richie – Dancing on the Ceiling

81. Barbara Streisand – Guilty 

80. Phil Collins – …But Seriously 

79. Air Supply – The One That You Love

78. J. Geils Band – Freeze Frame

77. Duran Duran – Rio 

76. Billy Ocean – Suddenly 

75. Run DMC – Raising Hell

74. Pat Benatar – Crimes of Passion

73. John Cougar – American Fool

72. Huey Lewis and The News – Picture This

71. Top Gun – Movie Soundtrack

70. Steve Winwood – Back In The High Life

69. Air Supply – Lost In Love

68. LL Cool J – Radio

67. Journey – Frontiers 

66. Styxx – Paradise Theater

65. Madonna – Like A Prayer

64. Eric B & Rakim – Paid In Full 

63. Tears for Fears – Songs From The Big Chair

62. Tina Turner – Private Dancer 

61. Steve Nicks – Bella Donna

60. U2 – The Joshua Tree

59. Bon Jovi – New Jersey 

58. Huey Lewis and the News – Fore!

57. Janet Jackson – Rhythm Nation 1814

56. Prince – 1999

55. ZZ Top – Eliminator 

54. Survivor – Vital Signs

53. New Edition – New Edition 

52. Dirty Dancing – Movie Soundtrack

51. Foreigner – 4

50. Public Enemy – It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back

49. Lionel Richie – Lionel Richie 

48. Men at Work – Business As Usual

47. Run DMC – Run DMC

46. Richard Marx – Richard Marx

45. Paula Abdul – Forever Your Girl 

44. Rocky IV – Movie Soundtrack 

43. Tom Petty – Full Moon River 

42. Whitney Houston – Whitney 

41, REO Speedwagon – Hi Infidelity 

40. Christopher Cross – Christopher Cross

39. Culture Club – Colour By Numbers 

38. Chicago – Chicago 17

37. Bryan Adams – Reckless

36. Bon Jovi – Slippery When Wet

35. Heart – Heart 

34. Def Leppard – Pyromania 

33. Toto -Toto IV

32. The Police – Ghost In the Machine 

31. Madonna – Madonna

30. New Kids On The Block – Hangin’ Tough

29. Hall and Oates – H20

28. Don Henley – The End Of The Innocence

27. The Police – Synchronicity 

26. Phil Collins – No Jacket Required

25. Beastie Boys – Licensed To Ill

24. Hall & Oates – Private Eyes

23. Neil Diamond – The Jazz Singer

22. Madonna – Like A Virgin

21. Debbie Gibson – Out Of The Blue

20. Bobby Brown – Don’t Be Cruel