• Writers: Steve Perry, Neal Schon, and Jonathan Cain
  • Producer: Mike Stone and Kevin Elson
  • Recorded: Late 1980 and early 1981
  • Released: August 1981 (album), October 1981 (single)
  • Players:
    Steve Perry–vocals
    Neal Schon–guitar, vocals
    Jonathan Cain–keyboards, vocals
    Ross Valory–bass
    Steve Smith–drums
  • Album: Escape (Columbia, 1981)
  • Also On:
    Greatest Hits (Columbia, 1988)
    Time 3 (Columbia, 1992)
    Greatest Hits Live (Columbia, 1998)
    The Essential Journey (Columbia, 2001)
  • The Escape album marked the debut of former Babys keyboardist Jonathan Cain, who joined Journey in April 1981 to replace founding member Gregg Rolie. Cain co-wrote all the songs on the album, which featured a new melodic sense and more emotional lyrics.
  • The second single from Escape, “Don’t Stop Believin'” peaked at Number Nine on the Billboard Hot 100.
  • Guitarist Neal Schon came up with the majority of the song at the group’s rehearsal warehouse in Oakland, California, writing the bass riff, the guitar line, and the chorus. Drummer Steve Smith contributed the tom-tom patterns that mark the song’s rhythm.
  • The song’s distinctive keyboard opening and Schon’s brief guitar riff after the first verse are two of Journey’s most recognizable musical moments.
  • Cain and singer Steve Perry‘s reference to “streetlight people” was inspired by the scene on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles.
  • Cain and Perry clearly needed a geography lesson, however: One of the song’s characters was “born and raised in South Detroit,” but there is no such place.
  • Escape was Journey’s most successful studio album, hitting Number One on the Billboard 200, staying on the chart for 146 weeks, and selling well more than nine million copies.
  • During the Escape tour, Journey left its own headlining dates to open the first show of the Rolling Stones‘ 1981 North American tour on September 25th in Philadelphia.
  • Another memorable show on the tour was at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, where the entire roster of the 49ers football team — en route to its first Super Bowl title — joined Journey onstage.


  • Journey broke up in 1987. The group reunited for a new album in 1996, but Perry’s health problems kept them from touring in support of it.
  • Eventually Schon, Cain, and bassist Ross Valory put the group back together, with new singer Steve Augeri and new drummer Deen Castronovo. The new band’s first album, Arrival, came out in 2001. Augeri then left for health reasons and was replaced by Jeff Scott Soto.
  • In 2007 Soto was replaced by Arnel Pineda, a singer from the Philippines whom Schon found via YouTube.
  • Journey’s latest album Revelation was released through Wal-Mart, and includes one disc featuring the band including Pineda rerecording such Journey classics as “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Open Arms,” “Wheel In The Sky,” “Lights,” and others, along with an 11-track new collection of songs.
  • Journey hits the road with Heart and Cheap Trick on July 9th, 2008 in Englewood, Colorado at Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre.

“Don’t Stop Believin'” has appeared in many films and TV shows — including playing during the controversial ending moments of the final Sopranos episode on June 10th, 2007. Songwriter Jonathan Cain told the Associated Press he was thrilled when he found out several weeks in advance that the music had been licensed for use in the episode, but didn’t know how it would be used.