Journey & Steve Miller Band
During their initial 14 years of existence (1973-1987), Journey altered their musical approach and their personnel extensively while becoming a top touring and recording band. The only constant factor was guitarist Neal Schon, a music prodigy who had been a member of Santana in 1971-1972. The original unit, which was named in a contest on KSAN-FM in San Francisco, featured Schon, bassist Ross Valory, drummer Prairie Prince (replaced by Aynsley Dunbar), and guitarist George Tickner (who left after the first album). Another former Santana member, keyboard player and singer Gregg Rolie, joined shortly afterward. This lineup recorded Journey (1975), the first of three moderate-selling jazz-rock albums given over largely to instrumentals.
By 1977, however, the group decided it needed a strong vocalist/frontman and hired Steve Perry. The results were immediately felt on the fourth album, Infinity (1978), which sold a million copies within a year. (By this time, Dunbar had been replaced by Steve Smith.) Evolution (1979) was similarly successful, as was Departure (after which Rolie was replaced by Jonathan Cain). Following a live album, Captured (1981), Journey released Escape, which broke them through to the top ranks of pop groups by scoring three Top Ten hit singles, all ballads highlighting Perry's smooth tenor: "Who's Crying Now," "Don't Stop Believin'," and "Open Arms." The album topped the charts and sold millions. Frontiers (1983), featuring the hit "Separate Ways," was another big success, after which Perry released a double-platinum solo album, Street Talk (1984). When the group got back together to make a new album, Valory and Smith were no longer in the lineup and Raised on Radio (1986) was made by Schon, Perry, and Cain, who added other musicians for a tour.
Following the tour, Journey disbanded. Perry went into a prolonged period of seclusion as Schon and Cain formed Bad English with vocalist John Waite. Bad English had several hit singles, including the chart-topper "When I See You Smile," before breaking up. Perry returned to recording in 1994, releasing For the Love of Strange Medicine. Although the album went gold, it was a commercial disappointment by previous standards. In 1996, Perry, Schon, Cain, Valory, and Smith staged a Journey reunion, releasing the million-selling Trial by Fire, which featured the gold-selling Top 20 single "When You Love a Woman," and going on tour. Perry and Smith opted out of the reunion after the tour, but Journey continued, hiring a new lead singer, Steve Augeri (formerly of Tall Stories), and a new drummer, Bad English's Deen Castronovo, who made their debuts on "Remember Me," a track on the 1998 Armageddon soundtrack. The band next reconvened in 2001. Arrival, Journey's 11th new studio album, was released in April, followed by a national tour.
The band received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on January 21, 2005. That same year they released a new album, Generations, and embarked on their 30th anniversary tour. Shows on the tour stretched over three hours long and were divided into two sets -- one focusing on pre-Escape material, the other on post-Escape material. The archival release Live in Houston 1981: The Escape Tour appeared on both DVD and CD in 2006, the same year that the group brought Jeff Scott Soto aboard as a replacement for Augeri, who developed a throat infection that prevented him from singing.
However, Soto's time with the band was limited; in 2007, Journey announced that they had parted ways with the singer and were once again seeking a frontman. They found him in Arnel Pineda, a Filipino vocalist that they discovered after seeing him perform on YouTube. Pineda made his debut with the band in 2008, the same year that Journey released Revelation. Fueled by the adult contemporary hit "After All These Years," Revelation was a surprise hit that wound up going platinum. Journey returned in the summer of 2011 with Eclipse, a concept album that saw the band tie together its progressive rock beginnings with its '80s arena rock peak. - All Music Guide
About Steve Miller Band:
Steve Miller's career has encompassed two distinct stages: one of the top San Francisco blues-rockers during the late '60s and early '70s, and one of the top-selling pop/rock acts of the mid- to late '70s and early '80s with hits like "The Joker," "Fly Like an Eagle," "Rock'n Me," and "Abracadabra." Miller was turned on to music by his father, who worked as a pathologist but knew stars like Charles Mingus and Les Paul, whom he brought home as guests; Paul taught the young Miller some guitar chords and let him sit in on a session. Miller formed a blues band, the Marksmen Combo, at age 12 with friend Boz Scaggs; the two teamed up again at the University of Wisconsin in a group called the Ardells, later the Fabulous Night Trains. Miller moved to Chicago in 1964 to get involved in the local blues scene, teaming with Barry Goldberg for two years.
He then moved to San Francisco and formed the first incarnation of the Steve Miller Blues Band, featuring guitarist James "Curly" Cooke, bassist Lonnie Turner, and drummer Tim Davis. The band built a local following through a series of free concerts and backed Chuck Berry in 1967 at a Fillmore date later released as a live album. Scaggs moved to San Francisco later that year and replaced Cooke in time to play the Monterey Pop Festival; it was the first of many personnel changes. Capitol signed the group as the Steve Miller Band following the festival.
The band flew to London to record Children of the Future, which was praised by critics and received some airplay on FM radio. It established Miller's early style as a blues-rocker influenced but not overpowered by psychedelia. The follow-up, Sailor, has been hailed as perhaps Miller's best early effort; it reached number 24 on the Billboard album charts and consolidated Miller's fan base. A series of high-quality albums with similar chart placements followed; while Miller remained a popular artist, pop radio failed to pick up on any of his material at this time, even though tracks like "Space Cowboy" and "Brave New World" had become FM rock staples. Released in 1971, Rock Love broke Miller's streak with a weak band lineup and poor material, and Miller followed it with the spotty Recall the Beginning: A Journey from Eden. Things began to look even worse for Miller when he broke his neck in a car accident and subsequently developed hepatitis, which put him out of commission for most of 1972 and early 1973.
Miller spent his recuperation time reinventing himself as a blues-influenced pop/rocker, writing compact, melodic, catchy songs. This approach was introduced on his 1973 LP, The Joker, and was an instant success, with the album going platinum and the title track hitting number one on the pop charts. Now an established star, Miller elected to take three years off. He purchased a farm and built his own recording studio, at which he crafted the wildly successful albums Fly Like an Eagle and Book of Dreams at approximately the same time. Fly Like an Eagle was released in 1976 and eclipsed its predecessor in terms of quality and sales (over four million copies) in spite of the long downtime in between. It also gave Miller his second number one hit with "Rock'n Me," plus several other singles. Book of Dreams was almost as successful, selling over three million copies and producing several hits as well. All of the hits from Miller's first three pop-oriented albums were collected on Greatest Hits 1974-1978, which to date has sold over six million copies and remains a popular catalog item.
Miller again took some time off, not returning again until late 1981 with the disappointing Circle of Love. Just six months later, Miller rebounded with Abracadabra; the title track gave him his third number one single. The remaining albums released in the '80s -- Italian X Rays,1984; Living in the 20th Century, 1986; and Born 2B Blue, 1988 -- weren't consistent enough to be critically or commercially successful. The early '90s saw Miller return to form with Wide River (the title track becoming a Top 40 chart entry) and the release of a retrospective box set compiled by the artist himself. Miller continued to headline shows into the 2000s, sharing the bill with classic rock acts such as 2008 tourmate Joe Cocker. He also announced the impending release of a new studio album of R&B covers. In 2010, the band released Bingo!, the first release on Miller's own Space Cowboy Records. - All Music Guide