Its album number 9 for Journey, released in 1986. But no one was sure if it would get made.
After “Frontiers” (1983), Steve Perry got a massive offer to do a solo album, “Street Talk” and Neal Schon got a similar offer to do “HSAS” with Sammy Hagar. Both albums did well however
Perry’s album would probably still not be listed as recouped based on the dollars spent on session musicians (there was a lot), the dollars spent writing with other writers, the dollars spent in the various studios and the massive advance given to him to even do it. Schon meanwhile got a chance to really show what an awesome hard rock guitarist he is.
But Jonathan Cain wasn’t finished for Journey. He just kept on writing and writing. A lot of his songs ended up on Jimmy Barnes albums, which led to massive success in Australia. And it was Cain who called up Perry to sing on a few demoes he was working on.
That get together led to this album and it also led to Journey falling under Perry’s control.
He fired bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith, even though Journey’s manager Herbie Herbet told em not to do it.
Perry then replaced them with studio musicians, in Randy Jackson (from American Idol fame) and Bob Glaub on bass with Mike Baird and Larrie Londin on drums (with Smith still performing on a few cuts).
Perry expressed his regret at this many years later and for Valory and Smith, they still received income from the album and the subsequent tour even though they didn’t need to leave their house.
It was probably why their manager Herbet was against their firing. It meant the pie would need to be distributed to even more people.
And Perry broke with tradition of the single word album titles. The album was meant to be called “Freedom” until Perry said it would be called “Raised On Radio”.
How good is the cover by Priarie Prince who built his career as a drummer in The Tubes and Jefferson Starship, along with his work as a graphic artist and set designer for various music videos. Simply and effective.
Girl Can’t Help Out
How can you not like Perry’s silky and smooth voice?
And Neal Schon gets some slack for going missing in Journey during this period, but he became a master decorator, doing enough to give the songs the MTV and Radio edge.
It’s got that David Bowie “Modern Love” vibe from his 1983 album, “Let’s Dance” merged with “I’m So Excited” from The Pointer Sisters album of the same name which came out in 1982.
And I like it.
This is how music works. Take what has come before, tweak it, merge it with something else, tweak it again and what comes out is something new.
A monster melodic rock cut, with an arena rock Chorus.
Be Good To Yourself
It’s that feel-good summer vibe typical of the 80’s. Press play and let the sounds wash over you.
The solo from Schon, so simple and singalong.
Once You Love Somebody
This song would not be out of place on a Sting solo album or an album from The Police. Even Van Halen would have a cut like this many years later on “Balance”.
Press play for the Chorus. It sounds like it came from a soundtrack.
Happy To Give
I like the keyboard riff which starts it off but overall the song is a skip for me.
Raised On Radio
Schon is centre on this after the harmonica intro. It’s a rocker with the keys decorating.
I’ll Be Alright Without You
I’m not sure if John Sykes or David Coverdale were listening to this because it’s got that “Is This Love” feeling, which Coverdale would reuse for “The Deeper The Love”.
It Could Have Been You
While Cain plays chords, Schon plays this pentatonic riff which is memorable and full of groove.
The Eyes Of A Woman
Killer bass line on this and Steve Perry just nailing a vocal.
But press play to hear Schon wail away.
Why Can’t This Night Go On Forever
“Faithfully” part 2 comes to mind. Next.
In the end, six singles got released and by 1989, it was certified double platinum in the U.S.
I also wasn’t surprised to read that this album did good business in Sweden as a lot of the melodic rock acts coming out from Sweden many years later had this albums vibe and sound.
It was also the last Journey album for over a decade. While Perry lived off the royalties, Schon and Cain went to work with Bad English, with John Waite on vocals and to further platinum glory.
8 thoughts on “1986 – Part 4.3: Journey – Raised On Radio”
I liked this one as there are some really great songs. I didn’t know about the Perry Power issue and the firing of the two boys who recently just tried to steal Journey out from under Schon and Cain!! Crazy!!!
Ah yes I forgot about that old people drama. Lol.
It’s been more than a minute since I’ve heard anything from this album. That cover art really is good though.
I have a problem with this one.lol Schon after playing some loud scorching guitar on HSAS dialled it back or turned it down to my chagrin as I bought this on cassette and felt conned lol. The only other album I know of where Neil cranked his guitar was the Hardline debut in 92.He found the volume knob on the amp whenever Cain wasn’t around…
I suppose that’s what I like about him. He still made keyboard heavy tracks sound like they had some decent guitar riffs and licks even when it was turned down.
But your right on the HSAS album. It’s cranking.
Top of the Rock and Missing You are two loud Schon tracks.
Always liked this album… three/four songs that I love. Thought Schon plays great on it too, even if it’s not as obviously hard rocking music. My attention does peter out a bit on the second side though.
Yes the second side after the title track gets a bit too soft and soul like for me. But I do dig the melodic rockers.