Contact Us

31 Years Ago: Journey’s ‘Frontiers’ Album Released

Journey Frontiers
Columbia Records

When Journey started recording their eighth album, ‘Frontiers’ –which was released in February 1983 — they were coming off their biggest year ever.

Their previous album, 1981’s ‘Escape,’ contained their best set of songs, a consistent mix of radio-friendly pop and fist-raising rock that they had been striving for since 1975. The band was rewarded with its first (and only) No. 1 album and its all-time bestseller — not counting 1988’s ‘Greatest Hits’ collection – with more than nine million copies.

So expectations were high when they stepped into a California studio to record the follow up. But ever since their fourth album, 1978’s breakthrough ‘Infinity,’ when they hired Steve Perry as singer, Journey hadn’t so much upgraded their sound as they had sharpened it. By the time they released ‘Escape,’ they weren’t making different records, just better ones. And they stuck by that foolproof plan for ‘Frontiers.’

Taking what worked on ‘Escape’ (big pop hooks mixed with crowd-swaying ballads), tossing out what didn’t (excessive soloing by the band’s veteran musicians) and adding a glossy early-‘80s sheen that gave the album the group’s most state-of-the-art production, Journey crafted ‘Frontiers’ by the hit-making playbook. More than anything, the record was designed to sell a lot of copies and to continue the roll they were on since ‘Escape’ catapulted them to the top.

The plan halfway worked. The four singles released from the album – ‘Separate Ways (Worlds Apart),’ ‘Send Her My Love,’ ‘After the Fall’ and ‘Faithfully’ — all hit the Top 30, but ‘Separate Ways’ was the only one to reach the Top 10. The LP itself hit No. 2 and eventually sold six million copies. But besides a handful of tracks, the songs don’t make much of an impression. The quintet left little breathing space within the music; they were so determined to make a hit record that most of the album sounds like it was manufactured in a factory. ‘Frontiers’ would be the last classic Journey record. By the time they got around to the follow-up, 1986’s ‘Raised on Radio,’ two longtime members were fired, Perry had seized control of the group and the music sounded as faceless as the band’s critics had always claimed it was. ‘Frontiers’ was the beginning of the end.

Next: Top 10 Journey Songs

More from the Whale

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://991thewhale.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on WAAL 99.1 FM quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Sign up for an account to comment, share your thoughts, and earn points to get great prizes.

Register on WAAL 99.1 FM quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!