Great Rock Albums of 1981: Journey- Escape


“Escape” by Journey is probably one of the best known albums of 1981. I remember in the final months of that year, there always seemed to be a song from the album playing on the radio, whether it was “Who’s Crying Now,” “Open Arms” or the now very popular thanks to the TV show “Glee,” “Don’t Stop Believing.” It is also the reason that many people site this album as the turning point in Journey’s sound from their more traditional progressive hard rock sound towards the more commercial sound of their next album “Frontiers.” Either way, it was a very important album in 1981 in many ways for a lot of people, including me.

Looking beyond “Don’t Stop Believing” which is still a good song in spite of how it has been used recently. The piano intro by Jonathan Cain is still very unique and even though it is a top forty tune, Neil Schon still hammers out a decent guitar solo. Similar things can be said about the second single on the album, “Who’s Crying Now,” which comes right after track number two “Stone In Love.” I wonder if that song was written for one my fellow metal bloggers here, tee hee. Anyway, back to “Who’s Crying Now.” There is a mysterious vibe to the song and it ends with some more fantastic guitar work from Schon. That leads perfectly to the harder sounding “Keep On Running” and hearing that, the listener can be assured that Journey have not departed from their hard rock roots. The title track bears some great progressive sounds and the next few songs feed well off it. Then another rocker, “Mother, Father” and more impressive Schon guitar licks before the closer, “Open Arms.” I liked that song back then but it holds a more special meaning for me these days. It was mine and Mrs 80smetalman’s first dance song at our wedding.

Track Listing:

1. Don’t Stop Believing

2. Stone In Love

3. Who’s Crying Now

4. Keep on Running

5. Still They Ride

6. Escape

7. Lay It Down

8. Dead or Alive

9. Mother, Father

10. Open Arms



Steve Perry- vocals

Neil Schon- guitars

Ross Valory- bass

Steve Smith- drums

Jonathan Cain- keyboards

I must make a confession here. The first dance song wasn’t taken from the “Escape” album but from a soundtrack to a 1981 film, which I will be visiting down the line. Still, it goes to show just how big this album was in the year.

Next post: George Harrison- Somewhere in England

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London







16 Responses to “Great Rock Albums of 1981: Journey- Escape”

  1. I’ve had this one for years, didn’t like it very much when I first got it apart from the megahits but it really has grown on me. Damn fine choice for a first song too!


  2. I love this album. Don’t think there’s a bad song on it… Although it is pretty hard to listen to Don’t Stop Believin’ now as it’s been so overplayed. I’m kind of sick of hearing it now! I hate it when that happens.


  3. I half want to buy that boxset of the first five Journey albums, but then Glee happened and Rock Of Ages happened and it sort of made me want to wait until later, when that song isn’t on the radio every five minutes. And I was already a bit oversick of it after Scrubs and Family Guy both made it popular again.

    Seems like every so often, somebody keeps re-igniting it for the radio stations.


  4. Agreed with everything here.


  5. “Don’t Stop Believing” is definitely played out but it still has a certain power if it comes on at the right moment, which is usually when you and your mates are all already six in the hole or so


  6. For me the underrated classic (and my favorite track) on the album is “Mother, Father.” The lyrics, the message, and all the players are in fine form. It’s just compelling from beginning to end. I don’t know if you guys have heard the stuff on Dream After Dream, but “Mother, Father” just sounds like a natural progression from the songs on that album.


  7. Stone in Love! Maybe it is about him after all? (Nice one)

    I read that they wanted to call it Stoned in Love but had a change of heart for obvious reasons.

    Great post, GREAT album, probably my favourite one.


    • Yes even in 1981, the anti- drugs campaign by Nancy Regan was already starting to take form. Still, it would have been an amusing title. Then again, maybe the song was about our metal buddy.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: