Top 10 Journey Breakup Songs

Considering how many breakup songs Journey has recorded over the years, one would think it would be no big deal for co-founder Neal Schon to move on after a series of squabbles with Jonathan Cain.

Contractual obligations probably make things much more complex behind the scenes, so the arguments (and billable hours for the lawyers) continue to pile up. But if things ever ended with a split, Journey has already created an appropriate soundtrack focusing on love gone wrong. “We sang a lot of songs for the broken-hearted,” Cain once told this writer. “We have a soft spot for the broken hearts.”

The way Journey approached each situation was unique and often offered pearls of lyrical wisdom that were simple and relatable. For instance, “Ask the Lonely” counseled: “When you’re feeling love’s unfair, you just ask the lonely. When you’re lost in deep despair, you just ask the lonely.” For the rejected, there is strength to be found in numbers.

Their love songs also tend to take unexpected turns. “You know, [Steve] Perry never hardly got the girl at all, in the songs,” Cain pointed out. “Even ‘When You Love a Woman,’ we don’t let him get the girl. She’s waiting somewhere out there.”

Our list of the 10 best Journey breakup songs counts down the many different ways their focus of affection left — and never came back.

10. “Where Did I Lose Your Love” 
From: Revelation (2008)

“Where Did I Lose Your Love” is one of the best tracks from the Arnel Pineda era of Journey. The stately musical presentation surrounds an equally confident vocal from Pineda. Fans who had long hoped for Journey to turn up the rock got a good chunk of their wish with the Revelation album. “Where Did I Lose Your Love” proves that breakup songs can also have lots of guitar.

 

9. “Still She Cries”
From: Trial by Fire (1996)

Schon’s stark and delicate guitar work sets the stage perfectly in the intro for “Still She Cries.” The sigh at the end of Perry’s opening line only enhances the feelings of lament that hang in the air as the rest of the song spools out. Trial by Fire, as a whole, deserved more attention – and “Still She Cries” is just one of its undiscovered gems.

 

8. “Once You Love Somebody”
From: Raised on Radio (1986)

“Once You Love Somebody” paints an earnest picture of two star-crossed lovers who are determined to make it work. They hold a shared belief that they have the fail-safe romantic glue to keep it together. But as the lyrics outline, love can also have a jagged outcome: “Loneliness is an edge that cuts both ways – so easy to fall, so hard to get over.”

 

7. “It Could Have Been You”
From: Raised on Radio (1986)

“It Could Have Been You” offers a sharp kiss-off to a promising love that now lies dead. Enough with the tears, already, is the clear message: “There’s someone else for you to hold again, so please stop your crying.” Still, even in the process of moving on, the narrator can’t resist a few final jabs by asking if they remember that one night and what might have been.

 

6. “I’m Cryin'”
From: Departure (1980)

The walking rhythm of Steve Smith’s drumming on “I’m Cryin’,” set against Gregg Rolie‘s majestic organ, provides the perfect bed for Perry to unleash one of his most soulful and mournful wailing vocals. Schon matches the vocal anguish with line after line of impassioned riffing. Even as the last notes fade out, Perry’s angst and pain remain seemingly unresolved.

 

5. “Ask the Lonely”
From: Two of a Kind: Music from the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1983)

Led by a powerful synth line from Cain, “Ask the Lonely” features an equally fervent vocal from Perry. It’s one of the best Journey songs to ever get left on the cutting room floor. Excised from the final track listing of 1983’s Frontiers, this energetic rocker quickly found a home (and eventually, substantial radio airplay) on the soundtrack for the movie Two of a Kind, released that same year.

 

4. “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)”
From: Frontiers (1983)

Cain found inspiration for the iconic synthesizer intro in music he was listening to at the time by Thomas Dolby and Howard Jones. Meanwhile, Ross Valory’s pending divorce provided substance for the storyline of “Separate Ways.” Set against an epic musical soundscape, the relationship seems to be irretrievably broken, but the protagonist clearly still holds hope that there might be another chance someday.

 

3. “Who’s Crying Now”
From: Escape (1981)

The equation within the chorus of “Who’s Crying Now” spells it out: “One love feeds the fire, one heart burns desire – I wonder who’s crying now.” Perry and Cain work together, a simple piano line coloring every word of the verse. Even as more substantial instrumentation comes in for the choruses, they bring it back to that same dynamic for the subsequent verses, enhancing the emotional punch.

 

2. “After the Fall”
From: Frontiers (1983)

Quite possibly the most underrated song in the Journey catalog, “After the Fall” boasts a masterful vocal delivery from Perry — witness that note he holds for nearly 10 seconds at the climax — with Schon’s guitar solo bleeding out for the final minute that follows. “After the Fall” bottles every ounce of regret, what could have been and what should have been done.

 

1. “I’ll Be Alright Without You”
From: Raised on Radio (1986)

“I’ll Be Alright Without You” features some of Schon’s most beautiful and understated playing on record, underpinned with a smooth bass line from bassist Randy Jackson. Even as Journey were fracturing internally as a unit, their lyrical craft remained strong. Of note is the line that builds and shifts at the end of each chorus, finally conceding: “Oh, love’s an empty place – I can still see your face.”

Rockers Whose Bands Tried to Erase Them

Their names never made it onto album covers and bands’ official websites – or, worse, they got deleted after some falling out. 

You Think You Know Journey?

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