Under The Radar: Journey, Raised on Radio (1986)
Updated: Nov 30, 2022
Raised on Radio is the ninth studio record by Journey. The eleven-track record was released on April 21,1986 and was produced by lead vocalist Steve Perry.
The album tends to get overlooked or forgotten but it deserves a dusting off. It’s a shame though Raised on Radio easily has some of the bands most accessible pop rock songs that they have ever produced.
In my opinion Raised on Radio (RoR) doesn't get the love it deserves because of the paradigm shift in the band's recording/ writing process during the making much-anticipated follow-up to their six million selling Frontiers record.
As the project started to take shape, vocalist Steve Perry guitarist Neal Schon and keyboardist Jonathan Cain who had become the principal songwriters really took over the development of the record. The trio set up shop in Jonathan Cain’s music room where they dabbled in modern recording technology such as the use of machine-driven demos that dictated parts to the musicians. All these changes during the creation of the record led to the departure of bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith.
With Steve Perry sitting behind the boards the production value was very reminiscent to that of Perry' s solo record Street Talk, resulting in Journey record that sounded somewhat different from the bands earlier releases.
At the time I believe that some of the fans had a hard time with the line up change or that Journey handed total creative control to Perry.
Regardless of what happened behind the scenes, with Perry at the mic, Cain at the keyboards and Schon on guitar, it was more than close enough for most listeners. Raised on Radio went on to sell two million copies and gave Journey four more top 20 singles — "Be Good to Yourself," "Suzanne," "Girl Can't Help It" and "I'll Be Alright Without You " , to their already impressive arsenal of hits.
Granted, RoR doesn't match the pop splendor of Escape or Frontiers, but the album does contain a few pop gems that need to be added to your Journey playlist.
The bottom line is that RoR is solid pop rock record that has held up well after all these years.
So, if you like 80's pop rock or Journey then you owe it to yourself to give Raised on Radio a listen