Wheel in the Sky

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"Wheel in the Sky"
Single by Journey
from the album Infinity
B-side "Can Do"
Released April 8, 1978
Format 7-inch vinyl
Recorded 1977
Genre Hard rock
Length 3:31 (single)
4:12 (album)
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Robert Fleischman, Neal Schon, Diane Valory
Producer(s) Roy Thomas Baker
Journey singles chronology
"Spaceman"
(1977)
"Wheel In The Sky"
(1978)
"Anytime"
(1978)

"Wheel in the Sky" is a song by the American rock band Journey, recorded in 1977 and included on their fourth studio album, Infinity. It was written and composed by Robert Fleischman, Neal Schon and Diane Valory.

At the time of the song's composition, the band had decided to follow a new direction into an edgier sound and began recording simple hard rock pieces with new lead vocalist Fleischman, who was replaced by Steve Perry by the time work on their next album began in earnest.

"Wheel In The Sky" reached #57 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1978, becoming Journey's first song to chart on the Hot 100, and also reached #45 on the Canadian RPM 100.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1978) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[1] 57
Canadian RPM 100 45

Structure[edit]

The song opens with a short instrumental that lasts for 28 seconds. Perry then sings the first verse, which is followed by the chorus, and the second verse with the chorus repeated once again. Neal Schon joins the song with a guitar solo which is filled with Perry's vocals, which can be briefly heard in the background. Finally, the chorus is repeated four times before the short outro that closes the song.

Lyrics content[edit]

The song's lyrics are sung from the point of view of a lovelorn man who is attempting to reunite with the girlfriend he left behind in an unknown location. He is traveling along the roads to reach her, and get home in the gamble. The refrain refers to a "wheel in the sky" that "keeps on turning" and, in the narrator's words, also "keeps me yearning;" in the refrain, however, he complains, "(I) don't know where I'll be tomorrow." This means that the wheel in the sky itself can be viewed as a metaphor for fate, chance, happenstance, or any other random element that causes both the narrator's future and his destination to defy his efforts to predict either.[1]

The narrator is hopeful that the girl with whom he is attempting to reunite "holds on a little longer," but he finds his a difficult and discouraging trip, admitting at one point, "I can't take this very much longer." He endures rough weather (being "stranded in the sleet and rain," for example) and remoteness, referring to a "dusty road" he follows.[citation needed]

No music video was ever shot for "Wheel In The Sky."

In popular culture[edit]

Movies and television[edit]

The song can be heard blaring in the background of the closing scene of HBO's The Sopranos season 2, episode 23 "Bust Out," and also in the third episode of the second season of Supernatural.

References[edit]

Note[edit]

1.^ The wheel in the sky can also be equated with the wheel Ezekiel is described as having seen in the Old Testament book about him.[citation needed]