Escape (Journey album)

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Cover art by Stanley Mouse
Studio album by Journey
Released July 31, 1981
Recorded Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California, April–June 1981
Genre Rock
Length 42:46
Label Columbia
Producer Mike Stone, Kevin Elson
Journey chronology
Singles from Escape
  1. "Who's Crying Now/Mother, Father"
    Released: July 1981
  2. "Don't Stop Believin'/Natural Thing"
    Released: October 6, 1981
  3. "Open Arms/Little Girl"
    Released: January 1982
  4. "Still They Ride/Raza del Sol"
    Released: May 1982
  5. "Who's Crying Now/Don't Stop Believin'"
    Released: August 1982
  6. "Stone in Love/Only Solutions"
    Released: October 1982

Escape (stylized as E5C4P3 on the album cover) is the seventh studio album by American rock band Journey, released in 1981. It topped the American Billboard 200 chart[1] and features four hit Billboard Hot 100 singles – "Don't Stop Believin'" (#9), "Who's Crying Now" (#4), "Still They Ride" (#19) and "Open Arms" (#2)[2] – plus rock radio staple "Stone in Love." It was certified 9x platinum by the RIAA[3] and sold over twelve million copies worldwide, making it the band's most successful studio album and second most successful album overall behind Greatest Hits.

Background and writing[edit]

Escape was the band's first album with keyboardist Jonathan Cain who replaced founding keyboardist Gregg Rolie after he left the band at the end of 1980. The album was co-produced by former Lynyrd Skynyrd sound technician Kevin Elson and one-time Queen engineer Mike Stone, who also engineered the album.

Reception and legacy[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[4]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5 stars[5]
The Great Rock Discography 8/10[6]
Rolling Stone 2/5 stars[7]

Mike DeGagne of AllMusic retrospectively awarded Escape four-and-a-half stars out of five, writing, "The songs are timeless, and as a whole, they have a way of rekindling the innocence of youthful romance and the rebelliousness of growing up, built from heartfelt songwriting and sturdy musicianship".[4] Colin Larkin awarded the album four out of five stars in the 2002 edition of the Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music.[5] Contemporary Rolling Stone reviews were less favourable. The first review of 1981 by Deborah Frost marked Journey as heavy metal posers and the music in the album as easily playable by any session musician. In the 2004 edition of their album guide, Rolling Stone awarded the album two-and-a-half stars out of five, which was nonetheless an improvement from Dave Marsh's one star rating in the 1983 edition of the publication.[8] The same critic years later wrote that "Journey, originally a progressive rock band, experienced strong resentment from many music critics after they embraced the pop sensibilities of the 1980s with smash hits like "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Open Arms".[9]

In 1988, Kerrang! readers voted Escape the greatest AOR album of all time.[10] The following year, the magazine ranked Escape #32 in "The 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time".[11] A 2000 Virgin poll saw the album voted the 24th greatest heavy metal/alternative rock album of all time.[12] In 2001, Classic Rock ranked the album #22 in "The 100 Greatest Rock Albums of All Time".[13] In 2006, the same publication recognized the importance of the album's contribution to popular music in the 1980s by including it in their "The 200 Greatest Albums of the 80s" as one of the twenty greatest albums of 1981.[14] Q magazine ranked Escape 15th in its "Records it's OK to Love" in 2006.[15]

An Atari 2600 game based on the album, Journey Escape, was released in 1982.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Don't Stop Believin'" Jonathan Cain, Steve Perry, Neal Schon 4:11
2. "Stone in Love" Cain, Perry, Schon 4:26
3. "Who's Crying Now" Cain, Perry 5:01
4. "Keep On Runnin'" Cain, Perry, Schon 3:40
5. "Still They Ride" Cain, Perry, Schon 3:50
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
6. "Escape" Cain, Perry, Schon 5:17
7. "Lay It Down" Cain, Perry, Schon 4:13
8. "Dead or Alive" Cain, Perry, Schon 3:21
9. "Mother, Father" Cain, Perry, Matt Schon, N. Schon 5:29
10. "Open Arms" Cain, Perry 3:23


Band members[edit]



Escape had the fifth highest selling debut of 1981, just behind Bella Donna from Stevie Nicks.

Preceded by
Bella Donna by Stevie Nicks
Billboard 200 number-one album
September 12–18, 1981
Succeeded by
Tattoo You by The Rolling Stones


Country Organization Year Sales
USA RIAA 1994 9x Platinum (+9,000,000)[3]
Canada CRIA 1983 3x Platinum (+300,000)[25]


  1. ^ a b c "Escape Billboard Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved July 14, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Escape Billboard Singles". AllMusic. Retrieved July 14, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b RIAA Gold and Platinum Search for albums by Journey. Retrieved on June 30, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Mike, DeGagne. "Journey Escape review". AllMusic. Retrieved March 26, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Larkin, Colin. Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (2002)
  6. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2004). The Great Rock Discography (7th ed.). Canongate Books. 
  7. ^ Frost, Deborah (October 29, 1981). "Album Reviews: Journey – Escape". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on November 17, 2007. Retrieved July 10, 2013. 
  8. ^ Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004)
  9. ^ Marsh, Dave. "Sez Who? Bands & Singers Critics Love to Hate". New Book of Rock Lists. Sidgwick & Jackson. 1994.
  10. ^ The Best AOR Albums Of All Time. Kerrang!. October 29, 1988. Archived at
  11. ^ "The 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time". Kerrang!. January 1989. Archived at Retrieved September 8, 2010.
  12. ^ Heavy Metal/Alternative Rock – All Time Top 50. Virgin. 2000. Archived at Retrieved September 8, 2010.
  13. ^ "The 100 Greatest Rock Albums of All Time". Classic Rock. Christmas 2001. Archived at acclaimedmusic. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
  14. ^ "The 200 Greatest Albums of the 80s". Classic Rock. 2006. Archived at acclaimedmusic. Retrieved September 8, 2010.
  15. ^ Guilty Pleasures!: Essential Playlist of the 115 Records it’s OK to Love. Q magazine. September 2006. Archived at
  16. ^ "Top Albums/CDs – Volume 35, No. 12, October 17, 1981". Library and Archives Canada. October 17, 1981. Retrieved July 14, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Album – Journey, Escape". (in German). Media Control Charts. Retrieved July 14, 2013. 
  18. ^ a b c "Journey Official Charts". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 14, 2013. 
  19. ^ "Journey – Escape (album)". Media Control Charts. Retrieved July 14, 2013. 
  20. ^ ジャーニー – クイーンズライクのアルバム売り上げランキング (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved February 17, 2013. 
  21. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 35, No. 12, October 17, 1981". Library and Archives Canada. October 17, 1981. Retrieved July 14, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 35, No. 21, December 19, 1981". Library and Archives Canada. December 19, 1981. Retrieved July 14, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Top Singles – Volume 36, No. 8, April 03 1982". Library and Archives Canada. April 3, 1982. Retrieved July 14, 2013. 
  24. ^ "Journey – Open Arms (song)". Media Control Charts. Retrieved July 14, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Gold Platinum Search for Journey". Music Canada. Retrieved July 14, 2013.