Journey – “Open Arms” (The 45 Single)

One of the most recognizable songs in the Journey catalog was “Open Arms”.  It was from the ‘Escape’ album and the single was released in January of 1982.  The song did pretty damn good and went to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, but for some reason it couldn’t hit that #1 spot.  However, that is still one of the highest chart positions the band ever reached for a single if not the highest.

The song is believed by many to be one of the greatest power ballads ever written and is said to be one of the main catalyst for starting the power ballad movement in the 80’s.  The funny thing is that most members of the band other than Steve & Jonathan did not want the song on the album.  It was too sugary sweet for their tastes.  As tie has shown, those members of the band were wrong.

Or were they.  The band became known for this sound and it changed everything for the band from that point on.  They had to have power ballads on every album as they were now expected from the band.  And they did end up writing many more great ones and went on to superstar status.  It did get them huge successes and paydays, but was it worth it?  Probably so.

The song was brought to the band by Jonathan Cain as he already had the melody written when he tried to use it for his previous band, The Babys.  However, vocalist John Waite, was not real keen on the song and said it was too syrupy.  Wow, both bands originally stated the same thing…both were wrong.


The song is about a couple who have drifted apart and he is making a plea to forgive past mistakes and to start again.  In the end, they realize they still love each other and everything works out.  It really is a sappy little love song.  Especially with the piano accompaniment and Steve Perry’s emotionally driven vocals.  But…it is also so beautiful and just a perfect little ballad.  And I agree, it is one of the best ever written.

The B-Side was a previously unreleased track in the U.S., “Little Girl”.


The song was from the album ‘Dream, After Dream’ from 1980 which was a soundtrack to the Japanese film Yume, Yume No Ato.  Of course the album outshined the movie as I have actually never heard of the movie.  The song is a slower paced song,  not a ballad, and Neal Schon’s guitar work is amazing throughout with a great solo.  Along with Steve’s vocals, they are the highlight of the song.

The album itself only had 3 songs that had vocals, this being one.  The rest were all instrumentals and it was a a big departure for the band.  I know I overlooked this album for a very long time.  I would say it is more old school Journey before Perry came on board.


Give both songs a listen and I hope you enjoy.  Until next time…

“Open Arms”

Lying beside you
Here in the dark
Feeling your heartbeat with mine
Softly you whisper
You’re so sincere
How could our love be so blind
We sailed on together
We drifted apart
And here you are
By my side

So now I come to you
With open arms
Nothing to hide
Believe what I say
So here I am
With open arms
Hoping you’ll see
What your love means to me
Open arms

Living without you
Living alone
This empty house seems so cold
Wanting to hold you
Wanting you near
How much I wanted you home

But now that you’ve come back
Turned night into day
I need you to stay

So now I come to you
With open arms
Nothing to hide
Believe what I say
So here I am
With open arms
Hoping you’ll see
What your love means to me
Open arms

Written by Steve Perry & Jonathan Cain


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