Writers: Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain
Producer: Mike Stone and Kevin Elson
Recorded: Late 1980 and early 1981 in San Francisco
Released: August 1981
Neal Schon–guitar, vocals
Jonathan Cain–keyboards, vocals
|Album:||Escape (Columbia, 1981)|
The ballad “Open Arms” was Journey's biggest hit single, spending six weeks at Number Two on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1982.
Keyboardist-singer Jonathan Cain brought the song with him when he joined Journey in 1980 to replace original keyboardist Gregg Rolie. John Waite, the frontman in Cain's previous band, the Babys, had rejected the song as “too syrupy.”
Journey frontman Steve Perry warmed to the tune immediately, but the rest of the band resisted. “They were so opposed to the ballad,” Perry said. “Neal (Schon) hated the idea and Jon Cain thought maybe John Waite was right.”
Thanks to the success of “Open Arms,” its parent album Escape became Journey's most successful studio album, hitting Number One on the Billboard 200, staying on the charts for 146 weeks, and selling more than five million copies.
During the Escape tour, Journey left its own headlining dates to open the first show of the Rolling Stones' 1981 North American tour on September 25 in Philadelphia.
Another memorable show on the tour was at the Cow Palace in San Francisco in 1981, where the entire roster of the San Francisco 49ers football team–en route to its first Super Bowl title–joined Journey onstage.