On this day in music history: January 20, 1978…

On this day in music history: January 20, 1978 – “Infinity”, the fourth album by Journey is released. Produced by Roy Thomas Baker, it is recorded at His Master’s Wheels Studio in San Francisco, CA and Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles, CA from October – December 1977. After three modest selling albums, the San Francisco based rock band looks to heighten their profile by recruiting a stronger lead vocalist. Initially, singer Robert Fleischman is chosen and records a few tracks with band. When it’s decided that the tracks recorded with Fleischman aren’t suitable for release, they continue searching for another vocalist. Producer Scott Matthews recommends Steve Perry to Journey’s manager Herbie Herbert playing him a demo by Alien Project, a band Matthews is working with that features Perry on lead vocals. Herbert introduces Perry to the rest of the band, who initially have some misgivings, feeling that his more mainstream musical approach does not mesh with their progressive rock sound. In spite of this, he is hired and shares lead vocal duties with founding member Gregg Rolie until the latter leaves in 1980. Perry’s vocals and songwriting ability help move the band in a more mainstream direction and bring them great commercial success. It spins off three singles including “Wheel In The Sky” (#57 Pop) and “Lights” (#68 Pop). The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2006, with the vinyl LP being reissued by Friday Music in 2011. “Infinity” peaks at number twenty one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.