Veteran rockers Journey released their first new music in a decade on Thursday (June 24), “The Way We Used to Be,” which features the band’s revamped lineup. The wistful track was accompanied by an animated video featuring a cartoon couple dealing with the isolation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Not seeing your face I miss being close/ But it’s your touch, babe I miss the most/ Feeling the distance In our sacred space/ Baby never thought we’d be We’d be in this place,” singer Amel Pineda sings over the mid-tempo track before bursting into the urgent chorus, “Can we ever get back?/ To the way we were doing it/ To the way we were livin’ it/ Back to the way we used to be.”
The track is the band’s first new music since their 2011 album Eclipse, and the debut by a refreshed lineup featuring veteran members Neal Schon (lead guitar, backing vocals), Jonathan Cain (keyboards, backing vocals), Arnel Pineda (lead vocals) and Randy Jackson (bass), and new members Narada Michael Walden (drums) and Jason Derlatka (keyboards, backing vocals). The song is the first Journey track to feature acclaimed songwriter-producer Walden and marks former American Idol judge Jackson’s first studio recording with the band since 1986’s Raised On Radio.
Walden produced the song with Cain and Schon, with the latter saying it was born from one of the many loops he wrote during the extended pandemic layoff. “So utilizing my time and trying to keep fans in touch I started posting many jams and loops I created very quickly most every day,” Schon said in a statement. “On ‘The Way We Used to Be’ I laid down the keyboard loop with over-dubbed rhythm and a little blues lead guitar and sent to Jonathan. He sent it back very shortly after with demo vocals and lyrics and I said to myself with a smile — we’ve still got it!”
Schon dubbed the song a “complete new beginning chapter for Journey” that set off a burst creativity that produced more than 26 songs that they are narrowing down to 10-12 for their next album.
The band is slated to headline Lollapalooza in Chicago on July 31, and play “An Evening with Journey: Official Lollapalooza Aftershow” at the Aragon Ballroom on July 29.
Check out the “The Way We Used To Be” video below.