Journey's 'Greatest Hits' just became the third album ever to spend 500 weeks on the Billboard 200
Image: AP Photo
On November 15, 1988, the band Journey released its greatest hits. It was a victory lap for the California act, who had grown from noodling prog rock to synthesizer-injected arena pop over the course of nine studio albums. Along the way, the group had recorded radio jingles for Budweiser and made two video games, the arcade cabinet Journey and the Atari 2600 cartridge Journey Escape.
But by the holiday season of 1988, it felt as if the band had peaked. The Greatest Hits collection itself peaked at No. 10 on the Billboard 200 album chart in February 1989. Bands with bigger hair and bigger guitars like Def Leppard and Guns N' Roses were dominating the charts. Lead singer Steve Perry and guitarist Neal Schon were already pursuing solo careers. The glory days were over.
Well, not really.
A 21st-century Journey resurgence began two decades later, when the Chicago White Sox won the World Series in 2005. "Don't Stop Believin'" was the team's anthem, cranked in the stadium after each victory. The power ballad struck a chord with a new generation, just as online streaming music streaming was taking off.
On December 5, 2009, on the back of downloads, Journey's Greatest Hits returned to the Billboard 200. It has remained there ever since.
This week, the compilation crossed the 500-week mark on the Billboard 200, a milestone reached by just two other albums. Ever.
Only Bob Marley's Legend: The Best Of Bob Marley And The Wailers and Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side Of The Moon have done the same. Journey could and should overtake Marley's mark, as Legend racked up 510 weeks on the chart. Dark Side of the Moon parked itself on charts for an unfathomable 937 weeks. It seems like a Joe DiMaggio–like streak.
But don't count out Journey. The wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'…