Journey are gearing up for the arrival of Freedom, their first new studio album in more than a decade. The title has special significance here in the present, but this isn't the first time the group considered using it.

Raised on Radio actually would have had a different moniker in 1986 if late manager Herbie Herbert had gotten his way. “He wanted to call Raised on Radio, Freedom. Steve Perry did not want that and he fought him profusely,” Neal Schon tells UCR with a hearty laugh. “So Steve ended up getting Raised on Radio. Herbie wanted to stay with a one word title.”

Perry’s victory brought an end to a long streak. Every Journey album beginning with 1977’s Next mirrored that single word approach. But even though Freedom wasn’t used at that time, Schon never forgot the suggestion.

After “sitting there for years and years,” as Schon describes it, the idea surfaced anew. “We had just gone through this whole lawsuit with the ex-band members. We went through this whole divorce from old attorneys, old managers, old accountants,” he explains. “It became more evident to me that the word ‘freedom’ meant a lot of different things to me.”

“Not only was it something that Herbie wanted to do a long time ago, but [it represented] everything that we just went through,” he continues. “I felt like freedom is what I want to know about. That became our new actual LLC as well for our business. We just figured, let’s tie it all in. It all makes sense.”

Freedom is the group's 16th studio album and will be released on July 8. “Let It Rain” offers a bluesy preview of the upcoming set, following previous singles “You Got the Best of Me” and “The Way We Used to Be.”

The Best Song From Every Journey Album

Singers may come, and singers most certainly may go, but some great songs remain.

See Neal Schon Among Rock’s Forgotten Supergroups