Escape (sometimes stylized as E5C4P3) is Journey's seventh studio album (and eighth overall), released on July 31, 1981. With four hit Billboard Hot 100 singles - "Don't Stop Believin'" (#9), "Who's Crying Now" (#4), "Still They Ride" (#19) and "Open Arms" (#2) - plus rock radio staples like "Stone in Love" and "Mother, Father", Escape became Journey's biggest-selling album.
Background and writing
Escape was the band's first album with keyboardist Jonathan Cain who replaced founding keyboardist Gregg Rolie after he left the band at the end of 1980. The album was co-produced by Kevin Elson and one-time Queen engineer Mike Stone, who also engineered the album.
An Atari 2600 game, Journey Escape, was made based on the album.
Mike DeGagne of Allmusic awarded Escape four-and-a-half stars out of five, writing, "The songs are timeless, and as a whole, they have a way of rekindling the innocence of youthful romance and the rebelliousness of growing up, built from heartfelt songwriting and sturdy musicianship." Colin Larkin awarded the album four out of five stars in the 2002 edition of the Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music. In the 2004 edition of their album guide, Rolling Stone were less favourable, awarding the album two-and-a-half stars out of five.
In 1988, Kerrang! readers voted Escape the greatest AOR album of all time. The following year, the magazine ranked Escape #32 in "The 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time". A 2000 Virgin poll saw the album voted the 24th greatest Heavy Metal/Alternative Rock album of all time. In 2001, Classic Rock ranked the album #22 in "The 100 Greatest Rock Albums of All Time". In 2006, the same publication recognized the importance of the album's contribution to popular music in the 1980s by including it in their "The 200 Greatest Albums of the 80's" as one of the twenty greatest albums of 1981. Recognizing the band's disfavour among many music critics during their career, Q magazine ranked Escape 15th in its "Records it's OK to Love" in 2006.
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