We've been waiting with 'open arms': Steve Perry, Journey's former lead singer, has announced his first studio album in nearly a quarter-century -- a forthcoming full-length effort titled "Traces."
On Aug. 14, the Del Mar resident -- and newly inducted Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member -- released the lead-off single "No Erasin'" from the highly anticipated new album (due out on Oct. 5), along with a music video.
Fittingly, the song begins with the lyric, "I know it's been a long time coming" and that might be the understatement of the year -- his last studio album, "For the Love of Strange Medicine," was released 24 years ago in 1994, 10 years after the release of his debut solo LP "Street Talk."
Perry, of course, became a singing sensation fronting Journey from 1977-1987 (and again from 1995-98) and providing the legendary vocals heard worldwide on the rock band's biggest hits like "Open Arms," "Wheel in the Sky," "Who's Cryin' Now," "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)" and "Faithfully." His vocals are so unique, he was literally given the moniker "The Voice" by fellow rock-pop star Jon Bon Jovi.
The famously reclusive singer largely disappeared from the music industry after the "For the Love of Strange Medicine" album cycle -- only popping up at the odd baseball game (a longtime San Francisco Giants fan, Perry led a home crowd in a singalong of "Don't Stop Believin'" during the club's 2010 World Championship run), rare one-off performances (he joined the indie-rock band Eels onstage in Minnesota for three songs in 2014, for example) and at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year to give an acceptance speech when Journey was inducted (he curiously chose not to perform with the band).
On Tuesday, Perry posted on his website an explanation for why he's been away from music for so long: "Years ago, I disappeared. There were many reasons, but mainly...my love for music had suddenly left me," Perry wrote. "I knew that simply stopping was what I had to do. If music was ever to return to my heart, then and only then I would figure out what to do. If not...so be it, for I had already lived the dream of dreams."
He continued: “Many years passed. One day, I began sketching some musical ideas with the creative freedom that I was the only one who would ever hear them. One song led to many. My love for music had returned. Then, another beautiful thing happened. I found love. My precious Kellie gave me a life I never knew I had."
Perry is referring to psychologist Kellie Nash, who died following a battle with breast cancer, after the couple were together for a year and a half.
"I lost her December of 2012," Perry wrote. "I now deeply understand the meaning of: 'It’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.'"
Perry said he started recording "Traces" in May of 2015: “These songs are special to me. I respectfully ask that you please listen to them, and whatever they make you feel, I thank you for listening."
Welcome back, Steve.
'Traces' is available for pre-order here.