Legendary singer-songwriter Steve Perry has recorded the highest solo debut of his career with Traces, his first album in nearly a quarter of a century.
Released via Fantasy Records, Traces is the former Journey frontman’s first Top 10 solo debut, entering the Billboard 200 albums chart at No. 6 with over 73,000 total copies in sales and consumption. Traces has additionally landed at No. 2 on Billboard’s Current Rock Albums chart.
The new album also marks Perry’s best-ever debut in the U.K., Germany, Canada (No. 7 on the Current Album chart) and Japan (No. 1 on the International chart). Traces is Perry’s third solo release, following 1984’s Street Talk, which peaked at No. 12, and 1994’s For The Love Of Strange Medicine, which debuted and peaked at No. 15.
“All I was hoping for was someone to listen to the emotional expression of these new songs after my years of absence,” Perry said in a statement. “This has been beyond my wildest dreams, and I thank you all so very much.”
Perry’s final full concert with Journey took place in early 1987. He later rejoined his bandmates for a brief performance in 1991 to honor late concert promoter Bill Graham. He also appeared with Journey when they received a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame in 2005. The singer was inducted, alongside his old band, at the 2017 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame ceremony in Brooklyn, New York.
In a recent interview with Scott Shannon In The Morning, Perry said he originally had no intention of taking such a long break from music. “I did not plan to be gone so long”, he said. “But once I stopped, there was something great about just stopping. I went back to my hometown and hung out with friends. I rode my motorcycle on these country roads on the outskirts of Fresno, where I was born and raised, and I’ve gotta tell you — there was something cathartic about just stopping.”
“But I must tell you — did I miss it? It was terrible!” he continued. “It was a detox in its own way, you know? Because the adoration of the fans every night and the applause and being able to live the dream…. ‘Cause I came from a small town, and it was a dream to get in the music business to start with, but to be able to be successful like Journey was, it was a dream come true, so walking was tough.”