Open Arms

Album: Escape (1981)
Charted: 2

Songfacts®:

  • Written by band members Steve Perry and Jonathan Cain, this song is about a couple who drifted apart but found each other again and realized how much they love each other. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    James - Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England
  • According to the liner notes in Journey's Time3 compilation, Jonathan Cain came to Journey with this melody already written. It could have been a song for the Babys, his previous band, except that Babys vocalist John Waite rejected the melody as "too syrupy." He sheepishly showed the tune to Perry on his portable Wurlitzer keyboard and Perry immediately wanted to do it. The rest of the band wasn't so sure.

    "They were opposed to the ballad," said Perry. "Neal hated the idea and Jon Cain thought maybe John Waite was right."

    The third single from Escape not only went on to become the band's highest charting single and sent album sales into orbit, but pioneered the entire concept of the power ballad. "Now everybody's got to have one," said Perry. Waite came around as well: his big hit as a solo artist was the ballad "Missing You."
  • "Don't Stop Believin'" has become Journey's most popular song, but it only charted at #9 in America; "Open Arms" was the group's biggest hit on the Hot 100, reaching #2, where it stayed for six weeks, first behind "Centerfold" and then "I Love Rock And Roll."
  • Mariah Carey recorded this for her 1996 album Daydream. Her version hit #4 in the UK.
  • This was used in the 1981 animated movie Heavy Metal. It also appears in these films:

    Daddy's Home 2 (2017)
    I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry (2007)
    Date Movie (2006)
    The Last American Virgin (1982)

Comments: 11

  • Mckinzie from United StatesI love this song so very much! I want to dance to this song with my future husband at my future wedding.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn October 28th 1977, Journey appeared in concert at Bill Graham's Old Waldorf in San Francisco, California...
    It marked Steve Perry's first concert appearance as the lead singer of the West Coast-Bay Area group...
    Just over five months later on April 2nd, 1978 the group's first charted record, "Wheel in the Sky", would enter Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #89, five weeks later on May 7th it peaked at #57 {for 1 week} and it stayed on the chart for 8 weeks...
    Between 1978 and 1985 the group had twenty seven Top 100 records; six made the Top 10 with "Open Arms"* being their biggest hit, it peaked at #2...
    {See next post below}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 10th 1982, "Open Arms" by Journey entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on February 21st it peaked at #2 (for 6 weeks) and spent 18 weeks on the Top 100 (and 10 of those 18 weeks were on the Top 10)...
    It also reached #2 on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart...
    The first three weeks it was at #2, the #1 record was "Centerfold" by the J. Geils Band and the last three weeks it was "I Love Rock 'N Roll" by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts was at #1...
    Was track 5 on side 2 of the group's seventh studio album, 'Escape', and on September 6th, 1981 peaked at #1 (for 1 week) on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart...
    Three other tracks off the album also made the Top 100; "Who's Crying Now" (#4), "Don't Stop Believin'" (#9) and "Still The Ride" (#19)...
  • Hannah from Ottawa, OnSteve Perry has such a beautiful voice. This song is definitely one of the greatest songs of all time!
  • Gina from Springfield, MoThis song came out just before my husband & I was married in March of 1982; always been a very special song to me!
  • Aimee from Plant City, FlOne of the most special songs ever written!
  • Megan from Stevenson, AlThis song is so sweet! Beautiful...<3 Makes me cry everytime!
  • Joe O from Schenectady, Nyan absolutely gorgeous song, I am learning to play this one on my keyboards. Surprisingly enough, it's not that difficult. I've become a bigger fan of Journey thru this and also from knowing about the history of Journey. Thanks to Jonathan Cain and Steve Perry for this song and the entire Journey catalog of great hits.
  • Richard from Houston, TxIt's easy for a song to do that. Think about it - the singer and/or writer has poured their heart into the song, and there's obviously emotion behind it. Just a matter of finding it.
  • Stu from Philly, PaIt's not stupid for a song to make you cry. Sometimes a song just hits you in the exact right spot. Something so beautiful. Frank, that's one of my favorite songs, and if you think it hits you when you hear it, try playing it. whoo! what a powerful experience it is to play that song.
  • Frank from Brampton, Ontario, CanadaAs with any other sad song I hear, this one makes me cry alot. Hey... I know that may seem really stupid on my part, but you know.... heartfelt songs like this one really do make ppl cry. Trust me, if such powerful ballads like this make you cry, then you know it really is a good song.
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