Wheel In The Sky

Album: Infinity (1978)
Charted: 57


  • According to the liner notes of Journey's Time3 compilation, this started out as a poem called "Wheels In My Mind" by Diane Valory, the wife of Journey bassist Ross Valory. Robert Fleischman, the band's first vocalist, wrote new lyrics, and guitarist Neal Schon wrote the melody on acoustic guitar in the back seat of a station wagon while the band was driving between shows. It's one of the more philosophical Journey songs, telling the story of man trying desperately to return to his home. The verse lyrics are rather opaque, but the chorus offers an accessible metaphor for how life goes on no matter our personal struggles.
  • This was the first Journey single with new lead vocalist Steve Perry, and not coincidentally, also their first single to chart.

    The group released three album before Perry came on board. They sold modestly, but the group was not a singles band - they had more of a progressive rock sound with the vocals and lyrics secondary to the music. Perry brought them concise songs with big hooks, but he also delivered a signature vocal sound, first heard on "Wheel In The Sky." The song reached just #57 US, but this was long before Journey was established on pop radio. The next two Infinity singles, "Anytime" and the Perry co-write "Lights," also reached the lower half of the Hot 100. The group built on this success to become stadium rock superstars in the '80s.
  • This is one of Journey's most popular live songs, played at nearly every show in every iteration of the band (Steve Perry left in 1999).

Comments: 33

  • Alex from Collinsville, IllinoisI love this song.
  • Tyler Upp from Las Vegas, Vegas Great song
  • Brian from Taos NmMy song in Iraq(09) Thoughts of life, death, and my girl back home.....Truly a bitter sweet song.
  • Charlie from KentuckyThe "wheel in the sky" is a reference to time and our existence. and that it keeps on turning refers to how insignificant we truely are to the infinite universe and time....less then a spec of dust.
  • Ken from Philadelphia, PaCome on. It's not about UFOs or Ferris wheels. It's about fate... or God, if you believe He controls your fate. Of course, in this case the narrator would appear to blaming fate instead of taking control of his own destiny.
  • 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 for six weeks on February 21st, 1982...
    * The first three weeks that "Open Arms" was at #2, the #1 record was "Centerfold" by the J. Geils Band and for the last three weeks it was "I Love Rock ‘N Roll" by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts that was in the top spot.
  • Jared from Newport RiI used to work for Rockwell amusement and was led to believe one of the band members worked for them and the song was about working on the feris wheel and how when you work for a carnival you need never know where your going next hence wheel in the sky keeps on turning don't know where I'll be tomorrow it was probably a lie but it made sense at the time!!
  • Evan White from North Carolina,usaThis song has always confused me...
  • Willie from Scottsdale, AzAs much as I hate to admit liking a Journey song...this kicks butt!
  • Sandra from Gardnerville, NvLet me get this straight...I have some choices...UFOs, Greek Mythology, Rock Anthem, Ferris Wheel, mispelled words, et al...FYI..."et al" means "and more." I just like the song...
  • Gloria from Albemarle, NcThe poem that Ross Valory's then wife, Diane, wrote had the line "The wheels in my MIND keep on turning", but the band changed it when they used her poem as a basis to write their song. They simply thought it flowed better that way. Great song, even after 30 years.
  • Myles from Carl Junction, Virgin Islands (u.s.)Its about Ezekiel in the bible how he saw the wheels in the sky.
  • Juan from Eugene, OrI think that this song should have been on the soundtrack for the movie Fire in the sky with D.B Sweeney and James Garner which was about the 1975 disappearance of Travis Walton from Arizona
  • Robin from Raleigh, NcWow, so long ago. I was doing a lot of hitchhiking then, and "I'm standing in the sleet and rain" was true so many times. Thanks for the memories, and thanks for letting me post.
  • Josh from Indianapolis, InThis song means life goes on move on. Journey rocks
  • Ben from Banning, Cahey Vernon americans don't speak english they speak american. the british speak american with a funny accent "know what I mean Vern?"
  • Mary from Woonsocket, AlbaniaI was told Steve Perry wrote this song about a Ferris Wheel as he traveled with a carnival at one time and ran the Ferris Wheel.
  • Devin from New York, NyI always thought this song had something to do with Egyptian mythology. I was convinced that the "wheel" was the sun god Ra. Also, "made of silver, not of clay" may point a reference to clay tablets used to write on. I don't realy know for sure but is Journey's band symbol a Scarab beetle? Very important to ancient egyptians, might want to check it out
  • Matt from Houston, Txso what does it mean?
  • Izzytoxic from Atlanta, GaI would say that "Wheel in the Sky" is one of those rare songs that without a doubt stands in the class of Rock Anthem.
  • Vernon from Trinidad, Wi, OtherHey Mary in Phoenix, AZ. Thanks for pointing that out to Mike. It is after all the English spelling, and English is the language Americans speak. "Colour" is another example.
  • Darrell from EugeneA wheel in the sky is a U.F.O. That is the only logical, er, semi-logical explanation unless you believe that Neeper V's, Cromodora 5-spoke alloys and Cragar SS mags are in the air along with airplanes, birds, insects, smog, U.F.O.s, etc.
  • Anna from Fairfiled, CtI think the song Wheel in the Sky refers to

    Ezekiel's wheel; a Spiritual wheel described by Ezekiel a prophet in the Old Testament.

    The Wheel apparantly is wooden with Three Animals on the outside; and the face of one man.
  • Sergio from Miami, Fl"Wheel in the sky" is obviously talking about the sun turning in the sky as the days pass by on tour. "Dont know where Ill be tomorrow"
  • Mary from Phoenix, AzMike...in response to how you spell "favorites". You should know that foreign countries, like Canada and England always put a "U" in there. Same with neighbor (neighbour). Didn't they teach you that in school? No offense, I'm just asking.
  • Daniel from Springfield, MaYou're all talkin' 'bout playin' it backwards, and UFO's and mythology and crap. It rocks when you play it forward, there's no need to conspiricize/philosophize about it! Just put on a pair of KOSS's and let it ROCK! Wheel in the Sky is awesome!
  • Ryan from Sewickley, PaWhell in the sky refers to some greek mythology
  • Jt from Tullahoma, TnIn response to Brian, yes, this song always reminded me of that. I always thought it had to do with that. I need to try playing this song backwards... Wasn't there once a piece on this page that said it was based on something form the bible? I vaguely remember...
  • Brian from Nuremberg, GermanyI alway sthought that it had to do with the biblical story of Ezechiels ... the burning wheel of fire in the sky followed by angels,,,the first UFO sighting
  • Mike from Erie, PaThe Wheel in the sky keeps on turning, don't know were I'll ne tommorow!!!
    My favorite song from Journey
    John this is how you spell "favorites"
  • Sara Mackenzie from Middle Of Nowhere, Flthe passing of time equals the changing of the times. hence, steve perry. still, the song rox my sox. well, one of them, anyways.
  • Dave from Latham , NyThe wheel represents the sun (which is moving with time), or the passing of time.
  • John from Stephenville Crossing, CanadaI think this is a very good song. One of my favourites from Journey.
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