Rockbrat Wonders – About Journey ‘Wheel In The Sky’ and Robert Fleischman

Journey's 1978 album 'Infinity'

I’m not the biggest Journey fan, but I do like a bunch of their tunes. My favourite is ‘Wheel In The Sky’, off their 1978 album ‘Infinity’,  but did you know that the tune was penned by Robert Fleishman, who was the guy with air raid siren like voice on Vinnie Vincent’s first album. Fleischman was the lead singer of Journey immediately prior to Steve Perry. He was with the band for about nine months in 1977, contributing his song writing skills and vocal performances, but never actually recorded any albums with the band. As I mentioned he co wrote the band’s first charting song “Wheel in the Sky”, as well as “Anytime” and “Winds Of March”.  Musical differences ? Whatever the reason, he didn’t become a household name with Journey. Fleischman came close several times to hitting the big time throughout the years, but he never quite made it. Did you know that he was also associated with the English rock group Asia ?  John Kalodner of Geffen Records introduced him to John Wetton with a view to Robert becoming Asia’s lead-singer. Fleischman was impressed by John Wetton’s singing, and told Wetton that he felt the voice best suited to Asia was Wetton’s own. In 1986, Fleischman appeared with the Vinnie Vincent Invasion on their self-titled album. Again, Fleischman didn’t last long with VVI, and was replaced by Mark Slaughter, a younger guy who no doubt looked better in the videos and magazines that Fleischman. Personally, I think Fleischman’s voice is far superior to Slaughter’s. Anyways, back to the point of the post. When this song broke and became a hit for Journey, Steve Perry was stable in the band and they were on their way to massive commercial success. So next time you hear this, try and imagine Fleischman singing it – it was after all, predominantly his tune. It’s a great song, check out the video clip for it here.

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