• Oh Sherrie

    Written by: Steve Perry, Randy Goodrum

Street Talk is Steve Perry’s first solo album, released in April 1984.

After the back-to-back-to-back Top 10 triumphs of 1980′s ‘Departure,’ 1981′s ‘Escape,’ and 1983′s ‘Frontiers,’ the members of Journey were on top of the world — and ready to experiment with solo projects.

The most high-profile hit of the bunch was ‘Street Talk,’ released by singer Steve Perry in April of 1984 — and although that made perfect sense, given that Perry was the voice of the group’s biggest hits, that didn’t mean executives at Journey’s label, Columbia Records, were eager to see him step out on his own.

“They were scared to death,” Perry recalled during an interview with MelodicRock.com in 2011. “They thought that I was going to spend a lot of money and they weren’t sure what I was going to do. But you know, I ended up doing it relatively inexpensively and quickly because I had great musicians. There were no computers back then. Everything you’re hearing on the ‘Street Talk’ record is absolutely performed in the studio and captured on a piece of tape…It was a special time in my life, I think.”

To casual fans, the sound of Steve Perry solo may not have seemed appreciably different from his work with Journey, but behind the scenes, the music came from a much more casual place. “The kind of neuroses than you feel in Journey because of the pressure can tend to sterilize your work,” Perry admitted during an August 1984 interview with Kerrang!. With this album I just said ‘F— it, I got into this business to hear my own songs as they should be heard, to see the ideas take form, to build a track…that’s all. That’s what I’m gonna do with this record.”

“It was a no pressure situation,” he told ‘Good Morning America.’ “I just said ‘I’m gonna have some fun in the studio, more fun than I’ve ever had so far’ … it’s like my first album to me.”

‘Street Talk’ ended up being like his first album in more ways than one — it also found him reuniting with a member of Alien Project, his pre-Journey band in the ’70s. “I was in a band with Craig Krampf years ago, and Street Talk was gonna be the name of our band,” Perry recalled. “Unfortunately, a situation happened where one of our members got killed in a car accident, so after that happened, we disbanded, of course. The name Street Talk has still been floating around you know it was appropriate since I got back together with Craig one more time that we’d call it ‘Street Talk.’”

With different personnel, naturally, came a different sound — and with Krampf on board, Perry returned organically to his musical roots. “I went for a whole different thing entirely. I went for a different production sound, I went for a different band sound. Different vocal register. Things that I used to do an awful lot before I joined Journey,” he mused. “I came from R&B. All of my friends that used to be in bands with me years ago have called me and said, ‘This album sounds more like the Steve Perry I used to work with than anything I’ve ever heard you do.’ It does have a little bit of that old flavor that I used to work with.”

Street Talk contains Steve Perry’s biggest hit as a solo artist, “Oh Sherrie”, written for his then-girlfriend Sherrie Swafford. The song hit #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #1 on Billboard’s Rock chart, and the accompanying music video (also featuring Swafford) was a hit on MTV. Other singles included “Foolish Heart” (peaked at #18), “She’s Mine” (peaked at #21), and “Strung Out” (peaked at #40).

There were a number of nods to Steve’s pre-Journey band Alien Project on this album—in fact, that band was originally going to be called Street Talk. In the liner notes, Perry dedicates the album to Richard Michaels (the bassist for Alien Project). Also, drummer Craig Krampf was a member of Alien Project later in the 1970s.

  • Street Talk is certified as 2x Platinum (2,000,000) in sales by the RIAA.
  • It is one of the first albums Next Plateau Entertainment has distributed.

  • Steve Perry: Street Talk Interview 1984

  • Strung Out

  • Foolish Heart

Street Talk Liner Notes:

Echo Chamber #5 from Capitol Studios. Thank you Pat Weber, John Sands, Jeff and Bob

We couldn’t have had the echo without The Media South District, Switch Services South of Pacific Bell. Thank you Darrell Allison, William Munn, Tony Ganzalis, June Hall, Miguel Lee, Ray Koyanagi, and all the people in the trenches.

Special Thanks to Vavou & Rose, Mom and Dad, Sherrie, Toshka & Tonja, The San Joaquin Valley From Which All Things Come, Judy Ross at BBP, Throne Nogar and John Fiore of the fabulous Annex, Al Teller, Larrie “Do You Wanna See My Socks” Londin, Ron Oberman, Bob “No Respect” Glaub, Michael Dilbeck, Bill “We’ll Fix It In The Video” Cuomo, Perry Oretzky, Mike “Downstairs” Landau, Randy “Just What I’m Worth Or Nothing” Goodrum, Marion Bukrinsky, Guido, Lee Phillips, Niko “Good Things Won’t Hurt You” Bolas, Gary Mallaber, WB Amigo, Brian Garafalo, Richard “Trust Me” Bosworth, Ray Gomez, “The King of A & R” Andy Newmark, Austin Godsey for the Joke Books & Alvin, Craig Krampf & Family, Billy Steele, Josh Leo, Timmy Schmidt for the precious mixing time, Marie, Steve Goldstein, Kevin “Western Avenue” McCormick, and of course, Dewey “Stevie Baby” Bunnell, Achilies for his food & jokes, The staff at Nightmare, Last but not least, The Sullies of Lemo. Steve Douglas appears courtesy of Fantasy Records.

Thank you Val Garay, Debbie, Denny, Bob, Duane & Danny

This Album is dedicated to Richard Michaels & Steve Potter

Thanks to All,