The Wheel in the Sky Goes Round and Round

16th century German woodcut: "Vision of Ezekiel"
16th century German woodcut: “Vision of Ezekiel”
–By Cindy

Journey recorded “Wheel in the Sky” in 1977 as part of their fourth studio album, Infinity. The song was written by then-lead vocalist Robert Fleischman (who overlapped with Steve Perry in 1977), lead guitarist Neal Schon, and Diane Valory, wife of Journey’s bass guitarist Russ Valory.

The lyrics were adapted from a poem that Diane Valory had written, which in turn was inspired by a 16th-century woodcut featuring the “wheel in the sky” that Ezekiel saw in his vision; Valory still uses this woodcut as her website’s featured image.

If you attended our Winter Concert this past March at Saint Mark’s Cathedral, you heard us perform the spiritual “Ezekiel Saw de Wheel,” and you also heard our director Jeremy Matheis discuss how spirituals, the “first American musical art form,” evolved into gospel, blues/jazz, and eventually… rock and roll! This concept comes full circle for us (pun fully intended) with our presentation of the rock classic “Wheel in the Sky” at our June shows. Our awesome arrangement was written by Jeff Crull, one of our two composers-in-residence.