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Journey - Raised On Radio CD (album) cover

RAISED ON RADIO

Journey

 

Prog Related

2.37 | 80 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

siLLy puPPy
3 stars After the triumphant trilogy of "Departure," "Escape" and "Frontiers," where San Francisco based JOURNEY found huge success after having tamed down their crossover progressive tendencies that went straight for the hard rock and AOR jugular they succeeded in a short time to become one of the biggest bands in the world. And after a several year run and a slew of hit singles and successful tours, the band was on burnout mode and needed some time off. After 1983's "Frontiers," both lead singer Steve Perry and guitarist Neil Schon would release their own solo albums with Perry finding yet more success on the pop charts. After three long years in the mid-80s when the music scene was quickly changing the band finally released the followup RAISED ON RADIO in 1986 but not until after Perry got a taste for creative control where he produced his solo release and wanted to quit the band however keyboardist Jonathan Cain had other ideas and wanted Perry back in the limelight to help out on his new music, but it came with a price. Perry's newfound taste for independence resulted in both bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith being fired from the band as well as the album cover depicting the radio station that Perry's parents owned. Perry took the reins in the production department as well and as a result a JOURNEY album was released that sounded unlike anything in their previous catalogue and more like a followup to Perry's 1984 solo "Street Talk."

Technically the group was whittled down to a trio but in reality hosted a whole army of guest musicians, associate producers and engineers. The main newbies were session musician and bassist Randy Jackson who appeared on all kinds of albums by Jean-Luc Ponty, Billy Cobham and a million others and drummer Larrie Londin who also appeared on a million and one different artists' recordings. In addition there were extra bassists and drummers on board as well as Dan Hull contributing a new sound to the band - the saxophone. Despite the new arrangements and style shifts, the band found another top 10 album that would go double platinum as there was enough pop rock and AOR appeal to please the second wave fans of their career. The band would also score four top 40 hits and have yet another successful tour. However this was the end of JOURNEY at least for a while. It was clear that the band no longer functioned in meaningful way and after this album they would split until their reunion ten years later with the album "Trial By Fire."

RAISED ON RADIO is one of the stubbornly proud incarnations of the mid-80s with all of the cheese and pompous glory associated with that time period, but for what it is, i have to say that there are appealing pop rock tracks to be found on this one. And in that regard is very similar to almost every JOURNEY album i've encountered. That meaning there are a handful of extremely strong and well constructed pop rock hooks floating around in a few tracks and then a bunch of AOR filler and wimpy arena rock crap. RAISED ON RADIO is no different than the rest actually. Personally i'm quite partial to three of the singles on this one. The upbeat and catchy "Girl Can't Help It" displays the band's pop hook talents as good as anything they had ever concocted. Same with the more energetic "Be Good To Yourself." The slower ballad "I'll Be Alright Without You" also captures Perry's unique crooning abilities to weave magic around an otherwise OK melodic track, however my absolute favorite on the album is the non-single second track "Positive Touch" which is so damn catchy that if you swapped out vocalists could easily fit on Supertramp's "Breakfast In America" with its cleverly crafted groovilisciousness and sizzling sultry sax solos.

Other than the somewhat mesmerizing ballad "The Eyes Of A Woman," i find the remaining tracks to be somewhat lackluster as they exemplify the excess AOR tendencies that were aimed at post pubescent mall rats who lusted over Perry's ridiculous swooning lyrics. Particularly nauseating is the closer "Why Can't This Night Go On Forever" which just reeks of a slow wedding dance ballad when the booze has run low and the sentiments high and a raw slice of AOR hell that sounds like a reworked production of their previous hit "Faithfully". The rest of the tracks including the hit single "Suzanne" are just to syrupy and just don't come close in quality to the strongest tracks on the album. This could have been a very satisfying album overall if they would've stuck to the sultry swinging sax type of tracks that work quite well with their songwriting skills. Unfortunately that was not to be and JOURNEY once again released an album that i keep around for a few tracks that i listening to but this is just another album that has too much filler. 3 stars for the strong tracks that makes this a decent listen with some selective skipping.

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |

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