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Journey - Escape CD (album) cover

ESCAPE

Journey

 

Prog Related

2.68 | 92 ratings

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Guillermo
Prog Reviewer
4 stars I have to say that I never have listened to their first three albums which were recorded before Steve Perry joined the band. I have read reviews which say that those three albums were really considered as being in the Progressive Rock style. It was until mid 1981 when a cousin lent me one of their albums recorded with Perry before Jonathan Cain joined the band. The album was called "Evolution", but I didn`t like that album very much then.

It was until 1982 when I listened to their song called "Open Arms" in a FM Radio station in my city that I wanted to buy this album titled "Escape", being this album their first recorded with Jonathan Cain on keyboards, rhythm guitars and backing vocals, and also as one of the main composers in the band (with Neal Schon and Steve Perry being the other two main composers). I have to say that I don`t consider this album as having Progressive Rock influences in most parts, but it is a very good album in the Arena Rock style which was mostly a successful fad in the eighties.

With Journey`s three first albums being Progressive Rock in style as I have read in reviews, and with those albums not being very popular in sales, maybe the record label was demanding Hit Singles from the band, so they had to change their musical style. First, they recruited a lead singer called Robert Fleischman, who, apart from being in the band for three or four months in mid 1977, played some concerts with them and also co-wrote some songs which were recorded in their next album, but by that time with lead singer Steve Perry in the band. I consider Steve Perry as one of the best lead singers in Rock, with also being in that list Lou Gramm from the band Foreigner and Boston`s great late lead singer Brad Delp. By early 1981, Gregg Rollie, the original keyboard player and lead singer in the band left them, suggesting them to recruit Jonathan Cain as their new keyboard player. So after this they recorded this very successful album called "Escape".

I bought this album in the autumn of 1982, being a teenager then. I was very impressed then by the good quality of the music and the playing in this album. It has a lot of Intense songs. Songs sung and played with feeling with great lead guitars and the great voice of Perry.

Song by song:

"Don`t Stop Believing": a "power ballad" with piano and lead guitar with very good lead vocals. Also the backing vocals are good.

"Stone in Love": a song played with Schon and Cain on guitars and a bit of keyboards. Again, Schon plays an energetic lead guitar part.

"Who`s Crying Now": another ballad played a lot on FM Radio stations. Very good keyboards and lead guitar. Ross Valory also shines on bass guitar.

"Keep on Runnin`": a Hard-Rock / Heavy Rock song played with guitars too and no keyboards.

"Still They Ride": one of the best songs in this album, another Hard-Rock / Power Ballad with great lead vocals by Perry and an excellent lead guitar by Schon.

"Escape": a song about teenage runaways which is good.

"Lay It Down": another Hard- Rock song played with guitars. Schon is one of the most intense lead guitar players I have listened to. This is one of the more Heavy songs in this album.

"Dead or Alive": another Hard-Rock song, this time with lyrics about a Male Professional Killer which in the end is killed by a more skilled Female Professional Killer.

"Mother, Father": one of the best, maybe the best song in this album, and the song which mostlly has Prog Rock influences. Schon again plays a very intense lead guitar, maybe his best in this album, with great lead vocals by Perry too, and energetic drums by Steve Smith.

"Open Arms": a very good and very mellow "sugar ballad" which apparently only Perry and Cain (the composers) liked, and it seems that it almost didn`t appear in this album. But it became one of their biggest hits.

In conclusion, this album is not very Progressive Rock in style, but is very good anyway. It is maybe thier best album from their years with Steve Perry as lead singer.

Guillermo | 4/5 |

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