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Journey - Greatest Hits Live CD (album) cover




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3.58 | 19 ratings

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4 stars In mid 1998 I went to a record shop and I found among the "New Releases Section" this live album. At first sight I thought that it was a live album recorded by the classic line-up of the band after their reunion in 1996. But it wasn`t, as I found written in small letters in the back cover, saying "(P) 1981, 1983" and "(C) 1998". At that ime I didn`t have an Internet connection, so I didn`t know then that they never toured after the "Trial by Fire" album was released and with Steve Perry and Steve Smith as members of the band. But in the booklet it says that it was recorded in Tokyo, Japan (May 6, 1983), in Houston, Texas (in November 5 & 6, 1981) and in Norman, Oklahoma (July 19, 1983). It also says that the original tapes were stored in tapes storage facilities until in late 1997 were discovered and processed to be released in this CD. They also say that the original tapes had to be baked in an oven to be able to be played again.

One of the best things in this release is the absence of studio overdubs, so the live performances are "as they were played". I think that despite the technology utilised for this release in the modern digital format, some instruments, mainly the piano, are in lower volume when the guitar appears. I don`t know if the mxing wasn`t done very well or maybe the piano was originally recorded in lower volume. But the rest of the instruments sound very good and clear. Maybe the guitar sounds more distorted and even with some feedback in some parts, more "raw" than in the studio versions, even with some fingers mistakes included but it is good anyway. The editing of the CD shows the band playing song after song with very few seconds before the start of another song. Maybe it was done this way to allow the inclusion of all the songs in the 70 minutes available on a CD. In fact, the last song, "Wheel in the Sky" is cut with a fade-out after Steve Perry thanks the audience.

This live compilation was maybe released to satisfy JOURNEY`s biggest fans need to hear their best songs recorded live in the absence of a proper tour after their "Trial by Fire" album was released. It includes songs from most of the albums the band released since Perry joined the band until the "Frontiers" album. Obviously, the songs from the "Frontiers" album were recorded during their 1983 tour , but the details about the recording dates of the rest of the songs are hard to know because the booklet doesn`t give details about this. I know that there are a DVD and a CD of JOURNEY (produced by Steve Perry) filmed and recorded in Houston in 1981. It has more songs taken from those concerts apart from the ones included in this "Greatest Hits Live" CD.

Most of the songs are played very well, with the exception of "Still They Ride", because the guitar solo is not as good as in the studio version, sounding like Schon and Smith lost concentration and the song sounds a bit forced in that section, like they were trying to hide a mistake. Anyway, this CD is very enjoyable, very well recorded and mixed (with the exception of the piano in some parts, as I wrote above), and it has a very good selection of their most famous songs.

Guillermo | 4/5 |


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