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Journey - Captured CD (album) cover




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3.35 | 48 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Greg Rolie has left the building (and the band!)

Although they have toured extensively throughout their long career, Journey have released very few live albums. For many years, this 1981 set was the sole representation of the band playing live. Released in the same year as the massively successful "Escape", this album was actually recorded during the tour to promote the previous "Departure" album. This would prove to be founding member Greg Rolie's last appearance on a Journey album, as he left the band prior to the recording of "Escape".

The songs here are taken from the first three Journey albums to include Steve Perry in the line up. Five tracks come from each of these albums, with a further previously unreleased song "Dixie highway" being added to the live set. The recordings are primarily from a two night residency in Detroit, USA, with the first 4 tracks being recorded in Quebec, Canada and the following two from a gig in Tokyo Japan. All took place in 1980.

The album is rounded off with one new studio track, recorded after Rolie's departure. Stevie "Keys" Roseman plays keyboards on the track "The Party's Over (Hopelessly in Love)", his sole appearance on a Journey album. Keyboard duties were taken over thereafter on a permanent basis by Jonathan Cain.

While clearly being live recordings, the songs are performed faithfully generally without embellishment or enhancement. The wonderful "Lights" for example is recreated as a virtually perfect facsimile of the studio original. Here, it is paired with "Stay awhile" from the then new album to form a fine two part number. The aforementioned "Dixie highway" which runs to over 6 minutes, is introduced by Steve Perry as a brand new song. This upbeat rock and roller sounds very similar to the Kiss song "Detroit rock city", perhaps explaining its exclusion from a studio album. Whether this is just coincidence, the recording coming from a gig in Detroit, is a matter for conjecture.

Two tracks, "Walks like a lady" and "La do da" are significantly extended from their original versions, both running to over 7 minutes. The extensions are primarily due to frivolity (including the ubiquitous drum solo) rather than any serious embellishment or development. They are real crowd-pleasers though. Greg Rolie takes lead vocal for a couple of the songs, "Feeling that way" and "Anytime", with Perry adding harmony.

The set list is geared very much towards the rock songs, with ballads being few and far between. Likewise, the early (prog) years are ignored altogether, with nothing from the first three albums remaining in the set. While disappointing for fans of those albums, this is perfectly understandable given that the vast majority of the audience would only be familiar with the band's AOR output since Perry's arrival.

The new studio track's title "The party's over (Hopelessly in love)" might appear to indicate that a soppy ballad is coming, but the song actually maintains the rock mood of the album, it is just the lyrics which are wet. Although a minor rarity, I would not recommend tracking down the album just for this one track.

In all, a fine summary of where Journey were in 1980. Many of the band's biggest hits came after this time and are therefore absent, but there are probably a few more familiar numbers than you would expect from a cursory glance at the track list.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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