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Journey Next album cover
3.10 | 115 ratings | 13 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1977

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Spaceman (4:01)
2. People (5:21)
3. I Would Find You (5:54)
4. Here We Are (4:18)
5. Hustler (3:16)
6. Next (5:28)
7. Nickel And Dime (4:13)
8. Karma (5:07)

Total time 37:38

Line-up / Musicians

- Gregg Rolie / lead vocals (1,2,4-6), keyboards
- Neal Schon / electric & acoustic guitars, lead vocals (3,8)
- Ross Valory / bass, vocals
- Aynsley Dunbar / drums, percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Bruce Steinberg

LP Columbia - PC 34311 (1977, US)

CD Columbia - CK 34311 (1991, US)

Thanks to Ricochet for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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JOURNEY Next ratings distribution

(115 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(33%)
Good, but non-essential (42%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

JOURNEY Next reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Third release of Journey from 1977 and the final one as main voice of Gregg Rolie. On the next albums he done some vocal parts on some as main voice, but was replaced by the excellent Steve Perry who's voice was much better for thier new aproach AOR sound. Nevertheless Rolie's voice was very strong, rough with some very strong moments on the first 3 albums, more toward blues with some rock leanings. This third album keeps that rock with blusy and jazzy leanings atmosphere but i don't think is better than previous two, the best they ever done. Some of the pieces fon Next are real treat like:I Would Find You, the instrumental one Nickel And Dime, the rest are ok, even in places quite strong but not outstanding. So an good album with good moments, strong keyboard interplays made by Gregg Rolie and fine riffs and arrangements made by the main man of theband Neal Schon. All in all a good album, the final one from the first era, the next ones are more AOr and comercial attitude. 3 stars, good but not outstanding like previouses two.
Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Third album for the unchanged Journey, except for the fact that Ainsley Dunbar wrote a lot of lyrics (where he didn't before) and Neal Schon sings out a few tracks as well. Although the artwork might appear to be bland, with just front and back cover group shots, showing the sign of the times (it's always better than the ugly preceding album's "artistic" artwork), but unfortunately such artwork can already announce how mainstream the album can be, even if this album is Schon's best hour in the group. It's probably Rollie'sweakest moment so far in Journey, as if emptied of ideas.

The opening Spaceman track was probably the intended single and it had a lot going for itself (including a searing and soaring guitar from Neal), except for that tad bit to score the desired touchdown. Next up, People is an above average track as well, but can't manage it's full potential, although Schon's guitar in the quiet passages could've stolen the show if played ala Frampton. If the longest track of the album (clocking just under 6 mins) is Schon's I Would Find You revisits fairly successfully the first album; however Rollie's Here We Are is completely uninspired and can easily qualify as filler.

Over to the flipside, just in case some people might doubt Dunbar got fired for his hetero-sexuality, you might want to read his lyrics in Hustler; an otherwise uninteresting track. The title track takes its time to expand into a long and hard intro, once the verse and chorus are here, it's all so conventional and uninspired that it is either bad or just filler material. Nickel & Dime is an instrumental, that was obviously a leftover from the debut album (it's still got a credit of Tickner into it) and it's easily the best track of the album, at one point sounding briefly like Rush's Xanadu and Dunbar not-so-briefly like Neil Peart. The closing Karma is another crunchy guitar affair that sounds good enough, but ultimately serves as filling material, if you'll except Schon's impressive guitar work.

Certainly no catastrophic album, but this is the drop that will fill CBS' bucket and proposed them a deal (let's call it that, but it qualifies more as blackmailing), which would turn out to be vastly satisfactory for all parties concerned, at least on a commercial scale. Not quite as good as its two predecessor, but infinitely better than the nxt few Steve Perryfronted albums. And if I criticize Rollie being uninspired, what shall I say of Vallory, that hasn't been mentioned yet in this review...

Review by Prog Leviathan
2 stars While not terrible, this last of the early Journey albums fails to accomplish what either of its predecessors did-- engage the listener with either technically interesting jams or catchy melodies. From the moment the opener, the vacuous Spaceman, starts up, the listener while be hard-pressed to keep a good attitude. This set of songs comes across as very contrived-- an attempt by the band to find some sort of commercial success; the sad thing is that even Neal Schon's stellar guitar work falls to pieces, sounding very processed and detached. Filler follows filler, in what becomes a laborius collection of music to get through.

Next is definitely the weakest of this set of albums, and should be avoided except by fans who really grooved with Look Into the Future. Not quite a 1-star stinker-- but close.

Songwriting: 1 Instrumental Performances: 2 Lyrics/Vocals: 1 Style/Emotion/Replay: 2

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Little by little, "Journey" walks out from its influences from the great "Santana". The guitar breaks from Neal Schon are shorter, but still very effective ("People") and the heavy organ parts form the Gregg are more a kind of a background item unfortunately.

Their first two albums did hold some very good songs (even if I rounded up my judgment) but I can't really find the comparison here. We are confronted to skilled musicians with talent for song writing, for sure. But some passion seems to be lacking even if Neal is shining brilliantly during "I Would Find You".

Some numbers from this album are on the very average side ("Here We Are") are definitely on the down side and indicates less creative work. There are some attempts to rock like "Hustler" which could have been a great live track.

The title song is also leading the listener from the average feel to the very good one (mainly thanks to Schon). I remember the great man featured on the inside cover of the excellent "Santana" third album. In those days, there were no Internet to figure out how a band member looked like ?How many times did I look at this inside album cover? Countless!

He is again great for the instrumental "Nickel & Dime". Some credits also needs to be given to both Aynsley Dunbar on the drums and Ross Valory on bass who are performing at a high level in their duties.

There is even one "Hendrix" oriented track featured with "Karma". A speedy and bluesy guitar- oriented song which is quite pleasant to listen to. Actually this album is more a Neal Schon affair IMHHO. The man is superbly gifted, and when he is soloing, one can only be touched. I just feel a little sad for Gregg who has a more discreet role.

Three stars. A good album.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Who's next... on vocals?

Having released two well considered but commercially unsuccessful albums, Journey became ever more aware that their vocals were seen as the weak point of their material. The three other band members reportedly took singing lessons so that they could harmonise with Gregg Rolie's lead voice, and Neal Schon even stepped up to take lead himself on two tracks on this album. At the same time, the record company became increasingly vocal in their disappointment with the lack of commercial success of what they saw as a spin off from Santana. In response, Journey began to move away from the fusion side of their music, instead attempting to record songs which were shorter and more accessible.

"Next" therefore represents the beginning of one of the most significant transitions in rock history. This though should be seen more as the last of the old than the first of the new, especially since Rollie remains lead vocalist here, Steve Perry not yet being on board.

The opening "Spaceman" is certainly the most radio friendly song the band have recorded thus far, although it retains a creditable element of rock. "People" is more in line with the material on the previous albums, Schon adding some dazzling guitar licks to a heavy, organ driven base. "I Would Find You" opens with some spacey synthesiser sounds, hardly a novelty by 1977, but still futuristic sounding, especially for Journey. The song itself slows things right down in a Hendrix like cod-blues.

Rolie's "Here We Are" is a rather mediocre dirge with off key Beatles like vocals. "Hustler", the shortest track on the album, is standard American hard rock fare, with suitable Motley Crue type lyrics. The title track was co-written by Greg Rolie and Aynsley Dunbar with non band member Heidi Cogdell. The songs reverts to the melodic power rock of the opener, but the so-so vocals and lack of strong melody render it sub-par. The track ends better than it started though, with a brief guitar led jam.

"Nickel and Dime" is the only instrumental included in the set, the track apparently dating from the time of the first album. Former guitarist George Tickner, who left after the début release, is included in a four way writing credit. As such, this piece seems a little out of place here but is a welcome diversion nonetheless. The album closes with "Karma", another rather muddled affair saved by some good lead guitar. The track features one of those strange double endings which were a feature of some songs in the 1970's, most famously Elvis Presley's "Suspicious minds".

In all, a decent if unremarkable album whose lack of success sealed Journey's fate as a prog (related) band.

Another instrumental track called "Cookie Duster" was originally planned for the album (there would have been plenty of room for it), but was omitted. The track, which can be heard on the "Time 3" box set, is also co-credited to Tickner, implying that it too was a left over from the first album. "Cookie Duster" certainly has much in keeping with that album being an electric piano led jazz fusion piece.

After "Next" was released, Journey would, at the behest of the record company, seek to recruit a dedicated lead singer. Robert Fleischman initially took up the role for around 9 months, but no album was released during his tenure. He did however record with the band, and co-wrote several songs which appeared on the next album. One track, "For you", which also features on the "Time 3" album, is the only Journey song known to include his lead vocal. Although slightly higher, his voice is similar to that of Dennis De Young of Styx, the song sounding a bit like a Lawton era Uriah Heep number. Following Fleischman's departure, Steve Perry would join the band, and the transition was immediately complete.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
1 stars Indeed, it is the next album you should listen to!

Next was the last of the three pre-Steve Perry Journey albums and as such it is a bit of a transitional album between the two phases of the band's career. The songs are slightly shorter and a bit less jazzy. Like on the previous Looking Into The Future album, there is too much Led Zeppelin-like, rambling Blues Rock here that seems to go nowhere. Not my cup of tea, I'm afraid. Only occasionally is there a good passage with an interesting riff or solo, sometimes synthesisers play a role, but these good moments are all too few and far between. The intro to I Would Find You seems to be heavily inspired by Rainbow's Tarrot Woman, but what follows is a terribly dull and middle-of-the-road Blues rocker.

The better songs come at the beginning of the album with the opening track Spaceman standing out as a decent song. Overall, I think that the present album is slightly better than Looking Into The Future and slightly less good compared to the debut. Had they combined the best tracks from these first three albums and made it into a single album, it would have been a better one compared to any of these albums as they stand, but it would still have been miles behind Infinity.

It is hard to believe that only a year after this they would release the very different and very much better Infinity. I can recommend this album only to serious fans and collectors who would like to explore the early days of Journey.

Review by stefro
3 stars Despite selling around 100,000 copies, Journey's third-and-final attempt to fuse progressive elements onto their emotive brand of hard-edged classic rock was deemed to be the final straw, both by the group's manager(former Santana handler Herbie Herbert) and by their dollar-hungry label Columbia Records. Despite featuring a more streamlined and accessible sound than both the group's fusion-influenced debut and the softer, popper follow-up 'Look Into The Future', Journey were faced with an ultimatum: get a proper, dedicated front-man(keyboardist Gregg Rolie had been doubling on vocals) or get lost. The group, unsurprisingly, went for the former option, first appointing short-lived singer Robert Fleischmann(who lasted just a few months) then ex-Alien Project vocalist Steve Perry. The rest, as the continuously say, is gold-record history. But what of 'Next'? Was it really that bad? Well, the simple answer is no, it wasn't. With ex-Frank Zappa drummer Aynsley Dunbar, Santana's former teenage guitarist Neal Schon and talented bassist Ross Valory augmenting Greg Rolie, the original version of Journey was a kind of super-group, something very much reflected in the group's consumate playing. Unlike their self-titled debut, however, 'Next' was less about showing off and more about crafting actual songs, and efforts such as the charming 'Spaceman', which opens the album, and the glorious harmonies 'Here We Are' are testament to the group's changing direction. However, as well all know, money talks, and Journey just weren't shifting the required amounts, hence the addition of Steve Perry. Albums like 'Escape' would turn the group into American superstars, though in terms of actual quality nothing beats Journey's first three albums. Just like it's predecessors, 'Next' is a highly underrated slice of prog-tinged classic rock that really does deserve better.


Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars This is the last Journey album before Steve Perry would join the group and take over the lead vocalist duties. Greg Rollie and Neal Schon are credited as the lead vocalists here and neither one of them are as dynamic as Steve Perry, but their vocals do fit for the bluesy-rock sound that permeates this album. The album is a little rough around the edges but it still has a lot going for it. There is a lot more guitar soloing and interesting keyboard effects than there would be in future albums. Journey at this point was trying to get a larger audience and with this album, they tried to accomplish that by adopting a Led Zeppelin-esque sound. But they do it well without being a copy. I know I'm probably in the minority here, but I think this is their best album out of all of their pre-Perry work. But, I am more familiar with it than the previous two, so accept my opinion for the biased opinion that it is :) Honestly, I like the hard and rough edge apparent throughout all of the songs on this album. There are vocals on all of the tracks except for Nickel & Dime which is mostly guitar driven, as is the majority of all the tracks here. This album works as a good bridge between the older music and the new style that they would be moving into. To me, their best album was their next one; "Infinity". But this one holds a lot of loudness that would surprise any Journey fan that was only familiar with their popular music.
Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Another attempt to make Journey hit the charts (it did, but not nearly as high as nor staying there as long as their label expected). On their third album the group musically tries to bring a balance between the jazz rock/fusion style of their debut and the more pop/hard rock second one. In any case, Next is doubtless slightly superior to their sophomore release, Look Into The Future. However, it has its flaws too.

While the songwriting here is an improvement over the uninspired Look Into.... itīs not as strong as it could be. Some people blame the vocal parts, but I donīt agree with that, since Gregg Rolie showed to be a good, if not outstanding, singer. The band even took singing lessons trying to perfect vocal harmonies to help out Rolie (and went even further letting Neil Schon sing on a couple of tracks). Rolieīs problem seems to be on his performances as a keyboards player, since his trademark Hammond solos are nowhere to be found. In fact, all keys are quite subdue on Next, which is a pity. Schon totally dominates the record and itīs the LPīs best feature, along with Aynsley Dunbarīs brilliant drumming. Best songs: the nice opener Spaceman and the very Rush-like instrumental Nickel & Dime.

Next closes this stage of the bandīs career showing they had the potential to go very far (which they eventually did), but the final impression is that the group still hasnīt found their true personality nor written the most fitting stuff for them (influences here go from Hendrix and Pink Floyd to Rush and Zeppelin). It would all change in the near future.

Rating: something between 2.5 and 3 stars. Good, but definitely non essential in any way.

Review by Necrotica
4 stars So then, we reach Gregg Rolie's last leading performance in Journey, and they definitely finished strong with this one. I will admit, however, that this one veers into more of a pop/rock territory, but still not as much as when Steve Perry joined. Actually, this is one of Journey's best performances, since it combines the prog/jazz fusion of pre-Perry Journey, and the soft pop/rock sensibilities of Steve Perry's performances with the group. So, overall, what we have here is one of the most well-rounded albums of Journey's discography. This is often on of the most overlooked albums in the Journey catalog, with two reasons: 1. It is pre-Perry Journey(duh), and 2. It was more of a transition album.

One of this album's greatest aspects is in its awesome instrumentals. Take the song Nickel and Dime, for example. This song's most prominent time signature is 5/8 and that's unheard of in later Journey! Also, the band was really on to something with the title track, Next. This song seems to alternate between a ballad and a hard rock song, still full of interesting jazz passages and the crazy time signatures that this band was known for at the time.

However, perhaps the best song on the album is People. This song focuses mainly on Neal Schon's improvisational solos and Gregg Rolie's distinctive singing style. It is a very odd tune, and a bit hard to describe. Meanwhile, Ansley Dunbar's drumming is absolutely outstanding. He can keep the rhythm in line while doing is own insane solos and paying close attention to precision and detail. His drumming is one of the highlights in the song. Here We Are is also one of the best songs on the album, yet a bit more commercial. This is more of a power ballad with a progressive edge, just like the title track. This song also emphasizes Neal Schon's guitar harmonies.

When you get to Hustler, though, you know you're in for a ride. You can clearly tell that Neal Schon and Gregg Rolie took elements from Led Zeppelin on this one. From the wailing classic rock-styled vocals of Gregg Rolie being reminiscent of Robert Plant, to the crazy hard rock/bluesy solos of Neal Schon reminiscent of Jimmy Page, this one could have easily fit into one of Led Zeppelin's recordings, namely III or IV. Yet, again, this one still finds its own progressive spark, with weird rhythms that Led Zeppelin wouldn't normally use, especially in the chorus. Also this one is a bit heavier that a normal song that Zeppelin would have done.

The big problem that I had with the album is the brevity. This album has so many great ideas, yet doesn't use them to their full potential. I'm mainly talking about the opening track, Spaceman. While this song is good, it could have had more jazz passages to make it more interesting, etc.

However, despite some flaws, this album is a smart progression for a fusion/prog group. It has mostly lived up to the potential overall. Too bad this is the last great album by Journey before Steve Perry disassembled the group's prog roots. Oh well... It'd be really great if Gregg Rolie joined Journey again to make such good music. Until next time, Journey!

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