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Journey Infinity album cover
2.89 | 123 ratings | 16 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Lights (3:10)
2. Feeling That Way (3:27)
3. Anytime (3:28)
4. Lă Do Dā (2:58)
5. Patiently (3:20)
6. Wheel In The Sky (4:12)
7. Somethin' To Hide (3:26)
8. Winds Of March (5:04)
9. Can Do (2:39)
10. Opened The Door (4:34)

Total time 36:18

Line-up / Musicians

- Steve Perry / lead vocals (excl. 3)
- Neal Schon / electric & acoustic guitars, backing vocals
- Gregg Rolie / keyboards, lead (2,3) & backing vocals
- Ross Valory / bass, backing vocals
- Aynsley Dunbar / drums, percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse

LP Columbia- 34912 (1978, US)

CD Columbia- CK 34912 (1986, US)
CD Columbia- CK 57207 (1994, US) 20-bit remaster by Vlado Meller
CD Columbia- CK 67725 (1996, US) Remastered by Bob Ludwig & Brian Lee

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

(123 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(25%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (19%)
Poor. Only for completionists (8%)

JOURNEY Infinity reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Forth album of Journey from 1978 and the first one with excellent vocalist Steve Perry behind the microphone. By the time they released this album called Infinity the band stepped in a new period, the comercial period, with many hits and million albums saled worldwide. If the previouses albums sold quite poorly this thing will change next year, in 1978. After three albums that were considered dissapointing, but were in fact Journey's most progressive ones from the entire discography and why not the best, Journey hired a better vocalist - Steve Perry. The results were immediately felt, the album was sold in over one million copies, more than the previous albums altogether. But the sound changes were almost dramatic. From that jazz-fusion progressive music they turned in an AOR - hard rock band, not far from what FOREIGNER, STYX or BOSTON played during the same period. Some great pieces are too on this albuym like: the hit Lights, the smooth Patiently - excellent vocal parts made by Steve Perry and a classic Journey tune, sung on every concert Wheel In The Sky, the rest are ok. I considered this album as a good one, with high and lows, but i prefer the previouses ones with more jazzy aproach. 3 stars, good album, but no more than that.
Review by Sean Trane
1 stars This is one of my most hated album ever, because it's representative of the music industry taking over the deciding reins of RnR and turning it into a money machine, and in a few months will transform a genuine rock group into a corporate rock group - seriously Jouney has been labelled that, and by specialist music journalist at that, themselves part of that industry. Soooo CBS, not happy with commercial returns proposed a hideous deal: lose their gold-knitted recording deal or accept this semi- crooner Steve Perry as their frontmen and major songwriting partner.

The band started to change and this album was the first of a series of idiotic Pontiac Firebird Trans-Am hood artworks with the infinity sign associated, which was a little laughable and so in line with the kitsch tastes of the late 70's. And right away, one can see that Perry chose the younger (and probably more malleable) Schon as his privileged writing partner (Rollie being the ex-lead singer was less probable too), even if his credit don't appear on three tracks, probably leftovers from their just-gone-by days

No less than three top hits came out of this album, all crafted as radio-friendly songs, including the soppy opening ballad Lights, the un-welcomed Anytime (not written by Perry, but sung by him) and the ugly Wheels in The Sky, strangely also not written by Perry, which goes to show that his voice was indeed the only missing ingredient for the group to go from rags to riches. CBS knew what they were doing, quite unfortunately for the RnR spirit.

Among the least loathsome tracks are the hard rocker La Do Da and Winds Of March, which allows one last glimpse of the old Journey in the few great interplay moments ... and that's about it!!To think that there were still three early 70's heroes taking part in this kind of venture is rather unsettling, but they were probably caught financially with their pants down and not necessarily with groupies around, so they were forced or coerced into this.

What really hurts is that within months, Journey was filling stadiums and at the forefront of Stadium, rock, adult-oriented rock, corporate rock and rolling in the bucks from a numb-skulled mainstream crowd only willing to part with their cash for tedious garbage like this. Sooo impressve that Mick Jagger came in for a crash-course to see how it was all done. Soon the heads would start Rolling (Rollie would be second ;o)p) with Dunbar's groupies unsettling the new master's style. No matter how well played or professionally produced (Celine Dion's album are exactly that as well), Infinity is exactly the album to be shat upon. If you're in an anti-capitalist flag-burning parade, bring along your sister copy of this hideous album and throw it in the fire for extra fuel... it should provide a bonfire and save some human ears from being numb-skulled by idiocy.

Review by Prog Leviathan
3 stars So it's the beginning of the AOR stadium juggernaught, rife with corporate undertones and a packaged to sell set list-- but who honestly cares? Lights is one hell of a song, and if a prog-loving listener can't enjoy slumming to feel-good guitar jams like these, then there isn't much point in lauding all the really good bands we'll all agree are more artistic and inventive.

In a nutshell, this album is a collection of catchy rock-oriented fusion shimmering with vocal and guitar hooks. Schon's playing here is first rate-- very smooth, energetic, and dynamic, while Perry's (in)famous vocals are infectious in their soulful genuineness. The fact that he shares lead duties with Rolie (in the first part of the album anyway) is excellent, and it lends a diverse and rich palette to listen to-- even though this is just classic rock. The one-two-three punch of Lights, Feeling That Way, and Anytime is emotionally buoyant, and sure to put one in a good mood. I find that 3 of the later tunes are or approach filler, but the gems here far outweigh those few.

Ultimately, I feel that albums like this cleanse the palette of the deep, complex stuff we progressive listeners like to surround ourselves with, giving us a taste of saccharine sweetness before diving headlong into full-length concept albums and mutation time signatures. Infinity doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is-- a collection of nice, soulful, and approachable music... with a really, really excellent guitar player.

Songwriting: 2 Instrumental Performances: 3 Lyrics/Vocals: 3 Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars It's a little known fact that for nine months between Next and Infinity, Robert Fleischman, who was never on a Journey studio album, was the lead singer for the band. Steve Perry (pretending to be the cousin of a roadie) sang at a sound check with the band during Fleischman's absence, and wound up being the replacement. Ironically, part of the reason manager Walter Herbert wanted to remove Fleischman from the lineup was because Fleischman wasn't working well in the band's early progressive rock styling; when Perry came on board, he was instrumental in pushing them into the mainstream rock circuit. In general, I like this album as much as I like every Journey album with Perry on board; that is to say, it has both great moments and below-average filler.

"Lights" "Lights" is a good ode to the band's hometown, San Francisco. It has some pleasing rhythm guitar work and is overall a satisfying song.

"Feeling That Way" My favorite song on this album has Greg Rolie handling the verses and Perry singing the choruses, a formula they would use on a few other songs during their brief time together. Neal Schon's guitar solo is diligent and fits with the music, but Perry's dynamic vocalizations toward the end of the song are the real gem.

"Anytime" The previous song goes right into this one (and usually does so on the radio also). It's a simple arrangement with a catchy chorus and Rolie on the verses.

"La Do Da" The heaviest song on the album, full of rocking guitars and a screaming solo, this happens to be my least favorite song on the album, mainly because it doesn't flow very well.

"Patiently" The previous track goes into this ballad led by Schon's twelve-string guitar. Perry does a great job singing this one. Halfway through, the electric guitar kicks in with the whole band, and gives this song a completely different flavor.

"Wheel in the Sky" One of Journey's greatest hits, this song has always been one of my favorites. It has a memorable main riff and chorus, and a screaming guitar solo under which Perry delivers some extremely high vocal notes.

"Somethin' to Hide" This song is largely forgettable, but has some good dual lead and enjoyable vocal harmonies. The ending has Perry copying the lead guitar note for note, and has him exhibiting his phenomenal pipes.

"Winds of March" This piece has the most interesting instrumentation, with Rolie on piano and Schon on acoustic guitar. The lyrics are bland, though, and had they not been so dull, this song would have been a top notch addition to this album. Halfway through, the music shifts gears, relying on a heavier sound with Rolie finally getting to cut loose on his organ.

"Can Do" Here's a song that sounds a lot like rock from the mid-to-late 1960s, featuring lazy vocal legatos and thick harmonies, only it uses heavier instrumentation and Schon lets it rip on his guitar.

"Opened the Door" A flow of piano and guitar make for another agreeable track, with Perry singing quite smoothly. It's a decent ending to a decent rock album, and even has a little synthesizer on the last minute before Schon's lead guitar drowns it out.

Review by Isa
3 stars |C-| A classic AOR album with some prog hints.

Of all the Journey albums my parents have with which I grew up, this is probably the only one I will give anything higher than a two. The reason for this is that almost all of the songs on here are decent, if not exceptional for what it is. Most of the band's early slightly proggy material lacks cohesiveness, adequate production, and easily below par singing. Most of the band's pop material following this album has little to no musical integrity whatsoever, made to make cash, period. Not that this is too far from that, but I think some of the integrity from their proggy period carried over a bit, especially in terms of the guitar and keyboard work. Thus this is, in my opinion, Journey at their apex (besides perhaps Next, which I have yet to hear), which is obviously not saying very much.

It is apparently true that their record company pushed them to take a commercial direction with their music with this album, but I'd argue that the band worked better and wrote somewhat higher caliber music overall with this approach. What I like (almost love) about this album is Perry's wonderful voice, however obnoxious and pop sounding it is, it sounds rich in timbre and tone quality to my ears, at least. The chord changes produced by the guitar-keyboard-bass relationships are really quite brilliant, and the way the three parts line up so well makes for some very cohesive songs, with complexity that rivals that of Styx. That obviously isn't saying a whole lot, but if you compare it to other standard AOR bands Boston or Foreigner, this album, in terms of composition, is accurately described as prog-related. Not that I like making comparisons, every album stands on its own quality in my reviews, but that's the only way to put it in perspective where this sits in the prog arena.

Really the songs on this album can be grouped into thirds: the four best songs, which would become classics in hard rock music, the three slightly average but good songs, and the three album fillers that almost smugged the album to a two. The four best are Lights, Feelin' That Way, Wheel in the Sky, and the quite proggy Winds of March. All of these would raise Journey to arena rock fame, and in my opinion can be considered about as musical as anything Styx made. They're also songs I loved as a child, so there's some sentimental value there for me. Anytime, Patiently and Something to Hide are the pretty good tunes that don't add or subtract anything to/from the album. Fillers include the worst song, La Do Da, the crappy Can Do, and the less irritating Opened the Door. Overall, however, all of the songs combined create a really good slightly prog-related AOR album.

So as I said in my review of The Grand Illusion by Styx, this is a highly recommended classic if and only if you like AOR, otherwise I'm pretty sure most of you more elitist jazz-fusion or eclectic proggers out there would want to stay as far away from this album as you can. It all depends on what your overall outtake is on AOR is. Personally I could do without this album, but sometimes it's a nice break from all of the complexities and cerebral nature of prog. So if you're thinking about buying a Journey album, this is probably the only one you should get, and the only one you'll probably get regardless.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars An infinite journey

Infinity is my favourite Journey album. While the band's early albums were more in the Jazz-Rock/Fusion category a bit in line with Santana and their later albums were more AOR in line with bands like Styx, on Infinity Journey presents us with the perfect balance between these (and other) elements. They maintained some of their progressive aspects and great guitar work, while combining it with good song writing and the excellent and distinctive lead vocals of Steve Perry. We find here classic songs like Wheel In The Sky and Patiently, as well as the excellent and most progressive song Winds Of March, creating a coherent yet varied album. There is a very nice mix between rockers and ballads, electric and acoustic instruments and influences ranging from Hard Rock to Pop to (American) Folk to Jazz and Blues.

Journey is clearly a controversial band here on Prog Archives and it is probably agreed by all that at least some of their albums lie wholly outside the scope of what can be called progressive rock. However, it is equally clear that some other albums of theirs can be called progressive in some sense or other, or at least that they bear some relation to Prog. It usually agreed that somewhere along the line, Journey sold out and left their progressive aspirations behind and ventured into more commercial areas of music.

But while some progressive rock fans (probably those who lean more towards Jazz-Rock/Fusion) argue that only the band's first three albums are really kosher from a progressive perspective and some purists say that the debut album is the only reason Journey is relevant for Prog Archives. Other Prog fans (those who prefer the harder rocking and more melodious sides of Prog) would rather favour albums like the present one. After Infinity, the band started to drift further towards radio friendly Rock continuing through to the end of the 80's (I have not heard all these albums yet, though).

Infinity should not be dismissed by any Prog fan, in my opinion. It features some great songs, great vocals and guitar work and there are still many progressive aspects to the band's sound (that would sadly gradually fade away in the 80's). While fans of Santana and Jazz-Rock/Fusion purists should probably best stay away from this album, anyone who appreciates melodic, song based, Rock with good vocals and good lead guitar work should be able to enjoy this album.

Journey's best album. Recommended: three solid stars!

Review by ZowieZiggy
1 stars You have one extremely gifted guitar player. You have a great keyboards player and a superb composer. But sales are not on par with the huge expectations from the record company although the music proposed by the band was quite good during their first three albums.

So. What needs to be changed? As far as I'm concerned, nothing of course. But the record company executives thought differently (and their wallet will thank them therefore). A new lead singer was brought on board, coming out of nowhere.

The change on "Journey" 's music is disastrous. Not that the band was very progressive so far, but the warm voice from Gregg, his heavy keys play and more than all the superb guitar play from Neal gave some great feel and class to their first three albums.

This one is just an AOR parody from start to finish. Detestable songs, poor melodies, in one word: ridiculous when compared to previous recordings. But it did sell quite better. And you know how economics rule the world.

There is really nothing to point out in this album. Boring ballads ("Something To Hide") to useless AOR tunes: this is all what is available on this weak album. There is virtually no reason at all to get involved with this one. Let's stick to their debut until "Next" to avoid a major disillusion.

It will be the start of a huge commercial success, but a rather weak creative career (but other bands did the same, right). Avoid this as the plague. Only "Winds Of March" shows some relation with good music during the middle instrumental section (thanks to the characteristics I mentioned about the two great men).

One little star.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Winds of change

Following the spectacular lack of success for their musically credible first three albums, Journey succumbed to pressure from their record company and reinvented themselves. Recognising that they were weak in the vocal department, they initially brought in Robert Fleischman as lead vocalist. He however lasted less than a year, there being only one commercially available recording by the band with his vocal ("For you" can be found on the "Time 3" box set). He did however write other songs with the band, three of which can be found on "Infinity".

Towards the end of 1977, in the most significant move of the band's entire existence, Steve Perry took on the role of lead vocalist. For my money, Perry has one of the best voices in rock. Derided for steering the band away from the fusion based rock which they had played thus far, it must however be acknowledged that his arrival immediately delivered the commercial success the band and their record label craved. On this album Perry shares lead vocal duties with founder Gregg Rolie, but it is already apparent that Rolie's talents are stronger elsewhere.

Noted Queen producer Roy Thomas Baker was brought in to produce the album, Baker bringing with him many of the techniques he had used to great success with Queen.

The opening "Lights", written by Steve Perry and Neal Schon, gives an immediate indication of the way Journey will head forever more. This classic AOR ballad may be ultra smooth, but it has a killer melody and all the ingredients of a live anthem. Perry and Schon dominate the writing on the album as a whole, but the other band members do contribute too.

The songs alternate between the ballads, the anthems and the upbeat rock songs, but all the while they are shorter and much more focused. Gone are the long instrumental breaks, and improvisations are now a definite no go area. The tracks here run from 2˝ to 5 minutes, with most being around the preferred single length of 3-4 minutes.

Tracks such as the vocal ballad "Patiently" may sound nothing like anything we have heard thus far from Journey, but sales of the album speak for themselves, and such songs at least secured a future for Journey. Personally, I consider it a wonderful song anyway.

The upbeat "Wheel in the sky" is similar to Gary Moore's "Murder in the skies", melodically at least but not in sentiment. "Feeling that Way" had an interesting history, in that it was initially written as the instrumental "Velvet curtain", an extract of which can be heard on "Time 3". Lyrics were then added and the song became "Please Let Me Stay", intended for the album "Next"; it was not included on that album though. Steve Perry later picked up the song again, added some new lyrics and it finally appears on this album.

The five minute "Winds of March", written during Robert Fleischman's brief time with the band, is the closest we get to anything prog here. The song includes some fine organ and guitar, which sit well alongside Perry's superb vocal.

In all, an album which for my money is unfairly derided, not for the music it contains, but for what it represents in terms of Journey's history. The simple fact is though that the band's record label were ready to drop them. They had to reinvent or die. It is to their credit that they took the bold steps they did. While "Infinity" may represent the end of Journey as a band with prog credentials, it is still a fine album.

Review by stefro
2 stars Completely shorn of the progressive and fusion elements that adorned their first three albums but featuring new, talismanic lead-singer Steve Perry, 'Infinity' would be the first of many gold-standard soft-rock records that would slowly turn Journey into one of the most popular American rock bands of all time. Backed by four of the five original members - Gregg Rolie(keyboards, vocals), Aynsley Dunbar(drums), Ross Valory(bass) and Neal Schon(guitar) - Steve Perry's new-fangled version of Journey were now focused solely on producing hit-singles and sell-out stadium tours, something they achieved with alarming precision. Their peak would arrived during the early-eighties, when albums such as the epoch-defining 'Escape' and the softer, mellower 'Raised On Radio' confirmed their position as the kings of AOR, though albums such as this 1978 effort would also play their part. Crammed with polished rockers, slick ballads and the occasional screeching guitar solo, this is a perfectly acceptable slice of commercial pop-rock that deliberately eschews the instrumental dexterity of the group's early albums. Enjoyable then, but one does yearn for something a bit meatier after several listens.


Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars This is Steve Perry's debut as the main lead singer and his vocals are explosive and dynamic, something that Journey was missing in a vocalist in the past. Greg Rollie still appears a few times on this album as the lead singer and it makes for a nice combination when they share the lead singer duties. There are still a lot of nice hard guitar licks throughout this album also. Journey was on it's way to becoming one of the biggest powerhouse bands, but unfortunately, in the coming years, they would instead start creating cheesy, popular songs which would start to appear in their following albums where they would finally get to the point that an entire album would be nothing but radio fodder. But, for now, they were heavy, they were strong and they had everything going for them to become legendary. This album sounds legendary. Granted, it is full of hard rocking music and the ballads on this one are still heavy enough to be amazing. In fact, "Wheel in the Sky" and "Winds of March" are two of the strongest, hardest, passionate and best ballads that exist in this type of music. In my opinion, this is Journey's best and they would be considered a lot more legendary if they continued to improve and focus along these lines. Instead, they got popular, made lots of money, and now they are the brunt of jokes about selling out and influencing big hair music of the 80s.
Review by Chicapah
1 stars Shhh. Keep it down, will ya? I'm writing this in secret so my wife won't know I'm about to torpedo one of her favorite purveyors of what I refer to as 'knucklehead rock.' She wouldn't appreciate my snarky sentiments at all. You see, since we met about a decade and a half ago I've avoided (for the sake of serenity) casting dispersions upon her aural preferences. If a song comes on the local classic rock radio station that I can't stomach yet it's one that causes her to gleefully arm dance in the passenger seat I simply try to astral project to another dimension and tune it out. At some point she'll cheerfully chirp what a great song it is and I'll usually respond with something along the lines of 'You betcha, Buttercup' while lying like a politician through my clenched teeth. The fact is that she, along with uncountable millions just like her, considers groups like Journey and REO Speedwagon to be the apex of quality rock & roll. If I'd allowed that fault to keep me from marrying her I'd still be a lonely old grump to this day so compromise in that area was a logical prerequisite to our vows being exchanged. If my hidden but massive disgust for music she thinks is fantastic was ever revealed to her it might be considered a tell-tale underhanded prevarication in her book and that's never a healthy precedent to set in a man/woman union. I tactfully emphasize the bands and artists that we do share admiration for and try not to grimace when something like the inane 'Keep On Lovin' You' comes on and she reaches over to crank it up loud.

As I indicated, Journey is high on her list so in deference to my bride I'll try to be civil (which means I'll not curse) in my review of 'Infinity' despite my justifiable resentment of what they turned into. When Santana alums Gregg Rolie and Neal Schon formed the group in '72 they aspired to be an American progressive rock outfit and their first three releases displayed that desire to some degree but, unfortunately, no one was buying what they were hawking and the suits at Columbia were threatening to give them the heave-ho. A terse meeting was probably held in one of the label's opulent conference rooms and I suspect the conversation went something like this:

Honcho: What am I gonna do with you clueless dreamers? Your sales figures are pitiful and a disgrace to the corporation. I think your 'journey' is over. Band: (In unison) Don't say that! What can we do to stay in the fold? We'll do anything. Honcho: Really? If you were a girl group I'd have plenty of wicked suggestions but, since you're obviously not, your only option is to follow my explicit instructions. Band: We're all ears. Honcho: First, stop this 'prog' business and lower the bar about ten feet or so. Second, find a chick magnet frontman who can sing real high. Third, hire a producer who'll make you sound more like Boston or Foreigner and do whatever he says. If you do all that and deliver a slick, marketable product we'll think about giving you a contract extension. Band: (Groveling) Oh, thank you, your majesty. We'll get right on it. You won't regret this.

Months later the 'Infinity' LP was a reality and Journey the prog-related ensemble was no more. Their prog muse had been assassinated Caesar-like and kicked to the curb. Now it was time for the newly 'reeducated' and more accessible version of Journey to make their debut. The album starts off with 'Lights,' a safe pop ballad sporting a friendly quasi-blues feel in which it quickly becomes evident that their new vocalist, Steve Perry, sure does love his 'cit-tay by the bay.' This hollow piece of schlock epitomizes what I seek refuge in Progland to get away from. 'Feeling That Way' is next, a specimen of watered down vanilla rock that offers nothing of interest whatsoever. The song's stacked harmony vocals sound artificial and overly pasteurized. Greg then steps up to sing 'Anytime' but he only renders more of the same gooey ooze as Steve does. I have no doubt that by the time this track was played for the aforementioned corporate honcho his eyes were bugging out of their sockets envisioning the boatloads of money these dudes were going to earn for the stockholders. A cash cow had been calved! As for the tune itself, it's the kind of vapid crap that gives rock a bad name. 'La Do Da' follows and it does have a bit of grit but Perry sounds like he's still in high school. It's as if Josh Groban had joined Humble Pie and the result is uncomfortably unnatural. 'Patiently' is a sappy love song that employs the hybrid electrified acoustic guitar effect that I can't stand. I mean, why not grab a decent Martin, put a microphone in front of it and make the most of its God-given tone? Anywho, the number soon turns into a power ballad for no particular reason and then slinks out the way it came in.

Then there's the diabolical 'Wheel in the Sky.' If I spent the rest of my days without having to hear this formulaic, tedious drivel again I'd feel blessed. There's absolutely no originality involved in the manufacture of this pile of manure so it's not a stretch to say that any garage band in the world could've done just as well. 'Somethin' to Hide' is next and, yeah, I'd say they had something they were hiding, their dignity! I know these boys cleaned up financially by putting out this slop but they should be ashamed of themselves. The only thing they were trying to do imagination-wise was to see how 'sellable' they could make their product. The 'Winds of March' follows and its breezes are carrying a plastic stink. It begins inoffensively with a brief instrumental passage but then it takes an all-too-predictable detour when Perry starts warbling like a canary on steroids. They toss in a 'heavy' sequence midway through but the Hammond organ and electric guitar rides sound like they were calculated to please a twelve-year-old. 'Can Do' is the most adventurous cut on the record in that it has some punchy accents (provided by their grossly underused drummer Aynsley Dunbar) and a strangely-concocted chorus but by now I just want to get this listening session over with ASAP. The closer is 'Opened the Door,' yet another pop rock turd that gives away its purpose for existing in the first 15 seconds and then subjects this reviewer to another 5 minutes or so of worthless muzak while he tries to keep his chicken and dumplings dinner down.

I recently ripped the Canadian trio Triumph a new orifice over their blatant mimicking of other bands that were enjoying having hit records at about the same time and there's no question that Journey was one of the entities they were trying to emulate. They should've aimed higher. In that era the music industry had an endless supply of faux hard rock combos coming off the assembly line like VW Beetles but few if any of them had the gall to intimate that their roots were in prog soil as Journey did. Some may opine that I've been too brutal in my assessment of 'Infinity' but I don't concur. This record is as satisfying as an unflavored rice cake and should be avoided at all cost. Kids, this is what selling out looks like. Journey may have started their career with lofty musical goals in mind but they turned into a prime example of what happens when musicians abandon their ideals and opt to chase riches and fame instead of their ingenuity. 0.1 star.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars After three reasonable good albums, in the jazz-rock/fusion (with a touch of pop) style the group had failed to meet the recording company expectations in terms of commercial sales. With the punk movement being the critics new darlings and the disco phenomenon ruling the charts, there was little room for this kind of music in 1978. So Columbia was ready to drop them and forget it all. But Herbie Herbert, Journey´s manager, convinced them to give another shot if they tried a different approach and assign the group with a lead singer. So it was their last chance.

At first the hired singer was Robert Fleischman for some time, and by all accounts he seemed to fit well, but since Herbert didn´t get along with him (and found another vocalist) he decided that it was better to change things. Interestingly enough, neither the band nor the new guy (one Steve Perry) were initially interested. But the tough manager insisted and eventually they all relented and hired Perry. Fleischman did however got credited on some tracks on the forthcoming album, including the band´s biggest hit until then, Wheel In The Sky.

So it is really hard to believe that such ruthless move could ever had worked, but in the end it became the push Journey needed so desperately. Tired of producing the albums themselves they also chose the right producer for the job, Roy Thomas Baker (of Queen fame), who helped them define the new route they took.

I´m still in awe of how the band managed to deliver such a piece of fine AOR/melodic rock under such circumstances. They proved they were even more versatile as songwriters than before, crafting perfect songs with a sophisticated edge on all of them. Contrary to some people believe to write such material is no easy task: countless of others tried the same trick and failed. Journey proved they could produce radio friendly stuff that was also original and elaborated, toning down the soloing (but not dropping it) and enhancing the vocal parts. Most of all they finally found a style of their own, liked it or not.

Although far from perfect, Infinity shows a very tight band and everything here fits (contrary to the rather jagged two previous ones). Gregg Rolie still sings two lead vocals, but it is clear that he is no match to the newcomer. Steve Perry is definitely one of the great voices of rock, a one of a kind type of vocalist and will influence a whole generation of aspiring crooners (including one James LaBrie, future member of Dream Theater).

Of the songs here my all time favorite is Wheel In The Sky, a great showcase for all band members. It´s great technique and talent used in small doses, just enough to highlight the song´s strong points and not to overblown it. Winds of March is another strong tune with prog hints all over it. The remaining tracks are not as powerful, but still at least above average. I agree with most critics who said the album has maybe a ballad or two too many, but still the repertoire is stronger than anything they´ve done before. And much better than most of the stuff that was playing in the radio at the time.

Even after 30 years, Infinity still sounds fresh and convincing, while their earlier stuff is hopelessly dated. Of course I know this album will never be favored by the average prog fan, but anyone who loves a good melody, tasteful arrangements, terrific performances and perfect crafted prog pop songs will enjoy this CD very much.

Rating: for a prog site I guess 4 stars seems too much, and a 3,5 rating should be more fitting, but personally I still think it is an excellent album so 4 stars it is.

Review by Necrotica
4 stars The first three albums that Journey made captured a more submissive, progressive fusion style in their music. Gregg Rolie wasn't the best singer, but he got the job done and his voice was passable for prog. However, this missed the point of his presence in the album: his keyboard work. Both Gregg Rolie and Neal Schon showed great musicianship in their works. Ross Valory, the bassist, made his bass work stand out even with everything else happening in the music. Etc., Etc...

So, that was the deal with their early years. So now, we reach the post-prog era of Journey. Steve Perry comes in, and prog comes out of the equation. So how does it add up? Actually not too bad yet. Neal Schon still shows some jazzy solos, and Gregg Rolie still stands out with his keyboards. However, as you can see from the 3/5 rating, there were still problems with Steve Perry coming in with the band. Read on and find out what went wrong...

The album opens up with Lights, their first song to reach the charts. You can tell that Steve Perry really tries with the vocals, and this is one of his strongest tracks on here. The next two songs are actually bridge into each other. Feeling That Way is yet another vocal-driven ballad focusing on Perry's vocals. The song bridges into Anyway, which has a very similar tone. There's not too much variation.

So I guess I'll just say it now. The problem with this album is that the variation was left behind from the previous albums in favor of a more straightforward, crowd-pleasing album. Any jazz-laden roots are being left behind for pop-rock, and somehow the members who have appeared in albums of talent and quality have agreed to change. Again, there's just not enough in each song to stand out from the next one. A perfect example is the closer Opened the Door. It keeps repeating and rehashing itself, and this gets tiring, as well as trying one's concentration.

So overall, this album wasn't necessarily bad by any means, but it still did not match the high quality of Journey's previous works. However, it's a sign of the times that Journey is changing from prog to more accessible arrangements. Journey's turning IS becoming more accessible, though, and that might be good enough for some people.

Latest members reviews

2 stars "How a record company and a lead singer radically changed the sound from captivating prog into smooth AOR" The roots of Journey go back to a highschool were Neal Schon and Gregg Rolie met, and exchanged musical ideas. A few years later the two friends started to make impr ... (read more)

Report this review (#2047098) | Posted by TenYearsAfter | Monday, October 22, 2018 | Review Permanlink

3 stars How do you review an album that you really like, but isn't all that progressive? Infinity is a really fine rock record, and was hugely popular back when I was in junior high school. However, Journey had dropped just about all of their progressive tendencies by the time Infinity was released. ... (read more)

Report this review (#1224315) | Posted by thwok | Saturday, July 26, 2014 | Review Permanlink

4 stars OK, let me try to review this album without the thoughts of Open Arms dancing in my head. 1. Lights Lights kicks off Infinity in much the same way that Next did with Spaceman. We get a mid-tempo, lighter waving song that has a great vocal melody by Steve Perry and an unmistakable guitar lick ... (read more)

Report this review (#194555) | Posted by sixpence-guy | Sunday, December 21, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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