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Journey Evolution album cover
2.23 | 113 ratings | 11 reviews | 12% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Majestic (1:16)
2. Too Late (2:58)
3. Lovin', Touchin', Squeezing (3:54)
4. City of the Angels (3:12)
5. When You're Alone (It Ain't Easy) (3:10)
6. Sweet and Simple (4:13)
7. Just the Same Way (3:17)
8. Do You Recall (3:13)
9. Daydream (4:41)
10. Lady Luck (3:35)

Total Time 33:29

Line-up / Musicians

- Steve Perry / lead vocals
- Neal Schon / lead guitar, Roland GR500 guitar synth, backing vocals
- Gregg Rolie / keyboards, co-lead (7) & backing vocals
- Ross Valory / bass, bass pedals, backing vocals
- Steve Smith / drums, percussion

- Greg Werner / backing vocals (3)

Releases information

Artwork: Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse

LP Columbia - FC 35797 (1979, US)

CD Columbia- CK 35797 (1986, US)
CD Columbia- CK 67726 (1996, US) Remastered by Bob Ludwig & Brian Lee

Thanks to Ricochet for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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JOURNEY Evolution ratings distribution

(113 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(16%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (23%)
Poor. Only for completionists (17%)

JOURNEY Evolution reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by b_olariu
3 stars Fifth album of Journey from 1979. First album with a new drummer - Steve Smith who replaced the well known Aysley Dunbar. The sound on this album is almost the same with the predecesor but miles away from the first records Journey released. First - Evolution is maybe the most comercial album they ever done in the '70's and second is more hard rock with AOR elements than previouses albums who were more jazz rock. As a whole is not a bad album, but lacks in good ideas. So the best pieces are:Too Late, the smooth Sweet And Simple and Daydream, the rest are ok but not very exciteing. I will give 3 stars to Evolution, not something special, maybe the most unenjoyble album with Perry.
Review by Sean Trane
1 stars Eeeehhmmmm!!!!!...... maybe one of the most inaptly titled album ever (unless adding a "D" in front, but a Ohio quartet thought of it first). So with the sacking of Ainsley (he'll find refuge in a real rock band Jefferson Starship), the word business was the first and only thought. Even if Schon's guitar often shines in its histrionics, it's really Perry's property as he signs every track but one, simply choosing who he wants to write with, and very often preferring Schon over Rollie. With yet another ugly (ridiculous) TransAm hood artwork, Evolution has only two tracks above 4 minutes, which goes to tell you how sad this can go. Replacement Smith is apt, and fills the drum stool, which suffered a size- shrinking as part of the business re-organization.

Again loaded with three sure-fire hits, De-Evolution hit the charts with a vengeance it didn't need, since the album before had hit it big, and hit our eardrums with a meanness and with an aggressiveness that we didn't need, causing much nausea and many puking. Indeed Steve Pukerry's voice caused a lot of kids to hate this kind of rock, and probably helped pave the way to NWOBHMB into their hearts. Past the Majestic intro, which might be seen as passage of rite between the early Journey (first 30 seconds) into the Perry-era Journey (the remaining 45 seconds), the album jumps into the well-known Too Late, then the atrocious nah-nah-nah-naaaaah-nah Lovin' Touchin', Squeezin', Pukin' hit-singles, before attacking a few fillers (how much more of a filler than "city of the angels"?) or second rate stuff - When You're Alone, Loving You Is So Easy, Sweet And Simple are complete misses AND fillers. However, when Gregg Rollie writes without Perry, it is neither good, nor does he sing well (his voice is simply shot compared to his Santana days) and even in Just The Same Way, Perry actually saves the tracks from being almost laughable. Grandeur et decadence. Recall, Day Dream are just boring fillers, while the closing Lady Luck might just be the only track worthy of attention, being the only one that displays the energy of the first album without passing through Schon's testosteroned guitars, but rather through the drumming (wouldn't be surprised if this was a Dunbar left-over).

Again an album that's best avoided, partly because of the corporate rock business side (they don't need it anymore), but mostly to save your shelves from ridicule of disp^laying your bad tastes, should you once have bought this (errare humanum est) and not getting rid of it (persevere idioticum est). Stand warned and corrected!!!

Review by Prog Leviathan
1 stars There is nothing nice to say about this album by Journey which, even in a library of oft mediocre FM styrofoam, screams artistic emptiness from start to pointless conclusion. While most Journey albums let the listener enjoy a highlight or two hidden amongst filler, "Evolution" is all filler, and even the songs that are slightly less so are still bad. The production is awful, Steve Perry's voice is shrill, and the songs are an obvious attempt to copy their winning forumla from "Infinity". I hardly need to warn the majority of readers to stay away from this one, but anyone dipping into their past with the need for some FM slumming should avoid this one like the plague!

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

Review by Sinusoid
1 stars The evolution into bigger chart least in my eyes. I've already reviewed a greatest hits thing from them, and I feel that while I hated that thing with a passion, maybe I wasn't giving Journey enough credit. So, in my uncle's vinyl collection, there rested a proper studio outing from them, and I decided to borrow it and listen to it.

So, the big question you ask, ''Is my opinion of Journey any different?'' Not really. EVOLUTION still sounds like poppy, pukeable AOR stuff that I can't stand for more than two minutes at a time. ''Lovin, Touchin, Squeezin'' is the big hit from the album (apparently, it was the only song from EVOLUTION that made it to the greatest hits thing I reviewed), and I feel it's one of the most cringeworthy songs I ever heard. It's sickly, slow-dance like feel makes me want to vomit in every conceivable direction.

I've grown more irritated towards Steve Perry's voice the more I listen to it. I don't know why I cannot stand it, but I can't and it deters my liking of the album. Gregg Rolie gets his chance to sing lead on ''Just the Same Way'', but for my ears, it's not that welcome of a change. Only the last two tracks have any sort of appeal to me.

Unless you have a thing for schmaltzy AOR pop, I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.

Review by ZowieZiggy
1 stars This is unfortunately the logical follow-up to the dreadful "Infinity".

Commercial success was on the rendezvous but musically if you're not in for unbearable AOR or funky oriented rock songs, I'm afraid that to listen to this "Evolution" will be a real pain. To say the least.

Some fine guitar from the great Neal could lead to a better appreciation, but this is dumped into an ocean of miserable mood and tracks: "Do You Recall" for instance but you can really take any one of the tracks featured. Most of them are truly best avoided.

It is a shame that this band (although not prog at all) could fall into such miserable territories (musically, since commercially that will hit high levels). The Perry guy is out of place. But that's only my opinion. He screwed it all up in terms of music. His screams during "Lady Luck" are just weak, weak, weak.

It is difficult to determine which of "Infinity" or "Evolution" is the worse.

"Are We Not Men?" We Are DEVO. One star.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
1 stars They haven't evolved one bit!

Released between 1978's very good Infinity album and 1980's respectable Departure, Journey's Evolution is a really poor effort. The high standards set by Infinity are never matched on Evolution even if the one and a half minute instrumental track that opens this album is quite promising. Sadly, we are quickly let down by the less than average Too Late. Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' is possibly the cheesiest song title ever and the song itself is quite bad too. It is funny that this song was actually covered by Dream Theater on their Change Of Seasons mini album.

'Evolution' is an extremely deceptive album title since the band have not evolved one bit since their last album. On the contrary, Evolution follows very closely in the foot steppes of Infinity and pretty much follows the formula established by that previous album. However, this would perhaps not have been a major problem had the quality of the songs been up to par with, or even close to, those of Infinity. But they are sadly not and Evolution comes across as a very bleak copy of Infinity. There are certainly no classics present, like Wheel In The Sky or Winds Of March.

The longest track on this album is the less than five minutes long Daydream that probably also is the best song here. Most of the other songs are just over three minutes long and leave very little room for anything interesting. I will not comment further on the individual tracks because they are so uneventful and middle-of-the-road that I wouldn't know what to say about them other than that they are rather weak and unremarkable.

Go for Infinity and avoid this one unless you want to complete your Journey collection. This is possibly the worst Journey album ever.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Progressing

After the release of their breakthrough album "Infinity", drummer Aynsley Dunbar was sacked, not by the band but by their manager. He was replaced by Steve Smith who had spent a brief period with Focus before joining Ronnie Montrose Band. Queen producer Roy Thomas Baker was once again asked to produce this album, which can be seen very much as a continuation of "Infinity". The tracks are kept short, running throughout to 3-4 minutes.

The opening instrumental "Majestic", interestingly co-written by Steve Perry, makes for a nice fanfare introduction, quickly leading into the first of the big ballads "Too late". Neal Schon adds some fine lead guitar to both these tracks, but with every song being kept short, the opportunities for extended instrumentals are long gone.

"Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'", the song which took the band into the US singles top 20 for the first time, shows another side of the band, being a mix of blues and light soul. Thereafter we slip into a succession of largely predictable AOR fair.

Bearing in mind we are still in the 1970's here, well over 30 years ago, the music remains fresh and original. We can be cynical and bemoan the lack of odd time signatures, extended jams etc., but seen for what it is this album (and its peers) is pioneering in its field.

Review by stefro
1 stars Definitely the weakest of Journey's 1970s albums, 'Evolution' finds the group mining a distinctly soft and very poppy new direction. Whilst the progressive elements of the first three albums are long gone, the new sound introduced on 1978's breakthrough success 'Infinity' at least managed to retain a link with the hard rock coating that was the backbone of early albums 'Journey', 'Look Into The Future' and 'Next'. With the addition of new vocalist Steve Perry, Journey decided to pursue a much more overtly commercial path, and whilst 'Infinity' may have lacked the expansive instrumental flourished of it's predecessor, it was still a fine album showcasing the San Francisco outfit's deft song-writing abilities. Sadly, 'Evolution', unlike it's predecessor, is simply too far removed from the original formula, a fact proved by the move back to hard(er) rock on follow-up release 'Departure', though 'Evolution's stodgy style didn't stop it from being a big success throughout both North America and Japan thanks to the hit single 'Lovin', Touchin', Sqeezin'. Overall, however, 'Evolution' proves to be an anaemic slice of ersatz pop-rock sorely missing the group's trademark anthemic hooks. Even core members Gregg Rolie(keyboards, vocals) and Neal Schon(guitar) give strangely muted performances, leaving in their wake a mushy set of unmemorable tracks that not even the impassioned vocals of Steve Perry can enliven. Even for AOR, this is seriously lightweight, and surely a contender for one of the least accomplished studio albums of Journey's stellar career. A vapid, vacuous and pretty forgettable record, even die-hard fans may struggle with this one.


Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars Itīs easy to criticize Journey for changing styles and going pop, specially if they were successful (a lot people canīt stand other peopleīs success). But letīs face it: they were a competent jazz rock fusion band for a time, but never an outstanding one. Theyīd be soon gone forever if they insisted on that course. On the other hand, very few bands could deliver such terrific melodic pop prog songs like them. Many, many have tried and very few succeeded. On other words, Journey was much better off writing melodic rock than jazz rock and thatīs it. Why should they do otherwise? If they were not good pop songwriters they would never be as big as they were, nor for that long, no matter how hard they tried.

Anyway, by 1979 their first Steve Perry era LP has sold over 4 million copies around the world without a hit single and without a lot of radio airplay, due much to their strategy of constant touring and looking for alternative ways to promote their songs. (even though Evolution would yield the groupīs first "true" hit single, reaching the top 20 with the bluesy Lovinī, Touchinī, Squeezin') But according to several sources drummer Aynsley Dunbarīs playing was quite erratic during the last tour to Europe and tensions within the group led Journey to fire him and invite Montroseīs Steve Smith to join in. The group was not very willing to hire Roy Thomas Baker to produce again, but in the end they decided to let him back. the resulting album is pretty much in the same vein as the the previous one, proving that the success of Infinity was no fluke. The songwriting kept more or less the same formula, with shorter songs, using their tremendous musicianship to enhance the tunes, not to overshadow them. As usual the solos are there, short, ok, but still original and inspired. More and more it was obvious that Journey was becoming Schonīs group, with Gregg Rolieīs role diminishing even further (he sings lead vocalsl on only one song). Still, the work was very cohesive and tight and, except for a couple of weaker tunes, the tracklist was again excellent throughout the CD. Newbie Smith did a fine job too, proving the change was a good move after all. Like Infinity, Evolution still sounds as fresh and energetic now as it did back then.

If you like first class AOR/melodic rock with several prog bits you canīt miss this one. However, if you rather hear the bandīs second rate jazz rock leanings of their first 3 releases, stay away from this one as much as you can. The band had found their own personality and would never look back again. To my ears Journey sounds much more convincing with the new direction than on any time before that.

Review by Necrotica
3 stars This is truly a sad point in time for musical quality, yet with more favor in accessibility. Most prog is being left for dead while arena rock is coming into play. Journey is actually no exception; while their first three albums encompassed jazz/fusion/prog, Steve Perry soon came into the band in the search for a new and better vocalist. Infinity was the result, and while it was a good album, it had almost nothing to compare with pre-Perry work in terms of quality. So here we are, at Journey's fifth release, and the second with Steve Perry.

As with Infinity, Steve Perry's voice now plays a crucial in the band. Gregg Rolie still sings on a few tracks, but ultimately it's Steve Perry's reign here. His songwriting is also a main point, swapping the grandiose, epic lyrics of the earlier days with more accessible love balladry. Steve Perry's vocal range is considerably higher than Gregg Rolie's, with the delicate "Sweet and Simple" being a fine example. As mentioned, Gregg Rolie still does vocals on certain points of the album, such as "Just the Same Way," which had proven to be one of the more hard-rocking songs on here, recalling back to the earlier days of the band.

A big change that occurred for this album was the departure of Ansley Dunbar as he was looking for a more progressive direction in his music. This called for former Montrose drummer Steve Smith to be the new drummer. While he's not as skilled as Ansley Dunbar, he still has a good jazz/fusion background in his career, making him a suitable replacement. The problem is that although he is a solid drummer, the fact that the genre is AOR makes him do little more than a solid drumbeat throughout a song.

As for the songs, this album is a bit of a mixed bag: "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin,'" one of the band's biggest hits, starts out at a good, bluesy pace. Steve Perry's verses have the nice emotion that he is known to possess. However, as the song keeps going, it gets slightly repetitive, especially around the ending when they keep repeating the same line over and over again. However, this is pretty typical of arena rock. A shining moment on this album is definitely "Daydream," having more interesting lyrics than the typical sappy love writing of Perry's. The song is also a bit more on the progressive side, specifically on the chorus, along with being the longest track on the album clocking in at 4:42.

Surprisingly, the hard-rockers aren't too bad on this album. "City of the Angels" for instance is a nice track that, of course, talks about L.A. It's harmonies are well-delivered and very Queen-like, thanks to Roy Thomas Baker's solid production work. "Just the Same Way" is another solid song with excellent vocals and keyboard work by Gregg Rolie and a good response-like effect from Perry. Overall, it's another good song.

However, where the band seems to falter is on the ballads. While Steve Perry always possesses great emotion in the songs, the lyrics can be quite enough to turn one off. They're not awful lyrics, but simply not engaging enough, and the album's score suffers considerably as a result. Take the aforementioned "Sweet and Simple" for instance. The vocals are nice and Steve Perry has a great range on the track, but hearing the same "Gotta keep it simple" constantly can get continuously boring after multiple listens. AOR songs are supposed to be relatively exciting, but, as was said, these types of lyrics aren't engaging or heartfelt enough for ballads.

This is basically another AOR rock album by a sellout band. It's just such a shame because Journey used to be so good with Gregg Rolie leading the band. Now, they aim simply for money more than talent. Overall, this is an okay album, but nothing more than your average AOR rock.

Review by FragileKings
2 stars For a brief time in the mid-eighties, Journey were a favourite band of mine. I had only four albums - Evolution, Departure, Escape, and Frontiers - but those four cassettes got played an awful lot for a few months. I never knew about their prog rock fusion beginnings nor their story of how Steve Perry came in, took control, and wrote the band into success. When I started buying CDs, the only Journey I got was Escape, and that's how it stayed for almost two decades. Finally last year, I bought the debut album but was not completely won over.

Then it happened that I heard Dream Theater's Big Medley which included a segment of Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin' and I recalled that old classic song. I thought back fancifully to Evolution and considered that it may have actually been my favourite Journey album. So I ordered a remastered copy of the album on CD.

At first, it was almost disappointing. What was wrong with the sound quality? I remembered that songs sounding stronger, the guitar playing more exciting, and Perry's vocals - fantastic in their white soul feel - not going shrill at times. When I read the reviews on PA, I was both shocked but not really surprised to read so many 1 star reviews. Basically, fans of the pre-Perry albums were not ever going to accept the band going... commercial. Although some still gave their approval begrudgingly to Infinity, Evolution was considered a giant leap backward.

Truth be told, Evolution does spend most of its energy on more straightforward rock. Though this is obviously a band with musical talent, there is little to no effort spent on creating the more progressive style of jam band that Neil Schon and Greg Rollie had set out to create after leaving Santana. In an interview with both members I watched very recently, both of them were against bringing a crooner into the band and wanted a screamer. But their manager insisted and Perry became the new vocalist. An ambitious writer, Steve Perry transformed Journey into a sing-along rock band without the prog.

As for my own opinion of Evolution, a third listen to my CD has left me regarding it more favourably. It's because the album is an old favourite that I can't be too critical of it, though I admit it is not an album for a prog list. Actually, I do like Steve Perry's voice very much; Neil Schon, though not a technical wizard, plays with great expression and emotive power; and the songs show a band with an ear for variety. The sound quality still lacks something, I feel; however, with the volume up it's easy to get into those old tunes once more. Hearing this I am now inspired to finally buy Infinity and I think I should get Departure and Frontiers again, too.

I can understand and agree with those who prefer Journey's first three albums. For a more progressive band, that's the place to look. But I think that Evolution is still only part of the journey (so to speak) before the band became the huge commercial success they were in the eighties. This album still retains some of that seventies' magic. I give it a personal rating of three and a half stars as a rock album, but two and a half stars as a prog album, rounding down for this site.

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