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JOURNEY

Prog Related • United States


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Journey biography
JOURNEY is a American band who started playing in the early months of '73 in San Francisco. The music of JOURNEY is divided in 2 parts, the one from early 1973 'till 1977 when guitarist Neal Schon and keyboardist Gregg Rolie, both of Santana fame, met with bassist Ross Valory and drummer Prairie Prince from The Tubes (replaced later by Aynsley Dunbar) in the summer of 1974. Their music back then was jazz rock with progressive elements and fusion interplays , instrumental passages being pretty much top notch thanks to Neal Schon's driving riffs and solid bass lines of Valory, while the keyboards (still mostly the Hammond organ) of Rollie was something " la Santana" but less latino-inspired.

In the first period the vocal parts were done by Gregg Rollie and sometimes by Schon. In this line-up Journey was recorded, in 1975. But since the mid '70's was no more a period of jazz rock or progressive music, these musical styles being considered uninteresting. Journey's first 3 albums (Journey from 1975, Look into the future 1976 and Next 1977) sold very poorly and largely ignored by the public and mass media. Their CBS label also initially expecyted sales in the Santana range.

This thing will change next year, in 1978, when it is considered that the band stepped into a new period, the second one. After three albums that were considered dissapointing sales-wise, but were in fact Journey's most progressive ones from the entire discography, Journey hired a better vocalist - Steve Perry. Actually the change was mostly enforced by CBS, or else they would drop the band's recording contract. The results were immediately felt on the fourth album, Infinity, released in 1978, who 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.

Dunbar left because of this new musical direction (rumours is that he was fired for his British rowdiness and backstage antics) and was replaced by Steve Smith. The next albums Evolution (1979) and Departure (1980) had a similar success, and Journey released hit after hit. In this time Rolie was replaced by Jonathan Cain. The peak of their career was and remains the most sold album of the band Escape from 1981, with no less that 9 million records sold wor...
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Journey: Greatest HitsJourney: Greatest Hits
Columbia / Legacy 2006
Audio CD$5.87
$2.04 (used)
Greatest Hits 1 & 2Greatest Hits 1 & 2
Sony Legacy 2011
Audio CD$12.91
$12.90 (used)
FrontiersFrontiers
Extra tracks
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2013
Audio CD$3.23
$3.28 (used)
EscapeEscape
Extra tracks
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2014
Audio CD$2.87
$2.54 (used)
DepartureDeparture
Remastered
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2008
Audio CD$3.00
$2.99 (used)
InfinityInfinity
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2011
Audio CD$3.20
$2.99 (used)
Raised On RadioRaised On Radio
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2010
Audio CD$3.20
$3.20 (used)
EvolutionEvolution
SBME SPECIAL MKTS. 2013
Audio CD$3.77
$3.00 (used)
Vision QuestVision Quest
Soundtrack
Geffen 1985
Audio CD$5.00
$2.43 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Unknown Artist Journey to Chateau De La Fuente CD ***NEW*** USD $3.25 Buy It Now
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A JOURNEY TO A STAR,BENNY GOODMAN,1940'S ORIGINAL VINTAGE SHEET MUSIC. USD $7.20 Buy It Now
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Journey's Greatest Hits by Journey (Rock) (CD, Oct-1996, Columbia (USA)) USD $1.00 [1 bids]
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Sentimental Journey, Vol. 4 by Various Artists (CD, Jun-1993, Rhino (Label)) USD $3.99 Buy It Now
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1988 Journey Greatest Hits CD USD $4.99 Buy It Now
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Celtic Woman : The Greatest Journey: Essential Collection CD (2008) USD $10.00 Buy It Now
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Ken Griffin Sentimental Journey LP Record HS 11329 USD $8.49 Buy It Now
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LET'S TAKE A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY READER'S DIGEST 9 LP BOXED SET USD $6.11 [0 bids]
Rick Wakeman JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH A&M UK LP 1st Press Ex+/VG USD $25.54 Buy It Now
Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville USA by Boyz II Men (CD, Nov-2007, Decca) SL USD $10.89 Buy It Now
Basement Jaxx, Neotropic, Specia, Journey Into Ambient Groove 4, Excellent USD $9.99 Buy It Now
JOURNEY 'I'll Be Alright Without You' 1986 Japanese PROMO 7"/45 rpm vinyl single USD $10.46 Buy It Now
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Kelly Shannon with John Stowell - THE JOURNEY cd. New in shrinkwrap. USD $20.00 Buy It Now
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HEART Live in Portland 1987 - Japan CD (AOR BON JOVI JOURNEY STYX FOREIGNER...) USD $29.99 [0 bids]
Norman Connors' - "Romantic Journey" Buddah LP (1976) 1st Press BDS 5682 USD $9.00 Buy It Now
RICK WAKEMAN 'JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH' 1974 UK PRESS LP EX+/EX+ USD $9.10 Buy It Now
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IVES/BARBER/GERSHWIN/BERNSTEIN/HERRMANN**MURRAY/HEISSER..: AMERICAN JOURNEY**CD USD $18.95 Buy It Now
JOURNEY CAPTURED CBS/SONY 40AP 2001,2 Japanese Pressing Vinyl 2LP USD $5.50 [2 bids]
12 GIRLS BAND-JOURNEY TO SILK ROAD CONCERT (HK) CD NEW USD $29.03 Buy It Now
Loreena Mckennitt - Journey Begins [CD New] USD $28.11 Buy It Now
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Maggie Cole - Shadow Journey-21st Century Harpsichord Music [CD New] USD $17.80 Buy It Now
JOURNEY " AFTER THE FALL " 7" SINGLE PROMO / DEMO EXCELLENT 1983 USD $3.26 Buy It Now
Return Journey by The Rarely Herd (CD, Feb-2004, Herd Records) USD $11.49 Buy It Now
The Journey Continues USD $5.08 Buy It Now
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Journey USD $14.43 Buy It Now
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RICK WAKEMAN: JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH 12" 33 RPM LP USD $2.99 Buy It Now
Toto - Past to Present 1977-1990 (CD 2000) Foreigner; Journey; Styx USD $2.61 [0 bids]
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VICTOR RICARDO ON A LOCAL TRAIN JOURNEY & SAILORS ADVENTURES DECCA F2911 USD $3.27 Buy It Now
The Journey So Far: The Best of Loreena McKennitt by Loreena McKennitt USD $14.49 Buy It Now
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New Journey Infinity Japan CD Limited Edition Paper Jacket USD $36.60 Buy It Now
New Journey Frontiers Japan CD Limited Edition Paper Jacket USD $38.26 Buy It Now
Dream Journey USD $3.99 Buy It Now

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JOURNEY has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

JOURNEY discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

JOURNEY top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.42 | 121 ratings
Journey
1975
3.04 | 83 ratings
Look Into The Future
1976
3.01 | 81 ratings
Next
1977
2.81 | 89 ratings
Infinity
1978
2.16 | 85 ratings
Evolution
1979
2.58 | 78 ratings
Departure
1980
3.24 | 53 ratings
Dream After Dream
1980
2.78 | 112 ratings
Escape
1981
2.85 | 90 ratings
Frontiers
1983
2.42 | 72 ratings
Raised On Radio
1986
2.50 | 62 ratings
Trial By Fire
1996
2.67 | 40 ratings
Arrival
2001
2.91 | 36 ratings
Generations
2005
3.14 | 46 ratings
Revelation
2008
3.75 | 41 ratings
Eclipse
2011

JOURNEY Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.27 | 37 ratings
Captured
1981
3.55 | 14 ratings
Greatest Hits Live
1998

JOURNEY Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.00 | 6 ratings
Live:2001
2001
3.53 | 9 ratings
Greatest Hits DVD 1978-1997
2003
3.80 | 11 ratings
Live in Houston 1981: Escape Tour
2005
3.40 | 10 ratings
Live In Manila
2009

JOURNEY Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.88 | 29 ratings
Greatest Hits
1988
3.77 | 12 ratings
In The Beginnig
1990
3.20 | 11 ratings
Time 3
1992
2.90 | 14 ratings
the Essential Journey
2001
2.09 | 3 ratings
Greatest Hits 2
2011

JOURNEY Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.50 | 6 ratings
When You Love A Woman
1996
2.45 | 9 ratings
Red 13 (EP)
2002

JOURNEY Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Greatest Hits by JOURNEY album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1988
2.88 | 29 ratings

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Greatest Hits
Journey Prog Related

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Journey is a band that normally is not considered a prog band, sometimes people even don't consider them a rock band, but well, sometimes labelling is merely subjective and what people should do is to enjoy the music they like without making comparisons and strict categorizations. Now that I found that they are here in the archives (I had completely forgot it) and that I've been a bit nostalgic listening to old records, I wanted to write a few words about this compilation album.

A "Greatest Hits" release might sum up the band's most successful tunes, which does not necessarily mean those are their best compositions, but might be some iconic songs that people around the world identify and love. This 1988 release is a perfect example of commercial success which gathers some rock tunes and some ballads that people from all ages and eras could enjoy, which makes it even a timeless record, because not matter where or when you play it, there will be people excited singing those songs, having memories and also introducing the band to others. I don't play it frequently, I actually don't listen to Journey frequently, but when I do, I tremendously enjoy singing songs such as "Separate Ways", "Open Arms" and of course "Don't Stop Believin'" among others.

So well, I think this release is actually worth it, pretty nice for those who like the band and a nice introduction for those who are not familiar with Journey's music. For that, despite there only a 5% of prog rock here, I wanted to review it and want to recommend it to those nostalgic minds who enjoy AOR.

Enjoy it!

 Trial By Fire by JOURNEY album cover Studio Album, 1996
2.50 | 62 ratings

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Trial By Fire
Journey Prog Related

Review by Chicapah
Prog Reviewer

1 stars Whenever I'm feeling snarky I always know I can take my dour mood out on groups like Journey instead of my lovely wife or close relatives. But the joke's ever on me because, as usual with this band's records, what I foolishly presume will be a relatively painless aural exercise turns out to be an agonizing ordeal of yearning for it to be over. One of the drawbacks of the CD era is that commercial-minded ensembles like this bunch were now able to fit a lot more of their anemic, anti-prog material on a single disc. I should get a special Boy Scout merit badge just for sitting through this! In reference to this album singer Steve Perry boasted that "we didn't try to reinvent ourselves." He wasn't kidding. I'll say this up front: If you liked the music Journey was making just before they went on hiatus in '87 you're gonna be happy as a clam with what's on this, their 1996 comeback release, "Trial by Fire." Times changed. They didn't.

"Message of Love" - A spacey intro leads right into a "formula rock" ditty that holds no surprises. The only thing more predictable is the sun rising in the east every morning. "One More" - Following a sappy orchestral snippet that includes a "dramatic" spoken-word section I was mercilessly subjected to Perry's overwrought, Broadway stage-worthy vocalizing. In my mind I could picture him slowly rising from a smoking volcano and then strolling down a long lava-lined staircase while gesturing provocatively to the audience. (Hell, I had to think of something to take my mind off the banality of the tune.) "When You Love a Woman" - A very Michael Bolton-ish power ballad snooze fest complete with a faux gospel chorale swaying in the background. (I find I'm already having to restrain my gag reflex and I'm only 3 cuts in!) "If He Should Break Your Heart" - What's truly breaking my heart is that this kind of shlock is on a progressive rock music site. I mean, even cotton candy isn't this sugary. "Forever in Blue" - These guys evidently bought into the record label's motto of "If it worked a decade ago it'll work again. Trust us." Sadly the suits were right but to my ears this is a vile piece of embarrassingly dated crapola. "Castles Burning" - An example of what happens when a pop act tries to get "heavy." It's extremely difficult for me to imagine anyone playing this for a friend and exclaiming "Isn't this FANTASTIC?" And, like most of the tracks on this record, it's about four minutes too long. "Don't Be Down on Me Baby" - Here's where they roll out their obligatory "bluesy waltz" number. I found it almost as entertaining as clipping my toenails. Neal Schon is an okay musician but he always comes off as an insecure lead guitarist trying to impress his peers with how fast he can play. That approach gets real old real fast.

"Still She Cries" - Perhaps if they'd made this an instrumental it would've provided me with a much-needed ray of light but no, they just had to turn it into a song only a lovesick 12 year old Daddy's little princess could relate to. "Colors of the Spirit" - Oh, great. Now I'm on safari with these jokers. I reckon this is their attempt to create a "world beat" sound but Perry's pasteurized voice makes that a mission impossible. Good grief, this is torture. "When I Think of You" - I can almost hear one of the band members saying "Hey, fellas, let's manufacture another clone of 'Forever Yours!' Cha-ching!" Um, somebody nudge me when this dull-as-a-butter-knife dirge is over. Or not. "Easy to Fall" - At this juncture it's almost as if they're intentionally parodying themselves. This is so awful it defies description. "Can't Tame the Lion" - This tune begs the question; "Don't y'all have any flavors other than plain vanilla?" "It's Just the Rain" - Deafening white noise would be preferable to this. I feel like I'm trapped in an elevator. Alone. Evidently they felt it necessary to add a lot of "stormy night" sound effects to make sure I "got" the theme. Segue into "Trial By Fire" - Who actually paid good money for this stuff anyway? Did Steve just warble the line, "Hello, Mister Moon?" Yes. He did. Just shoot me. "Baby, I'm Leaving You" - Enough already. They just had to go full pseudo reggae on their way out, huh? This is about as soulful as a Lawrence Welk YouTube video. Pitiful. Journey has no shame whatsoever. I'm definitely leaving. To go throw up.

Dig this, though. This CD made it to #3 on the album charts! What? And the syrupy "When You Love a Woman" not only rose to #12 on the singles chart, it was nominated for a Grammy! If you don't believe me look it up for yourself. In addition, three other singles culled from this album charted! Yark! That means a substantial amount of people actually missed Journey's hit- making monotony machine and welcomed them back with um, open arms. If there's a bright spot to behold it's that this was the end of the Perry period. Seems he broke a hip in Maui before the support tour began and that forced the band to cancel the whole strolling-down-the-volcano thing they had planned. Bummer. It would've been neat-o. As I indicated earlier, if this is your cup of tea then be my guest. Dive in. Stay in. As for me, I'd rather hear fingernails scraping down a chalkboard. No stars.

 Captured by JOURNEY album cover Live, 1981
3.27 | 37 ratings

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Captured
Journey Prog Related

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Journey is just one of those bands that can generate very strong, fan-boy level of enjoyment... or groan filled, nausea inducing levels of syrupy sweet distaste. As one of the first rock bands that I fell in love with during my adolescence, for me Journey music is mostly filled with good memories. While only their early releases qualify as fusion, and therefore just prog enough to make it to this site, Captured is still a solid a showcase of the band's talent for crafting excellent pop-rock songs with all the right combination of hooks and melodies and feel-good memorability to make it a great live purchase for fans of the band.

The setlist covers the three albums from the band's middle period (1978-1980). This means there's no "Don't Stop Believing" or "Faithfully," which may make it more appealing to prog fans. I consider this to be one of the best periods of Journey's output: they're still crafting good old fashioned rock and roll, but with a high level of polish and approachability. Highlights from Infinity and Departure are the clear winners. The band plays quite well, with Schon being the obvious standout, though not so much that he steals the show. Greg Rolie's piano are very strong throughout; while he never gets much solo duty on these songs, the tones of his keyboards are easily heard throughout thanks to a nice production. Ditto for Ross Valory's bass; he even gets a groovy solo during the vamp of "La Do Da." Fans of the group will be interested to know that Captured features two songs not heard on other albums... bonus!

The band plays extended versions of a few of their tunes, such as a second solo verse in "Lights," and chorus extension in "Walks Like a Lady." Overall though these are very clean versions of songs so don't expect many "wow" live moments. Captured's production shows the band playing very tightly, doing what they do best. If you're into Journey, that's a good thing. If you aren't, this probably won't change your mind unless you're open minded about their '70's output.

Setlist: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 3 - Stage/Energy: 3

 Arrival by JOURNEY album cover Studio Album, 2001
2.67 | 40 ratings

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Arrival
Journey Prog Related

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Journey will generally be known to the general public as that band who made all the cheesy prom ballads and arena-style hard rock staples for the airwaves. With this knowledge, most people are in the dark about the real talent some of their work held. Take a trip back to the humble days of 1975; Journey were just getting their feet wet with a debut that mixed classic hard rock with progressive and fusion-based flourishes. The result was an album that the public doesn't notice much today, much less back then. Two more albums followed in this vein before Steve Perry joined and made the band more commercial.

Now, why am I telling you all this?

Simple: because this specific album takes a bit of a joyride back to the pre-Perry era. Sure, Perry's time with the band is clear with similarly cheesy love ballads (see the awful "All the Way"), but there's a certain feel that makes it stand out quite a bit in Journey's catalog. First of all, rejoice because this kicks the ass of 1996's Trial by Fire! The band sounds much more energized, and while singer Steve Augeri sounds eerily close to our previously mentioned former frontman, he packs a great deal of energy even with the daunting running time of 74 minutes. The rest of the members hold their own as well and create a nice sense of balance by not being overly flashy or low in the mix.

Speaking of balance, the songs are more varied this time around, ranging from fist-pumping hard rock anthems ("Higher Place," "To Be Alive Again"), soft rock ballads ("Loved by You," "Kiss Me Softly") and even some progressive hints ("Livin' To Do," "World Gone Wild"). Also, this album marks a much-needed lack of the horrid adult-contemporary style of the previous album, once again catering back to their old fans. Just one listen to opener "Higher Place" is a sign of a return to the old lively energy that Journey had back in the 80's.

One extremely pleasing quality here is how the band give a little bit of something to multiple generations of fans. The old guitar style and inclusion of Steve Augeri is obviously a way to regroup the old fanbase, while the modern production and shiny polish to the mix screams "2000's". Songs like "Higher Place," "To Be Alive Again" and "We Will Meet Again" certainly work well in this regard, with flourishes of the Perry era and the polished production of modern rock, almost like the band is tapping into The Darkness in some way (albeit with less of that cheeky humor).

Then there are the ballads; what a mixed bag. This slice of the album is where you'll hear some real and unfortunate inconsistency. For instance, "Loved by You" is a fantastic ballad worthy of the old Journey tag, and also adding a slightly folky atmosphere to it ("Livin' To Do" does a similar thing). But then, you hear the song "All the Way". This song is H-O-R-R-E-N-D-O-U-S. Essentially, it's like Journey's prom ballads x10; it ranks up there with "Forever Young," but at least that's a good song. This song takes "corny" to a whole new level. The rest of the ballads follow suit, ranging from bad-to-decent-to-great.

One more gripe is that Steve Augeri, as I said, sounds a bit too much like Steve Perry, and it would really have been nice to hear some more variety in his vocals. It's clear that he's a talented and capable singer, but it'd be great if he adds a few extra things to the table the next time around. Aside from that, things are good the way they are.

Whether you want to purchase this album depends on a simple question: do you like Journey or not? If you don't like Journey, this won't exactly change your mind. However, I think fans of the band will find a bit of a treat in spite of the initial backlash this record received. Arrival is a nice revival of the old classic rock hits and hooks we all knew Journey for, and for some people that just might be enough.

 Generations by JOURNEY album cover Studio Album, 2005
2.91 | 36 ratings

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Generations
Journey Prog Related

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

4 stars There just comes a time when a musician comes to his/her senses and decides to call it quits, and some have done this better than others. In the case of Journey, it would be a huge loss when Steve Perry decided to leave the group after 1996's abysmal Trial By Fire. It's an unfortunate situation when an artist ends on such a disappointing note. To make matters worse, Journey decided to press on with a different singer, and what do they do? They hire a Steve Perry clone. As much of a cop-out as that is, it was received much worse by the fans; rather, not at all by the fans. The problem with that is that Journey fans had always been a particularly resonant bunch with a lot of energy as an audience, so being lukewarm toward news such as this must have been a bit of a blow.

Going into this album with those tidbits of info, I approached an album like this with pretty low expectations... but just like 2001's Arrival, this was a surprising solid release... DAMN good, in fact! For being over 70 minutes worth of material, the band manage to really inject a firm dose of life into their aging sound. The result is a modern album full of classic cuts worthy of Journey's 70's/80's records, as well as some that really surprise on manifold levels.

The first thing you notice is that the songs are exceptionally long for a Journey release... the first song, "Faith in the Heartland" is a daunting 7 minutes long, a length not seen since 1976's title track "Look Into the Future" which clocks in at over 8 minutes. In that sense, the band give a subtle nod to the pre-Perry days, much like Arrival did. The second thing you notice is singer Steve Augeri's resemblance to old classic rock legends like Steve Perry (of course) and Robert Plant. Unfortunately, while he is a capable singer and frontman, he is probably the weakest link on this release, not offering much in the way of anything new from Steve Perry.

The songs comprise what is perhaps the band's most daring material yet. First of all, the album is a lot heavier than previous Journey albums, and some songs were really shocking in how brutal they could be. Take album highlight "Out of Harm's Way" for instance; in the middle after a particularly solid chorus, the band go into a heavy metal breakdown. Yes, you read this right... A JOURNEY METAL BREAKDOWN. Yup, and you know what? It's a very well-done breakdown; I could even see Dream Theater doing this kind of groove on an album like Awake or Falling Into Infinity.

The other daring aspect of the album is to allow other band members to sing a few songs. This is unfortunately one of the areas where it's a mixed bag. Neal Schon's performance in "In Self-Defense" is really solid, and Schon is a very capable singer; unfortunately, I can't say the same about bassist Ross Valory. His performance on "Gone Crazy" is extremely weak despite the song being pretty decent, and he sounds like he's doing a bad pseudo-bluesy ZZ Top impression. Luckily, Augeri still sings the majority of the songs on here, so the album still retains its consistency.

Despite the situation with mixed vocal performances, the songs are in no way mixed or inconsistent. Everything here retains the classic 70's-style Journey sound, and adds its tricks to keep things fresh. The highlights are definitely the hard-rockers like "In Self-Defense" and "Out of Harm's Way," but the band's subtle side sees some fantastic moments as well. "Butterfly (She Flies Alone)" is the big standout in this regard; a soft, distant piano melody starts the song off, and the way Steve's vocals and Jonathan Cain's piano chords fit together is simply sublime in this song. Neal's guitar work adds an overlaying texture to the main melody, and the song never gets boring in its 6-minute runtime.

Overall, this album improves upon Arrival's initial attempt at quasi-recreating the old Journey sound. Generations proves that you in fact CAN retain an old flame years after it's passed, as long as you bring new tricks to the table. It may not have performed favorably in terms of sales, but for non-buyers, it's their loss. This one's a keeper.

 Trial By Fire by JOURNEY album cover Studio Album, 1996
2.50 | 62 ratings

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Trial By Fire
Journey Prog Related

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Journey is a group known for intending to please a wide, grand audience since 1978 (some might argue 1977). Ever since singer Steve Perry's entrance to the fold, the band had been sitting on the lap of luxury; selling out multiplexes and smashing sales records every year. This is no doubt due to the leadership of Perry himself; his soaring vocal range and pure energy as a frontman led the band to the peak of their success, supported by a well-oiled machine of a band to round out the commercially viable sound. However, around the time of 1986's somewhat lackluster Raised on Radio, tensions were rising in a (quite typical) battle of control over the band. Steve Perry started taking control by firing two members of the band (bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith) and things got uglier from there. After Raised on Radio and its subsequent tour, the band decided to call it quits... until 1995, that is.

Steve Perry and co. didn't seem to think they were quite washed up just yet, and most likely made this album, Trial by Fire, out of the hope of still being relevant in this ever-changing world of music. The result is an extremely weak effort... one that massacred Steve Perry's final moments with the band.

The record is plagued with so many problems, in execution or concept, that it drowns out any redemption the songs might hold. The first problem is the length: at a heaping 75 minutes, this album is a chore to listen to, especially with the lack of solid or focused material. All the classic Journey albums kept the length nice and tidy, usually each clocking in at about 35-42 minutes. They might have had the intention of making up for lost material or time, but in this case, it's simply an overkill.

The other huge problem is with inspiration. The band have seemly run out of the energy they're notorious for, and have replaced most of their hard rock roots with soft rock and -dare I say it?- adult contemporary music, probably in hopes of appealing to a new generation. The result of colliding two generations together makes for an extremely inconsistent and tough listen, something that shouldn't be part of the Journey repertoire; it can only ensure that both audiences will be alienated by multiple portions of the album.

So are there songs worth listening to from this album? It just so happens that there are some redeeming moments buried within this mound of junk... notably in the first few songs of the album. "Message of Love" is a deceptively good opener to the album, complete with the typically powerful guitar work by Neal Schon and pounding rhythms that compliment Steve Perry's vocals very well. "One More" is an odd song for a band like Journey, but the orchestral experimentation works in their regard, and the quasi-progressive feel is quite nice. "When You Love a Woman" is a nice classic Journey ballad; it does have a touch of the adult contemporary style I mentioned, but it fits well, and the symphony backing the band provides a solid backdrop to the composition.

However, after this streak of highlights, the album falls flat on its face. "Castles Burning" is a weak attempt at macho heavy metal posturing and angst, while songs like "It's Just the Rain" and "Colors of the Spirit" show a disappointing dip in passion and quality from the Journey of old, only getting better for the closing track (not counting the hidden track), "Trial by Fire," the only other highlight on the record.

All in all, Trial by Fire is overlong, washed up, and simply beating a dead horse. Even though the album went gold eventually, people generally caught on and figured out that the album was not worth any of their money... and they were right. Journey listeners beware... this is the most atrocious album by Journey, and is only recommended if you want to have EVERY SINGLE Journey album.

 Frontiers by JOURNEY album cover Studio Album, 1983
2.85 | 90 ratings

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Frontiers
Journey Prog Related

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Journey was an epitome of arena rock for its time along with a handful of others, among the likes of Styx, REO Speedwagon, Loverboy, etc. Their album Escape saw them at their "finest" and at their heyday. Whether or not one really cared about the quality that was lost in their later recordings after their prog era with Santana keyboard virtuoso Gregg Rolie, it never seemed to be an issue, as Journey's records were still being sold by the masses as soon as they were released. This sees a new album called Frontiers, and it is a definite progression/improvement over the lackluster Escape.

The first side of the record contains a good amount of well-known tracks. It kicks off with the particularly popular "Separate Ways (Worlds Apart), a synth-driven number that is actually quite heavy. Steve Perry still takes the forefront (as usual), but it is noticeably not as much this time around. Eventually the track is pulled along by a pretty catchy chorus. Its solo gets a little over-the-top and a little too dramatic with some filler as well, but that's the only area to really be griping about.

Another extremely well-known track here is the beautiful "Faithfully," a warm and heartfelt ballad that really shows glimpses of earlier Steve Perry work with Journey. It shows that there is still a fire in Perry's songwriting and singing overall. The track starts out with slow piano work and eventually builds up to a massive verse-chorus progression. Other hits of the first side include "After the Fall," which is actually a bit lackluster but overall a solid ballad, and the hard-rocking (yet quite interesting and unusual for Journey) "Chain Reaction."

The second side of the record is a bit interesting. While the first half of the album had popular hits that received significant airplay, the second side reveals a more obscure feel to the band. The rocker "Edge of the Blade" is a good example here. The riff absolutely does not sound like something Journey would do, and the overall track is quite dark in music and subject matter. The darkness continues with the progressive ballad "Troubled Child," which also goes more towards their early years with Gregg Rolie. The music lightens up a bit and gets more accessible with "Rubicon," the final track, but overall the second side is quite odd.

The whole experience for me had quite a collection of gripes. First off, Jonathan Cain has a little too much control here with his keyboard work, and it really makes for many missed opportunities with the album's sound. Plus, the obscure second half might turn off some listeners who prefer Escape or Departure. Furthermore, that same second half is a bit directionless at times, particularly at the end of "Edge of the Blade" where it could have just faded out. Solos can also be quite overbearing, like the one in "Separate Ways," where Neal Schon just does a bunch of noodling and soloing for minutes.

Overall, this album is definitely better than Escape but it doesn't match the quality of the very early records by Journey when Gregg Rolie was around. Fans should especially be aware that the second half of the album might not be their cup of tea. In short, though, it is a decent album worth listening to.

 Escape by JOURNEY album cover Studio Album, 1981
2.78 | 112 ratings

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Escape
Journey Prog Related

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Perhaps one of the most polarizing classic rock groups, Bay Area stalwarts Journey were always gradually creeping toward their commercial peak, even during the Gregg Rolie years. Even Next, the last record with Rolie behind the mic, was integrating hints of straightforward AOR into the already-established jazz fusion rock sound. Around that time, it was no surprise that the band would look for a frontman like Steve Perry to kick things up a notch, considering the first three efforts didn't exactly impress the general public.

As with most bands in the whole AOR niche, however, Journey's music got so simplistic compared to the 1975-1977 days that the Rolie-era fans were blown back a little. The following era is exactly what made (and makes) Journey so polarizing, just as the commercial days of Genesis fared. However, whereas Genesis's big hit record Abacab was exceptionally weak (even by 80's pop standards), Journey's smash album Escape from 1981 actually injects a nice dose of instrumental proficiency and solid songwriting into its commercial formula.

To get it out of the way, no write-up of this thing can go without mentioning the lead single "Don't Stop Believin'," which has clearly been played, covered, and parodied to death. The uplifting E Major piano line that begins the tune is practically an iconic piece of classic rock history, as is the harmonized chorus ending the song. Every time I go back to this song, there's always a strong sense of nostalgia in the recording style and flair, a quality that many Journey songs seem to possess; it might be because of the very clear yet almost murky atmosphere underneath the wailing guitar solos and soaring vocals. In short, it essentially feels vintage.

What's unfortunate is that plenty of songs are often overlooked, mainly because of the hits like "Don't Stop Believin'," "Stone in Love," and "Open Arms." While they're all solidly-written pieces of AOR music, many people won't even know or remember other great songs such as the hard-hitting title track, the emotional ballad "Mother, Father," or the slightly progressive "Keep On Runnin'". The other thing to mention in this regard is the aforementioned technical proficiency given the genre these guys are playing in. Ross Valory's fretless (!) bass work is certainly worth a mention for how he can bend his instrument's role between subtly leading the group and providing a solid backbone for Neal Schon's guitar work. Steve Smith's role on the drums shouldn't be underestimated either; Smith is a heavily accomplished jazz fusion drummer, and the way he integrates such a musical background into Escape makes for very smooth dynamic shifts and swift fills weaving in and out of the other instruments. That said, I don't think Neal Schon or Steve Perry need an introduction, being two of the most talented people in classic rock music. Between Neal Schon's fiery guitar leads and Steve Perry's soaring vocals and impressive range, the whole package is very solid all-around.

So what's bad about all this? First off, there's a pretty dull patch in the middle, songs like the droning "Still They Ride" and the rockers "Lay It Down" and "Dead or Alive" aren't exactly impressive and feel more like filler than genuine efforts by the band. Also, the lyrics are pretty cheesy by today's standards, much of the love talk managing to get a good chuckle out of me. Remember that line from "The Girl is Mine" by Michael Jackson that said "because the doggone girl is mine"? That kind of lyricism is thrown about here, many cliches being pulled out instead of full-on emotion. Some ballads like the beautiful "Open Arms" don't fall into this trap, but it is still a pretty annoying hindrance for the album as a whole. Finally, the song structures also start to get pretty old, most songs opting for very similar means of progression to each other when placed side-to-side. This especially happens in the rockers, and all the end-of-song fade-outs out only add to this point (the fade-outs especially get pretty obnoxious after a while).

If you can get past those things, though, the album is a pretty great piece of breezy AOR music. No matter how polarizing Journey are, Escape is surely worth at least one listen. If you enjoy the fun side of rock, expect listening to this album a lot on roadtrips... or any car trip for that matter.

 Departure by JOURNEY album cover Studio Album, 1980
2.58 | 78 ratings

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Departure
Journey Prog Related

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

2 stars By now, Journey have been making albums for 5 years. Steve Perry came in as of late and started moving the band toward a more commercial direction. Some were fine with the change, and yet some weren't (including Ansley Dunbar who left after Journey's fourth album, Infinity, and Gregg Rolie who would leave after this one to pursue his solo music). Neal Schon and Ross Valory must really love the smell of commercial success, because this is possibly the weakest album in Journey's discography next to Escape, due to uninteresting/boring vocals from Steve Perry and bland soloing and guitar-noodling from Neal Schon (who really should be treating the music in a better fashion due to his reputation from Santana).

The album starts with an energetic number called "Any Way You Want it," a vocal-driven track that shows that Journey has completely left their prog days behind. In fact, the only songs that have mild traces of prog on this album are: the standout "People and Places," a moderately good ballad that showcases some solid songwriting and emotional vocals, and Someday Soon, the last song by Journey to have Gregg Rolie leading with his vocals. Another standout is the song "Precious Time," featuring the harmonica, courtesy of Gregg Rolie. However, Steve Perry's writing is quite lackluster with this one.

You can say that about many of these songs, though. While the instrumentation is nice, what the members do with it is far from great. To say the least, you can tell Gregg Rolie doesn't have much to contribute to the record, and neither does Ross Valory. It's pretty much all Schon and Perry in this album. This would be a good thing if Steve Perry's lyrics were better. All imagination is replaced with accessibility, and the sappy lyrics make someone musically-inclined wince at times. A perfect example is the bluesy "Walks Like a Lady." With Steve Perry repeating the lines, "Walks Like a Lady, she cries like a little girl," lyrical variety is basically lost and old subjects are repeated/recycled, leaving the attention to be taken away from the album.

To sum things up, this album is a nice gesture to no-brainer, accessible AOR music, but for the people who want to actually think about and analyze what they are listening to, this won't do much for you. With the likes of Escape coming up next, this album continues Journey's "departure" into the mainstream.

 Evolution by JOURNEY album cover Studio Album, 1979
2.16 | 85 ratings

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Evolution
Journey Prog Related

Review by Necrotica
Prog Reviewer

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.

Thanks to b_olariu & Ricochet for the artist addition. and to easy livin for the last updates

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