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Journey - Journey CD (album) cover




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3.40 | 153 ratings

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Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Quite a big surprise for a lot of people who were not aware of Journey´s roots long before their multi platinum Steve Perry period. But I did get to hear about them from the early times, and I knew they were formed by ex Santana bands Greg Rolie and Neil Schon. What I did not know it was that Schon was that young (barely 16 years old when he joined Santana) to be so good. And after getting bassist Ross Valory (from Steve Miller Band) and english drummer Ainsley Dunbar (Bowie, Zappa and many more) set out to make a jazz rock outfit. A kind of Santana band without the latin percussion of sorts. Later rhythm guitarist George Tickner would join the group.

And indeed the jazz rock fusion style is in here, but from the beginning it was obvious that it would be songs, instead of just jamming. That´s what set them apart from the very beginning. And also it would feature vocals on most tracks. Rolie was the singer in his former band and he shows that if he does not have a very strong voice, he is more than competent to handle the job. Of course there are lots of great soloing and virtuosity around, but not a lot of self indulgence. The fantastic rhythm section holds it all together with great skill too.

I was quite impressed by the first track, Of A Lifetime, a powerful song that opens the original LP very nicely. Unfortunately the remaining tracks are not as good as this one, although none are really bad either. In fact, apart from the mediocre To Play Some Music, the rest is quite interesting, specially the instrumentals Most of all there are fine keyboards lines and great melodic guitar leads by Schon.

So in the end I was quite pleased with this CD. For such a young band, they sound quite tight and self assure. It is clear that they needed more time to mature and to hone their songwriting skills, but it is also obvious they had something special too.

Rating: 3 stars. Promising stuff indeed.

Tarcisio Moura | 3/5 |


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