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Journey Departure album cover
2.68 | 100 ratings | 13 reviews | 10% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1980

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Any Way You Want It (3:21)
2. Walks Like A Lady (3:16)
3. Someday Soon (3:31)
4. People And Places (5:04)
5. Precious Time (4:49)
6. Where Were You (3:00)
7. I'm Cryin' (3:42)
8. Line Of Fire (3:05)
9. Departure (0:37)
10. Good Morning Girl (1:44)
11. Stay Awhile (2:48)
12. Homemade Love (2:53)

Total time 37:50

Bonus tracks on 2006 remaster:
13. Natural Thing (3:43) *
14. Little Girl (5:47) #

* Recorded 11/79 at The Automatt, San Francisco
# From the soundtrack "Dream After Dream"

Line-up / Musicians

- Steve Perry / lead vocals
- Neal Schon / guitars, co-lead (4) & backing vocals
- Gregg Rolie / keyboards, harmonica, co-lead (3) & backing vocals
- Ross Valory / bass, bass pedals, backing vocals
- Steve Smith / drums, percussion

Releases information

Artwork: Alton Kelley

LP Columbia- FC 36339 (1980, US)
LP CBS- CBS 84101 (1980, Europe)

CD Columbia- CK 36339 (1986, US)
CD Columbia- CK 67727 (1996, US) Remastered by Bob Ludwig & Brian Lee
CD Legacy- 88697 00119 2 (2006, US) Remastered by Dave Donnelly with 2 bonus tracks

Thanks to Ricochet for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy JOURNEY Departure Music

JOURNEY Departure ratings distribution

(100 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(10%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(16%)
Good, but non-essential (38%)
Collectors/fans only (23%)
Poor. Only for completionists (13%)

JOURNEY Departure reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This album contains straight hard-rock / AOR music. Commercially, it was a successful album for the band as their previous albums were not able to chart no. 8 on the album charts which also included the top-25 Any Way You Want It. (album opener). Journey's first 3 albums ("Journey" from 1975, "Look into the future" 1976 and "Next" 1977) sold very poorly and largely ignored by music critics and the public. But since 1978 the band changed their music direction from something jazz-rock with progressive elements to more commercial nature. "Departure" marked the last studio appearance of founding member Gregg Rolie (ex Santana).

For those who enjoy straight hard rock music, this is a good one to have. The opener "Any Way You Want It" (3:21) is probably too poppy for most rockers. But the second track " Walks Like A Lady" (3:16) reminds us to the classic rock kind of music especially through the bluesy style of the music with good Hammond work by Greg Rollie. One thing that is very enjoyable is the guitar work by Neal Schon and excellent vocal of Steve Perry. You can hear stunning guitar solo on tracks like "Line on Fire", "Precious Time" and "I'm Cryin'". The album features good ballads like "Someday Soon" and "People And Places".

Overall, this is a good straight hard rock album with good songwriting and performance. No single track having prog elements. But it's worth listening to. Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by b_olariu
3 stars The seventh album of Journey from 1980. By the time they entered in a new decade, the 80's, they were already a big and well known band, not only in USA but also gained cohorts of fans in Europe in that period. In the late '70's early '80's Journey and Styx were the most well known bands in USA, with many hits, millions of albums sold and hundred of thousands of fans on both sides of the Atlantic. This album from 1980 entitled Departure was in the same vein with the predecesor Evolution, same AOR meets hard rock conception, like on the previouses 2 albums. The direction was drastically changed in 1978 when Perry joined the band, from a jazz rock with fusion leanings into AOR - hard rock music, but also they reach the peak of their career in the early '80 with this kind of music. So about this album, is again a good one with some top hits pieces like Any Way You Want It and I'm Cryin', the rest are also good and more enjoyble than this two hits. I'm talking about People And Places (one of my fav Journey pieces ever) and Someday Soon (featuring Rolie as lead singer) great tune remembering the times from Look into the futute or Next albums. Steve Perry again deed a great job, delivering some very fine and in the same time very solid vocal parts ( he is one of my fav vocalists ever) just check out Stay Awhile and People and places, excellent voice. All in all a good album no doubt, better than the predecesor, more up tempo, more strong ideas as on Evolution, but less intristing than the early albums. 3 stars without hesitation.
Review by Sean Trane
1 stars 1.5 stars really!!

Second or third album since the industry-enforced coup on Journey and imposing Dictator Steve Perry as lifelong torturer of eardrums and certainly not an improvement over its predecessor or successors. By now, the most rebellious element, British citizen Ainsley Dunbar had either quit or most likely got fired, apparently for off-stage antics, like screwing groupies (unfortunately, I'm not kidding here, that's how sad things were). Hang that man by the balls!!!! (here I am!! ;o))) Whether this is his replacement's debut or second album remains unclear (I don't care to check it out really), but Steve Smith is nowhere close to Dunbar's fantastic drumming abilities, although the later's where being wasted since Dictator Perry came to power. The two Santana survivors (Rollie and Schon) are obviously hanging on, content on their wallets finally getting a fortunate twist of fate. This goes double for Schon with whom Perry found a songwriting partnership at the expense of Rollie, so it's no surprise that the best two tracks of the album are the two Greg got to write..

Pompously titled Departure with the 1980 date outlined and the horizontal 8 into an infinity sign, the group set out indeed to beat all records of bad taste in FM-AOR airwaves and actively contributing to moronize rock crowds around the world with tasteless Pontiac Trans-Am hood artworks and cheap sleazy cheesy and moronic ballads that will brainwash tons of so-called adults. And to show that Perry is the new master, the group starts on two of the most numbskulling hits they've written the rocker Any Way You Want It and the cheesy soul-ish Walks Like A Lady (Rollie's Hammond is the only good thing about this track), Rollie's only shot at lead vocals on this stinker of an album is a weak Someday Soon, with Perry sabotaging him in background vocals. Best forgotten. An intriguing Hammond (and hope- inducing) opening People And Places, but all hopes are quickly deceived as the track turns into a boring ballad that's probably the album's best track and impeccably played. The only other track approaching this semi-interesting status (aside the short instrumental title track) is I'm Crying, with all histrionics out.

The album continues in a typical AOR fashion that quickly irks the proghead (unlike he likes a numb skull) with shrieky vocals, harmonica (Precious Time, courtesy of Rollie) and guitars and the track succeed to each other, some obvious fillers (Line Of Fire, Good Morning Girl and Homemade Love), others being Journey semi-classics (Where Were You and Stay Awhile), but it is mostly a listless affair, where boredom seeps through every pore out of the speakers..

Soooo nicely underlined by the typical deep wisdom of a mindless corporate rock band, comes a line of unique wisdom: As A Seed Is Planted, So A Tree Shall Grow!! Yikes, why didn't we think of that ourselves??!! Don't get me wrong here, Departure is a very professional album with impeccable execution, outstanding production and everything else, but it reeks industrial standards, something to which I've grown very quickly allergic to.

Review by Prog Leviathan
3 stars Anyone familiar with the band will know it's futile to look for anything especially deep or meaningful in their music, but I challenge anyone to find a more straight-ahead-euphoria-inducing-explosion-of-balls-to- the-wall feel-good-guitar-rock than Anyway You Want It.

This album is spectacularily more enjoyable than its predecessor, thanks to some thoughtful use of dynamics, pacing, and style. Yes, there's filler, but in general one will come away remembering the big guitar, soaring vocals, and smooth organ sounds. Rolie's keyboards give us some varied sounds this time around (although his few vocals are more mediocre than ever), and even jams with a harmonica in the uplifting Precious Time. Schon's guitar playing is first-rate, especially in the opener and the bluesy I am Cryin'. There is a high level of energy and memorable vocal deliveries from Perry, whose shrill wails are toned down a bit here.

All in all, a good one for fans of classic rock; just don't go expecting anything too deep... even though this is probably classic Journey's most complex album.

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

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Despite the name of the album, this is anything but a departure of what Journey was doing by this point. After their first three albums and with the addition of Steve Perry- that was the departure. This is merely a continuation of the direction they would continue to take. Original member, keyboardist, and lead vocalist Greg Rolie quit after this album once he helped select his replacement, having grown weary of life on the road. Like most Journey albums, this one's not bad, but not great either.

"Any Way You Want It" The album kicks off with a clear winner for fans of commercial radio. There's Neal Schon's screaming guitar solo, a staple of Journey's sound by this time. Judging from how many times I've heard it (and played it, I'm sorry to say), this may just be the most covered Journey song by bar bands across America.

"Walks Like a Lady" This is some jazzier fare, perhaps befitting the times, but is a song that didn't age well. It sounds completely cheesy and sometimes makes me think of Uncle Jesse from Full House- not a good thing.

"Someday Soon" The formula of Rolie and Perry trading off on lead vocals has always been a pleasing one to me, because this is the best song on the album. Rolie's mellow, deeper voice juxtaposed with Perry's higher register just seems to work, and I sometimes wonder how Journey would have sounded had Rolie remained involved (probably not much different than they did, but subtleties can be important).

"People and Places" has some more complex vocal work (similar to "Leave It" by Yes) and a nice organ underneath. The second half of the song is completely different from the beginning, rocking harder, and of course, there's Schon wailing away in the frets closest to his pickups. It ends with the spacey music of the beginning.

"Precious Time" Over sparse electric guitar and harmonica, Perry sings a fairly forgettable melody. Schon takes a back seat for once and lets Rolie cut loose on harmonica.

"Where Were You" Heavy rhythm guitar and straight ahead bass and drums let Perry have his way over a basic rhythm section. Perry actually doesn't sound great here, cutting his syllables off and making himself sound somewhat intelligible.

"I'm Cryin'" This is a lame attempt at a slow, dark blues rocker, with Perry singing some laughable lyrics ("I'm cryin' the lonely tears of clowns") and Schon screeching or shredding in between.

"Line of Fire" A jaunty song full of piano and heavily distorted guitar, "Line of Fire" is just another one of those Journey hit-seekers that fell flat. Schon does his thing during the instrumental break, even employing some two-handed tapping, but even still it's boring despite its volume.

"Departure" A quiet, half-a-minute instrumental piece with quiet guitar and keyboards, this basically serves as an introduction to "Good Morning Girl."

"Good Morning Girl" A fine soft track with easy guitar, this shows Perry's vocals off in a fine way; it's less than two minutes though and has nothing in the way of development, but is still an all right track showing the softer side of the band's songwriting abilities.

"Stay Awhile" This song shares almost the exact same musical and structural template as "Lights" from Infinity, only this is not as good. It's a nice mid-tempo song, even if not very memorable.

"Homemade Love" The closer is a gritty rocker relying on heavy guitar but distant drums. I honestly can never remember a thing I heard from this song once it is over, perhaps with good reason. Schon has to drop in one last irrelevant solo before the album is over.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars Where to draw the line (of fire)?

Journey is a clearly 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.

While the band's early albums were more in the Jazz-Rock/Fusion category a bit in line with Santana, their later albums were more AOR in line with bands like Styx. It is 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 the question is where to draw the line. Some progressive rock fans (probably those who lean 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 Infinity and perhaps even the present one. Personally, I lean toward the second camp, holding Infinity up as my favourite Journey album. On that album, the band 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. But 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).

But while Infinity is the better album, in my opinion, Departure still has several nice moments proving to me that Journey should not be completely dismissed just yet. The chorus of the opening track can admittedly be rather tedious, but the verses are fine. Walks Like A Lady is a rambling, bluesy number that has nothing to do with Prog, of course, but it is not AOR either. People And Places is my favourite track on this album. It features Queen/Gentle Giant-like vocal harmonies and great lead vocals and lead guitar. Precious Time is another fine track that has traces of American Folk and blues featuring harmonica and, again, great vocals and guitar work.

Where Were You is another rather tedious song, particularly the lyrics are hard to tolerate. But the album once again presents a couple of decent songs with the ballad I'm Crying and the Rock 'N' Roll number Line Of Fire. The album's last four tracks form a kind of suite with the title track being an instrumental introduction before the almost Beatles-esque, symphonic ballad Good Morning Girl, the hit Stay Awhile and the throwaway album closer, Homemade Love.

Departure is by no means a great album, but it would be a mistake to be too harsh on this album as it offers some good moments. I will therefore not draw the "line of fire" before Departure and claim, like many others, that Journey had lost it already at this point. Not just yet. While fans of Santana and Jazz-Rock/Fusion should probably best stay away from this album, any Prog fan who appreciates melodic song based Rock with slight progressive aspects, good vocals and good lead guitar work should be able to find at least some enjoyment here.

Review by ZowieZiggy
1 stars Some giant prog bands did score the maximum rating for three albums in a row in my scale.

"Journey" scored the minimum available rating for their very weak last three albums (including this one). No worry for their wallet, since they will sell like crazy, but what would have felt the great Gregg Rolie about this?

Fine but short and scarce guitar breaks, weal melodies, poor vocals (I never could stand this Perry affair), and little inspiration is a summary of what can be expected on this album. You should really pass your way, because this ain't any good prog nor good rock album. Just a damned AOR stuff full of terrible songs. OK, the great Schon appears once in a while like his great solo during "People And Places" (some twenty seconds?).

Since there are some reviewers (but with no comments) that have rated this album with the masterpiece status (gosh!), I guess that my opinion will only balance their "enthusiasm". All songs are around the three minutes format (but two) and offer very little to be retained.

This album is poor and holds not any great song. A great "press next" exercise all the way through. One star? Huuum? Why so much? ?Well, there is no way to rate below.. OK. Under these circumstances, one star is accepted!

Review by Gooner
2 stars Really for fans only. Most will want this for _Any Way You Want It_(images of Rodney Dangerfield on the golf course dancing with his buddy Wang from the movie Caddyshack...ahhh so funny). _Walks Like A Lady_ is another great album rock radio track for the devoted. The real keeper on this album is _Someday Soon_(available on the Journey box set TIME 3...which I would highly recommend for the first CD alone). Can't quite put my finger on it, but this should have been a huge hit for them(re: Someday Soon). The production and vocals are stellar. It's not very progressive, but it's still an amazing rock song/mid range ballad. Can't say much about the rest of the album; only that it's as good as Foreigner, The Babys, Jefferson Starship, etc.(the standard radio rock at the time).
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars A significant departure

Journey enjoyed ever increasing success with each of their early Perry era albums, and "Departure" certainly continued that development. There is of course no departure in musical terms here, this is very much a continuation of "Infinity" and "Evolution". That said, there is a nod towards a back-to-basics approach this time, with far less in the way of overdubs and multi-tracking.

The album delivered the obligatory hit singles, including the opening upbeat rocker "Any way you want it", the package containing 12 titles but in reality about 10 tracks as such. Significantly, Steve Perry is involved in writing all but 40 seconds (the short title track) of the album, usually sharing the task with Neal Schon.

After the opening upbeat pop rock of "Any way you want it", "Walks like a lady" comes as a slight surprise. Here we have a much softer shuffle with jazz like overtones and some nifty keyboards work from Rolie. It is hardly ground-breaking, but it does show that the band still have some propensity to record songs beyond their now well embedded formula. "Someday soon" features an impressively ambitious vocal arrangement which offers a chorale effect, while the following "People and places", the longest track on the album at around 5 minutes, highlights Perry's superb vocals. This track too has some interesting vocal effects.

"Precious time" mixes a Supertramp ("School") like harmonica theme with a Fish ("Internal exile") like Celtic marching beat, I kid you not! Admittedly, the album is not without its dips, the prosaic "Where were you" being a definite low point. Even here though, the performance is competent and professional. "I'm crying" is a heavy ballad which once again allows Perry to display his vocal prowess. The rockabilly "Line of fire" may not be the most demanding song ever, but it is a fine toe-tapper nonetheless.

The brief instrumental title track features Neal Schon on guitar before seguing into the soft "Good morning girl", which then becomes the absolutely beautiful "Stay awhile". The album closes with the average rocker "Homemade love".

I cannot help but feel Journey are given an unfairly harsh treatment at times. This album may not contain much if anything in the way of prog, but it does portray a band with ambitions who do what they do very well. This is a good album.

This would be founding member Greg Rolie's last studio album with Journey, he left on amicable terms even helping to select his replacement.

Review by stefro
3 stars The last album to feature founding member Gregg Rolie(keyboards, vocals) and the second to feature newly- acquired drummer Steve Smith, the aptly-titled 'Departure' takes another step towards the slick AOR sound Journey would popularize during their 1980s peak, though even here the formula is starting to wear a little thin. Although a damn site better than the insipid predecessor 'Evolution' - no mean feat - 'Departure' fails to reach the lofty heights scaled by the group's 1978 breakthrough hit 'Infinity', the album that saw Journey for the first time pointedly eschew the pop-prog-fusion style that graced their first three albums. Instead, we have anthemic, occasionally gritty guitar solo's embellishing a set-list of slickly-crafted FM rockers designed to showcase frontman Steve Perry's powerful vocals. Opening track 'Any Way You Want It' proved to be the album's big hit by peaking at no.8 on the Billboard hot 100, perfectly encapsulating the group's proficient approach, whilst the hard rock veneer coating the gutsy rocker 'I'm Cryin' gives a rare example of the five-piece actually trying to push the stylistic envelope, the tracks slow-burning groove taking the Journey sound, albeit briefly, beyond their limited sonic confines. Rolie, the member who proved so influential on debut album 'Journey' it's follow-up 'Look Into The Future' and third album 'Next', is strangely quiet throughout 'Departure', though by his own admission he was starting to tire of life on the road and the constant merry-go-round of writing, recording and touring, hence both his lack of input and his subsequent 'Departure'. Though by no means a memorable Journey album, Rolie's general lack of involvement means the creativer onus falls on lead-guitarist Neal Schon and Perry. Despite their best efforts and a handful of smouldering rock ballads, however, 'Departure' has the distinctively inconsistent sound of a group buried deep in transitional territory. There are plenty of lesser albums by this hugely-popular American outfit, yet, conversely, there are also many better. Solid stuff then, but seriously unspectacular.


Review by Tarcisio Moura
3 stars 3.5 stars, really. Not as good as the previous two, but still a very fine AOR/melodic rock album with some prog influences. Once again a great showcase of the talented (and very underrated) guitarist and songwriter Neal Schon and vocalist extraordinaire Steve Perry. AS usual the repertoire is quite varied, showing they didn´t stick to the successful formula. Oh, I only wish the radio played such sophisticated pop music nowadays! The subtle arrangements, the magnificent guitar solos, the great melodies! Small wonder when Journey arrived at the charts they were soon the kings of the AOR movement!

The sad side of this story is that Departure would be the last studio album to feature founder member Gregg Rolie, who grew tired of the constant touring. But still he does a fine job here, even if in a somewhat subdue form. The album contains some of Journey´s most popular songs like the opener Any Way You Want It ( quite a big hit for a rocker then) and Stay Awhile, but my favorite song is Someday Soon, a great ballad with some fine harmonies. A pity that it is such a forgotten track. Although the album has some weaker tunes (Homemade Love is definitly one of them), none is crap.

Once again the production is top notch and the album still sounds fresh and strong after all these years. If you like high caliber AOR/melodic rock this is a a nice pick.

Review by Necrotica
3 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.

Latest members reviews

3 stars Departure is worthy of mention on a progressive rock site because of the track People and Places. I know, it's one song, but what a song it is. Every member of the band sings on this one. Reminds me a little of what Yes would go on to do with the vocal arrangement for Leave It a few years later. ... (read more)

Report this review (#194556) | Posted by sixpence-guy | Sunday, December 21, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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