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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

We Must All Be Reminded That Journey...is GOOD!!! (MUSIC REVIEW BY SCOTT OKEN)

Don’t laugh, don’t scoff, don’t fold your arms and “harrumph”! You’ve all heard of Journey, the band with the classics such as “Lights”, and “Wheel in the Sky”, and “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’”, and…well, I could go on for some time. There is a group of music geeks that I belong to, that chuckle, turn up their noses, and sip their Cognac when there is talk of Journey. They are considered “corporate rock”. What the hell is that?!?!?! Did a CEO decide to tell Neal Schon and Greg Rollie to leave Santana, put out 3 unknown mid-seventies, semi Prog-Rock albums, get Steve Perry, then tone it down a bit and make lots of hits? Did they?!?!?! DID THEY?!?!?!?!

For those of you interested in their History, here is the page (It’s Wikipedia…so you know it’s true!) Just know that they were born from the womb of Santana and put out some jammin’ mid 70’s lps. If their career were to end there, only me and like 4 other people would talk of them from time to time feeling cool about ourselves that we could recite obscure jams to chicks drinking my Miller Lite. They got Steve Perry and that was it. This is where it gets interesting. You see, his voice is deceptive. He instantly pussifies the songs a bit, but upon listening closely, the jams are still ever present!

You may be asking yourself…WHY!?!?!?!? Why are you even writing an article about these guys? What don’t I already know!?! Simple. They were at their peak from 1978-1983. For me, that was 7th grade until High School Graduation, the Ultimate growing up years, so I have an affinity (or an INFINITY) for them.

I’m going to point out some highlights from the albums of that period, including things about the popular hits that I love.

1. Infinity (1978)

A. Lights- Don’t laugh…listen to perfect accompanying vocals with a perfectly non-overplayed solo. That’s the thing about Neal Schon. He could shred with the best of them, but he never played one more note than what was needed at the time.

B. Feeling That Way/Anytime- See above. The solo in Feeling That Way is especially pleasing. I was at a record store once where they played only FTW then they cut to another song…sacrilege!

C. Wheel in the Sky-Gentle electric, and acoustic opening..then …CHORD!!!!!!! Don’t dismiss!!!

D. La Do Da- Underrated gem

2. Evolution (1979)

A. Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’- Shut up…tell me you haven’t danced with your best girl to this song…tell me!!!!

B. Just the Same Way- All jams, especially the outro…all guitar jams..LISTEN TO IT AGAIN!!!!

C. City of the Angels- This is the companion piece to LTS, but it doesn’t get the respect! It should!

D. Daydream-There a lots of gems on this record that didn’t get airplay, this being one of them

3. Departure (1980)

A. Any Way You Want It- Please…it’s a jam, you know it, and I know it. Stop fooling yourself, you look silly…stop!

B. Walks Like A Lady-This is a cool change of pace kind of shuffle from them. Give this one a listen

C. Where Were You- A nice little ditty and jams hard

D. I’m Cryin’-Perry screams in emotional PAIN!!!!!!!!! Lots of guitar jams here.

E. People and Places- Schon can sing too! See?!?!?!? An underrated gem here as well!

4. Captured (1981)-This is a live album with a new track

A. The Party’s Over (Hopelessly in Love) –This was a big hit that I associate with my childhood..so there!

5. Escape(1981)-Greg Rollie is gone and Jonathan Cain enters here. You notice that the keyboards/synths get mixed way up more from this point on.

A. Don’t Stop Believin’- So many hits to mention here, I still like this song despite the White Sox RUINING it for me!!!!!!!!!!

B. Stone In Love- This one kinda got played, but it riffs pretty good.

C. Who’s Cryin’ Now- The first chink in the Journey armor. I am not a fan of this one.

D. Still They Ride- Schon’s best solo ever!!!!!!! Easily in the top 5 of all Journey songs!!!!!

E. Mother, Father- An epic/prog like tune. I like it. That is all.

F. Open Arms-You kissed your first girl/guy to this didn’t you? DIDN’T YOU!?!?!?

6. Frontiers (1983)-The weakest of all the lps of this period, but still chock full-o-hits!

A. Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)-Synth! AAHH! It’s ok, and this is a secret jam!

B. Send Her My Love- You can see the quality starting to dip here, but still ok.

C. Chain Reaction- An underrated decent tune.

D. After the Fire- My favourite on this lp. I can’t put my finger on it, or in it, but I like the beat

E. Faithfully-Yeah, it’s a pussy-ass song, but so what, dammit the road is hard!!!!!!

So, in conclusion, you all need to re-assess your stance on Journey. I command it!!!!!!

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