Monday, September 28, 2015

Journey - 2011 Original Album Classics [3 CD Box]

The original members of Journey came together in San Francisco in 1973 under the auspices of former Santana manager Herbie Herbert. Originally called the Golden Gate Rhythm Section and intended to serve as a backup group for established Bay Area artists, the band included recent Santana alumni Neal Schon on lead guitar and Gregg Rolie on keyboards and lead vocals. Bassist Ross Valory and rhythm guitarist George Tickner, both of Frumious Bandersnatch, rounded out the group. Prairie Prince of The Tubes served as drummer. The band quickly abandoned the original "backup group" concept and developed a distinctive jazz fusion style. After an unsuccessful radio contest to name the group, roadie John Villaneuva suggested the name "Journey." The band's first public appearance came at the Winterland Ballroom on New Year’s Eve, 1973. Prairie Prince rejoined The Tubes shortly thereafter, and the band hired British drummer Aynsley Dunbar, who had recently worked with John Lennon and Frank Zappa. On February 5, 1974, the new line-up made their debut at the Great American Music Hall and secured a recording contract with Columbia Records.

Journey released their eponymous first album in 1975, and rhythm guitarist Tickner left the band before they cut their second album, Look into the Future (1976). Neither album achieved significant sales, so Schon, Valory, and Dunbar took singing lessons in an attempt to add vocal harmonies to Rolie's lead. The following year's Next contained shorter tracks with more vocals, and featured Neal Schon as lead singer on two of the songs.

The ORIGINAL Journey was a superb rock band before their management decided to bring in Steve 'The Nose' Perry. While they achieved a lot of success after turning into a pop band, the original lineup produced excellent progressive rock and rock and roll. I saw them open for Blue Oyster Cult in 1975 and then again the next night by themselves, when they were on tour in support of their first album and they were superb live! Once they began recording Infinity and Perry joined the band, it was over for me. These are the only releases I own or will listen to as I am not into pop music. The first album is a progressive masterpiece by 2 former members of Santana (Rolie and Schon), 1 from Frank Zappa (drummer Ainsley Dunbar) along with Ross Valory and George Tickner (who left the band shortly after). Look Into The Future and Next were both more straight ahead rock albums with some progressive jams included in a few songs. This is a great deal for 3 great albums.

Sure, these could use a once over by a good post-production engineer, but I doubt that's going to happen. That said, these are still great records and they deserve to be heard. They're very different than the Steve Perry records, so don't expect "Stone In Love", because what you get here is much more aggressive instruments and less emphasis on vocals. This band rocks !

Disc 1  
1975 [2011] Journey 

Journey is the self-titled debut album by the band of the same name. It was released in 1975 on Columbia Records. Unlike their later recordings, this is a progressive rock album which focuses mainly on the band's instrumental talents.[3] It is the only album to include rhythm guitarist George Tickner among their personnel.
Journey features progressive rock tracks like "Of a Lifetime", "Kohoutek", "Topaz" and fan favorite, "Mystery Mountain".[4]
Journey recorded a demo album prior to the release of the self-titled Journey album, with the same songs, in different order and with Prairie Prince as the drummer. There were additional tracks, including additional instrumental pieces, that did not make it to the final product. One of which was the original title track of the demo album "Charge of the Light Brigade".

Track Listings

1. Of a Lifetime
2. In the Morning Day
3. Kohoutek
4. To Play Some Music
5. Topaz
6. In My Lonely Feeling/Conversations
7. Mystery Mountain


    Neal Schon - lead guitar
    George Tickner - rhythm (all but 2) and bass (2) guitars
    Gregg Rolie - keyboards, vocals
    Ross Valory - bass guitar (all but 2), piano (2)
    Aynsley Dunbar - drums

Disc 2
1976 [2011] Look Into The Future

Look into the Future is Journey's second studio album. It was released in January 1976 on Columbia Records.
For their second album, the members of Journey toned down the overt progressiveness of their first, self-titled release, in favor of a more focused approach.[1] Despite that, Look into the Future still retains some of the experimental approach and sound of the debut,[1] especially in the title track and "I'm Gonna Leave You", the latter of which some[who?] claim inspired the main riff in the famous Kansas song "Carry on Wayward Son".[2] The album features a cover version of The Beatles' "It's All Too Much" from the 1968 Yellow Submarine film and 1969 soundtrack. The title track was the longest recorded Journey song until 1980, when "Destiny" from Dream, After Dream would claim that honor.
Guitarist George Tickner left the band after having co-written two songs for this album, leaving members Gregg Rolie (lead vocals/keyboards), Neal Schon (guitar), Ross Valory (bass), and Aynsley Dunbar (drums).

Track listing:

1. On a Saturday Nite
2. It's All Too Much
3. Anyway
4. She Makes Me (Feel Alright)
5. You're on Your Own
6. Look Into the Future
7. Midnight Dreamer
8. I'm Gonna Leave You


    Neal Schon - guitar
    Gregg Rolie - keyboards, vocals
    Ross Valory - bass guitar
    Aynsley Dunbar - drums

Disc 3
1977 [2011] Next

Next is the third studio album by Journey, released in 1977. The band continued the formula from 1976's Look into the Future but this album also retains some of their progressive rock style from the first album. It is the last album to feature Gregg Rolie on lead vocals. "Spaceman" and "Nickel and Dime" were the two singles released from Next.
The instrumental "Cookie Duster" was listed in very early pressings of the album, though not actually included on the pressings, and then not listed on the cover art at all. It was later released on their Time³ compilation album.
Next reached #85 on the Billboard 200 Albums charts.[1]
Although he did not contribute to Next, lead vocalist Robert Fleischman joined Journey shortly after the album's release as a songwriter and the group's first dedicated frontman, sharing lead vocal duties with Rolie during subsequent live shows. All of the songs on the album vanished from the band's live setlist after 1979 and two ("Spaceman" and "Here We Are") have never been performed live.

Track listing:

1. Spaceman
2. People
3. I Would Find You
4. Here We Are
5. Hustler
6. Next
7. Nickel and Dime
8. Karma


    Neal Schon - guitar
    Gregg Rolie - keyboards, vocals
    Ross Valory - bass guitar
    Aynsley Dunbar - drums


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