It’s easy to forget that Journey were one of the premier American progressive rock bands of the day, combining British prog rock with San Francisco psychedelics and Jazz fusion, they were a force to be reckoned with at the time.
Written by: Eric
SERIAL: PC 33388 (USA), CBS 80724 (UK)
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Gregg Rolie – vocals, keyboards * Neal Schon – guitars * George Tickner – guitars * Ross Valory – bass * Aynsley Dunbar – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 Of A Lifetime * 02 In The Morning Day * 03 Kohoutek * 04 To Play Some Music * 05 Topaz * 06 In My Lonely Feeling/Conversations * 07 Mystery Mountain
WEBLINKS: Site Linkm
Most Glory Daze readers are more than familiar with the Journey story, their years in the progressive wilderness, the groups rise to the top and inevitable crash, a failed reunion with you know who, Schon and Cain refusing to let the legacy end and how many of us to this day wish they would.
It’s been a long strange trip, worthy of a book or film, but it’s easy to forget that the band were one of the premier American progressive rock outfits of the day. Combining British prog rock with San Francisco psychedelics and Jazz fusion, Journey were a force to be reckoned with.
Hitting the tour circuit hard in support of their debut with everyone from Weather Report and Soft Machine to KISS, Wishbone Ash and Elvin Bishop the group wowed audiences with their technical prowess and thrilled progressive minded FM radio programmers of the day.
In my opinion Journey never made a heavier album. The double guitar attack of Schon and George Tickner is something to behold and with Rolie’s grinding organ and keyboard work, ‘Journey’ is nothing short of a progressive rock monster.
Add to the fact the group wrote some great songs and contrary to popular belief were not just another stoned out jam band. ‘Of A Lifetime’, the bluesy ‘In The Morning Day’ and the crowd pleasing ‘Kohoutek’ blow by way too quickly on side one and as you would expect Schon’s solo’s burn across all three tracks like a six string comet.
Side two is even better with the opener ‘To Play Some Music’ which again spotlights Schon’s guitar talents and if I am not mistaken was released to radio stations as a single. ‘Topaz’ a mysteriously beautiful track is reminiscent of Santana circa their amazing ‘Caravanserai’ album of which both Rolie and Schon appeared on – so no big surprise there.
But the final two cuts In ‘My Lonely Feeling/Conversations’ and ‘Mystery Mountain’ are the top of the heap prog tracks filled with melody and virtuoso musicianship that is nothing short of astounding.
Guitarist George Tickner would leave the band a short time after the release of this album, a move I am sure he’s thought about and self questioned a few times in the years since! Carrying on as a foursome the follow-up ‘Look Into The Future’ would find Journey struggling with their identity bouncing between progressive rock and pop styles with mixed results, but it’s on the road in a live setting they would earn their bread, butter and respect.
Recently reissued on CD in Germany with a deluxe booklet those of you clutching your ‘Escape’ and ‘Frontiers’ albums might find yourselves running for the hills after spinning this platter for the first time, but give it a chance. This folks is American progressive rock at its very best.
Entire Album (Select Tracks)