It’s 1977, Journey are enjoying their time as progressive rockers, full on jams and lengthy tunes with musicianship at the core, however the record label CBS aren’t impressed, LP sales are poor, and things are about to change – big time!
Written by: gdmonline
SERIAL: PC 34311
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Gregg Rolie – lead vocals, keyboards * Neal Schon – guitars * Ross Valory – bass * Aynsley Dunbar – drums, percussion
TRACK LISTING: 01 Spaceman * 02 People * 03 I Would Find You * 04 Here We Are * 05 Hustler * 06 Next * 07 Nickel And Dime * 08 Karma
WEBLINKS: Site Link
It’s one of the last Journey albums that gets reviewed here at Glory Daze. There are only a handful of bands that has their entire discography released here in full. Journey are one of those, for obvious reasons. Let’s rewind the clock. It’s 1977. The band members are enjoying their time as progressive rockers, full on jams and lengthy tunes with musicianship at the core.
The record label CBS aren’t impressed. The LP sales are poor, and the band, after the several years on the CBS roster are being pushed to deliver. Unfortunately, the 1977 LP ‘Next’ is not the album to reshape the band into fully-fleged arena rockers. That would be for the following year. So what does their third and final installment as a prog rock band have in store for us?
Well, Robert Fleischman would hook up with the band briefly during this phase as a songwriter and lead singer, this occurring after the album’s February 1977 release, but manager Herbie Herbert would have other plans for the band just around the corner.
The opener ‘Spaceman’ was also released as a single from the album. It contains traces from their ‘Look Into The Future’ LP the year before, but wouldn’t get near to the quality of their singles released from ‘Infinity’ in 1978. Still, a good track with Neal Schon’s scorching lead guitar a stand-out.
The band meander through ‘People’, but it’s not until the two and half minute mark that Schon kicks the door down on this track. His solo work sounds very compressed, similar to his Schon And Hammer work several years later.
‘I Would Find You’ leads off with some very cool moog keyboard parts from Gregg Rolie, but it takes awhile to get going. Ultimately, this song would be the last of their progressive and ponderous ways. ‘Here We Are’ has some very interesting passages, and I played this song several times during the course of this review. It’s quite mild-mannered, featuring a very AOR-like keyboard intro too.
Journey kick into high-gear for ‘Hustler, a hard rocking work-out, while the title-track ‘Next’ is a prog rock monster. ‘Nickel And Dime’ featured as the B-Side of the ‘Spaceman’ single, an unusual choice because the song was a pure instrumental. The finale ‘Karma’ ensures the band complete the album on a high, a raucous rocker that is totally 1970’s in style. Fiery as hell and it would’ve been great to see this played live.
The album reached a modest #85 on the Billboard charts, but as mentioned, things were about to change big time for the band here on in. The introduction of a certain bloke called Steve Perry as the new lead singer would redefine AOR and melodic rock for the decades that would follow, and put Journey at the top of the pile all through the 1980’s.
Entire Album (Select Tracks)