Journey - Journey [Columbia Records PC 33388] (1 April 1975)

Dynamic Range Released: 1 April 1975
Country: US
Label: Columbia Records
Catalog: PC 33388
Genre: Rock

Item# SR-COPC33388
Ratings: C=VG+; LP=VG+

T R A C K L I S T:
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


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Album Review

Lyle Randolph []

First off, this is not ''Escape,'' ''Raised On Radio,'' or even ''Infinity,'' though four-fifths of that album's lineup (Gregg Rolie, Neal Schon, Ross Valory and Aynsley Dunbar, along with this-album-only rhythm guitarist George Tickner) appear here. If you are looking for ''Faithfully,'' ''Don't Stop Believin''' or any of the other Steve Perry-era mega-hits, you will not find them here.

However, what you will find is excellent musicianship, rather in the mould of Kansas (without the violin, of course), though that would show itself more on the next album, ''Look Into The Future.'' Rolie and Schon came out of Santana, an early ''jam'' band, though they did not bring any of Carlos' Latin-flavourings with them.

Much of it is instrumental, and when vocals show up, they are by Rolie (I could not detect Neal Schon's slightly-raspier voice). Surprisingly, there are very few synthesisers; most keyboards are Jon Lord-influenced beefy Hammond B3 and electric piano.

The cover does a good job of showing what is found within: spacey prog, though with more of an American flavour. Opener ''Of A Lifetime'' used to get played on adventurous rock stations when I was a kid in the '70s. Surprisingly, there are some hints of pop, with ''To Play Some Music'' and ''In The Morning Day'' (piano by bassist Ross Valory).

However, if you want instrumental pyrotechnics, you will find them here, especially from criminally-underated lead guitarist Schon and former Jeff Beck drum legend (and lone Briton) Aynsley Dunbar, whose style is not far removed from fellow Englishman Cozy Powell. Indeed, I would go so far to say that ''Journey'' shows Aynsley at his best, before a short stint in the overcommercialised version of Jefferson Starship and session work with the '80s version of Whitesnake. Listen especially to ''Kohoutek'' for this.

I imagine many recreational substances have been consumed over the years to the backdrop of this album. However, they are not necessary to enjoy it. It is what I call a ''late night'' album for me. Just pop it in and drift away with Messrs. Rolie, Schon, Dunbar, Valory and Tickner as they begin their ''Journey.''