The Diamond
Journey - Greatest Hits

By: Thomas Inskeep

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Posted 04/24/2007 - 08:33:47 AM by jackfeerick:
 This is a genius idea for a column, and it's going to be interesting seeing serious-minded critics defending records that are, by definition, the people's choice. You can't argue with taste, right? To borrow a phrase: 14 million Journey fans can't be wrong...
Posted 04/24/2007 - 08:53:07 AM by raskolnikov:
 Yes, 14 million Journey fans can be wrong the way that millions of Germans were once fans of the NSDAP between 1930-1945....
Posted 04/24/2007 - 09:19:39 AM by nyabinghi:
 Ditto, Rask. Can't think of a more grating vocalist, just horrible.
Posted 04/24/2007 - 09:55:24 AM by markrushton:
 Good idea for a column. Can't wait until Boston is covered, what with Kurt Cobain ripping them off brilliantly. Having grown up in the midwest during Journey's reign, but preferring US alternative and punk, British indie pop, and what accounted for industrial back then, I never liked them but was always curious about what made them tick. It was the one-two punch of Steve Perry's vocals and lyrics (for the chicks) and Neal Schon's guitar solos (just enough to keep the boyfriends interested). Hard to believe this wasn't mentioned, but Journey spent quite a bit of the 1970s as a sort of jazz-rock-odyssey spinoff from Santana's late 1960s/early 1970s lineup until Perry joined, but ended their 80s commercial run with American Idol fat guy Randy Jackson as their bassist.
Posted 04/24/2007 - 10:21:59 AM by ThomasInskeep:
 Good points, mark. I didn't mention their previous incarnation (pre-Perry) because it's not represented on Greatest Hits; I was remiss in not mentioning Randy Jackson's presence on Raised on Radio (and its singles which made it onto Greatest Hits).
Posted 04/24/2007 - 11:51:16 AM by ElJeffe:
 Finally someone has explained why I rarely changed the station when stumbling upon a song by Journey (or REO, Survivor, or any of the other handful of acts Tom mentioned). You didn't have to be a fan to appreciate them - they seemed like friends who frequently played their songs in the background while you went about the business of growing up. Thanks for the insight!
Posted 04/24/2007 - 12:30:50 PM by AKMoose:
 When I'm defending Journey I also usually note that Schon was on all those great early Santana records to show the musical cred, too.
Posted 04/24/2007 - 01:30:00 PM by skuter666:
 Bonus points: Perry's prime inspiration was Sam Cooke, which makes Steve a bona fide soul man who sings black just like Michael Bolton.
Posted 04/24/2007 - 04:47:37 PM by MonsterKids:
 Definite word to Journey props. A band that, despite some late-period cheese-rock misses, just couldn't seem to turn off the rock. Even the big ballads, especially the legendary 'stache-shaver "Faithfully", pack mad punch. I lamented the exclusion of Iron Maiden's searing "Live After Death" double-album in a previous best-live-album list and was rebuffed on the grounds that Stylus's readership wouldn't dig such a mainstream band on the list. So I'm glad that you guys are giving some time for bigger bands that often meet with disdain from indie kids. I mean, I like This Heat more than anyone in the Philadelphia area, but I'm also consistently pleased to here "Night Moves" and "Keep Yourself Alive" when I turn on the radio.
Posted 04/24/2007 - 05:12:43 PM by cinatyte:
 raskolnikov with the Godwin for the loss! This is a great idea for a column, and I'm really looking forward to seeing where you guys go with it. Articles like these are the reason I enjoy Stylus.
Posted 04/24/2007 - 06:51:40 PM by arterial_red:
 I'm not a huge Journey fan, but I think a lot of those bands from that area have gotten an unfair shake. I've heard better bands but then again, I've certainly heard lots worse. While listening to the radio, if I were given the choice of "Who's Cryin' Now?" over, say, "Somebody Told Me", I'd pick Journey. Sue me. Great column.
Posted 04/24/2007 - 06:52:16 PM by arterial_red:
 oops, from that 'era' not 'area'.
Posted 04/25/2007 - 12:11:42 PM by gluedon:
 The one problem I see with this column is the fact that the noteworthiness implied by ubiquity, which is built into the whole basis of topic, becomes a sort of self fulfilling prophecy. Statements like, "this is great because it was inescapable during my formative years", while perhaps true, are very easy to say, and kind of impenetrable. In the case of Journey, I tend to side heavily with the "Journey is the greatest band of all time" camp, but I'm going to be extremely surprised if you guys manage to effectively spin "Human Clay" the same way.
Posted 04/25/2007 - 01:28:39 PM by AlfredSoto:
 "The one problem I see with this column is the fact that the noteworthiness implied by ubiquity, which is built into the whole basis of topic, becomes a sort of self fulfilling prophecy" Not every re-evaluation will be a positive one.
Posted 04/25/2007 - 09:47:56 PM by gluedon:
 Glad to hear it. While watching someone defend The Eagles's contribution to the American musical tradition would be interesting, it certainly would be much more entertaining to see it torn to twitching chunks.
Posted 05/07/2007 - 10:32:16 PM by boilingboy:
 I also grew up in the Midwest, where Journey, REO Speedwagon, Foreigner, ELO, Styx and Bob Seger were king. Only some of them were any good, though; misty watercolered memories or not. Journey was alright in the late Seventies, and Steve Perry had a remarkable ear for melody. But Neil Schon has to be the worst guitarist from a big band of all time. Shittier solos than Richie Sambora, and more arrogant than Steve Vai; this guy was a tool. Readers here tend to trumpet the Power Ballads; but Take It On the Run, Every Rose Has It's Thorn and Sister Christian are just saccarine and horrible...period. A lot of worthy music was exiled from radio while this total shit filled the airwaves in America. These childhood memories fans are the same ones who think Bon Jovi is a classic band. I would like to see a writer here actually fullfill Alfred Soto's suggestion and trash one of these monster sellers from yesteryear (The Eagles, please). However, I cynically think that this will be just another jack off column for someone to rave about his pointless and obvious faves from the Lowest Common Denominator. Learn to cut the wheat from the chaff. Just because you loved it as a kid doesn't mean that it's any good. Children, someday in the future some music writer is going to take a "Second Look" at James Blunt's "Your Beautiful", Hillary Duff, and Nickleback. Their virues will be extolled and the writer will pat himself on the back for his revisionist history. You'll be tearing your hair out, believe me.