Journey “Evolution” – a delicacy of a Classic Rock Album


main-150Journey, the Rock icon of a band. Journey “Evolution”, an album that is now referred to as a Classic Rock masterpiece… by me anyways. What else can one say about this incredible Rock album? Quite a bit can actually be said, this album established Journey, solidified them atop the Rock Music world for many, many, years. There could never be another Steve Perry, his vocals alone gave Journey their signature sound. In my opinion, there are lead singers that have vocals so breathtaking, they are the most important musical instrument in their respective band. I had felt this way about Steve Perry, with his years with Journey. Steve Perry’s vocals can never be duplicated, nor will he ever be forgotten by me as the lead singer for Journey. I will always appreciate Journey as the band they are today too. With that said, this is an article where I am celebrating the brilliance of a moment in time, one that can be listened to time and again, that moment was Journey’s “Evolution”, (released in 1979).

Neal Schon, the lead guitarist to this very day for Journey, is an impeccable musician as well. His song writing on “Evolution” alongside Steve Perry, Gregg Rolie and Ross Valory could very well be interpreted as a – how to write Rock Music handbook. I can remember appreciating and being thrilled by the Rock and Hard Rock songs on “Evolution” back in the day. Now, it is 2009 and I only appreciate this Journey album all the more. Yes, for me, this is a Rock album where I can honestly say, they don’t make Rock albums like this anymore. (Please excuse that cliche). If someone who has never heard a single song from this album was to ask me, which songs are standout, cool or great… my  answer would be all of them. “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’” is certainly the undisputed hit single from “Evolution”, plus “Just The Same Way” received it’s justifiable FM radio airplay for decades as well. Gregg Rolie sings lead on “Just The Same Way”, I have forever been impressed with his vocals on this song.

From the opening instrumental intro of “Majestic” to the very last song “Lady Luck”, you are hard pressed to find the commercial Rock Music that would years later, catapult Journey into the superstar stratosphere. This is what makes “Evolution” so important and favorable to me, that this was a Journey album that caught on with popularity for it’s Rock Music whole. It never hurt either, that the musical talent, creativity and skill with all the musicians of Journey were in sync on this album, thus, this made for the equalizer – where great Rock songs do not always become hit singles. Instead, as it holds true to this very day, great Rock songs become the building blocks of legendary Rock albums. “Evolution” draws it’s Rock Music strength from collective collaboration of the elite musicianship, with the end result being a revered/legendary Rock album of songs, not a greatest hits.

Journey, as they appeared on “Evolution”: Steve Perry on lead vocals, Neal Schon on lead guitar, Ross Valory on bass guitar, Gregg Rolie on keyboards and Steve Smith on drums.

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