Journey : Lights
In January of 1978, Journey released its first album with new singer Steven Perry, ushering in an age of super stardom for the progressive rock band. When I was in college I found a cassette with Infinity on one side and 1980's Departure on the other. My first instinct was to toss it, but I discovered that I actually liked them both. My 12 year old son's favorite cut is "La Do Da".
With the addition of new lead singer Steven Perry, the band has a much needed focus and a more commercial sound. The music is more song oriented than before, and if it reminds one of Deep Purple, that's okay too. lnstrumentally this power pop band is as solid as it ever was, with the work of Neal Schon and Aynsley Dunbar as strong as ever. There are no frills on this LP, just a solid five-man guitar and keyboards attack.
Best cuts: "Wheel In The Sky," "Anytime," "La Do Da," "Winds Of March."
Debuting on vinyl in 1975, Journey were a prog-and-fusion spinoff of guitarist Neal Schon and keyboardist Gregg Rolie's former band Santana, playing complex solos for young male virtuosity fetishists on their first three LPs. But Steve Perry, who took over as singer on 1978's Infinity, changed things. Girls in prom dresses weren't far behind.
Not that Perry was a heartthrob. But already in Infinity's opener, "Lights," his God-given pipes were finding dusky romance in the "city by the bay-yee-ay-yee"; before long, such somehow soul-inspired melismatics would make even the most mundane suburban adolescence feel like an adventure. Yet on Infinity, Journey are still mainly an adventurous Seventies arena band, building Elton piano toward Zeppelin metal, finding majestic middle ground between pomp and twang.