Classic Rock Bottom

So, the softer side worked out pretty ok, maybe, at least I think it did, who knows... But I do want to dabble from time to time on this topic and its polar opposite, so here is my first ever "Heavier side of..." post. And the band I picked was the very first thought I had when I thought of this, literally an immediate reaction, so why overthink it and go a different way. That’s why we’re going to explore the heavier side of Journey with one caveat, it’s gotta be Steve Perry era. Let’s get to it!




1 - Can Do

Could've also went with La Do Da and that would have been a good choice also. But this one jams a bit more IMO.

Dead and buried were the jazz fusion overtones of previous offerings, and with the new songwriting combo of Perry/Neal Schon leading the march, the band set out to completely redefine their sound. Traditional pop arrangements were now adopted, cutting out the unnecessary musical fat, and allowing each bandmember to play to his strength: Perry's soaring, whale of a voice, Schon's scorching fret work, and Gregg Rolie's subtle keyboard arrangements.


2 - Lovin' You Is Easy

A decidedly more commercial album than Infinity, if you can believe that or not, but this track rocks nicely.

If Infinity had defined a new songwriting formula for the act, Evolution only served to develop it and streamlined it further, clearly qualifying as their strongest effort to date and endearing the band to millions of FM rock listeners in the process. With commercial rock hits like "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'" (their first single to crack the Top 20), "Too Late" (which reached number 70), and the powerful "Just the Same Way" (which peaked at number 58) leading the way to radio dominance, Journey had never sounded stronger or more determined. And with Steve Perry's tenor pipes now clearly driving the band's engine, and guitarist Neal Schon beginning to relish in his guitar-hero persona, Journey could seemingly do no wrong.

Line of Fire

3 - Line of Fire

Where Were You was on my short list as well. There are a few nice rockers on this album.

The album continued to build on the band's previous two recordings, but offered an added edge, arrangement-wise. This was likely due to the fact that the band had walked into Automatt Studios with 19 new tunes and proceeded to record most of them live, eventually trimming down to 11 songs. Never sounding tighter, the quintet then launched into "Walks Like a Lady" (another future FM staple) and a string of outstanding rockers, including future concert opener "Where Were You" and the stop-go-stop-go energy of "Line of Fire."


4 - Dixie Highway

Not sure if this was ever recorded in the studio or not, though Im thinking not.

With Captured, a live double-disc from 1980, the newly crowned kings of AOR show off like a formerly fat girl at prom. "Separate Ways" and "Faithfully" were still a few years away, but the band had plenty of hits by this time and they blast through them all, including a blistering version of "Any Way You Want It." The band are in rare form and vocalist Steve Perry uses Captured as his coming out, while the thousands of diehards sweating in the blistering sun give the album an underlying hum of energy that tops even Perry's.


5 - Lay It Down

Surprisingly this commercial heavy album rocks pretty good at times! Couple of nice rockers like the Title track could've worked as well as Dead or Alive.

The songs on Escape are more rock-flavored, with more hooks and a harder cadence compared to their former sound. Outside of the singles, there is a certain electricity that circulates through the rest of the album. The songs are timeless, and as a whole, they have a way of rekindling the innocence of youthful romance and the rebelliousness of growing up, built from heartfelt songwriting and sturdy musicianship.

Trial By Fire

6 - Can't Tame The Lion

The controversial 1996 album is full of ballads and stylistic changes but here again there a few nice rockers to choose from!

Journey have been completely unaffected by any trend in popular music, whether it's hair metal, hip-hop, or alternative rock and, frankly, they're the better for it. Trial by Fire delivers exactly what any Journey fan wants -- anthemic rockers and sweeping power ballads. Steve Perry sounds as powerful as ever, while Neal Schon's accomplished guitar licks remain as tasty as ever. If you've enjoyed Journey in the past, you're certain to enjoy the best moments of Trial by Fire, but if their arena rock and radio-ready ballads.

Views: 155

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I was looking forward to this theme when you announced it. Wasn't sure what to expect, so it was intriguing.

Now it makes sense you chose a band that is defined by their AOR and Ballad songs to open the journey.

Let's see what do I have from Journey. I have their Best Of CD, which I listen to occasionally. I used to have the Escape LP (not anymore) on which I wore the grooves flat. I do have a Soundtrack CD where Journey did the music (can't remember the title, lazy to look) which is mostly Instrumental, if I remember correctly and it is in my Later pile. And then I have Trial By Fire, which I heard once and it was enough for a lifetime.

I have to say you nailed the theme with your selections. The first 4 songs I haven't heard, or at least that's what I think. The 5th, one I forgot and a nice tune it is. While the last album is nothing I want to hear again, the song you chose works well with the rest. Schon's guitar is fascinating.

Really enjoyed listening this. Looking forward to the next one.

Thanks!  Its been fun to work through as well.  Especially this weeks, as I was once again reminded how good Schon and Perry can write music!  And the songs I left off were equally as good. I would strongly recommend owning, at the very least, the Schon/Perry/Rolie albums including the live 'Captured' album - terrific run of albums...

Nice pick.  Journey's heaviness, in my opinion, comes strictly from Schon.  He is such an underrated, incredibly melodic guitar player.  I love how the guitars come up in the background on Lovin' You Is Easy at about the 2:40 mark.  Then the solo kicks in.  The only problem is it's way too short.  Who's Crying Now has one of the best solos I've ever heard, although I know it's a mellow song and would never make this list, I just wanted to mention it.

I think the drums add to the heaviness on Line of Fire.

Dixie Highway is a song you've mentioned many times before.  I know how much it means to you.  To be honest, it's not one of my favorites.  I've never noticed it before, but the drums kick pretty hard here too.

Lay It Down is easily my favorite track here.  It's the best album for my money, start to finish.  And the opening riff is very heavy.  And Schon shreds all over this song.

I totally agree with Mr. Malmsteen on Trial By Fire.  Once is definitely enough.  That album might actually put me to sleep before Steve Wilson's last album.  Speaking of Wilson, I hear his new album is pop.  But I digress, the song you chose from TBF is pretty dang good, so I again agree with Mr. Malmsteen.  Sounds like something leftover from the Raised On Radio sessions.

Great topic Sir!

I think Perry has something to do with the heaviness as well - You Better Wait off his last solo album is pretty heavy in some similar ways.

Very interesting.

While my friend

and I were listening to this in the smoky basement, we couldn't figure out why Open Arms wasn't included. Do you have something against that song? Sure, you can't dance to it but you can't not admit that it's the ragingest of the raging rockers. 

Can do is their heaviest song I believe. There might be some heavier stuff on that Red 13 ep, but I can't remember. They also rocked ragingly hard on their last couple albums, you know, before people visited that house, pissing of good ole Schonmeister.

Ok. We're going to set up the slip n slide now. We'll let you know if we have anything else that you should know about.

There are some great drum fills in Open Arms no doubt!

When you mention drum fills, my friend reacts like this:


Question Of The Week

CRB Features (Click photo to visit)


CRB Staff Members


In Memory Of

Norma Jean Fox


  • Add Photos
  • View All


  • Add Videos
  • View All



© 2024   Created by RJhog (Admin).   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service