I found this album for a couple of dollars in an op-shop and when I listened to it, I felt like one of the luckiest guys on earth because I had discovered a great album i never knew existed. I’d heard of Journey before but only knew them as a pop band so it was a pleasant surprise to find out their roots were very different.

Once I’d sold my copy I resigned myself to never being able to hear it again but the wonderful freedom of the internet means that I have been able to find a copy and can now listen to it to my hearts content.

There are some really great guitar and keyboard solos on this album and I can only encourage anyone who likes a good album of good songs that interest your mind and rock your soul, to have a listen.

I’d also recommend their next two albums after this one “Look Into The Future” and “Next”  to have a listen to, you wont regret it.

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JOURNEY – THE ALBUM

The self-titled debut album Journey, by the band Journey, was released in 1975 on the Columbia Records label. Unlike their later recordings, the debut release is a progressive rock album, in the jazz-fusion vein. It is the only album to include guitarist George Tickner among their personnel.

This lineup of Journey showcased their considerable talent as musicians on jazz-flavored mix, progressive rock epics like “Of a Lifetime”, “Kohoutek”, “Mystery Mountain”, and “Topaz”.

1. “Of a Lifetime” (Rolie, Tickner, Schon)
2. “In the Morning Day” (Rolie, Valory)
3. “Kohoutek” (Schon, Rolie) –  (Instrumental)
4. “To Play Some Music” (Rolie, Schon)
5. “Topaz” (Tickner) –  (Instrumental)
6. “In My Lonely Feeling” / “Conversations” (Rolie, Valory)
7. “Mystery Mountain” (Rolie, Tickner, Diane Valory)

* Gregg Rolie – vocals, keyboards
* Neal Schon – lead guitar
* George Tickner – rhythm guitar
* Ross Valory – bass, piano
* Aynsley Dunbar – drums

JOURNEY – THE BAND

The original members of Journey came together in San Francisco in 1973 under the auspices of former Santana manager Herbie Herbert. Originally called the Golden Gate Rhythm Section and intended to serve as a backup group for established Bay Area artists, the band included recent Santana alumni Neal Schon on lead guitar and Gregg Rolie on keyboards and lead vocals. Bassist Ross Valory and rhythm guitarist George Tickner, both of Frumious Bandersnatch, and drummer Prairie Prince of The Tubes rounded out the group.

The band quickly abandoned the original “backup group” concept and developed a distinctive jazz fusion style. After an unsuccessful radio contest to name the group, roadie John Villaneuva suggested the name “Journey.”

The band’s first public appearance came at the Winterland Ballroom on New Year’s Eve, 1973. Prairie Prince rejoined The Tubes shortly thereafter, and the band hired British drummer Aynsley Dunbar, who had recently worked with John Lennon and Frank Zappa. On February 5, 1974, the new line-up made their debut at the Great American Music Hall and secured a recording contract with Columbia Records.

Journey released their eponymous first album in 1975, and rhythm guitarist Tickner left the band before they cut their second album, Look into the Future (1976).
Neither album achieved significant sales, so Schon, Valory, and Dunbar took singing lessons in an attempt to add vocal harmonies to Rolie’s lead.
The following year’s album, Next contained shorter tracks with more vocals, and featured Schon as lead singer on several of the songs.

Journey’s album sales did not improve and Columbia Records requested that they change their musical style and they went downhill after that in my opinion as they turned into a pop band.
I couldn’t tell the difference between them, Boston or Foreigner but they did become a lot more successful so I’m sure none of them are complaining.

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(thanks again to the wonderful Wikipedia for the information supplied)