Journey – Evolution

ARTIST: Journey                      220px-Journey_Evolution

TITLE: Evolution

YEAR RELEASED: 1979

CHART ACTION: #20

SINGLES: Just the Same Way (#58), Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’ (#16), City of the Angels, Too Late (#70)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Probably, since you bought it in high school.

LINEUP: Steve Perry, Neal Schon, Gregg Rolie, Ross Valory, Steve Smith

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second album by the pop / rock version of Journey finds the band very comfortable in their persona, and wrote better songs this time around.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: To be frank, the deep cuts for Journey aren’t something of magical wonder waiting to be discovered, but on this, their second album with Steve Perry, at least they’re competently written.

This is a band you bought for the hits, and while the chart action doesn’t signify it, this definitely was and is a hit based on the songs you hear on the radio to this day. “Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’” has the all time “nah nah nah nah nah” chorus that even the most curmudgeonly of classic rock resisters has to appreciate (if not sing along).

Perry is definitely more in control of this band, as he wrote or co-wrote every track ((and even got a co-writing credit on Schon’s guitar intro to “Too Late”. Perry sang lead on every track but one, as Gregg Rolie stepped away from the spotlight.

It’s a decent nostalgic classic rock record for geezers like me.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: More personnel turnover, as Aynsley Dunbar decamped for the Jefferson Starship, and former Ronnie Montrose, Jean-Luc Ponty and Focus(!) drummer Steve Smith joined.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No 

GRADE: B: The fact that you sing along with the choruses is proof enough the hits are good. The filler tracks don’t suck, which is an improvement.

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