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American soft rock at its best
on 6 November 2010
Journey have a long history, but their greatest commercial success came in the early eighties, particularly with one album (Escape) and the singles taken from it. One of them is the title and opening track to this compilation. Another (Open arms) became their biggest American hit and eventually attracted covers by the Burch Sisters (a country/bluegrass group who returned to obscurity after just one album - we can be thankful that Journey were given more than one album to prove themselves), Mariah Carey (who had a UK top 5 hit with it after including it on her Daydream album), Collin Raye, Boys II Men and Barry Manilow among others. Those two songs are the ones that most people probably remember Journey for, but there are plenty of other great songs to make this compilation worth listening to.
Four singles were released from Journey's first three albums, none of which charted but two of them (On a Saturday night, Spaceman) are nevertheless included here. Ten further American hits followed prior to the release of the Escape album. Only four of them (Wheel in the sky, Lovin' touchin' squeezing', Walks like a lady) are included here, but given their enduring popularity, I wonder why two others (Any way you want it, Lights) were omitted, particularly the former that made the Billboard top 30. Meanwhile, Journey's album sales showed steady progress, with Departure, the album before Escape, making the top ten in the American album charts. They were ready for the big time.
The Escape album included three songs that became American top ten hits (Who's cryin' now and the two I mentioned in the opening paragraph) The album is also represented here by Stone in love. The two albums that followed Escape (Frontiers, Raised on radio) sold well in America and spawned plenty of hits, all but one of them included here, the exception being I'll be alright with you, an American top 20 hit in 1987. Also included here are soundtrack hits from the same period (Ask the lonely from Two of a kind, Only the young from Vision quest).
This may not be the definitive Journey hits collection, but it contains all the big American hits and is more comprehensive than the standard hits collection. At the price I paid, there wasn't much difference in the price either, so it was easy for me to choose this double CD. Journey never made much impact in Britain because this type of music wasn't fashionable in Britain at the time, which perhaps makes it all the more remarkable that a compilation such as this was released in the UK, but let's enjoy it anyway.