The last album with the great Greg Rolie, founding member of Journey and Santana alumnus. Journey would use this as a springboard to megastardom with the follow-up album, Escape. But Departure remains for me their best. Sure it has a sentimental quality for me since I was honored by the Journey management at this time with running the UK fanclub after I discovered that very few people in the UK knew who Journey was, never mind this great album. But that apart, this album is a real gem. There's a tremendous diversity here, from the catchy Any Way You Want It, through the bluesy rock of Walks Like A Lady, the moving ballad of Stay Awhile, vocal prowess of I'm Crying, and the anthemic tour de force, Precious Time, an absolutely blinding track. We still have Greg's grounding influence, the unsurpassed rhythm section of Ross and Steve S, the still prodigious talent of Neal, and the production values that made Infinity and Evolution such attention grabbing works (e.g. the imaginative use of phasing); but this is also where Steve P really comes into his own as a singer and composer. And the rest is history.
I love Journey ....I have been a huge Steve Perry fan ever since I first heard Anyway You Want It. That still remains my all time fave song of theirs .... and if forced to choose I would pick Departure as my favourite album too. Some of teh albums that followed have been awesome bits of work ...notably Escape and Raised On Radio ... but there is a feel and a freshness to Departure that I like. Walks Like A Lady is a great song as is Precious Time which moves from soulful harmonica, the swirling guitar to thumping rock in 3 easy minutes .... great song. Other notable tracks include Im Cryin', Stay Awhile and Where Were You.
Journey have endured the decades and re-discovered themselves with Arnel Pineda at the mic, but this was my first and still my favourite time with a fabulous band.
I was quite surprised to see how few reviews this excellent album has and so despite not usually writing reviews - I decided to contribute one! I think whenever bands create albums that dominate the charts, and songs that are still played in nightclubs/bars the world over some 30 odd years down the line (i.e. Escape and Don't stop believing) their other work can get overlooked. Many other bands like U2, Guns n Roses, Pearl Jam etc suffer from the same situation - having one (or two)albums that became so huge their other work was overshadowed and forever get unfavourable comparisons by critics etc. This album is not as good as Escape but that does not mean it is not an excellent album. My favorite songs are the opening stomping rocker 'Any way you want it', and 'precious time' and 'people and places' which build to a hard rocking finale (much in the same style as the aforementioned smash-hit Journey would open their their next album with!) The rest of the songs are a good mix of powerful ballads (I'm cryin), delightful sweet ballads (good morning girl, stay awhile and the bluesy walks like a lady) and driving rockers (line of fire, where were you). If you like anything by Journey buy this (unless Escape is cheaper and you don't have it!)