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The Essential Journey

Journey

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Album Review

The Essential Journey doesn't bear a title that's too hyperbolic for the collection it represents. Over the course of two discs and 32 songs, the retrospective winds through all of the group's biggest songs — not just the hit singles, but the album radio favorites and concert staples that kept the group popular on the charts and in the arenas until last third of the '80s (and, for the record, everything on the previous Greatest Hits record is here). The key to the collection is that it doesn't abide strict chronological order. Instead, it's divided into two, with all the biggest hits on the first disc and the second acting like a "more of the best" collection, and within each of the discs, the tracks flow like a concert. The result is a first-class, definitive collection for the serious Journey listener (and, despite many skeptics, there are many out there — which is not hard to understand, since arena rock never got any better than this).

Biography

Formed: 1973 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

During their initial 14 years of existence (1973-1987), Journey altered their musical approach and their personnel extensively while becoming a top touring and recording band. The only constant factor was guitarist Neal Schon, a music prodigy who had been a member of Santana in 1971-1972. The original unit, which was named in a contest on KSAN-FM in San Francisco, featured Schon, bassist Ross Valory, drummer Prairie Prince (replaced by Aynsley Dunbar), and guitarist George Tickner (who left after...
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The Essential Journey, Journey
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