Journey albums start off way different than where they end. The self-titled Journey album is missing that iconic voice of Steve Perry. Strangely enough, the last album they released is also missing Steve. The band Journey goes from Progressive Rock to Arena Rock over the years, and seems to finish as a touring rock group playing the greatest hits.
Let’s take a quick look in chronological order.
If I randomly played this album for you, you might not have a clue that it is Journey. There are elements that sound similar to the sound in Infinity, but nothing sounds similar to Escape or later albums. I like progressive rock and/or jam-band style, so I still give these songs favorable ranks.
Album Score: 42.86%
- Best Song on the Album: “Of a Lifetime” ****
- Worst Song on the Album: “Kohoutek” ***
Look Into The Future
This album is a little of the same and similar to their self-titled debut album. The score is a little lower based on the number of tracks and 4-start songs. “On a Saturday Nite” seems like it could have been a single hit (maybe?) but not much else would be on the greatest hit setlist.
Album Score: 25%
- Best Song on the Album: “It’s All Too Much” ****
- Worst Song on the Album: “Midnight Dreamer” ***
We are only one album away from the greatest – and there are some solid hits on this one. “Spaceman” is quality. The title track “Next” also rocks and seems like it could be an Infinity track. I also really enjoy “Here We Are” and it was in close contention for my favorite song on the album. The album is relatively short (38 minutes) and has more mediocre songs than great ones.
Album Score: 37.50%
- Best Song on the Album: “Next” *****
- Worst Song on the Album: “Hustler” ***
Don’t be alarmed but Infinity is in my top 3 All-Time albums. Not only do I own the vinyl (original from my father’s collection), I also have a cassette, and the CD. I listened to this album on my wedding day as I put on my tux and will likely listen to this album when I am on my death bed. This album is short (37 minutes), but doesn’t have a bad song on it. “Feeling That Way/Anytime” is so underrated and would easily be the best song on any album – if it wasn’t going head to head with “Lights” and “Wheel in the Sky”. Welcome, Steve to the band!
Album Score: 600.00%
- Best Song on the Album: “Lights” *****
- Worst Song on the Album: “Can Do” ****
If I realized that I was going to love Journey so much, I would have likely grabbed this album from my dad’s collection before it was sold off to a pawn shop. If this was my first introduction to Journey, I wouldn’t be mad about it. This album is full of hits and actually only drops in score because it had a few extra tracks (and they all can’t be fives). “Just the Same Way” is my sleeper song and should be my favorite – but how can you not pick “Lovin’, Touchin’ Squeezin'”?
Album Score: 500.00%
- Best Song on the Album: “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin'” *****
- Worst Song on the Album: “City of the Angels” ****
Departure tends to dabble more with the ’80s sound that would transform the band. “Homemade Love” sounds like an arena rock song and a little less like my favorites on the previous albums. We still get gems like “People and Places” and “Stay Awhile” but there are a lot more 3-star and 4-star songs sprinkled in.
Album Score: 342.86%
- Best Song on the Album: “Any Way You Want It” *****
- Worst Song on the Album: “Homemade Love” ***
It’s fair to say Escape is the album that took Journey to the next level. “Don’t Stop Believin'” is still their anthem and is likely the #1 song in the minds of everyone. The entire album is chalked full of hits. “Stone in Love” should be my favorite, but I can’t go against my true feelings. This is the start of ballads that would transform the band, but also deliver the bank trucks to their mansions.
Album Score: 500.00%
- Best Song on the Album: “Don’t Stop Believin'” *****
- Worst Song on the Album: “Dead or Alive” ****
Journey albums are getting longer and longer – Frontiers is an hour long. We see my first 2-star review, even though we are still getting some hits. “After the Fall”, “Faithfully”, “Ask the Lonely”, and the ultimate “Separate Ways” hold this album up. But you can also notice that we aren’t producing many of those progressive rock jams any longer.
Album Score: 321.43%
- Best Song on the Album: “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart)” *****
- Worst Song on the Album: “Back Talk” ****
Raised on Radio
Officially we are in arena rock territory. We’ve seen the best of their prog-rock, the best of the classic rock, and actually the best of the arena rock. This album has enough hits to keep it afloat, but it should be no surprise that the band wouldn’t put out another album for a decade. There weren’t really any true stinkers, but lots of so-so songs.
Album Score: 163.64%
- Best Song on the Album: “Be Good to Yourself” *****
- Worst Song on the Album: “Raised on Radio” ****
Trial By Fire
Here is likely my most Journey controversial take – I love this album. You can tell by the score, but I have some sentimental attachment and I also really like the songs (these feelings are likely linked). If we polled most Journey fans, they probably think this is a complete outlier. It’s the only original album made in the ’90s and has a different sound than everything else. Most of their songs get at least a one-star nostalgic bump in my mind, hence why such a great score.
Album Score: 375.00%
- Best Song on the Album: “When You Love a Woman” *****
- Worst Song on the Album: “I Can See It in Your Eyes” ***
Controversial take #2 – I also love this album. This actually was the relaunch of Journey and this iteration stayed around for a while. Steve Augeri was the lead man and the group had a more modern rock sound. It was still arena rock but was slightly different. There are several five-star songs that I know would get 4 or 3 from the common folk. That’s okay. This is my ranking – right?
Album Score: 373.33%
- Best Song on the Album: “All the Way” *****
- Worst Song on the Album: “All the Things” ***
I’m not even sure if this album counts, but I’m reviewing it. It appears this was an EP released and linked to Final Fantasy VII. I can’t say I am familiar with the exact game, but the music sounds as if it was made for a game…so I guess that’s good.
Album Score: 25.00%
- Best Song on the Album: “I Can Breathe” *****
- Worst Song on the Album: “The Time” ***
Generations was the album that I started to doubt and feel like it was over. I gave my first ever 1-star in this album. I also gave far too many 2-stars than I would like. I did enjoy a few tracks, but that’s probably only because I am an uber Journey fan. I’m glad they made an album, but it was a tough lesson to learn that not everything on albums is great.
Album Score: 38.46%
- Best Song on the Album: “Butterfly (She Flies Alone)” ****
- Worst Song on the Album: “Gone Crazy” *
Revelation was a double album, with one entire album being their classics. I only tracked the original album and was very pleased. Generations left a nasty taste in my mouth and with the addition of Arnel Pineda, it gave me faith. It also gave me Faith in the Heartland again? Super odd that they repeated a track from their last album. Guys, it wasn’t that great of a song. On the other hand, I loved “Like a Sunshower” and “After All These Years”. I must be a sappy lover.
Album Score: 245.45%
- Best Song on the Album: “After All These Years” *****
- Worst Song on the Album: “Wildest Dreams” ***
This 2011 album was their last original release (as of the writing) and it was okay. There are some songs that I appreciate, but I also understand that they have enough damn hits to play for their concerts. As always, they get a bump for being one of my favorites and I likely enjoy the songs a little more than the next guy. But I also understand why this was their last original album.
Album Score: 41.67%
- Best Song on the Album: “To Whom It May Concern”
- Worst Song on the Album: “Human Feel”
If you would like to learn more about Journey or read my summary of the band, check out Journey.
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