A long time ago, we used to have a regular column here at Rockpages called “Diamonds & Rust”. In this frame, we presented two records of one band; the good side (Diamond) and the bad or uninspired moment (Rust). So, we resurrected it a while ago with Blackmore’s Night, AC/DC and KISS. Now, it’s Journey’s turn!
“Raised On Radio”: Strictly speaking the “diamond” spot, in the case of Journey, should be occupied by “Escape”; after all, this was the album that defined a whole genre but also the lives of the band members. But for this editor, the absolute pinnacle of their career is non-other than “Raised On Radio”. And not only that. For me, “Raised On Radio” is the best AOR album of all-time. Period. This is the album that Steve Perry reigns supreme as he handles the production, too. Smith & Valory are shown the door as they don’t see eye to eye with the lighter direction while Schon & Cain…well, they basically follow the leader. Monumental compositions, crystal clear production, unearthly performance by Perry, inspired guitar solos, splendid synth pieces paint the picture of this milestone record. In fact there are many out there who consider this album to be the natural follow-up to Perry’s “Street Talk…I won’t argue with that!
“Generations”: It’s an undisputed fact that with the exception of “Arrival” and “Revelation”, Journey’s path since Perry’s departure was not an easy one. It’s not only that they have lost a unique singer and songwriter but mainly they seem to have lost its vision. They have lost the magical element that set them apart from the rest of the bunch. And this was more than obvious with the below par “Generations”. Quite inexplicably, Schon & Cain lost their faith in Augeri and decided to split the vocal duties among all the band members. Needless to say that this was an awkward decision. Let alone the fact that the songs were not great (to say the least) and all the expectations that were rightfully created by “Arrival” were not met with “Generations”. I guess every band has a “hit n’ miss” album…