Friday, January 09, 2009

FDF Volume 2 Issue 122: Journey - Raised on Radio



By: March

Album - Raised on Radio
Artist - Journey
Key Players - Neal Schon - guitars and vocals, Jonathan Cain - keyboards and vocals, Steve Perry - lead vocals, Randy Jackson - bass, vocals, Larrie Londin - drums, percussion. Also Bob Glaub (bass) and Steve Smith (drums) played on 1.,10. and 11

Produced By - Steve Perry

Release Date - May 27, 1986


What caused me to blow off the dust? - Being the youngest of three I had older brothers to "turf" music for me. Pretty much if they liked it chances are I would. Journey was no exception. I recall my oldest brother asking my mother for permission to see the band on the Escape tour in Boston. My other brother was more a completest and looked to their earlier works on cd as they became available. It all capped (for better or worse) with this record. While Journey still will bring a smile, or smirk, on my face they are not a band I reach for very often..matter o' fact, I needed to borrow the cd for this review.

Overview - Journey, around the time of this record were radio and MTV darlings, filling football stadiums across America and around the world. The band had been on a roll commercially since the Escape album was released (granted they had success before hand). Between Escape and Raised the band would sell 17 million records. Raised on Radio was the bands 9th album and it would reach #4 on the Billboard charts. Perry would leave the band after this record.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) Soft rock feeling keyboards bring up the lead off track "Girl Can't Help It" . Within 15 seconds the recognizable voice of Perry comes up. As the chorus approaches the band in more in full swing with a lot of harmonies. Smith keeps the drums on a straight trajectory not really showing off his chops, but it suits the songs. Schon has a quick solo before the song wraps up with the band singing in an acapella chorus. Cain gets to show off some of his piano chops at the intro of "Positive Touch" which sounds like a very friendly radio pop song. The song itself has a happy go lucky feel as well and is really sort of cheesy honestly. Schon gets the solo before the second chorus and a saxophone section is put down after the second chorus and the song seems to change direction right before your ears. "Suzanne" follows with a Flashdance soundtrack sounding intro, a hard drum beat but with chiming playful keyboard runs over the top. Perry is laid back at the outset but by the chorus his pipes get a full work out as hits some off the chart notes, he hits even higher notes at the end of the track (somehow). Musically the band is not all that adventurous, each player has their role and barring the Schon solo in each track its pretty much cut and paste stadium rock. We follow suit with "Be Good to Yourself". Another track with chiming keyboards before the band hits down about as hard as they are going to. The bass is a little more up in the mix and the harmonies/backing vocals are strong for this sing-a-long track. Schon also has his longest solo on the record to this point on this track. A darker sounding, and feeling track "Once You Love Somebody" follows. More swooping keyboards and deep bass/keyboard grooves. A few slap bass notes as well accent the intro. The music is a little more "choppy" at times and baring the vocals it wouldn't be the easiest to pin this down as a Journey song. "Happy To Give" begins with light and airy keyboards, get ready, its almost time for your lighters! Although it never comes to their stand out lighter waving tracks of the past..it comes close. Opening with a blues harmonica the rocking "Raised On Radio" comes up. A more uptempo and focused track than the prior two. Again, we don't break the mold of what works, but its a strong track even though there are some cheezy lyrical nods scattered throughout..with references to "be bop a loo la" and "Blueberry Hill". The song most folks would recognize from this record is "I'll Be Alright Without You". A soft rock radio staple to this day. "It Could Have Been You" has Schon starting off the track with Cain throwing some simple keyboard progressions before Perry comes in. The track slowly builds to the chorus as the other members harmonize with Perry. Another track with a lot of Cains keyboard work is "The Eyes Of A Woman". The track is sort of a slow plodding track and never really seems to get rolling, or very interesting. The album wraps up with "Why Can't This Night Go On Forever". Perry starts to sing within the first 10 seconds with a solo Cain on piano backing him up, this remains for the first 30 seconds before the bass, guitar and drums come in. We have another lighter moment on our hands. Are you swaying? Are you holding hands (or hugging) your concert mates? Well its working. Schon is early on his flashy solo but its a tease. The track is pretty much the rinse lather repeat mantra..but its a decent song to wrap up the record.


Where are they now?
- The band lives on, although it has changed numerous times in the last few years. Schon and Cain have been members, and also worked together in the band "Bad English". Larrie Londin was brought in as a studio player worked on many projects passed away in August of 1992. Randy Jackson is one of the judges on the popular American television program "American Idol". Steve Smith, who Perry fired before this record has come and gone from Journey has also worked with Mariah Carey and continues to perform. Steve Perry left the band for a bit, then came back for a bit. Steve had released his solo record before Raised on Radio called "Street Talk" and then came back to Journey at the bequest of his mother. The band reformed and released another record called "Trial By Fire" but before the band could tour Perry hurt his hip and it was found he had a degenerative bone condition. After 17+ months the band approached Perry and said to have surgery or they'd go on with out him. The rest is history. A "best of" Steve Perry record is due in 2009 (there will be NO new material on this record). Journey now tours with a singer that was found off YouTube. Arnel Pineda sounds an awful lot like Steve, but rumors are already abounding he does not like to tour.

**Updated Friday January 9, 4:50pm**
I have noticed a TON of hits to this site, I appreciate it, but in looking it appears I have sparked a series of discussions on some message boards. A kind person alerted me to some issues with the section about what the band is up to now. So I wanted to take this persons suggestion and clarify some information.

- I do NOT have any proof that Steve Perry will release a solo record of new material this year. (any reference has been removed)

- The "best of collection" will contain no new material. For further information check the web site here. This is a FAN SITE so please keep that in mind as well.

I appreciate the hits to the blog today, and hope you will come back. I apologize if I lead any of you to believe that there was new solo perry material forthcoming. I have NO information, I am casual fan at best, so I apologize once more for "message board wars".

Also, appreciate the feed back and always will make corrections based off readers feedback.

Honestly I thought I was the only one that read this blog....


FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - I actually saw the band, on this tour. The show was October 31, 1986. My buddy got four tickets and they were back behind the stage. It was the sixth show I had ever been too. I remember it being sorta everything I expected (at least what the videos showed) lots of people swaying and lighters...it was pretty freaking awesome. Opening the show was a band from Canada called Glass Tiger.

FDF Overall Take - Being a "fan" of Journey is sort of hit or miss. At a time it was probably cool, then not so cool, then the Sopranos series finale brought Journey back to peoples ears once more (in droves mind you). When they tour its always sort of a topic..should I/we go? Lets go have some laughs etc, but we never get our act together. Couple that with a band that is not embarrassed of its ticket prices and not the "real band" I am sort of soured on it. Still, in the world of ipods we can listen and not tell anyone. Granted folks would grab a best of collection this still really is Journey around the time of their commercial and popular success.

Links
The band's official site, Steve Perry solo site here. Neal Schon has a
site as does Jonathan Cain. Check out what Steve Smith has been up to here.

Curious? Check out some MUSIC!


The mp3s have been removed. They were:

Suzanne
Girl Can't Help It
Be Good To Yourself

All the tracks were taken from "Raised on Radio" which you can buy here.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.

4 Comments:

At 9:42 AM, Blogger Ello said...

You and my husband both! Embarrased by Journey. Sheesh! I love Journey! Although this is not my favorite. But I'm glad you highlighted them.

 
At 10:40 AM, Blogger Trish said...

*sigh* I loves me some Journey

 
At 1:01 AM, Blogger Greg said...

Dude-- I am planning on talking about a different Journey album myself later this week... still creepy. I knew you and I were on the same page! (Welcome back.)

 
At 12:43 AM, Blogger JamieSmitten said...

You are definitely not the only one reading this blog! Journey is a radio band to me -- wouldn't buy the music, but sing along like hell when they come on the radio. I do, sadly, own the 45(!) of "Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone" by Glass Tiger. It was a gift from an overly romantic (and lame!) boyfriend. Haven't thought about GT in years.

 

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