Journey - 1980 Departure

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ARTIST: Journey
ALBUM: Departure
LABEL: CBS
SERIAL: FC 36339
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 1986, CBS, CK 36339 * 1996, CBS, 486667 2

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image

LINEUP: Steve Perry - vocals * Neal Schon - guitars * Gregg Rolie - keyboards, vocals * Ross Valory - bass * Steve Smith - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Any Way You Want It * 02 Walks Like A Lady * 03 Someday Soon * 04 People And Places * 05 Precious Time * 06 Where Were You * 07 I'm Cryin' * 08 Line Of Fire * 09 Departure * 10 Good Morning Girl * 11 Stay Awhile * 12 Homemade Love

WEBLINKS: Site Link

Background

Well early 1980 was a fun time in my life because Journey had just released their brilliant new LP 'Departure'.

It was my senior year in high school, and whereas I was equally influenced by what was going on in Britain (Priest, Maiden, U.F.O etc), I always seemed to gravitate to the more melodic climate of sunny California and other American destinations.

Still salivating over the two prior Perry albums, 'Departure' came as a huge (excuse the pun) 'departure' because of the raw/live sound it conveyed. Legend has it that Journey more or less just rocked up to the studio and bashed away at 19 or 20 tracks which were recorded live.

12 of these were selected for the final album. Renowned as top studio engineers, Geoff Workman and Kevin Elson shared the duties as producers, and both would cut their teeth on projects in the future, Elson in particular working on Journey's classic 'Escape' LP the following year.

The Songs

Apart from the naff 'Homemade Love' (thankfully left till the end of the LP), all of the other tracks have their moments in the sun. For me, the winners include the obvious hit single highlight 'Anyway You Want It' with its hard driving attack and huge vocal harmonies.

'Where Were You' and 'Line Of Fire' would become live favourites, both of these plus a handful of others off this album would appear on the double live set 'Captured' some months later.

For mine, 'I'm Cryin' is the album's best dramatic moment, huge on atmosphere and emotion. Perry rules here. Then we move into the lush balladry of 'Stay Awhile', and again Steve lifts it a notch. The vocal chorus and harmony toward the end is killer stuff.

I can take or leave tracks like 'Walks Like A Lady', 'Someday Soon' (with Rolie on lead vocal) or 'People And Places', those ones didn't quite move me as the aforementioned tracks did.

In Summary

'Departure' with it's beautiful scarab based album cover jacket was an easy on the eye addition to the collection, and more than once have I seen people curiously investigating the cover with intrigue.

The album made it as high as #8 in the Billboard charts, but it would also be the last album featuring longtime member Gregg Rolie, who by now had had enough of life on the road.

As mentioned, 'Captured' would follow soon after, but the rock world was turned on its head in 1981 with the release of the 'Escape' album, sending the band into the major leagues.


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