Archive for Escape

Great Rock Albums of 1983: Journey- Frontiers

Posted in 1980s, Music, Rock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2016 by 80smetalman


Many a person, myself included, after hearing the “Frontiers” album by Journey back in 1983, came to the conclusion that they had gone too commercial with the album. Some of those same people further argued that the descent down that slippery slope actually started with their previous album, “Escape” two years prior and that “Frontiers” was just a natural progression down that slope. While I won’t rack my brain nor strain my typing fingers worrying when Journey went too commercial, I do know that when I heard this album, it didn’t make me forget about all about their earlier harder albums.

With all of the above said, “Frontiers” doesn’t suck. Sure it’s a come down and I wouldn’t debate anyone who said it was a sell out (though I wouldn’t debate anyone who said it wasn’t either) but it’s not a bad album at all. I think what Journey tried to do was to be more modern but trying to keep their more hard rock following. Many of the songs on the album have the potential to be real rockers and Neil Schon hammers out some cool guitar solos on them but where there might be a hard guitar, it is masked by the keyboards. The opener and first single, “Separate Ways” bears testimony to that fact. I mean if they had just let the hard guitar alone and had the keyboards play a more supportive role, I would have head banged away to it big time instead of just shrugging my shoulders and saying, “it’s okay,” when I heard it. The next three tracks follow in this mode. The potential for a good hard rock song is there with them but the keyboards drown them out and while none of those songs are in any way bad, I just don’t feel they live up to their potential. Of those four, “Chain Reaction” is my favourite.

It wouldn’t be a Journey album if there wasn’t at least one power ballad on it and “Faithfully” fits the bill perfectly. As far as Journey material goes, that song is as good or better than any of their other power ballads, save “Open Arms” but that has sentimental meaning for me. It is post ballad that the album begins to get interesting. “Edge of the Blade” is the first true rocker on the album for me. With that song, I finally start head banging away and Schon’s solo is just killer. The next track, “Troubled Child” is more in line with the first four songs but the difference is I think that song was meant to be more of a progressive/hard rock song. It does sound good and it leads to the last three songs taking the album out on a more harder sounding note. In fact, “Back Talk” might sound good metalized and “Rubicon” is a hard enough closer to almost cancel out my feelings about the first four songs.

Track Listing:

  1. Separate Ways
  2. Send Her My Love
  3. Chain Reaction
  4. After the Fall
  5. Faithfully
  6. Edge of the Blade
  7. Troubled Child
  8. Back Talk
  9. Frontiers
  10. Rubicon


Steve Perry- vocals

Neil Schon- guitar, vocals

Jonathan Cain- keyboards, vocals

Ross Valory- bass, vocals

Steve Smith- drums, percussion, vocals

Now I sense that some of you are flexing your fingers ready to respond about how commercially successful the “Frontiers” album was. I grant that and I have to give Journey total credit. For all my bitching about them being too commercial, they can still pull off a decent album with it. Nevertheless, I still have this craving to pop on “Wheel in the Sky” and crank it.

Next post: Joan Armatrading- The Key

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Great Rock Albums of 1981: Journey- Escape

Posted in 1980s, Heavy Metal, Music, Rock, soundtracks, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2014 by 80smetalman


“Escape” by Journey is probably one of the best known albums of 1981. I remember in the final months of that year, there always seemed to be a song from the album playing on the radio, whether it was “Who’s Crying Now,” “Open Arms” or the now very popular thanks to the TV show “Glee,” “Don’t Stop Believing.” It is also the reason that many people site this album as the turning point in Journey’s sound from their more traditional progressive hard rock sound towards the more commercial sound of their next album “Frontiers.” Either way, it was a very important album in 1981 in many ways for a lot of people, including me.

Looking beyond “Don’t Stop Believing” which is still a good song in spite of how it has been used recently. The piano intro by Jonathan Cain is still very unique and even though it is a top forty tune, Neil Schon still hammers out a decent guitar solo. Similar things can be said about the second single on the album, “Who’s Crying Now,” which comes right after track number two “Stone In Love.” I wonder if that song was written for one my fellow metal bloggers here, tee hee. Anyway, back to “Who’s Crying Now.” There is a mysterious vibe to the song and it ends with some more fantastic guitar work from Schon. That leads perfectly to the harder sounding “Keep On Running” and hearing that, the listener can be assured that Journey have not departed from their hard rock roots. The title track bears some great progressive sounds and the next few songs feed well off it. Then another rocker, “Mother, Father” and more impressive Schon guitar licks before the closer, “Open Arms.” I liked that song back then but it holds a more special meaning for me these days. It was mine and Mrs 80smetalman’s first dance song at our wedding.

Track Listing:

1. Don’t Stop Believing

2. Stone In Love

3. Who’s Crying Now

4. Keep on Running

5. Still They Ride

6. Escape

7. Lay It Down

8. Dead or Alive

9. Mother, Father

10. Open Arms



Steve Perry- vocals

Neil Schon- guitars

Ross Valory- bass

Steve Smith- drums

Jonathan Cain- keyboards

I must make a confession here. The first dance song wasn’t taken from the “Escape” album but from a soundtrack to a 1981 film, which I will be visiting down the line. Still, it goes to show just how big this album was in the year.

Next post: George Harrison- Somewhere in England

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to

Also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Froogle and on sale at Foyles Book Shop in London