After reading a review on Tender Heart's blog on Journey, I got a little inspired to do one of my own. Well, it least on their 1981 live release, Captured.
Well, "captured" live on various dates during their 1980 Departure Tour, this album is an excellent documentation of their live sound! Admittedly, before I got this album, I thought their live recordings would be similar to their studio creations. How wrong I was! Imagine my surprise to hear all those fiery solos, improvisations and the energy of the music. Unbelievable!
Remarkably up-tempo and upbeat, the energy can be felt by both the band and the audience that they played for. By staying away from cheesy versions of their hits, the band improvised and even stretched the tunes out a little longer, making this album feel a concert full of talented musicians! Makes me wish I had seen them in concert that year...
What a talented group this is! Led by Neil Schon's blistering guitar work, for he rocked out on all cylinders. The riffing he supplies on tunes like "Where Were You" and "Line of Fire" borders on heavy metal, while "Walks Like a Lady" has some superb blues solos in it. Ross Valory bass is quite exceptional as he thumbs it up on the hit, "Wheel in the Sky". Jazz influenced drummer Steve Smith has a monster drum solo on "La Do Da". Greg Rollie, the once voice and ivory picker for Santana, who's baritone pipe swoons impressively through "Just the Same Way" and "Feeling That Way". The keys he pounds compliments Schon's guitar to a tee, especially on "Walks Like a Lady" (Yeah, I've noticed more and better keyboard work here than his replacement Jonathan Cain ever did) And Steve Perry? Oh God...his tenor vocals swoons and sways me, sending shivers down my spine at times! Never before I heard great singing like this.
The one tune that really got me was their concert favorite, "Dixie Highway". That one really blows me away! The band seemed to pull all of their talents together and smacked the audience with a killer here. There's the ultra tenor spine tingling vocals, a smokin' keyboard solo to match the fire from Schon and uplifting time changes all in a neat package.
If you're a Journey fan-get this album! If you do have it...CRANK IT!