Saturday, April 5, 2014

Journey - Evolution

Welcome to another edition of Seventies Saturday.

Today (April 5th) marks the thirty-fifth anniversary of Evolution, the fifth studio album from the American rock band Journey. This 1979 release spent ninety-six weeks on the US Billboard Album chart, peaking at number 20. It also charted at number 100 in the UK, number 70 in Japan, number 37 in Canada, and number 36 in Sweden.

Side one begins with "Majestic", a short (minute plus) but sweeping overture. I find it a little bit disjointed and it really does not segue way well into the first track. For me, it is a bit out of place.

The third single "Too Late" went to number 70 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The lyrics of this bold ballad warn of staying in a town that is holding you back.

As the second single, "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'" reached number 37 in New Zealand, number 16 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and number 12 in Canada. I have always loved this song, from the thumping drums and grinding guitars at the start to the supportive piano throughout. It is one of those songs that I just have to sing along to. What teenager hasn't found that these lyrics can easily hit home?

Back in the days of rock blocks on the album-oriented rock stations, the previous track and "City of the Angels" would always play together. This one is an ode to Los Angeles, a city with which the San Francisco natives of Journey would be quite familiar.

The mid-tempo "When You're Alone (It Ain't Easy)" is all about that aching need for someone in your life. I do like the rhythm here and how the solos are integrated into it.

The band brings things down with the ballad "Sweet and Simple" to close out the first half. The song puts me in a very relaxed mood.

Side two opens with "Lovin' You Is Easy". I like the rhythm to this one; my head is bobbing along as I type this. Also, the sole piano on the bridge is interesting in a different way.

"Just the Same Way", the first single, hit number 80 in Canada and number 58 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The change up on the lead vocal duties really makes this song stand out from the pack.

The B-side to the third single was "Do You Recall". I suspect this one too was burned into my consciousness as it was often was played back-to-back with the previous track during the rock block weekends.

"Daydream", the B-side to second single, floats on in next.

The album closes with "Lady Luck", a song about a down-and-out guy looking to change his life's direction.

Thanks to the radio hits playing in 1979, Evolution continued my interest in Journey's music which had started with their fourth album Infinity. There are a few of the deeper cuts from this one that I will certainly be adding to my music library very soon.

For 1978's Infinity, click here.

For 1980's Departure, click here.

For 1981's Escape, click here.

For 1983's Frontiers, click here.

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