Journey - Escape
Catalog#: TC 37408
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Cover is VG+ VG++ slight cornerwear, slightest ringwear
Has original inner sleeve: light ringwear and creasing
Country: Canada issue
Style: Pop Rock
A1 Don't Stop Believin' 4:10
A2 Stone In Love 4:25
A3 Who's Crying Now 5:01
A4 Keep On Runnin' 3:39
A5 Still They Ride 3:48
B1 Escape 5:15 ( Slight skip noise at beginning)
B2 Lay It Down 4:13
B3 Dead Or Alive 3:20
B4 Mother, Father 5:28
B5 Open Arms 3:21
Bass, Vocals - Ross Valory
Drums - Steve Smith
Engineer [Assistant] - Wally Buck
Guitar, Vocals - Neal Schon
Keyboards, Guitar, Vocals - Jonathan Cain
Lead Vocals - Steve Perry
Mastered By - Bob Ludwig
Producer - Kevin Elson , Mike Stone
Written-By - J. Cain , M. Schon (tracks: B4) , N. Schon (tracks: A1, A2, A4, A5, B1 to B4) , S. Perry
While I am not the biggest fan of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I do believe that the band Journey is a Hall of Fame band. One thing that the Hall of Fame seems to like in bands is stability among the composition of the band. This is something that has always been a problem for Journey. Journey was originally a spin-off band from Santana formed by Keyboardist/Vocalist Gregg Rolie and guitarist Neal Schon. They started out as a Progressive Rock band, but eventually would transform themselves into a mainstream band. This was due in part to two key additions - lead vocalist Steve Perry and keyboardist Jonathan Cain. Perry would join Journey in 1978 and become the lead vocalist on "Infinity" that would feature the mainstream Rock songs "Wheel in the Sky" and "Lights". The band would then release two more albums and was slowly beginning to establish themselves as s commercial force in Rock. By 1981, the band would put together what would be its strongest lineup when Jonathan Cain would replace longtime keyboardist Gregg Rolie. Journey now had its strongest lineup in Perry, Cain, Schon, Bassist Ross Valory, and Drummer Steve Smith. It would be this lineup that would form the basis for "Escape". This would be the album that would establish Journey as legitmate Superstars in the Rock and Pop World.
The additions of Perry and Cain are important because they were not just hired hands - they would become the main songwriting nucleus for Journey. Perry and Cain would collaborate on the songwriting for all ten songs on "Escape". Eight of those 10 songs would include Neal Schon. Perry and Schon actually started collaborating on the "Infinity" album. Part of the reason why "Escape" would be the album to put Journey over the top was the addition of Cain. Not only is he a sensational keyboard player - but he is one terrific songwriter as well as guitar player. The quality of the songwriting and music got much better following his inclusion into the band.
As mentioned, Journey started out as a Progressive Rock band. By 1981, they had become an early "Arena Rock" band. I classify "Arena Rock" as a good mix of Hard Rock and Ballads. "Escape" has all of the elements for "Arena Rock" and seems to do a good job at splitting the Hard Rock and Ballads evenly. Journey also perfects the "power ballad" - a good mix of soft music with its harder Rock moments. Steve Perry is one powerful vocalist who really shines on this collection. Schon's strong guitar playing gives the band a hard edge when needed And of course - they have the powerful songwriting trio. For the most part, the band does it with a very basic formula - just playing Rock and Roll. The quintet doesn't rely on horns, external musicians, or guest vocalists. They create all of the sound on this collection. I find it ironic that this album achieved commercial success during a time where the mainstream music world was heading toward synth-pop.
"Don't Stop Believin": This has become a legendary song. It starts out as a ballad, but grows into a harder Rock song. Cain's keyboards with Perry's vocals provide a terrific opening. Slowly Schon's guitar gets folded in for the harder edge. The lyrics are incredible as it deals with people searching for love.
"Stone in Love": It is going to be Schon's guitar that is going to be the dominant presence on this track. Most likely Cain also contributed guitars to this track. This is your classic "reminiscent" look back to the good old "young romantic days".
"Who's Crying Now": This is probably Journey's best power-ballad. Cain's keyboards provide a nice intro again and Perry shows outstanding vocal ranges on this track. Steve Smith has some power drum moments too. Neal Schon gets a nice guitar solo toward the end of the song.
"Keep on Runnin": This one starts off with what best be described as a classic guitar jam between Schon and Cain. Smith provides what can best be described as thundering drums. Perry's vocals are great, but the rest of the band provides terrific background vocals.
"Still They Ride": This is more of a classic ballad. This song will move you as you listen to it. This song starts out as a narrative with a bit of a reminiscent theme in this song as well. Cain's Keyboards set the tone for a good part of the song.
"Escape": This is a harder Rock song. A short guitar jam starts this song out. While this might not be the catchiest song, this song has some great lyrics. As the song starts "He's just a boy out of school; Livin his world like he wants to" - thus providing the impetus for "Escape". Listen to the Guitar solo about 2 minutes into the song - has a bit of the flavor of Ted Nugent's "Catch Scratch Fever".
"Lay it Down": The harder Rock edge continues on this song. Once again, heavy guitar work. Perry demonstrates some great range. Listen to how he belts out "Higher, higher, higher, ringin' in my head"
"Dead or Alive": More hard Rock guitar to start out with. Cain's Keyboards make a return on this song with subtle Jazz-like sound to it throughout the song (the only place where they deviate from a "basic" Rock formula). Not the catchiest song, but not bad.
"Mother, Father": Falls into the power-ballad category. Great lyrics as it deals with an estranged son trying to connect with his parents.
"Open Arms": This has become a classic ballad. Not my favorite Journey ballad, but certainly not a weak one either. Probably hurt by being overplayed on conventional radio.
The liner notes contain all of the lyrics and musician credits. Overall, this is Journey at their best - probably the album to have if you are a Journey fan or looking to get into them.
Journey - Don't Stop Believing (Live)
Journey - Who's Crying Now - Live in 1981
Journey - Escape - Live
Oh yeah. 'Escape' is one of my favorite Journey songs. And it stays true to the album version.& Journey kicks ass in concert. The Escape tour and the previous tour where one concert in Detroit was made into the album "Captured" were awesome!
Journey - Stone In Love - Live in 1981