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Journey - Greatest Hits Live

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  • Prompted by the ecstatic success of their 1996 reunion album “Trial By Fire,” Journey issued “Greatest Hits Live,” a startling document of their domination of the 1980s touring grounds. Despite the title, this is definitely not a mere re-release of hits, presented live in an empty manner of sweetening the deal. And though most of the tracks here were indeed hits, Journey soldiers through a fine canon of work with an explosive energy that challenges the original versions.Despite some re-mixing by Kevin Shirley (who produced “Trial By Fire”), “Greatest Hits Live” possesses a truly live feel due to the fact that no overdubs were included. Culled from 1981 and 83 performances in Tokyo, Oklahoma, and Texas, Journey triumphs with the enduring and well-chosen introduction ‘Don’t Stop Believin,’ and brilliantly shifts tempos and strengths on tracks like ‘Lights,’ ‘Send Her My Love,’ and ‘Still They Ride.’ ‘Wheel in the Sky’ was a great choice to end concerts with, as the subject of carnival life applies to a life of a touring rock band. The output of vocalist Steve Perry, guitarist Neal Schon, and keyboardist Jonathan Cain shine bright, but it’s also worth noting that the rhythm section of Ross Valory and Steve Smith (bass and drums, respectively) are particularly worth mentioning, as the recording techniques bring justice to the their tight and energetic rhythms.Journey was one of the biggest bands of the 1980s, despite the critical association with the dreaded “80s pop” sound. As if the earlier released “Captured” didn’t show their power on stage, “Greatest Hits Live” showcases the ominous, unlimited spectacle that is Journey.

    Posted on December 24, 2009