Thursday, July 9, 2009

Journey - Grab a Drink and Sing Along to Journey‏

JourneyJourney via

by Brent Warnken

If you're of age, then you have probably heard Journey's classic hits blasting over your cocktails at any bar, at any time, over the past decade. What amazes the group about this resurgence of their tunes is that fans are still eager to not only parade around the bars singing their songs but even more, to see them perform live in concert, allowing Journey tickets to continue selling online throughout their extended summer dates.

The guys, led by the new lead singer Arnel Pineda, are supporting a new album, Revelation. The album is actually a triple set disc that includes 11 re-recorded hits that now feature the new head vocalist along with a DVD of the March 2008 performance at Las Vegas' Planet Hollywood.

Their string of hits from the '70s and '80s has allowed them to keep going, as twenty-something year olds are heard rambunctiously singing, with an ice cold drink in their hand no less, to irresistibly fresh lyrics like "Just a small town girl/livin' in a lonely world/she took the midnight train goin' anywhere/just a city boy/born and raised in south Detroit/he took the midnight train goin' anywhere..."

That single, among others, has paved the way for classic rock fans who loved their music three decades ago and still can't get enough today - as Revelation sold over 104,000 copies in its debut week, the highest seller since 1996's Trial by Fire. Guitarist Neal Schon talked to Paul Marshall of Marshall Amplification about their recent festival adventures and current summer tour, saying "It's cool though [playing such a short set], it's power packed, we're not slowing it down that much, things are just moving real fast."

Just a few months after replacing Pineda on YouTube, who replaced Jeff Scott Soto who replaced Steve Augeri, the group has been quickly preparing the new lead man with their classic hits. "We were feeding [Arnel] a song a day," keyboardist Jonathan Cain said during the rehearsal time in 2007 that led up to the premiere of the new lead vocalist. "'Go home and learn this and come back and sing it tomorrow.' That's basically what he did. He didn't get a lot of time to rehearse these new songs, and he's killing them now. What he's doing on stage is so much better than the album." A better response to the 2005 failed album Generations is probably a good thing, as the set was perhaps the worst seller in the band's history.

The guys are now as loose as ever as they set up extended US dates for September, crawling through the nation's casinos and outdoor amphitheatres singing new licks and they are clearly up to their old tricks. While Schon has been the only constant member of the group, the San Francisco boys have easily played to their audience since the early '70s when they formed, featuring Schon, bassist Ross Valory, drummer Prairie Prince and guitarist George Tickner.

Over the years they have seen serious replacements, top singles and shattered sets but have managed to keep the Journey name alive with an abundance of tunes that allows their current touring schedule to thrive like any other.

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