Raised on Radio (1986)


 
1. Girl Can't Help It 2. Positive Touch 3. Suzanne 4. Be Good To Yourself 5. Once You Love Somebody 6. Happy to Give 7. Raised on Radio 8. I'll Be Alright Without You 9. It Could Have Been you 10.The Eyes of a Woman 11.Why Can't This Night Go On Forever

 

Although it wasn't really apparent to most outside observers, the unit known as Journey was slowly starting to come apart. Physically and mentally exhausted following the two breakthrough albums and tours of Escape and Frontiers, the band took a bit of a sabbatical with several members doing outside and/or solo projects. Steve Perry enjoyed the most success with "Street Talk" in 1984, and didn't seem particularly in a hurry to get back to Journey. When he announced a couple of years later that he wanted to embark on a second solo project, his record label (which also was Journey's) balked. Profitability wise, it made more sense for a new Journey album first, so Perry was kind of dragged into this project kicking and screaming.

Now, also as the "leader" of the band, he decided he wanted his own rhythm section, so Steve Smith and Ross Valory were terminated from the band, leaving the group a threesome of Perry, Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain. Fortunately, the album sold well - charting several singles, and the music here for the most part is good, but hindsight hasn't been too kind. It's obvious that this is not the same band that dominated the charts a few short years ago. The "rock" edge of this band seems to have taken a back seat to more of a blue-eyed soul approach (which, not surprisingly, was the sound of Perry's solo record). Perry hadn't lost anything in terms of his singing ability, and since he now owned one of the most famously recognizable voices in rock history, it's not surprising that the album achieved the popularity that it did.

The album does labor on in places, many of the songs sound too similar to one and other for a strong, coherent statement throughout the record. But as the four (or so) singles demonstrate, the band still could reach into the hearts of many and deliver when asked. Apart from the lead off single Be Good To Yourself, the album doesn't really rock at all, but Journey's audiences were growing up, so this didn't seem to matter to that many people at the time. Sadly, halfway through the tour, Perry had to walk out for personal reasons, and it would almost be ten years before the band would get back together again.

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