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Monday, March 29, 2010

Album Review: Journey - Greatest Hits (1988)

I try to avoid writing reviews on Greatest Hits compilations for a number of reasons, most notably because to talk about one in high regard shows that you've got about as much taste as someone who's had their tongue cut out. It can also show that you're financially tighter than a fish's sphincter and that you know about as much about music as an aborted fetus. Unless, of course, it's a corker, or it's the only record a band puts out that contains any reputable material on it. In other words, classic tracks from otherwise crappy albums.

Journey is one of those bands that make people want to go out and buy their Greatest Hits or Very Best Of albums, and skip buying the rest of their discography. In fact, their Greatest Hits collection from 1988 has well and truly outsold the rest of their back catalog, and for a good reason. Because it contains their signature ballad, "Don't Stop Believin'." Which is an excellent song I might add, legendary, in fact. But don't stop there - you've got the rest of the CD to deal with, full of songs that strategically capture that emotionally empowering Journey sound all on one disc. Except for "Wheel In The Sky", a song ruined by its introduction, which, annoyingly, got stuck in my head for about a year and almost turned me into a slightly fat version of the Incredible Hulk. And, in keeping with an unshakeable Journey tradition, the album cover is fantastically beautiful, detailed and exceptionally colorful.

So, if you want to know what the fuss is all about, go and buy this album. It wasn't until 2008 that I first discovered this album, and I'm kicking myself for not having discovered them years earlier. In a nutshell - they're basically Santana, but this time they're on cocaine. A-