Let's get the negatives out of the way first here-actually, there's only one. This 2006 reissue is just that, a reissue, not a remaster as SONY/Legacy is touting this and the other Journey reissues. All you get here is new packaging, which is quite nice by the way, housed in a glorious digipack with a great little booklet jammed with vintage photos of the band live and in the studio, plus full concert dates from their tour of 1979. Unfortunately this release is just a reissue of the 1996 Bob Ludwig & Brian Lee remaster series, so if you went out and bought those ten years ago, there's probably no need to get these unless you are a junkie for cool packaging, which I know some of you are. As for the remaster job, it sounded pretty good back in 1996, but might seem a little flat by today's standards. Still, if you didn't get these a decade ago and all you have are your original LP's or the original CD pressings, these will sound just fine and are worth getting.
The album itself is a real winner all around, as Journey was really hitting their stride with Steve Perry at the vocal helm in 1979. Classic songs like "Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin' ", "Too Late", "City of the Angels", "Just the Same Way", and "Do You Recall" are still favorites of fans to this day, and other hard rockers like "When You're Alone (It Ain't Easy)" and "Lovin' You is Easy" show how the band could combine aggressive guitar crunch with pop hooks. Even tunes like "Daydream" and "Lady Luck" bridge the gap between their fusion/hard rock/prog past with their catchier side, featuring soaring vocals, searing guitar work, and plenty of wild Hammond licks. The band at this point was stacked with solid players like Neal Schon on guitar, Greg Rolie on keyboards & vocals, Steve Smith on drums, Ross Valory on bass, and of course Steve Perry on vocals. Together they packed many arenas and sold tons of albums, and ironically would continue to do so in greater numbers a few short years later after a few line-up changes.
In short a must have album for your Journey collection, but give it a thought before purchasing again as the only difference is the packaging from the 1996 remaster.
2. Too Late
3. Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'
4. City Of The Angels
5. When You're Alone (It Ain't Easy)
6. Sweet And Simple
7. Lovin' You Is Easy
8. Just The Same Way
9. Do You Recall
11. Lady Luck