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Journey 'Greatest Hits' CD Review

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


American rock group Journey performing on their 'Departure' tour, 1980.
Michael Putland/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The Bottom Line

Journey's unimaginatively but efficiently titled Greatest Hits most certainly satisfies a casual fan of the arena rock superstars' most well-known hits. However, it's a bit frustrating for fans of the band's less-heralded '70s years and of its few but impressive sterling album tracks that have always remained underappreciated. So in a general sense, this collection qualifies as merely good instead of great and requires some sort of supplement in order to gather all of the band's best material.


  • Offers a solid summary of the band's most successful and artistically significant phase.
  • With only one exception, the disc aggressively draws from the band's strongest two dozen songs.
  • All songs taken together, it represents some of the best of '80s mainstream arena rock.


  • Omits three key album tracks from the band's two strongest studio releases that are sorely missed.
  • Includes one definite throwaway track and one film soundtrack tune that is not essential.
  • Suffers from odd, nonsensical sequencing that prevents a full appreciation of the band's evolution.


  • Despite its flaws, this greatest hits collection is truer to its title than most compilations.
  • If music fans only plan to own one Journey CD, this is the one that must be in their collection.
  • This album qualifies as an essential document of a key strand of '80s rock music.

Guide Review - Journey 'Greatest Hits' CD Review

From song to song, this collection makes a compelling case for Journey as not only an astoundingly successful artist but as a musically skilled and melodically gifted band of the highest order. The hooks are consistently compelling and supported exceptionally well by the powerhouse trio of Steve Perry's voice, Jonathan Cain's supple keyboard playing and Neal Schon's powerful guitar style. And while the disc's puzzling sequence does make it difficult to appreciate the arc of the band's career, it's clear that Journey was at the top of the heap of its reluctant brotherhood of so-called faceless bands.

Without a doubt standouts of the band's peak '80s phase include two of the best mid-tempo rockers ("Don't Stop Believin'" and "Separate Ways") and two of the best power ballads ("Open Arms" and "Faithfully") in rock history. However, the group's powers reach deeper than that, delivering some great album tracks and some very underrated songwriting in the three tracks pulled from the band's last proper album Raised on Radio.

Still, the band's longest-running, most serious fans can only lament the three songs that tragically missed the cut, the great rocker "Stone in Love" and the haunting "Still They Ride" from Escape and especially the ruthlessly ignored gem "After the Fall" from Frontiers. Even so, the discerning listener is lucky enough now to live in the age of digital music so that a purchase of this album can easily be rounded out by a few quick (and legal) downloads.

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