"Greatest Hits Live" (Columbia) - Journey

By Ted Anthony, AP National Writer.
May 1998

Don't stop believing that Journey is inspirational music all over the world. Do you believe Journey is the best-selling San Francisco Bay Area band of all time, beating out Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Dead Kennedys and even Metallica?

Culled from 1981-83 concert tapes, ``Greatest Hits Live'' showcases Journey at the height of its creative powers. The extended intro scat jam to ``Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin''' is a telling live touch, illuminating the song's Stax/Volt sound under all the amped pyrotechnics before going to the wistful ``Faithfully.''

However, after the drag of ``Who's Crying Now,'' Journey rushes through ``Anyway You Want It,'' too fast to unleash its power properly or allow the audience to quickly sing back, ``All night.''

``Lights,'' Journey's sentimental ode to San Francisco, mellows frayed nerves with Steve Perry's impossible trademark falsetto. Keyboardist Jonathan Cain, formerly of The Babys, soars in ``Open Arms,'' the endearing piano ballad from the ``Heavy Metal'' comics movie soundtrack.

Like his work with Jan Hammer or Santana, Neal Schon's guitar play absolutely shears during ``Stone in Love.'' After a rousing ``Line of Fire,'' Journey closes the show with the epic, ``Wheel in the Sky,'' leaving the audience spent, but well spent at that.