The Golden Gate Rhythm Section has traveled a lot of miles since their formation during 1973. Originally formed as a backing band for San Francisco Bay Area bands, fate allowed them to step out on their own, change their name to Journey, and go on to become one of the most successful rock bands in music history. Their albums have sold tens of millions of copies and 18 of their singles have reached the American Top Forty.
This all brings us to the resurrection of vinyl records. The venerable LP format was all but dead during the early 1990s but recently it has been making a comeback. Many artists now release their albums in both a vinyl and CD format. Also, music companies have been re-releasing some of their better selling albums of the past as vinyl LPs. The vinyl record format is now selling millions of records a year and the total is on the rise.
Twenty-three years after releasing their first Greatest Hits album, Journey has returned with Greatest Hits 2. Best of all they have also released the album in a record format via the Legacy label, which has been gracing my turntable for the last couple of days. The material has been remastered especially for the vinyl format. It has been pressed on 180-gram high quality, heavyweight vinyl. If you have an up to date record player and stereo system, the sound can be equal or superior to many CD releases. A free digital download of the complete album also comes with the purchase.
The material will be instantly recognizable to the band’s vast fan base. Covering the period from 1977-1996, it adds to the legacy of their first Greatest Hits album. Songs such as “Stone In Love,” “Just The Same Way,” “Still They Ride,” “Suzanne,” “Walks Like A Lady,” “The Party’s Over,” and “After The Fall” pick up where the first release left off. Add in a few lesser known tracks such as “Mother Father (Live),” “Patiently,” “Anytime,” and “Little Girl” and you have a release that should please new and old fans alike.
Greatest Hits 2 may not cover any new ground, but presents some of the old material very well. No doubt most people will buy the CD, but if you are in the mood for something a little different, the vinyl would be a good and interesting choice.
I am assuming that someone at Legacy figured if they were going to release Greatest Hits 2 as a vinyl album, they might as well release the original as well. Greatest Hits, released during 1988, has sold over 16 million copies in the United States and has crossed the 25 million mark worldwide.
The remastering and quality of the vinyl is the same as the newer release. As one of the most recognizable albums in music history, tracks such as “Any Way You Want It,” “Who’s Crying Now,” “Separate Ways,” “Open Arms,” “Only The Young,” “Be Good To Yourself,” and “Don’t Stop Believin’” are a trip through the best of late 1970s and 1980s pop/rock. It also comes with the bonus track. “When You Love A Woman,” which was a 1996 number one Adult Contempory Hit. Again, a free digital download of the complete album is included.
Love them or hate them–and a lot more people have loved them down through the years–Journey has maintained their popularity nearly four decades after their formation. It’s nice to find two albums of their best material back in circulation as record albums.
Article first published as Music Vinyl Reviews: Journey – Greatest Hits and Greatest Hits 2 on Blogcritics.