SEE BELOW TO ADD YOUR OWN REVIEW!
JOURNEY
A TRIBUTE TO...

Deadline Records CLP 1178-2
Produced by: Danny Parker

Released: January 15 / Website
Closest Relative: Satan
GENRE: Tribute
OVERALL: 39%

  1. Separate Ways
  2. Any Way You Want It
  3. Faithfully
  4. Don't Stop Believing
  5. Open Arms
  6. Girl Can't Help It
  7. Only The Young
  8. Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'
  9. Wheel In The Sky
  10. Be Good To Yourself
  11. Who's Crying Now
  12. Lights

It's a tough call.
Deadline Records and a couple of other labels have been churning out these tributes for a couple of years now, with varied results.
And in most cases, the same cast of characters are used on every tribute - with it now easily predictable to guess the line up of these releases.
Sure enough, it's no different with A Tribute To Journey.
What is different here, is the style of music being covered. The majority of these tributes - both the few good ones and the many half assed ones - have covered hard rock bands - Van Halen, Aerosmith, Poison, Whitesnake, UFO and Def Leppard to name a few.
This is the first time Deadline have covered an AOR act, yet they have failed in every sense to adapt their approach to fit that important difference.
The premise for this tribute comes from the label themselves. They say: "the featured vocalists offer their unique impressions of these songs..."
Ok, that warns us that the versions featured here are likely to feature some artistic license and may vary from what we are used to. That in essence, is exactly what a tribute should be anyway.
No so... What we have, is a range of hard rock vocalists, doing what they have done before, on more than several other tributes.
This album features safe versions of the original songs, performed as close to the original as possible - and that is where we strike the big problem of this tribute!
Rather than stick to their established style and range, most of the singers involved on this album have decided to do their best Steve Perry imitations.
Good Lord! Don't even go there people, as only a handful of great singers worldwide can match the lung capacity of the great Steve Perry and these guys are not part of that bunch.
The majority of the artists on this tribute are ok singers for what they do normally. Attempting the Perry cross-over leaves them floundering and out of breath.
More on each singer in the track description.
Musically, the sound is pretty good, clearly a few dollars spent on production, but they are no replacement for the originals and it might have been better if they had given the songs a twist, rather than attempt to replicate the originals.
The band features Kyle Kyle (Bang Tango) on Bass, Tracy Swider (Crush) on Guitars, Danny Wagner (Warrant) Keyboards and Danny Parker (Shake The Faith) Drums.
The guys have done as good a job as one could hope for, being that the focus of this album is really on the vocalists.
Track By Track:
Separate Ways features Hurricane's Kelly Hansen up front, leading off the album with clearly the best track and the best lead vocal performance. Kelly has always been a classy guy and a sensational singer and his vocal doesn't fail him here. It's not pure Perry, but that's something he has done right - stayed natural.
There is no surprise why Kelly is featured on 2 different tracks here, as he is a yard and a half above the next best.
Any Way You Want It features Circus Of Power's Alex Michell on vocals. Circus Of Power are normally a hard hitting hard rocking sleaze rock outfit, but for this cover, Alex has tamed his voice and puts in a fairly smooth vocal. But as listeners will quickly notice, his tone is about 4 octaves lower than Perry's. Many will be turned off in the first 3 seconds when they here this, but after repeated listens it's not quite the disaster you might first think.
I think it actually works Ok, but won't convince many.
Faithfully also isn't the natural disaster I was expecting, but that's not saying it's great either! The gruff sleaze rock vocalist Marq Torein of LA's Bulletboys is fronting this track - one of Journey's most emotional and successful ballads.
Given that this is a total and utter vocal mis-match, I was expecting the very worst from this version. What I got was actually one of the best vocals I have ever heard Marq do. Well done to him, but it's still a mis-match and well short of what was required to pull this song off.
To make things worse, the song goes to total and utter hell in the last 90 seconds as Marq ties to match the emotional high notes of Perry. Big mistake, as he doesn't come close and his voice falters, ruining the good work done to that point.
Don't Stop Believing features Eric Dover of Slash's Snakepit. Another vocalist that has a normally gruff, raspy vocal has shed his image for a smooth high-pitch Perry like performance. And credit again where is due, it's a hell of a job. Again, short of what's required if you are doing a straight impersonation of the original, but a vocal performance I didn't expect. Unfortunately on this track, the vocal seems more inspired than the music backing it. The songs feels somewhat lifeless, especially as the original is so powerful.
If there was a best part to this album, it is at this point where it is abandoned.
In Love/Hate, Jizzy Pearl had some character. His voice fitted the music and the attitude. But he isn't a great singer. As a Perry clone he is plain fucking awful. Open Arms is possibly Journey's most cherished power ballad and features a vocal second to none as far as execution. It features some of the highest notes Perry ever used. Why then, get the worst singer on this record to tackle the hardest track? This version is a nightmare and has the emotional content of a can of Spam. The closing portion of the song contains some truly dreadful vocals.
Yet another rough and tumble rock vocalist is Union's John Corabi. A good vocalist on his own material for sure, but well short of the mark on Girl Can't Help It. He does show another angle to his vocals, but they just don't fit the song. And once again, the musical backing seems sadly lacklustre, with poor harmony vocals and a terrible keyboard sound. This was, until now, a very soulful tune.
Only The Young is one of Journey better rock anthem's and you would expect this version to be one of the better tracks on this tribute. One of the more suitable at least. Again, not so.
Mark Knight of the band Worry Beads is up. Now Mark knows he can't match Perry, so doesn't even try - singing octaves below in a low, flat, uninspired vocal. The energy of the original is totally sapped from this performance. There is zero inspiration and no passion whatsoever involved.
Jason Bonham Band vocalist Chaz West is next up - tackling the older classic Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'. Flat, slow, boring, uninspiring, dull....terrible. Sorry to say, but this track has had a Hover taken to it, sucking all life from it.
Kelly Hansen to the rescue with Wheel In The Sky. A classic early rocker, Kelly again does his vocal best, bringing vocal energy to this track, sadly lacking in others.
Be Good To Yourself is just plain - laugh out loud funny. This track had me in stitches, but probably for the wrong reason.
Singer Ralph Saenz is normally frontman for the David Lee Roth era Van Halen tribute band Atomic Punks. On this classic Journey pop rocker, Ralph brings his Roth alter-ego to the song, doing his best classic Dave interpretation of the song. If you could possibly ever imagine David Lee Roth fronting Journey - here's a taster!!
Included is all the trademark David Lee Roth screams, yelps and cries, not to mention additional adlibbing and vocal re-arrangements.
Taken seriously this is really bad. Taken in the tongue in cheek fashion it is sung in, it should provide some entertainment over a few beers.
Who's Crying Now features Warrior Soul vocalist Kory Clarke. Again, Kory alters his approach to mirror the original vocal of Perry's. He does Ok until he tries some of the higher notes mid-song, which is truly cringe worthy. He just doesn't have the range for that.
Finishing the album is Lights, featuring Stevie Rachelle of Tuff. You wouldn't expect Journey to be Stevie's normal thing and it's probably not. He does an Ok version of this song, certainly not as bad as many others on the album. The mid song high notes are again a problem, but the song has a little more passion, which carries it across the line.
BOTTOM LINE: Woeful. Mainly due to the fact that these songs are held sacred to most that frequent this website and the legacy of Journey is held very passionately by their fans (me included).
Depending on your feelings towards Journey, this album will either be the very worst tribute album of all time, or just another case of a Tribute cash-in, done with the least amount of energy and trouble.
What pisses me off the most, is the label using the same old names and faces, when they could have tried something a little outside the circle of their previous experiences.
You would think that Deadline - with a 75 page catalogue of titles available would have the resources and capability of finding the phone numbers for Hugo, House Of Shakira, Tony Harnell, Jorn Lande and Urban Tale, to get them involved in this. It would have been nice to see some more melodic singers involved. How about Queensryche's Geoff Tate who tried out for Journey?
Oh well, they played it safe and paid the price. Hopefully they will get enough feedback to kick them in the ass. Mind you, it's too late for Journey and there can't be too many bands left out there without tributes to them....
PRODUCTION: 60% SONGS: 100% VIBE: 0%ATTITUDE: 0%
ESSENTIAL FOR: Only die hard Journey fans that have to have everything.



08/12/06: Tommy Fan - highlander1867@yahoo.com
Rating: 95
Jizzy Pearl on "Open Arms is the essence of Tommy Shaw and should do more of the "STYX" and "Damn Yankees" thing! Make a tribute of either or both of those groups with him and you have a winner in the making.

20/06/02: cruz ramos - cramos2@cfl.rr.com
Rating: 40
All I have to say is that this is just horrible,this just shows how great Steve Perry is.I do not have to say that I'm a Journey and S.Perry fan,this is just a joke.I think Kelly Hansen does the best performance of the bunch of jokers in the tribute.Get Hugo or Kevin Chalfant to do this tribute albums,get real singers
that can at least be worth to listen to.

16/04/02: Jon Fletcher - musicnut71@hotmail.com
Rating: 80
TRACK BY TRACK:
Separate Ways: Kelly Hansen=Great. This guy is better every time I hear him sing! If you like his vocals check out the new Hurricane "Liquifury", great stuff!
Any Way You Want It: I was a fan of Circus Of Power, not a fan of this though. Alex Mitchell should stick to the sleazy and dirty rock and roll!
Faithfully: In my opinion Marq Torien does a good job until the end. Lousy embarassing notes at the end! I hope he's not proud of this! Good until that lousy attempt at high notes. This guy had a decent range on the first BulletBoys album, where the hell did it go!?
Don't Stop Believing: Not a bad job from Eric Dover, would not have known it was him if I didn't check the cd sleeve!
Open Arms: I know Jizzy Pearl is getting slack for this track,but, I think he did a great job! Best thing is, he doesn't try to sound like Steve Perry! He can't and knows it. So, he does this song Jizzy-style and it works!
Girl Can't Help It: John Corabi(pronounced KA-ROBBY) does a good job here. He is one of my favorite singers. True this ain't his usual style,but, he proves he can sing!
Only The Young: I agree with Andrew from MelodicRock.com! This guy is boring and sounds useless to me. Maybe he sings good for his own band. Wasn't Mark Knight the drummer for Bang Tango!? I can't remember. Worry Beads? I would worry too if I sang this boring all the time!
Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin': Chaz West of the Jason Bonham Band. I think he does alright on this track! Sure, he's no Steve Perry, but then again, who is!? There's only one!
Wheel In The Sky: Another gem from Kelly Hansen! Need I say more?
Be Good To Yourself: What is this? David Lee Journey? Van Journey? Journey Van Roth? I haven't really heard much stuff with Ralph Saenz singing. He was great in L.A. Guns though!
Who's Crying Now?: I know that Kory Clarke is meaner than this,but I think he made a good attempt at showing another side of his vocal approach. For that he gets a thumbs up!
Lights: Stevie Rachelle! I love this guy's voice! Always have and probably always will! You should hear him with the glam-band Shameless! Great stuff!
Tributes are usually not as good as the original, if they were, we wouldn't need the original! Great songs re-done by guys who do the best they can do!

21/02/02: Splash Marshall - Splash777@msn.com
Rating: 55
Now I have listened to this cd a couple of times and I like some of it. Pointing out the vocals as the other 2 reviews here is not what tribute albums are all about. I am a cover song maniac and find nothing as fun as finding new versions of songs. Stevie Rachelle is solid as a rock singing his cut. Lights is my favorite Journey song of all time and I like Stevie's vocals. He does a great job. "Any Way You Want It" lacks power, grace and energy. Michell should have sang the song like Circus Of Power would have swamped it out in the late 80's. Jizzy Pearl has never been a good singer but has a cool voice in the right setting this is not it. Being disappointed is easy listening to most of this cd but I found Kory Clarke entertaining and Ralph Saenz was great with his take on the song. The most painfull part of listening to this album was having to hear Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin' being killed by a crappy singer. This guys sucks doing Journey and doing anything else. I really wanted to hear a Metal crushing sound on some of the songs and maybe a cool country/blues take to some of them. John Corabi was good not as good as he has been in the past but he was solid. My only question is "Why was Hugo of Valentine not on here?" That guy is a clone of Perry. He looks like him, sounds like him, hell I would make a bet that he smells like him as well. Kelly Hanson is good but I never really liked his voice. All in all if you can afford to blow the dow buy it and have some fun. If you can only afford 1 or 2 cd's a month don't even pick it up. Download the damn thing. Now I wait for these guys to put out a Bob Seger tribute and maybe a Foriegner tribute as well. But please leave Michell and Pearl off the line up.

02/02/02: Chris Tripoli - chrisandjentripoli@prodigy.net
Rating: 70
7
Been out of the loop for a little while ( my wife just gave birth to twins 1/11/02, so things have been a little busy)
But I just did a little catching up on Journey and I know the split with Sony is a big story now BUT....
as I was shopping for baby formula at WalMart last night, I browsed through the "J" section of the CDs and was shocked to find "A Tribute to Journey" CD copyright 2002 by Deadline music. I had always hoped for a CD like this but had absolutely no clue that one was in the works. Anyone else seen this yet or know of it?

Of course I bought the CD.
Made some time 2nite to relisten to each track and write down my impressions so here it goes...

Separate Ways: I think I would've like an even heavier opening beat to this one. Would like to hear a real heavy Metallica like or Staind like opening. A little too tame. Kelly Hansen does a nice job here with the vocals though. What's with the cheezy synthisizer? Someone's 1985 Casio?

Any Way You Want It: OK. I suppose when you make a tribute album you go one of two ways. #1 Do your best Steve Perry Imitation and play every note exactly like the record. #2 Do something completely different. This song is a poor attempt at #2. After the first line I thought "this could be cool" and I kept waiting for Alex Mitchell to kick it up a notch, hammer out a multiple octave jump, growl, scream, and break out of the rut this song starts in. No such luck. PS do not hold back your laughter during the "talking" part of the song.

Faithfully: I take this song very seriously. This is my absolute favorite Journey song. This is my wedding song. So...I was expecting to hate whatever was done with it. Much to my pleasure and surprise I think this is the #1 or 2 song on the CD. I like the raspiness in Marq Torien's voice. He gets to each note, some easier than others but thats OK by me. Shows some nice emotion. He really "sings" it. My only "negative" comment would be that he sounds a lot like Michael Bolton in a few phrases, LOL.

Don't Stop Believing: Cheezy synthesizer again! Music doesn't drive forward. Eric Dover's voice is fine, hits all the requisite notes, but again the vocals need phrasing. See music 101.

Open Arms: Another raspy voice in Jizzy and I like it. Sings with emotion, nice phrasing. I think he nails it pretty well.

Girl Can't Help It: Not a super big fan of this song in the first place, but I think John Corabi does a nice job with it. Chorus could've used a little more work. Don't need to here "the Journey sound" per se, but a better balance of harmony would've been nice. Again, I can't stand that cheezy synthesizer!

Only the Young: Mark Knight sounds like he is singing this one in his sleep. Every phrase trails off and is cut short. Sung too monotone. This song never GOES anywhere. BIG YAWN.

Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin': Nice effort here from Chaz West. I like this one. His voice rises with the lyric. Enjoyed the growling high point. You feel like his baby girl done him wrong. With Faithfully, could be the #1 or 2 song here.

Wheel in the Sky: Torn on this one. Kelly puts out another nice vocal effort, but this song sounds a little too Europe "Final Countdown" to me. Anyone else hear this too?

Be Good To Yourself: The David Lee Roth reference was a good pickup. According to Andrew at melodicrock.com, Ralph Saenz actually fronts a Valen Halen tribute Band "The Atomic Punks". Imagine Diamond Dave singing for Journey? ... or not. I think this version is FUN in and of itself.

Who's Crying Now: Kory Clarke is trying too hard on this one. Voice really sounds thin on this one. Not horrible but one half-step up from bad.

Lights: Probably the most disappointing song on the CD. Stevie Rachelle just doesn't have the chops for this one. Bad matchup. Sounds like a high schooler singing the song at his junior prom. Trying to think of another Journey song I would've like to have heard him sing, but I don't want him singing ANY Journey songs. Sorry Stevie.

I know Andrew at melodicrock.com also isn't too fond of this production company. Apparently they pump out a lot of grade b and c tribute CDs. Still, I think its fun to own. I would rather spend $13 on this than $24 on the Essential CD with songs I already own.

Tracks and singers are as follows:
1. Separate Ways, Kelly Hanson of Hurricane
2. Any Way You Want It, Alex Mitchell of Circus of Power
3. Faithfully, Marq Torien of Bullet Boys
4. Don't Stop Believing, Eric Dover of Slash's Snakepit
5. Open Arms, Jizzy Pearl of Love/Hate - Ratt
6. Girl Can't Help It, John Corabi of Motley Crue - Union
7. Only the Young, Mark Knight of Worry Beads
8. Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin', Chaz West of the Jason Bonham Band
9. Wheel in the Sky, Kelly Hanson of Hurricane
10. Be Good to Yourself, Ralph Saenz of the Atomic Punks
11. Who's Crying Now, Kory Clarke of Warrior Soul
12. Lights, Steve Rachelle of Tuff

The "Band" is listed as:
Kyle Kyle (Bang Tango) Bass
Tracy Swider (Crush) Guitars
Danny Wagner (Warrant) Keyboards
Danny Parker (3 Penny Needle/Shake the Faith) Drums

Laughing to myself as I listened last night, thinking if this was an
audition tape for the new singer, who would I pick? Mabey a good question for future discussion. Needless to say (but I'm going to say it), after listening to the whole CD, I am ever so more thankful and appreciative at having Mr. Augeri at the helm, singing my future Journey songs. I have been a big Steve A. supporter from the start ever since seeing Journey live 10/30/98 at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia. Don't get me wrong, none of the singers on the CD are really BAD, but they do make Mr. Augeri's work "Shine" (sly Tyketto reference)

More soon! PEACE!!!
Chris Tripoli


ADD YOUR OWN REVIEW! (Ratings out of 100 please)

Name:

E-mail:

Rating:

Comment: