Mr. and Mr. Perry... you have a beautiful BABY BOY!

Now playing:
Asia - One Step Closer
via FoxyTunes
You are probably trying to figure out just what I am referring to! Does it have to do with California making gay marriage a legal venture? NO! Well, unless Steve Perry is gay with himself.

This post is about the new JOURNEY 3 disc set, available exclusively at Wal-Mart. There I go... feeling dirty, again. For those of you who are fans of Journey... or even consider yourselves "previous" fans of this band, then please pay attention.

First, I must describe myself as a fan of EARLY Journey music, from the albums predating Steve Perry, up through "Escape", I thoroughly enjoyed the music of this great Bay Area band. From the incredibly tasty guitar stylings of Neil Schon, to the great vocals of Steve Perry, I was a huge fan. "Escape" came out when I was in 9th grade, and along with REO Speedwagon and AC/DC (and let's not forget Cheap Trick), my year was filled with some of the best music of my early adolescence.

I will be honest, and say that I really began to fall away from the Journey fold, as I entered my high school years. It may have had something to do with the New Wave movement, which was progressively wrapping up my heart and soul, but the magic was diminishing. I will say that I enjoyed some of the songs from "Frontiers", but I never did purchase the album. As the years went by, I stopped buying any new releases that the band may have put out. And then came the tragic departure of Steve Perry, who had been increasingly more interested in a solo career, as well as suffering from back problems (if I remember correctly).

I continued listening to the early music, off and on, but no longer considered them one of my favorite bands. Enter the July 11th, 2008 scheduled show of Cheap Trick/Heart and Journey. Right away, I was on board with Cheap Trick being on the bill. I have seen them twice in my life, and consider them one of my favorite bands, to this day. Heart is a band that I have never seen, although I will be honest in saying that I would much rather have seen them back in their 70's heyday. To give them credit, after their brief venture into their alter-ego, The Love Mongers, I think Heart has returned with a bigger set of musical balls, than they have had in some years. And then there was Journey. I was skeptical. I know that they have had another singer for several years, but never had the urge to see the band without their former vocalist, not to mention a toned down sound that wasn't so reflective of their 70's albums. So, with the triple bill of Cheap Trick (who I will see anytime) as well as Heart, who I have never seen, but wouldn't mind checking out, and Journey, another band who I have never seen, but once dreamed of seeing, I knew the time had come.

Now, to get me braced for what Journey had to offer, I thought I would take advantage of the new Wal-Mart exclusive Journey box set, that was released the first week of June. I didn't know exactly what it entailed, nor how much it would cost, but I thought I would investigate. So, last week, as a Father's Day present (two days premature), I got the new box set. Well, box set is a little misleading, as the compilation actually features a brand new album (one that fans consider to be their strongest work since "Frontiers"), a disc of re-recorded versions of old hits, as well as a live concert DVD, recorded in Las Vegas, in March 2008, the FOURTH show with the new vocalist.

To tease myself, I thought that I would actually listen to the familiar songs, first. I put on the disc, and from the opening bars of "Only The Lonely", I knew that I was treading in familiar territories. BUT, the true surprise came when the first vocals were heard. This guy WAS Steve Perry. Whether he was frozen, thawed and re-named, or if he was a clone, this guy WAS Steve Perry. I did a little research, and found out that Arnel Pineda was selected from countless people researched on Now, Steve Perry had ancestral roots from Portugal, and Arnel is from The Phillipines, but they sound the same... and look like Arnel could be the love child of Steve Perry, if he procreated with himself. Not only that, but when I put on the concert DVD, Arnel is even working on Steve Perryesque sideburns! You go, little man!

Anyhow, if you are someone like me, who had all but written off Journey, go get this box set. Even if it means supporting the great whore of the Earth, Wal-Mart. This will not only astound you, but it will BLOW YOU A-FREAKIN'-WAY!! And for the low, low Wal-Mart price of $11.88.

And for you local Utah folks... we'll see you at the show!!

Now playing: Asia - Open Your Eyes
via FoxyTunes


Kate said…
It IS a trip how much that new guy looks/sounds like Steve Perry! I can't wait to see what you think of the show! I think I told you, we took The Boy to see Heart a few months ago (he'd become familiar with their work via Guitar Hero), and it was a FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC show. You will love Heart. Nancy jumps around the stage putting Eddie Van Halen to shame (as far as energy & professionalism are concerned, both things EVH currently lacks). Ann's vocals will blow your mind. I hope they have time to do one of their Zeppelin covers...